Scrape clean and kill all existing grass and remove any topsoil that could germinate seeds; If you have sod, remove 2-4 inches of existing sod and/or soil. If necessary remove any old shrubs and bring level of yard up so the water will drain away from the foundation. If desired, add French drains below the top base if you want to re-direct any water that drains through your turf. If you already have a sprinkler system, either cap it or leave intact. Leaving it intact will make it easy and convenient to wash your lawn for whatever purpose—be it to cool it down or rinse away pet urine. One option to consider is to install a landscape fabric as a weed barrier and/or in order to maintain base compaction. Spread 2-4 inches of crushed rock product—commonly called decomposed granite or “crush and run” limestone, compacted to at least 75% (90% compaction is preferred). Add a top layer of ¼ minus granite dust or block screening in order to stabilize the base and create a smooth surface. Water down and compact each layer of the base with a plate compactor or roller. If you are installing for a pet area, consider applying a thin layer of ground lime dust as an odor eliminator.
If time and space permits, roll out turf during base preparation to allow the turf to acclimate to the conditions. This will make the installation process easier and provide you with a better finished project. When installing the turf, lay all of the pieces in the same direction in order to maintain a consistent look across the entire area. Seams can be sewn, glued with seaming tape, or folded under and attached to ground using landscape nails. Short seams less than 50 feet or on a project that is not being used as a play surface can use the nail method. When using seaming tape, lay about 3 inches of one edge of the turf over the other. Fold back and on one edge, go in about 2 inches and cut right next to the stitch row line; on the other cut opposite the stitch row line. Fold back edges of turf and lay seaming tape down center of opening. Apply glue to seam tape using a ¼” or 1/8” trowel. Lay the two pieces together into the seam tape. Use a seaming roller at a 45 degree angle and work the seam together. To insure the seam lays together you may also use landscape staples along the length of the seam. The edges of the turf can be attached to a board or concrete perimeter. If there is no board or concrete perimeter, the edges may be secured using landscapes nails and/or staples. Be careful, nails must be secured properly in the ground, but be sure not to create a dimple in the base by driving the nails in too far. Several methods of installation can be engineered depending upon the local situation:
- Glue turf down if possible.
- Cover with rocks, timbers, or bark.
- Attach turf to wood timbers.
- Rebar or landscaping nails.
- Bury edges and corners.
- Steel or rubber edging
First, using a power broom or a push broom, brush the turf against the grain so the fibers will be standing up. This will allow the infill to fall into the turf easier, which will trap fewer fibers providing a better looking installation. High quality sand with a sieve size of 20-40, that is dry and has been cleaned, works best for infill. Use a drop spreader and apply sand slowly in an exact pattern. Do not overlap passes. Avoid any heavy buildup. Continually push or pull a brush across turf. Erect the pile and level the sand. Sometimes a leaf blower will help stand the fibers straight up. Warm weather 60 plus degrees and a hot sun will provide optimal conditions for an easier install. Use approximately 2-3lbs. of infill per square foot—this will be sufficient to provide additional weight to secure the turf in place. Amount of infill will vary by product styles.