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- Site preparation starts by remeasuring the site to determine excavation
and preparation area.
All organic materials; grass, weeds, bark,
plant roots; must be
cleared and the site left bare of any materials that could decompose, over
time. Additions or changes to drainage, irrigation, sewer, septic, electric
or gas must be completed.
to landscape design; gardens, water features, patio, walkways, or other amenities;
should be completed, and the site cleared of all construction debris, prior
to the next steps.
- First steps to installation should include porous, construction
grade fabrics (there are a variety to choose from). The fabrics are used to
stabilize the site and keep new base materials from mixing with native soils.
fabric layers serve as primary barriers to protect against encroaching roots,
rodents and other burrowing insects and pests. Fabrics are a critical job
material used to add years to the integrity of the site and the stabilty and
weight-load that can be carried on the site
- Over the fabric
layers, a variety of base materials will be brought to the site.
The type and amount of materials required are determined by a number of
variables including local soil conditions, site percolation.
such as local weather, the site's drainage, irrigation, gas, electric and
other cabling needs; common to today's landscape solutions; have to
be considered in the project's estimate and accomodated for in the installation
Today's base specificiations generally include materials referred
to as compactable aggregates; also known as choke-stone, decomposed granite,
decomposed aggregate, 1/4 to 3/4 inch crushed, or (AB) road base.
Drain rock layers; soil & site stablizing fabrics, and
other drainage solutions, underlayment solutions and "Gmax pad" systems, (
for fall safety in senior and child daycare, etc ), might also be specified.
base is then spread across the site’s surfaces and leveled, generally,
with hand-tools, according to the design plan.
As little as
2-3 inches of base may be used over a well-draining, stable native soil sub-base
and other project may call for 4 to 6 or more inches of various layers of
materials to provide for proper drainage, stability and height for the final
look and feel of the project, along with the weight-load it may have to carry.
- Base materials need to be compacted to insure that the base will not shift or sink over time.
Proper compaction tools are selected for the amount and type of compaction needed to achieve the overall design.
A walk-behind, vibrating plate compactor (as seen in the photo at the left
is ideal for larger, level areas. The walk-behind units are often too aggressive
to compact olling, crowned surfaces Gentle slopes, rolling or crowned areas,
putting greens (final surface compaction) and smaller areas are more productively
compacted by using a water-filled landscape roller.
Hand tampers, small pieces of wood board & mallets are used to compact
A final pass around the edges with a pointed trowel, broom or hand brush will
help clean edges of extra materials. If you are too aggressive with your work,
the edge may be compacted again.
grass is supplied rolled up like carpeting. This will cause the blades to
lay flat and require a “fluffing” prior
Using power tools, the synthetic turf is laid out flat and
bloomed by brushing against the grain of turf. This will help to prepare the
artificial grass for infilling, later.
Variations in color
or texture between dye lots are highly possible; materials
from different dye lots or suppliers should never be seamed together.
- Turf pieces are laid in place according to a pre-set plan
or pattern to reduce waste and steps (seaming or trimming).
turf MUST be laid in the same direction or seams will show and the surfaces
will look patched together due to the "grain" of the turf pointing
in various directions.
For larger areas, several pieces of turf may be required to provide overall coverage. Each piece will be laid in place and then finer adjustments can be made to insure the turf will provide full coverage and optimize turf waste.
As pieces are laid down, the largest sections are seamed together and smaller pieces are added to complete the overall turf placement.
- Seaming techniques vary from project to project. Techniques to properly seam pieces together may include using seaming tape and adhesives, to sewing together larger, full run pieces (such as on a play field), to using tacks or nails along the seam to tack the seam together (great for residential, low traffic installations). Indoor/outdoor carpet tapes, mylar and Velcro are also suggested for use with some types of turf materials. Turf manufacturers often specify which technique and seaming materials to use for best results.
- After major seams are completed, the outer edges of the artificial
turf is hand trimmed into place against hard edges.
Walkways, pavers, walls,
fencing, concrete, decking and other obstacles all demand a focus on detail
to insure the grasses look natural.
- Trimming turf around hard edges and especially curves is
time consuming, hand-work.
To fit the artificial grass to the concrete, wall or other non-moving element
may require the installer to cut “relief” into
the turf materials to insure that it will be cut tight against the edges.
Most installers will over measure turf needs slightly to make sure that
there is enough allowance for turf to reach the edges for hand trimming off
approximately 1 to 2 inches.
- Infill is required for most professionally installed outdoor
infill materials are specified to be either natural silica sand (not play
sand!), crumbed rubber products or the new generation of coated granules.
The amount of infill materials required depend on the length of your turf
blade and the use of the area.
Most artificial grass systems for lawns and landscape uses, specify that
the height of the blade is 60%+ covered by the infill.
The required amount of materials
are measured by pounds per square foot (US) of installed artificial grass
or synthetic turf.
Infill is best applied by use of a drop spreader which
will help to evenly distribute it over the site.
- Hand rakes, brooms and power brushes are then used to work the infill materials deep into the turf fibers. The infill materials act as a synthetic root system, helping to hold up the blades and weigh down the surfaces.
- As a manufactured product, turf, like any other fabric or carpet, might have anomalies such as taller fibers that appear randomly across the surface. A few fibers may not be cut the same height and might require hand trimming.
- Your installation professional will then finish the project by cleaning your site of all construction waste, materials, loose fibers and infill.
installation of synthetic turf is not difficult, it’s actually
pretty simple, as most construction projects prove to be when done with
some planning and thought.
attention to finer details, such as your drainage needs, base material
installation and area preparation and this will help insure you can
enjoy your artificial turf lawn area for a very long time.
Get help by downloading ASGi's Standard
Installation Guide for Basic Lawns where we cover 3 different types of
lawn areas, trim and seaming options. The document also includes recommended
tools and tips on how to estimate your project for the best use of materials.