Shawgrass is a strong turf that calls for organization and expertise to set up correctly.
It is highly recommended that a Dance Floor Custom Greens expert be the one to perform the artificial grass installation. Readying the space for the project is critical for a long-lasting solution and while it will demand the most labor, it will also yield the best results. The following artificial turf installation tips will be essential for making sure that your layouts are planned effectively and give your patrons the results they want and need.
A. Area: The space for an artificial grass job should be clearly outlined and marked.
B. Drainage: Find out whether the installation plot has adequate drainage or will have to have additional drains or modified drains, grading, or sloping.
C. Soil Condition: Check to see whether you will need to moisten or soften the soil or use a jackhammer to take care of big rocks. Waterlogged soil may need to dry a few days prior to when synthetic grass work starts.
D. Irrigation: Discover the sprinklers and bubblers you already have for the rest of the trees and plants or complete irrigation for trees and plants before you proceed. Identify all irrigation lines, electrical conduit, etc. under the ground that might become deformed during the synthetic grass job. Move these obstacles where you can.
Irrigation sprinklers aren’t necessary for lawn turf, you’ll want to consult your irrigation specialist to help reroute and shut off sprinkler heads. If you opt for the TurfChiller cooling technology, you may want to simply restart the irrigation settings at the box as your patrons will be thrilled having a convenient watering source.
E. Preventing Future Damage: Decide if additional parts or materials you need to safeguard against damage from rodents or ground animals. Rodent wire (similar to chicken wire) might be exactly what you need. Cover the entire perimeter to stop the artificial turf from being drawn up or damaged by your cat or dog.
F. Existing Design Elements: Find the concrete borders surrounding your property and choose whether you need to anchor into concrete slabs. If you are using edging, different border materials, or curbing, set it before cutting the artificial turf and supplementing it with any base layer, as this will give you the most precise measurement for the artificial turf. Potential pests as well as tree roots in your yard should also be planned for.
G. Measurements: To reduce work, Find out the dimensions of the project area carefully and create the layout to bring down the number of seams in the artificial turf. You can expect to need a small amount of additional material, especially if you involve roundness for your desired layout. An ideal figure to use is 10%. Use a smart level or transit for a proper slope of 2% min.
H. Design Application Tips: All artificial grass installments have a pile (grain) direction that has to be considered. Determine the pile direction and place all rolls of synthetic grass in the same pile pattern. Installing artificial grass in conflicting pile patterns may end up showing obvious seams. The grain should be facing toward the most common viewing direction as this will minimize shimmer.
Measure the full prepared space, and purchase more than enough artificial turf to cover the entire area. Do this even if your process takes place gradually over a long period of time. Artificial turf is built in separate batches with expected batch-to-batch distinction, so you will be smart to get enough for your full project. Synthetic grass is normally made in rolls that are 12 or 15 feet wide, so you could break your project area into 12 or 15 foot wide segments, and then add the full length of these areas. Roll out the synthetic grass the day before, allowing the panel to relax. If the synthetic turf has bent, lay it flat on a flat surface in the sun or pull it taught.
The taller your pile height, the more infill you need. Therefore, double check your measurements. Also, remember that the turf wrapped closest to the middle could be far too wrinkled, you should be sure to have 18” of extra material just to be certain you don’t need to order more.
B. BASE MATERIAL
You will need around two to six inches of a layer of stone under your lawn. One yard of The stone for the base layer is able to cover 80 sq. ft. at 4 inches depth (one yard = one ton). Fine stone or aggregate (89 stone; 1/4” to 5/8” in size) can be laid over a coarse combination (57 stone; 1/2” to 3/4” in size), or a mixture of coarse and fine aggregate (often named crush and run) is used.
Don’t use pea gravel as your base material. Be sure not to use pea gravel as the rounded stone is sure to shift a problematic amount. Pea gravel stones have a smooth, ovaline surface, making them difficult to compact. Your local nursery, mulch or stone center has the best options for gravel.
Infill helps anchor the turf down and give structure to the fibers to keep them pointing up and eliminates matting. Infill is essential as it promotes water drainage and produces a stable, normal grass feeling base. Different infills can work as well. TurfChiller brings down the temperature of the turf significantly and demands 2# at the very least to be effective. Envirofill is a filling for turf that is green in color, provides some cooling properties and has Microban®. Having both is a great combination when children or pets are active in the yard.
D. SAND INFILL
In some regions, it is recommended that you use a color-coated sand on the top of your infill. This color-coating makes the sand more expensive than normal sand, it is often only used on the top of your infill. The recommended rate would be 1 lb per sq ft. Determine the amount of sand infill before you begin; a good estimate is three to five pounds of sand per square foot on 50-80 ounce synthetic grass.
TurfChiller is an evaporative cooling technology which has been designed to cool synthetic turf spaces. The Turf Chiller technology is a pre-coated material so it arrives on-site pre-bonded to the sand infill. Once you have installed it, just hydrate to get it started. Turf Chiller needs moisture so it can deliver a long-term cooling solution.
We highly recommend TurfChiller as it is a specially designed infill that decreases the temperature of the surface significantly. When used in a family setting where your family and pets walk it gives you and yours a whole other degree of relaxation and provides the best peace of mind on warm days.
Make sure to create a weed border. You might also want a wire mesh rodent barrier if you have had prior rodent problems (gophers, moles, etc).
G. SEAMING MATERIAL
Be sure to have enough seaming tape to run the entire length of your seams, and to cover any paste. Be careful to cover your seams well as this will be one of the most noticeable features when finished. Also, please be sure to read all adhesives labels to make sure that they are used and put away properly.
Plan your landscaping project to lower the chances of visible seams; for example put the seams in the back or out of the way. Also, think about rebuilding your design to maintain 15’ widths, this will save a lot of labor and can hide those seams from sight as well.
H. LANDSCAPE NAILS/SPIKES
(approximately 3.5 – 10 inches in length)
Spikes will be placed along sidewalks, tree rings, and other objects around the area to landscape. They will later be covered by infill but you will need to embed them as deep as possible. There are all kinds of spikes that you can buy made of different materials from plastic to galvanized/non-galvanized. Local dirt will inform these decisions.
Use will determine the size of nails or spikes to use. Nails need to be applied around every six inches along the side of the installation, as well as along all seams to reinforce the turf.
Use nailer board nails one-to-two inches galvanized or staples 1⁄4 inch – 1⁄2 inch. Shorter nail spacing could be needed when using nailer boards.
I. EDGING MATERIAL
Polyboard is better compared to many lawn border options because of its durability and many uses. It looks to be real wood but has all of the advantages of plastic. Polyboard can be bent and curved to fit all your makeover needs. Pressure-treated wood may also be used.
TOOLS & EQUIPMENT
Gripped leather gloves
Safety pylons—for setting up on street for materials and machinery
100 ft. standard metal tape measure
Snap line for marking long cuts of turf
Hard-edge level—two-to-four foot
Square or T-square for squaring the sides of turf
C. SITE PREPARATION
Flat blade shovels
D. BASE PREPARATION
Transit or smart level
Asphalt or landscape rake (40 inch)
Pointed mason trowels – used to clear and clean edges of concrete, etc
Hand Tampers (Eight or 10 inch)
Water filled roller
2” x 1” x 2’ pieces of wood – for hand tamping borders & small areas
E. TURF CUTTING
Professional tier knives and blades (get a blade and knife set that is easily changeable and stock up on blades)
Drop spreaders for small projects require only a small drop spreader (holds approx. 75 lbs. of infill) or for bigger sections, using a commercial drop spreader (holds approx. 200 lbs.) or walk-behind or tow-behind machines.
Installation and grooming rakes (poly-nylon)
Grooming hand brooms or tools (poly-nylon)
G. MATERIAL HANDLING > 1000 SF
Forklift with forks and 15-foot carpet pole
Bungee rope for securing loads
H. HAND TOOLS
Small hand shovel—used to clear and clean around pipes and tight edges
Pliers (various sizes and shapes)
Wrench and socket set (for small tool repairs and use in adjusting irrigation, etc)
Sledgehammer (medium to large)
Cement chisel for cleaning off additional concrete, rocks or other objects
Pipe cutter (for modifications to irrigation)
I. POWER TOOLS
Power brush to fibrillate (bloom) blades
Hand saw or power saw to slice bender board, pipes
Leaf blower (for cleanup of organic materials and job site areas)
Sod cutter (optional rental)
Vibratory plate compactor (optional rental)
J. MISC. TOOLS
Several small and large tarps or plastic drop cloths
Several little containers for old blades and small buckets for hand-filling, small tools, and job materials
Gas cans for both mixes and plain gas
K. SITE CLEAN UP
Water hose (100 ft.) and nozzle with variable heads
Brooms (one hand bristle and one soft bristle)
Small hand broom for edges, rocks, and more
Shop vacuum (two gallon or larger)
2. AREA PREPARATION
Call 8-1-1 before you dig to prevent damage to utilities underground and service interruption. This is the universal number for the 71 regional services in the United States that manage location services for underground public utilities.
A. Remove all sods, mulches, turfs, etc. from the marked area. You can do this with a hand-held shovel, or a gas-powered sod puller (these are available to rent at typical rental centers) or have a local landscaper remove the existing sod and any landscaping you want removed from your installation area. To remove an old lawn, you should excavate two-to-six inches of turf. Later you will replace this turf and soil with two-to-six inches of stone material.
B. When landscaping around trees, shrubbery, flowers, light poles, utilities, etc., make sure to mark around those areas and leave space for the turf edge configuration.
C. Leave an ample room uncovered around the bases of trees.
D. Check on local legislations on disposal of natural waste before you start. Allow your site to dry out for a couple of days before you excavate.
E. Do not use a tiller to get rid of turf because that might misplace the soil underneath the sod and create an unstable base. A sod cutter is recommended for large areas. You can get one of these at one of your local tool rental suppliers. A spade or shovel can be used to cut the sod into small strips in small areas.
F. Organic material you leave underneath newly installed surfaces will decompose, which can lead to sub-surface failure. All recently removed tree stump or root areas need to be rid of organic materials, then compacted and filled before the job starts.
G. By using an inverted spray can marker, mark boundaries for your yard and layout. Remember that synthetic turf comes in your choice of 12-foot or 15-foot widths. Keep this in mind when you plan out your installation to have as few seams as possible with your layout.
H. Lots of different types of border solutions and edging materials may be used for your artificial turf project. For example, transitions from synthetic turf to a flower bed, mulch, stone edging, or sidewalks. You can also utilize synthetic lumber or synthetic turf edging.
I. This is the right time to add edges, large rocks, and install stepping stones, pavers, walkways, and walls.
J. If you have a sprinkler system within the installation space, reroute to the perimeter if possible, or cap the unnecessary sprinklers and turn off their valves.
3. SOIL COMPACTION
A. It may be essential to compact the native soil/subgrade prior to base construction.
B. In a situation where the native soils are saturated or soft, it is advisable to put in a geotextile to divide the soft soils from the stone base.
C. As a rule of thumb, if there is standing water, or if underfoot water comes to the surface, the right thing to use is a geotextile.
D. You must totally firm up the earth that will be the foundation for your artificial turf. You can use a sod roller or a vibrating plate compactor, which you can rent from your local rental suppliers. Ensure the ground is properly sloped or follows the grade of the area around it for adequate draining.
E. Apply a top-quality weed and turf killer to the synthetic turf installation site.
F. Decide if extra materials are required to avoid damage from weeds, rodents or ground animals. Weed barrier and rodent wire (similar to chicken wire) may be the solution (this is not always necessary in arid or dry climates).
4. BASE CONSTRUCTION
A. A crushed stone base of two-to-six inches should be spread evenly over the top of the prepared space.
B. If employing heavy equipment to do so, the machinery should not drive directly on top of the prepared site. If it is beyond avoiding, the operator has to be cautious of curves that can hurt the base.
C. The crushed stone can be a D.O.T. Class 2 aggregate or of equal level, with a maximum particle size of 3⁄4”, or approved equal. We supply Class 2 aggregate in many regions.
D. The crushed stone should then be laid evenly, as smoothly as you can. With a finer material will make it easier to complete the final grade.
E. To find the depth of the base as a general rule, in dry climates such as Phoenix, San Diego, or Las Vegas, two inches of base course is enough. In climates with more rain or a higher water table, such as Seattle, New Orleans, or Houston, up to six inches might be necessary.
F. Softly coat your area with water and then strongly press the sub-base using a hand compactor, landscape roller, or vibratory plate compactor.
G. Look for surface deformities. If the base rough layer is not as smooth as you would like it, or there are unwelcome undulations, it might be needed to also add a layer of fines (stone dust, screenings manufactured sand, etc.) to fill in the low sections or create a truly flat surface. This layer should be kept to a small amount, preferably no more than two inches. This layer must be pressed with a heavy roller or plate press. Fill in and re-level any base dip that is more than 1/4” deep.
H. Even though artificial turf drains water down through drainage holes that are part of the design, we also suggest angling the base at a small slope, away from any structures, to an appropriate drainage space to prevent any pooling at all.
J. Perpetual passes over the job space are necessary until a compaction rate of 95% or more is achieved. When dry, the installation space needs to be smooth and firm to eliminate unwanted ridges under the artificial turf.
K. Add your base beginning with the farthest side of the space. Go from edge to edge, not center to edge. Feather base from load to load. The base treatments should be dispersed evenly. Grade and level to exceed design and drainage requirements. Shape to the look you desire—flat, slight roll, mounded.
L. A gas-powered vibratory plate compactor may be rented for larger projects. Overlap trips with the compactor to lower the risk of ridges and bumps.
M. Do not walk on the recently placed base until it is compacted. Walking over the rough base will create holes and irregular spots. A straightforward way to guess the correct amount of packing is to step onto the stone base. If you can leave a footprint, the base is not packed down enough.
5. LAY TURF
A. Roll the synthetic turf out on top of the solid base, as planned. If the site needs multiple roll sizes, be sure to have the lay of the fibers on each roll of turf leaning all the same way.
B. When seaming is required, trim the selvedge (un-tufted edge) off the artificial grass and lay in the position you want.
C. When clipping selvedge, begin cutting two tuft rows in from the edge in order to achieve proper seam strength.
D. Install the next roll close to the first and repeat Step C. Then push up the seams together.
E. With a carpet or utility knife, snip the overlapped turf to match the trimmed sides of the first roll if necessary.
F. Make all cuts as close as possible without touching. Seam interval should be no more than 1/8 inch.
G. Repeat as often as you need for as many roll sizes as the job requires.
H. Around the edges, clip the synthetic grass to match the sides.
I. If a reinforced or fastened edge is desired do not glue the border until the infill is spread (Refer to Step 8). More on this later.
J. When trimming curved edges, cut in small relief cut increments to match the style.
K. Rough-cut the perimeter before any seaming.
L. Always stretch synthetic turf tight to prevent wrinkling.
A. Fold the adjacent trimmed sides of two rolls of artificial grass about two feet apart from the whole length of the seam.
B. Identify the centerline of the seam on the exposed base or seaming tape with spray paint, a piece of chalk, etc.
C. Roll out the seam tape precisely over the whole length of the seam line. Add adhesive covering all of the seam tape from one end to the other. Based on the sort of adhesive you purchase, you may need to allow time for vapors/gases to escape (flashing). Refer to the adhesive manufacturer’s instructions. The flashing time required may be based on ambient temperature and humidity.
D. after the adhesive has flashed, place the ends of each roll of artificial grass directly onto the adhesive/tape, making sure not to bury any turf fibers into the adhesive.
E. You can add weight (i.e. sandbags) down the length of the recently sewn seam, or use a heavy roller across the seam length once the adhesive has cured. The adhesive drying/curing time will be different with different adhesives dependent upon climatic conditions.
F. After the adhesive has set, cut off your turf so your product fits exactly as you desire.
7. INFILL INSTALLATION
A. You might also decide to sit the turf up vertically with the power broom or stiff bristle broom before spreading the infill. Do not use steel or wire bristle brooms that can scratch the material. This keeps all of the synthetic grass fibers standing straight up and exposed.
B. When dealing with synthetic turf products, a drop spreader (commonly used to spread turf seed, fertilizer, lime, etc.) is used to disperse the infill in lifts ranging from 1⁄4” to no greater than 1⁄2” depths.
C. Infill needs to be spread evenly and groomed to ensure a consistent infill level.
D. If the borders or edges are secured, save the infill job for these sections for last (See step 9).
E. Be sure not to pour the infill too quickly on the turf, this might lead to excessive grooming due to trapped fibers. As you spread the infill, make one entire sweep on the top of your new turf and then sweep the infill into the fibers with a rigid bristle broom or power broom. Repeat the infill spread/fiber brooming steps until the infill is spread out such that no less than 1⁄2” – 3⁄4” of turf fiber blades are exposed above the infill. Repeat this procedure until all of the infill has been spread and dropped in between the turf tips.
F. CAUTION: An excess of fiber exposed (not enough infill) will make the fibers flatten or smashed with heavy foot traffic. This will lead to premature wearing of the fiber and will void the manufacturer’s warranty.
G. There might be more than a single type of infill used on the same site. Oftentimes, a mixture of silica sand and granulated rubber, or silica sand and manufactured sand topdressing, may be used in layers. In either case, the silica sand is laid in first, then the granulated rubber or topdressing.
H. Be sure to follow the site specifications outlining the amount or depth of each infill kind.
I. For a 50-to-80 ounce product, typically four pounds per square foot can be used. Heavier solutions may use up to five pounds per square foot. The specific amount of infill will be based on the product weight and the amount of product revealed. When finished, 1⁄2” to 3⁄4” of the synthetic must be exposed. You may choose to apply color-coated sand as the last layer of infill to best match the local geography. As a rule of thumb, you might use one pound per square foot of colored sand.
8. SECURE EDGES
The edges can be installed in a number of ways:
A. Landscape Nails and Spikes. Simply hammer timber spokes, sod staples, landscape spikes, etc. into the border of the synthetic grass placed every 4”-8”(particularly if you have chosen to add an edging or curbing). The nail heads have to be level with the artificial turf backing to protect the material from creasing. Even then, more trimming may be required.
B. Nailer Board. When installed next to a concrete or asphalt curb, a nailer board/synthetic lumber can be used (preferably in Step 2, Area Preparation) by attaching the board to the curb with concrete nails. The synthetic turf can then be nailed into the top of the previously nailer board with a landscape nail. Afterwards, more trimming of the edges of the synthetic grass could be needed.
C. Buried Edges. Cut a small trench around the border, deep enough to cover the exposed edge of the turf. Tuck the turf’s edge into the trench (additional cutting of leftover artificial turf might be required). Nail and backfill the excavated dirt against the buried turf, and compact. The fringe can then be hidden with straw, mulch, rock, etc.
D. Contingent on your residence and your installation concepts, you might install trim around your new turf. Possibilities are varied and include extruded curbing, 4” x 4” timbers, natural stone, rock, metal, and plastic edging. If you do not plan to install an edging, we recommend you hammer landscaping nails every 4” to 8” along the perimeter of your artificial turf to stop the edges from rising.
9. FINISH INFILL AND TOP DRESSING
A. If you installed a secured edge, it will most likely be required to add infill around the fringe. (Use the technique described in Step 7).