Installing a synthetic grass lawn and making it look good just requires following a few simple steps. Following these steps will ensure a clean, professional looking installation. All it takes is a little hard work and attention to detail.


Remove the existing grass (or weeds, as the case may be). You can use a sod cutter for this task. A sod cutter can be rented from your local tool rental company or home good store. The advantages of a sod cutter are: they cut evenly across the lawn, they are much less destructive to existing water lines and irrigation and if you have grass you can roll it up and dispose of it which saves time.

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Excavate to an average depth of at least two inches. While you can get away with less, you won’t get as good drainage which can be especially important if your turf will be coming in contact with pets and their associated byproducts (ie. urine and feces).


Install a concrete border along the perimeter of your installation. Mark the Area. Use stakes and string to mark your area. Dig a 2-inch trench along the place you want the edging. Frame the Border. Concrete Mixing. Pour and Level. Remove the Frame.


Cap any existing irrigation heads. Alternatively you can reconfigure them to “spritz” the turf and keep the irrigation system. This works well for really hot days to cool the turf or for pet owners who want to wash the turf down automatically.


Add gravel. Quarter inch self compacting gravel is recommended. Large gravel – half inch or above – will make getting a nice grade very difficult. Add gravel so it comes about a quarter inch above the bendaboard and is higher in the middle. If your area is a 20′ by 20′ square, it’s best to make the middle of your install one inch higher than the edges. This will create a nice “mound” look. Flat synthetic turf installs have a tendency to look fake! One cubic yard of gravel will cover 300 square feet one inch thick. Also, one cubic yard will weigh about 2000lbs.


Rake and compact. Rake using a 36″ aluminum grading rake. This rake has teeth on one side and the back has a flat grading blade. Rake out the low spots as best as possible. Using a vibrating plate compactor (another rented item), wet the area moderately with a hose and go over the area from outside in one time.


Wet the area down again. It should be pretty wet at this point, not flooded but as though it had rained heavily for about ten minutes.


Go over it again with the plate compactor. At the end you will have little lines from the edge of the plate compactor. Work these out with the flat edge of your rake. You will also have gravel shifting upwards at your edges where the plate compactor pushed the gravel up by the bendaboard. Remove this or your install will look fake. You may need a fine broom to remove the excess from the lines and excess material on the edges.


Layout the turf. Measure the area where the lawn will be laid out, and the width and length of the turf strips. With a partner, stretch out each strip of turf and lay it down over the prepared base. Avoid dragging the lawn over the base, or you may disturb the smooth surface.


Cut the turf where necessary. Use a carpet cutter or utility knife to cut the underside of the turf whenever required by the shape of the project area.


Affix the edges of the artificial turf to the concrete with outdoor tape or adhesive. Starting at any edge, lift up the artificial turf and apply a thin layer of the glue on the concrete. Continue around the entire edge of the turf and then use the glue to join the seams. Allow the adhesive to dry according to the manufacturer’s instructions.


Sweep turf with a power broom to remove any unsightly dirt and help restore the turf’s shape, making it appear more natural.