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Our tips for installing your artificial grass lawn - and what to avoid!
The cost of laying/installing artificial grass is a cost that many people fail to consider, opting for the cheapest option that they can find. As you will learn by reading this page, the cheapest option is very rarely the best in terms of finish, value, longevity, and your pride of your pristine new lawn.
Why Preparation is So Important
Artificial grass can be considered as an outdoor carpet that looks like natural grass, there are other differences, but for the point in question, installation we can consider them the same. I use this analogy to help explain the similarities between laying a carpet & laying fake grass, they are both carpet laying jobs.
When laying a new carpet the first consideration is making sure that the surface of the floor is flat/level, solid & stable. In most cases we would also lay underlay to help provide that flat surface & increase the comfort of the carpet.
Now consider your garden, or any surface where you are going to install/lay your grass. The same rules that applied to the carpet in your home also apply to your plastic grass. We need the surface that we intend to lay the grass upon to be flat, solid & stable.
Existing lawns, soiled surfaces, even when compacted do not provide a flat, solid & stable surface. So the surface needs to be prepared to lay the grass
Imagine that you have a clean area of compacted soil & it was exposed to the use that the lawn would get. You don't need to be an expert to understand that after a short period of time the area would become uneven with depressions & mounds.
Laying artificial grass over unprepared surfaces like the one I mention above changes nothing in respect of the stability of the base on which it was laid. Your once proud 'show off' lawn will soon become an embarrassment that you will want to remove quickly. We know because most days we have someone on the phone with this same issue "Cheap Artificial Grass Installation Syndrome".
Is cheap always better?
Given the rise in the popularity of synthetic grass products, its not surprising to see an increase of 'Cheap Fake Grass Installer' type advertisements.
This is how it normally goes: I had artificial grass laid last year & now it looks a mess. There are lumps in it, small depressions, I have weeds growing throw the grass, 'how is that even possible' they ask. Without exaggeration, we have had clients crying over such issues. Cheap artificial grass installer is not always the best choice.
Please, even if you do not buy our products seek a good installations team.
The truth is, the end result of your new artificial grass lawn can only ever be as good as the base on which it's laid, FACT.
Doing it Correctly
Preparation involves removing the existing surface to a depth where you reach 'firm soil' and at least 200mm deep, framing it with a wood or concrete border & compacting it. Filling the bottom with a layer of at least 100mm deep of type 1 stone, compact & leveling the stone, then covering that surface with such as sharp sand. It is recommended that the sharp sand should be at least 35mm in depth. The sand then needs to be levelled & compacted until you can at least walk on it without leaving any depressions. We now have our flat, solid & stable surface to lay the grass upon.
Now that we have prepared our surface in the correct way for our grass, we can start to consider how we are going to lay & fix the grass in place. These instructions along with the recommended methods of preparing a suitable base are detailed in our free installation guide.
If Not Installed/Laid Correctly
The lawn may look good for a while, possibly a year, but eventually will need to be re-laid & normally at a far greater expense than if you had opted for the correct installation method initially.
Regardless of the cost or quality of the grass you buy, if not installed correctly the installation would never last it period of warranty.
Not being installed correctly normally voids any warranty that you believe that you have on the grass.
You will probably start to get weeds growing through the grass.
If not laid correctly the grass may not drain correctly, causing flooding in places.
As the grass is porous to rain, a poor base will wash away from under your grass, leaving a huge green 'depression'.