Installing an artificial turf is one of the easiest DIY projects that even inexperienced homeowners can confidently undertake. Nevertheless, there’ll never be any substitute for good preparation and hard work. While you may already be all set to put in some intensive effort, we can lend you some support by helping you prepare for the project.
We’ve put together a list of common mistakes you should avoid making while installing the artificial turf. Have a look!
- Installing turf on uneven ground
Installing artificial turf is very similar to laying carpeting on the floor. You have to take all precautions to ensure that the underlying surface is even and clear. If you don’t make the effort to remove every single pebble and bumps from the ground, it will most definitely stand out once the turf is laid over. Unevenly laid artificial grass areas look quite unattractive. Uneven surfaces are also likely to cause tripping and falling. We’re sure you wouldn’t want to compromise with having safe surfaces for children.
- Incomplete excavation before installation
Some people assume that in order to lay out the artificial grass, they simply need to get the real grass out of the way. But the job calls for much more than that.
Of course, you need to remove the natural grass. And the excavation needs to be thorough. You’ll need to uproot the grass and remove a layer of soil too. Preferably, get 3-4 inches excavated from below the finished height of the garden. This will ensure that you get rid of all the root and weeds from the area. If you suspect that the area you’re covering with artificial grass will have problems with drainage, stick with a 4 inches deep excavation.
- Ignoring the weed barrier
It is difficult to fully control weed growth without active measures. There have been many instances where weeds and natural grass start growing beneath the artificial grass. This can happen no matter how careful you’ve been about preparing the surface.
In order to have a weed-proof arrangement for your artificial turf, you should install a weed barrier before laying the grass. The barrier or membrane directly beneath the artificial grass will give a solid protection against weed-growth and similar troubles.
- Not providing for drainage
Drainage issues are best handled with some foresight. Installing artificial grass is no reason for an exception either. If you haven’t taken adequate measures to facilitate uninterrupted drainage while laying the artificial grass, you may end up with a waterlogged lawn. We bet that’s way too messy for anyone’s tastes.
There are a few ways to keep the situation under check. Like we mentioned earlier, excavating an inch deeper is one way to tackle the situation. You should create a strong foundation by filling the extra space with concrete and sand. You can also add a gentle gradient in the lawn and construct a drain around the perimeter for effective drainage.
- Laying the grass the wrong way
The two sides of artificial grass have slightly different color tones. One side appears darker than the other. Although there is no right or wrong to which side should be laid facing up, you need to be consistent with whatever choice you’ve made.
Not being careful about which side you’re keeping up, can leave you with unpleasant light and dark patches on the ground.
- Not securing the edges
One of the problems which come to surface sometime after you’ve laid out the artificial grass is curled-up edges. Don’t be misled by how the surface and edges look initially, they can come loose over time if not secured properly.
Loose edges look extremely shabby and are unsafe since they can cause people to trip over accidently. To ensure that the edges are secure, you can attach them to a wooden frame at the time of installation.
- Leaving gaps
While laying down the artificial turf may seem like a quick job, you should refrain from being too hasty about it. If the edges of the grass patches are not aligned properly, gaps and uneven joins will be staring back in the end.
Make sure that the rolls are laid out and joined perfectly, masking the joins completely out of sight. You should not be able to spot the join even if you’re standing right over it. Remember, rectifying this mistake at later stages could be rather challenging. If you’ve already made the mistake, there’s no use pulling together the joins using cable ties or anchoring timber under the joins.
- Ignoring quality
We can’t emphasize enough on the importance of making a good purchase for the artificial grass. Good quality artificial grass usually comes with a warranty and lots of assurances. You need to look for a good value for the money you’d be spending.
Don’t just be driven by the price point. The cheapest is usually not the best, and most often there’s a huge compromise on quality when it comes to heavy discounts. Follow the mantra, if it’s too good to be true, you’d better skip the offer.
- Not taking care of reflecting surfaces
Often people forget to create adequate shades for the artificial grass at the time of installation. The shaded areas need to be strategically placed so as to prevent damage from reflections during peak summer days. Glazed windows and other mirrored surfaces reflect powerful rays which can concentrate at a spot on the artificial grass and damage it. The grass may melt or get burnt!
- Discarding leftover turf
It’s never a good idea to throw away unused turf from your artificial grass installation. The leftover turf may come handy for future repairs and replacement. Sometimes it may not be possible to find the exact same turf in the market. In this situation, you’ll be incredibly happy you decided to save the leftover patches.
We’ve briefly gone over the common mistakes people often make while installing artificial turfs. This should give you a good head start for the project. But it would also be appropriate to emphasize here that if you’re attempting to cover a large area with artificial grass, it would be wiser to hire a professional for the job.