The majority of lawns can be installed within a weekend, as long as you have the correct tools and a couple of pairs of hands. Here’s how:
Step 1: Excavate Existing Lawn
Remove the existing lawn and excavate to 75mm below the required finished height. In some gardens, depending on existing levels, you can just remove the existing grass, which would remove around 30–40mm, and build up 75mm from there. A turf cutter, which can be hired from your local tool hire shop, will make this step much easier.
Step 2: Install Edging
If there’s not an existing hard edge or wall around the perimeter of your lawn, you’ll need to install some form of retaining edge. For this, you can use either treated timber, steel edging, plastic lumber, timber sleepers or brick/block paving. We recommend using treated timber edging where possible as it’s also perfect to fix the grass to. Timber edging will need to be screwed to wooden stakes that have been driven into the ground with a club hammer or sledgehammer.
Step 3: Install Weed Membrane
To prevent weeds from growing through your lawn, lay weed membrane to the entire lawn area, overlapping the edges to ensure weeds cannot penetrate between two pieces. You can use galvanised U-pins to hold the membrane in place. If your existing lawn or garden is particularly prone to weeds we recommend spraying the area with weedkiller beforehand.
Step 4: Install 50mm Sub-Base
For the sub-base, you can use MOT Type 1 or if your garden suffers from poor drainage, we recommend using 10-12mm granite chippings. Rake and level the aggregate to a depth of approximately 50mm. It’s very important to ensure the sub-base is thoroughly compacted using a vibrating plate compactor which can also be hired from your local tool hire shop.
Step 5: Install 25mm Laying Course
For the laying course, rake and level approximately 25mm of granite dust (grano) directly on top of the sub-base. If using timber edging, the laying course should be levelled to the top of the timber. Again, ensure this is thoroughly compacted with a vibrating plate compactor. Before doing this, we recommend spraying the granite dust with water to keep the dust down; it also helps the aggregate to bind together.
Step 6: Install Additional Weed Membrane
Just before laying the grass, we recommend installing a further layer of weed membrane, not only as extra protection against weeds but also as it helps to protect the underside of your NeoGrass. As with the first layer of weed membrane, overlap the edges to ensure weeds cannot penetrate between two pieces. Pin the membrane either to the edging or as close to it as possible and trim any excess. It’s very important to ensure the membrane is laid flat as any ripples may be visible through your artificial grass.
NOTE: If you have a dog or pet that will be using your artificial lawn, we recommend that you DO NOT install this additional layer of membrane as it can potentially trap nasty odours from urine.
Step 7: Unroll Your NeoGrass Artificial Lawn
You’ll probably need some help at this point as, depending on the size of your artificial grass, it can be very heavy. If possible, place the grass in position so that the pile direction is facing towards your house or main viewpoint as this tends to be the best side to view the grass from. If you have two rolls of grass, ensure the pile direction is facing the same way on both pieces. Before cutting anything, ensure there aren’t any ripples in the grass and leave it for a couple of hours to acclimatise.
Step 8: Cut To Size
Now, using a sharp knife, you can cut the grass to the shape required, carefully following the boundary edge to ensure a snug fit. Blades can blunt reasonably quickly so make sure you have plenty of spares. Secure the boundary perimeter using galvanised nails if using a timber edging, or galvanised U-pins, for steel, brick or sleeper edging.
Step 9: Secure Any Joints
If done correctly, the joints should not be visible. Firstly, line up both pieces of grass ensuring that the pile direction is facing the same way and that they run parallel to each other. Fold back both pieces of grass by around 300mm to reveal the latex backing. Cut off 3 stitches from each piece of grass, being careful to ensure you cut in a straight line. Then lay each piece flat again and check that the edges of the two pieces of grass meet. There should be a consistent 1–2mm gap. Once both pieces are properly positioned, fold the grass back over again to reveal the latex backing.
Next, roll out the joining tape (shiny side down) between the two lengths of grass and then apply the adhesive (either Aquabond or 2-part adhesive) to the joining tape. Carefully turn each piece of grass back into position, making sure the grass fibres do not make contact with the adhesive or get buried. Ensure there is good contact between the grass and adhesive by carefully walking along the join to ensure contact (TIP: place your unopened bags of kiln dried sand along the length of the join to further aid adhesion). Finally, allow the adhesive sufficient time to cure (between 2–24 hours, depending on weather conditions).
Step 10: Groom Your New Lawn
Lastly, sand dress your lawn with kiln dried sand to stabilise the grass and increase its durability. This step can only be carried out when the grass is completely dry as otherwise the sand will clump together. If possible, use a ‘weed-free’ kiln dried sand which can be purchased at one of the national DIY hardware stores. We recommend using 5kg per square metre. Then, using a stiff broom or power brush, brush your lawn in the opposite direction to the pile height to brush in the sand and help lift the fibres into an upright position. Finally, grab yourself a drink and admire your new prize-winning lawn!
If you are installing your artificial grass on concrete, please check out our step-by-step guide.