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Artificial Turf Installation

The following guideline is a general overview of the proper steps needed for the installation of artificial turf under normal circumstances. Your specific project will be unique and may require additional steps. Please contact an RCP Block & Brick to discuss your particular project. View all available Artificial Turf styles.

Project Considerations

Step 1: Preparing the Base

One of the most important steps in the installation of your artificial turf is the preparation of the base. You want to make sure you use the proper base material, that it is compacted properly; and that it is relatively smooth and even.

Excavate the Site:

Remove 3"–4" of existing sod and/or dirt. Be sure to set a rough grade for drainage. If irrigation system is present, the common step is to cap and/or remove any sprinklers.

Install & Compact Base Material:

Lay 3"–4" of either Class II Road Base or Decomposed Granite. Using a plate compactor, compact base to 95%. Be sure base surface is as level and smooth as possible. Create a slight grade for optimal drainage.

PET USE TIP: If pets will be using the area, spread a layer of Zeolite on top of the base at .5lb per sqft, and compact.

Excavate 3–4 inches

Excavate 3"–4"

Compact the Base

Compact the Base Material

Step 2: Installing Weed Barrier

In order to prevent weeds from taking root and growing up through your artificial lawn, it is suggested to install a fabric weed barrier beneath the turf installation (unless areas will be used by pets).

Install weed barrier (fabric), overlapping seams 6"–12". Secure to base with 20D nails or landscape staples.

PET USE TIP: If pets will be using the area to "do their business", it is suggested to NOT use weed barrier. Weed Barrier is made from a durable cloth-like fabric that will actually absorb and hold the urine, causing noticeable odor problems.

NOTE: (Optional) If an area where soil shifts or needs pumping when saturated with water, install weed barrier underneath base. By installing the barrier beneath the base, materials on top will retain better compaction integrity should such soil conditions exist.

Install Weed Barrier

Install Weed Barrier

Step 3: Acclimate the Turf

When the artificial turf is delivered, it will come in rolls. Being shipped and stored in this manner for a duration of time will cause the turf to hold an odd shape. This step is important in re-defining the memory of the turf and making it easier to work with.

Turf should be rolled out at least 2 hours before installation. Exposure to the sun as well as being laid out flat allows the artificial turf to acclimate, making it more flexible and easier to work with.

Acclimate the Turf

Acclimate the Turf

Step 4: Position and Trimming

In this step, you will roughly position and trim the turf in preparation of final installation. This will give you a general idea as to how the sections of turf will lay out.

How to Position the Turf:

Remove all dirt and debris from surface of weed barrier prior to turf installation. Lay turf onto base and position where needed. When positioning, be sure to lay the turf pieces so the grain, or direction of the blades on all pieces face in the same direction. This will help eliminate a patchy look and help hide seams.

How to Trim the Turf:

Using a razor knife, cut off salvage (the black and red part along the sides of the turf) - 3 stitches from the sides. Cut turf (cutting from the backside) to roughly fit in the desired area. It is a good idea to leave a bit of excess for any needed adjustments. This excess will be trimmed to fit during final positioning.

Trimming the Turf

Trimming the Turf

Step 5: Securing the Turf

Once the turf is laid out and roughly cut to fit, it is time to begin securing it to the base, making final fitting trims, and connecting the different sections.

How to Fit, Tighten, & Secure the Turf:

You will use 60D nails every 3"-4" around the perimeter of the turf area to secure the edges. When installing nails, be careful to not drive the nails too deep, as this will cause dips and divots in the installed turf; and try to avoid any blades or thatch catching under the nail heads. 

First, fasten one edge of the turf using nails. Stretch turf tight, and fasten the outer edges as you move along the perimeter. Trim any perimeter edges to fit as you move along.

How to Connect Turf Seams:

There are two option when connecting the seams where two pieces of turf meet. You can either fasten together the seams using nails spaced 1"-2" apart, using the same tips as explained above; OR use a seam tape, such as Jiffy Seal to secure seams. To apply seaming tape, apply tape lengthwise to bottom side of turf, leaving 3" stuck to turf and 3" hanging off. Lay turf back down (Tape should be sticky-side up - Do not peal away liner.) Secure opposite piece of turf to tape. In either seam connection method, be sure seams are tight and precise, and that the grain of your turf is all facing in the same direction.

Securing the Field:

Infill sand is all that is needed to secure the main "field" of the turf area. The idea being that the weight of the sand will hold the turf down, relying on the perimeter and seam nails to keep the turf in position. In instances where additional securing of the field is needed, the addition of 60D nails every 12"–24" throughout the field can be used. Again, if adding nails to the field, be careful to not drive the nails too deep, and avoid any blades or thatch from catching under the nail heads.   

Securing Turf with Nails

Securing the Turf with Nails

Securing Seams with Turf Tape

Securing Seams with Turf Tape

Step 6: Filling the Turf

It is finally time to fill the turf with Turf Fill and broom the entire area with a power broom. The fill will give the turf weight as well as help keep the blades of turf standing up.

How to Fill the Turf:

Once turf is tight and secure, power broom before in-filling to get the blades standing up as much as possible. Apply Turf Fill, and Zeolite Odor Control for pet applications, onto turf using a drop spreader. Apply in-fill as needed. If you don't have a spreader, shovels or wheel barrows can be used - Just be sure and spread the in-fill as evenly as possible. Please contact RCP for the proper amount of infill for your style of turf.

Final Touch:

Power broom again to spread the fill around and work it into the turf. Broom as much as needed to work in the in-fill and get the blades standing straight up.

Adding Turf Fill and Zeolite

Adding Turf Fill and Zeolite (For Pets)

Power Broom Brushing Turf

Power Broom Turf

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