How hard can it be to install artificial grass? Many do-it-yourself enthusiasts want to keep costs down – and confidently accept the challenge. However, most of them end up quickly facing the facts: installing artificial grass is not as easy as it looks. Puddles on the surface, edges curling up, a checkerboard grass pattern … despite hours and hours of hard work. If you still want to give it a shot, make sure to avoid these top 10 common installation mistakes.
Can you install artificial grass yourself?
Yes, it’s possible to install artificial grass yourself if you have the time, access to proper equipment, decent DIY skills and use the right installation methods. Although it might look easy for an experienced jack of all trades, installing artificial grass is tricky. Lots of different problems may arise – as you will see in the list below.
Bear in mind though that you are responsible for the quality of the installation if you want to do it yourself. For your investment to pay off, it’s important to get it right the first time. Steer clear of these 10 mistakes.
1. The wrong type of artificial grass
When you’re trying to reduce costs, it might be tempting to go for cheaper products on the market. But remember: you get what you pay for. If a freshly mown grass look is what you want to enjoy for many years to come, you should select the artificial grass type that best suits your needs, lifestyle and the location where you want to install your artificial grass.
With a vast array of pile heights, materials and colours available, that isn’t an easy task. You’ll have to do some serious research, but it will definitely be worth it in the end.
2. Inadequate equipment
Experienced DIYers usually have quite the collection of tools lying around in the garage. A shovel, a rake and a box cutter unfortunately won’t get you very far when installing your synthetic lawn.
You’ll need some specific tools and materials to get the finishing right, but the tools you use to prepare the surface with are by far the most important. Even the best-quality artificial grass can’t make up for poor installation due to inadequate tools.
Professionals use specialised equipment like turf cutters and plate compactors to get the job done. You can rent these tools from a local hardware shop or purchase them yourself, but when will you ever need a turf cutter again?
3. Poor surface preparation
Don’t make the mistake of skimping on the groundwork. Make sure you decently prepare the soil by removing the top layer of turf and levelling it out afterward. Remove tree roots, stones and any other debris, because they will be obvious eyesores on an otherwise smooth lawn.
Flatten bumps and fill in holes to avoid dips in your lawn, and try to make the surface as impeccable or flat as possible to achieve the best result.
4. Bad drainage
Planning for proper drainage is a must before starting the installation. If your artificial grass doesn’t drain well, you could end up with puddles on the surface. Standing water leads to mould, mildew and weeds and causes your artificial turf to wrinkle over time.
To avoid all that, check the composition of the earth to decide which drainage system you need if you’re working with an organic surface. If you’re laying artificial grass on your balcony or terrace, you need slopes and deviations towards drains to make sure rain and other liquids (like dog pee) have somewhere to go.
5. Moss and weed build-up
One of the many advantages of artificial grass is never having to weed your lawn again. If you forget to install a reliable weed barrier on top of the soil, chances are that you’ll get moss and weeds growing through your artificial lawn.
In that case, you’ll be back to spraying weedkiller or spending hours awkwardly pulling out those unwanted greens … from a synthetic lawn.
6. Piecemeal finishing
One of the biggest mistakes you can make when installing artificial grass is joining pieces together without paying attention to the direction of the pile. Take a close look to make sure the pile faces the same way before securing the grass – every time!
When two pieces of grass are facing opposite ways, your lawn will not only look strange and poorly installed; it will also be difficult and expensive to correct the problem.
7. Buying in batches
Always try to order all your artificial grass at the same time. Even if they’re from the exact same product range, rolls you buy today may be slightly different than those you’ll buy next month.
For the best result, take precise lawn measurements, buy all of your artificial grass at once and check batch numbers upon delivery just to be sure.
8. Not securing the grass firmly
Firmly secure the edges of your new lawn so they won’t fray or curl up. It seems obvious, but it’s a mistake a surprising number of DIYers make.
Lifted edges enable pebbles, leaves and even stray toys to get under the lawn, which could perforate or tear your artificial grass. It might even be dangerous, as people could trip over loose edges and get hurt.
9. Not allowing the grass to acclimate
When your newly purchased rolls of artificial grass arrive, don’t immediately get started with the installation. The grass will be difficult to bend and oddly shaped when you first unroll it. Leave it flat for at least a few hours.
This ‘acclimation process’ makes the synthetic grass easier to work with, and bumps and creases will naturally disappear.
10. Persisting in doing it yourself
If this list of common mistakes makes one thing clear, it’s this: installing artificial grass yourself is no walk in the park. Plenty of things can go wrong. It’s important to stop sooner rather than later if you’re struggling.
Abandon your pride and call a professional for help. This will save you a lot of stress and hard labour, and you’ll always get perfect results.
Why ask a professional to install artificial grass?
With a professional installing your artificial lawn, you can rest assured that your investment is worthwhile. Our certified Turfgrass installers will deliver you the lawn you’ve always dreamt of.
You can count on the following advantages:
- professional advice on the best materials and application methods for your project;
- high-quality Turfgrass artificial grass that lasts for years and requires little to no maintenance;
- installation by experienced Turfgrass specialists with profound product knowledge;
- a sound warranty on Turfgrass artificial grass;
- additional advice anytime, even after the installation;
- peace of mind.