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How to Install Artificial Grass: DIY Guide for Home Yards

Want a great green lawn that lowers your water use and saves money? Learn how to install artificial grass with this DIY guide for your home yard. Many residential yards are going green with fake lawn because of the low maintenance costs. You don’t have to water or mow synthetic turf, so the fees are much less than what you’d spend to keep live grass full and soft. When you read our DIY guide and learn how to install artificial grass, you will find out how you can make your home yard an eco-friendly zone and save money at the same time. All you need is some basic know-how. We have everything else you’ll need, from fake grass to turf tools and accessories, at Watersavers Turf.

Fake Grass Ground PrepDIY Steps

You can’t just throw down some turf and call it a day with a DIY faux grass yard. First, you have to get your ground ready. Clear the area of your yard where you want the turf to go. Pull up any old plants, like grass or weeds, and make sure you get rid of all the deep roots. Dig out a lawn bed that is about 4” to 6” into the ground. You want to make a shallow bed with an even bottom. You will need that room to place all of your layers and to set a good foundation for your turf so that it lays flat, drains well, and is safe from weeds and pests like moles and voles. The exact depth will depend on what type of underlayment you plan to place beneath your lawn. You start with this dug out area, but you’ll fill it in before you lay the turf. In fact, when you are done with the whole DIY project, the blades of your faux grass will not extend past ¾” above the infill on top your artificial grass.

Once your bed is smooth and dug out, it’s time for you to unroll the gopher wire. Secure this protective layer to the ground with U-shaped staples, and cut the edges snug to lay flat on the bottom of the dug bed. Now, you need to add a 2-2 ½” layer of base rock. This is also known as “Drain Rock” because it helps the turf drain well, so it stays dry and lasts for a long time. Rake the rocks into the dug bed. Run the rake across the top to get the rocks smooth and to make the layer as even as you can. When you’ve raked it well, hand tamp your chunks of aggregate down all the way across the yard. Top it with 1-1/2” of decomposed granite (compacted stone dust) or Class II road base (a mixture of different sized crushed rock and fine dust). This is known as the “Leveling Layer.” This helps give the ground a level surface and keeps the rocks in place, so they don’t shift below your lawn. You will need to use a water sod roller or another tough tool to help pack it all in. The key is to get a nice, even top. That next step is optional but important if you want to keep the weeds out. Install a layer of landscape material. Now you’re ready for padding and for the grass itself!

Installing Synthetic Turf in your Yard

Want some good news? You’re well on the way to being done with installing synthetic turf in your yard. Ground prep is a big piece of the work; now you just need your pads, grass, and infill. If you plan to lay shock pads or another type of turf padding, now is the time. These are good for yards where kids and adults will be actively playing. Shock pads and turf padding make it safer to fall, so they are good for active zones. Place down any padding that you plan to have, and secure it in place. Now it’s time to trim, place, and bind your faux grass! Cut your lawn pieces to size, and roll them out over your pads or landscape material. Then, bind the faux grass strips to each other, so your turf yard holds together. Installing synthetic turf solo has the best result when you bind the lawn with an Easy Seam machine. This allows you to do the job right, just like a pro. You can rent or buy this handheld machine from Watersavers. After you have seamed the fake grass, it’s time to stretch it with a carpet stretcher and then secure it with landscaping nails or spikes. To add the last touch, grab your infill, and spread it across the top of the turf. You will need to push it down into the grass with a stiff broom, power broom, or roller to ensure that no more than ¾” or half of the turf blades are exposed above the infill. Work it all the way down into the thatch so that you don’t see or feel the infill grains. The infill holds the grass in place, weighing it down for an even fit that lasts. That’s the last step of installing synthetic turf in your yard! Now, just clean up the area around your new lawn, and call it a day!

When Do-It-Yourself is Out of Reach

Want to see how the pros do it? Check out the two videos below (part one and two) of a home yard as it gets a new fake lawn. Pretty big job, right? It sounds good to tackle a Do-It-Yourself synthetic yard, but it’s not a small task. If it is more than you are ready to take on, get in touch with us. We can match you with a trained contractor in your part of the SF Bay Area. We offer free classes to local contractors, so they know just what to do with the top quality faux grass we sell. Give us a call or ask in one of our stores, and you can get a referral from us for a landscaper right when you buy our fake sod.

Contact Watersavers for all of your artificial grass needs. We offer 60+ types of fake turf plus a full range of all the tools you could ask for to install and care for a faux lawn, from pads and infill up through pro-level equipment to rent or buy. Come visit one of our stores in the SF Bay Area, get a free estimate quote online, or give us a call at 844-974-8873.