DIY Installation of Synthetic Turf

Preparing the ground

  1. If the ground is really hard, watering the area the night before helps soften the ground for step #2.
  2. Make sure to cap, reroute, or remove any irrigation to avoid puncturing water lines.
  3. Remove any existing grass, soil, or loose debris 2-4” below border.  This can be done easily with a sod cutter, pick axe, or shovel.
  4. Grade existing soil to the desired shape.
  5.  Lay and overlap a mesh weed fabric on top of the soil throughout.
  6. Add Class 2 road base on top of the weed fabric throughout to the top edge of the border.
  7. Rake the base evenly over your designated area and shape for desired undulation.  Contour the surface of the base with a rake.
  8. Spray water on top of the base system prior to compaction to help the base compact more firmly.
  9. Compact the base with either a plate compactor or a hand tamper.
  10. Re-compact the base to get a 90% compaction rate. This gives the surface a hard surface to work with, but at the same time, allowing for proper drainage during the rainy season.
  11.  Once compacted the class 2 road base should be ¼” below the top edge of the border.


Installing the Synthetic Turf

  1. Roll out your turf in the best direction you would like the turf to lay.
  2. With a utility knife, cut off first stitch of fabric from both sides of the turf.
  3. Using 5” or 6” nails, nail down one side of the turf.  Space nails out approximately 4” around the perimeter and seams and about 1” from the edge.  Nail the turf approximately 18” – 2’ spacing in the middle.  Set the nails using a nail set or nail to avoid damaging the base system with dents or nailing through the backing system.  Try and keep fibers from getting trapped underneath the nail head, if not, you will see dimples in the turf.
  4. Stretch the turf by carpet kicking it or using a stretcher.  Turf is best installed on warm days as it is easier to work with and tends to stretch better.  Stretching helps to remove wrinkles and keep the turf taunt.


Installing turf with seams.

  1. Make sure that the fabric flaps of both sides of the turf have been removed.  This is generally done by cutting the turf between the first and second stitch rows on both sides from the back. You do not want to overlap the turf onto this fabric when seaming.
  2. Make sure both pieces of turf are facing the same direction.  If they are opposite, the color of the turf will differ significantly.
  3. Leave a small gap between both pieces of turf so that the fibers have room to blend together naturally, if the grass is to far apart you will see the base below or backing or too tight you will see a ridge or mohawk as the fibers are being pushed together and bunched up.  The best way to know if the gap is adequate is to lay the pieces together and adjust until you no longer see the seam visually when looking from all sides,  then tack the turf in place to hold both pieces before beginning your nailing. Turf should be nailed along the seam first then stretch the turf on both sides away from the seam and nailing the turf as you go away from the seam.  Nail and trim the perimeter last. Note:  Many installers cut and nail turf in different patterns to minimize the visibility of seams.


Adding Infill and finishing steps

  1. With a power broom and/or stiff bristled push broom, brush the turf before applying the infill.  This procedure will fluff up the grass fibers and allow the infill to fall into the root zone easier.  Do this when the grass is warm and dry on a sunny day.
  2. With a drop spreader, apply 1-2 lbs. of infill per sq ft.  Evenly spread the infill over the entire area of the turf. Ask the manufacturer of the turf for the recommended infill levels.
  3. Power broom and/or brush the infill into the turf. This will evenly distribute the infill into the root layer of the turf and help hide any nails, seams, or staples.  The process will also add weight to the turf which helps hold the turf in place.
  4. With a pair of scissors, walk around the turf, and trim away any loose fibers that may have come loose while power brooming.
  5. After clean up has been done, a light watering of the turf is recommended to help get rid of any dust particles left on the turf from the infilling process.

If you kept your irrigation system in place, make sure to change your settings to adjust for having synthetic turf.

water save