Top Mistakes DIY Turf Installers Make

Posted on May 18th, 2016

Installing your own artificial turf is easy -- as long as you have detailed instructions, all the proper tools, and some real experience working with artificial turf. We can give you the installation guide, and recommend some tools, but since you can’t get experience off the internet, we can give you the next best thing: some common turf installation mistakes to avoid. Keep these in mind as you start your artificial turf installation project for a much smoother artificial turf installation process.

Mistake 1: Incorrect measurements

You’ve probably heard this before, but we can’t emphasize it enough: double-check your measurements! Measure your installation area at least twice, and from different directions. Make sure you’re getting the right amount of turf to cover your installation area most efficiently by going over your calculations with one of our turf consultants.

Mistake 2: Incorrect base material

We usually recommend ¼” to ¾” crushed drain rock as your base material. The coarseness of the base rock determines the amount of drainage your new lawn will have, so choose a coarser material if you have drainage issues. Also, never use rounded rocks like pea gravel because they will slide around as you try to compact them.

Mistake 3: Uneven base

An artificial turf lawn looks best when laid over a smooth surface. Any bumps or wrinkles stand out and make your lawn less attractive. When removing the existing landscaping, make sure you’ve also removed any roots or rocks that will cause unevenness. Then, we recommend using a sod roller or plate compactor to compact your base layer until it’s smooth.

Mistake 4: Flattening your base too much

Didn’t we just say you needed to compact your base until it’s completely smooth? Yes, make your base smooth, but shape it with a 1% incline towards the center. This will make your lawn look more natural, and allow water to drain away from the middle.

Mistake 5: Ignoring the grain

Blades of artificial turf have a natural “grain” or directionality. Pay attention to this grain, and always lay the turf in the same direction to avoid obvious seams in your lawn. For best results, we recommend facing the grain towards the viewer.

Mistake 6: Buying turf in batches

Different batches of artificial turf have slight color variations between them. If you order half your turf now, and half next month, you may get turf that looks a little different. For best results, buy all of your turf at once.

Mistake 7: Not installing a weed blocker

One of the benefits of artificial turf is that you no longer need to weed your lawn. However, for that to become reality, you need to apply a week blocker layer underneath your artificial turf to discourage weeds and other plants from growing through your lawn.

Mistake 8: Throwing away your scraps after your installation is done

Hand on to your leftover scraps of turf! They can be used for minor repairs or patches. Furthermore, you can use them as reference swatches if you need to buy more artificial turf in the future.

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