When it comes to synthetic turf, proper installation is key. Poor installation can leave unsightly lines, ripples or wrinkles and unhappy customers. Following these steps below can help you successfully install synthetic turf.
Plan it out
To ensure the smoothest installation, make sure to draw out your plan first. Measure the area that will be covered by turf so you can more accurately order the amount of turf needed for the job. Then, have all of the tools needed on site to save a trip back to Ewing Irrigation & Landscape Supply for any forgotten materials.
The tools and materials needed for a synthetic turf job include:
- EPS Turf
- Seam tape and glue
- Caulking gun
- Spray bottle
- 6-inch nails
- Tape measurer
- Utility knife
- Drop spreader (optional)
- Turf rake
Roll out the turf
Synthetic turf needs to be rolled out and left to warm up and expand before installation. Find a large flat area where you can leave the turf for 6 to 24 hours. Not allowing the turf to warm up and stretch out can lead to ripples or bubbles after the turf has been installed.
Create a base
Next, to get a smooth turf surface, you will need to create a flat base. Compact 2 to 3 inches of gravel on the area where the turf will be laid. Use a roller and/or tamper to level the ground as much as possible.
Prepare your turf
Once the turf has been warmed up, cut it into manageable sections. With your utility knife, cut one side of your turf along the seam stitch and the other side leaving the extra material. Next, roll the turf and carry it to the installation area, rather than dragging it. Line up your seams and cut off any excess turf material.
Seam your sections
Fold one side of your turf up and place the seam tape beneath it. Align the tape so it’s evenly spaced between both sides. Mark the center of the tape to help guide you when applying the glue. Once you’re ready to apply the glue, fold back both sides of the turf and apply the glue about a quarter-inch away from the center of the seam tape.
To activate the glue, use a spray bottle to mist it with water. Then, join the two turf sides and apply pressure to the seam.
Make your final cuts
Once you’ve glued the seams, make any final cuts around the turf’s perimeter. To more easily cut around corners, make stress relief cuts on the back of the turf.
Nail down the perimeter
Next, nail the turf in place with the 6-inch nails. Place the nails 6 inches apart. This will help you easily calculate the number of nails needed for your job, by multiplying the perimeter by two.
Infill is used on synthetic turf to help keep the blades standing up, which gives the turf a more natural look. The infill can be applied by hand or with a drop spreader for more even application. Once the infill is on the turf, use a synthetic turf rake or power broom to brush it in until you can no longer see it. To complete your synthetic turf installation, apply water to the area to help settle the infill.
Synthetic turf tips:
- Only apply nails to the perimeter of the turf. Using nails in the center of the turf will prevent it from expanding and contracting with heat and can cause damage.
- While synthetic turf does not need to be watered, it’s recommended to clean the turf with water every now and then. If the installation site has an irrigation system, you can cut out the sprinkler heads and leave it operational for an easy way to clean the turf. However, if a line breaks, the turf will have to be pulled up to repair it.
- Many window manufacturers today are making windows more heat resistant, meaning they let small amounts of heat in and reflect most of it out. This can damage synthetic turf. Be aware of this when installing synthetic turf.