19th May 2023 -

Whether you are planning to transform your garden space for the warmer months or want to introduce a low-maintenance alternative to traditional turf, artificial grass is an excellent solution. In this guide, we cover everything you need to know about laying artificial grass to create a green and bright space for your home or business. 

What is artificial grass?

Also known as synthetic turf, artificial grass resembles natural grass. It is typically produced using synthetic fibres such as polypropylene and ​​polyethylene - the fibres are woven into a backing material, and then coated to improve resilience. Artificial grass is designed to be low-maintenance. Unlike traditional grass lawns, there is no need for mowing, fertilising or watering. It can withstand heavy use and is also more durable than natural grass - a popular choice for high-traffic areas and sports fields. 

What are the benefits of artificial grass? 

Overall, artificial grass can provide a low-maintenance, durable, and environmentally-friendly alternative to natural grass lawns for various different settings. There are 4 primary benefits of using artificial grass. 

  1. Low maintenance: Compared to natural turf, artificial grass requires little maintenance. It does not need to be mowed, watered or fertilised - saving you time and money. Because you do not need to water artificial grass, this also helps to conserve water resources. This is a key advantage for areas that experience water restrictions and droughts.
  2. Durability and versatility: Artificial grass is a more durable solution compared to natural grass and can withstand heavy use. It can last anywhere between 15-20 years when properly maintained and, even with heavy use, does not need to be replaced on a regular basis. Artificial grass can be installed in a variety of settings, from commercial landscapes to sports fields and residential lawns. You can install artificial grass in areas where natural grass may not be suitable, such as in high-traffic and shady areas.
  3. Appearance: Artificial grass looks and feels like natural grass. But because of the materials it is made from, artificial grass provides a green, lush appearance throughout the year - not just in the warmer months. It can also be customised to fit specific design requirements, including texture and colour.
  4. Environmental and health benefits: By not requiring pesticides, water or fertilisers, artificial grass can reduce the environmental impact that comes with maintaining a traditional grass lawn. In addition, installing artificial grass can also decrease the exposure to pests and allergens that are heavily present in natural grass lawns. 

How to lay artificial grass on soil 

Roll of green artificial grass on soil.

Laying artificial grass on soil is a relatively straightforward process if you have the right tools and follow the proper installation instructions. The process involves preparing the surface, laying the artificial grass, and securing it in place. While it may take some time and effort, it is a DIY-friendly project that you should be able to complete on your own. Below are the 7 steps to follow.

Step 1 - Gather your materials

Here is a list of all the tools and materials you will need to lay artificial grass. If you collect everything at the start, it will help to make the whole process smooth and simple.

Utility knifeTape measure
Joining or adhesive tapeTurf cutter
Pressure washer or garden hoseShovel
Artificial grass nailsWheelbarrow and rake
HammerCrushed grit
Artificial grass rollsStabilising rods
Weed membraneArtificial grass fixings
Silica sandEdging material
Straight edgeTile trowel

Step 2 - Prepare the soil

Once you have gathered your tools and materials, you will next need to remove any rocks or weeds from the soil surface. Using a rake or shovel, level the soil and compact it with a roller or tamper. This will ensure the base is stable, firm and ready for the artificial grass rolls.

Step 3 - Install the weed membrane

After preparing the soil, you will need to roll out the weed membrane or barrier fabric over the soil surface. The artificial grass membrane is important for any installation on soil because it will prevent any weeds from growing through the layers.

Step 4 - Lay and compact the base material

Install a layer of crushed stone or gravel - about 75-100mm thick - over the weed membrane to create an effective artificial grass sub-base. This will provide drainage and stability for your artificial grass. Use a plate compactor or tamper to compact the crushed stone or gravel layer. This will make the surface stable and level.

Step 5 - Roll out the artificial grass

Once you have finished prepping the base material, it is time to unroll the artificial grass. When doing this, it is important to make sure that the grass is positioned correctly, the seams are lined up, and grass blades all point in the same direction. 

Step 6 - Trim and secure the edges

You may find you have some excess turf. If this happens, you will need to trim any excess artificial grass offcut pieces using a utility knife. A top tip for doing this is to make sure you leave a little extra grass on the edges to tuck under. With adhesive tape or artificial grass glue, you can then secure the artificial grass edges. Artificial grass pegs and artificial grass pins can also be used to firmly secure the edges.

Step 7 - Add sand infill

Although this is optional, you can put infill material such as silica sand for artificial grass on its surface. A sand infill has a range of benefits, from protecting artificial grass from UV damage to helping weaker grass blades stand up and holding grass into position. Overall, silica sand infill can extend the lifespan of your artificial grass lawn. 

How to cut artificial grass

Green artificial grass.

It is not always essential to cut artificial grass during the installation process. But you could be left with excess pieces which overlap your required measurements and can make laying artificial grass tricky. Luckily, cutting artificial grass is fairly straightforward. Below are 6 key points you will need to consider. 

  1. Before you start cutting, mark out the area of your artificial grass with a tape measure to determine how much grass you need to cut.
  2. Make sure the area where you will be cutting the artificial grass is clear and free of any obstacles that could get in the way.
  3. You will need a sharp utility knife, a straight edge or ruler, and a cutting mat or piece of cardboard to protect your work surface.
  4. Use a straight edge or ruler to mark the cutting line on the back of the artificial grass. A marker will make the line more visible.
  5. Use your utility knife to carefully cut along the marked cutting line. Be sure to apply enough pressure to cut through the backing of the artificial grass, but be careful not to cut the grass fibres.
  6. If needed, you can trim any excess material or uneven edges using a sharp pair of scissors.

How to join artificial grass

Joining artificial grass is a crucial step to get right. When you join 2 pieces of artificial grass together correctly, you create a neat and uniform appearance and a template for the rest of the lawn. Carefully joining artificial grass rolls also prevents you from tripping over an uneven surface and stops dirt and debris from getting stuck between the seams. Here are 5 top tips for joining artificial grass. 

  1. Ensure that the surface where you will install the artificial grass is clean, dry, and free of debris. This will help the adhesive tape to stick better. Cut the artificial grass to the desired length, ensuring the edges are straight and even.
  2. Lay out the seaming tape along the seam where the 2 pieces of artificial grass will join. The tape should be placed in a position where it overlaps both pieces of artificial grass.
  3. Use a tile trowel to apply a thin layer of adhesive along the seaming tape. The adhesive will need to be spread evenly and should not have any lumps.
  4. Carefully place the second piece of artificial grass onto the adhesive or artificial grass joining tape, making sure that the seam is aligned correctly. Press down on the seam firmly so it sticks well. 
  5. Allow the adhesive to dry completely before you lay the artificial grass. You can also use heavy objects like rocks or sandbags to weigh down the joint while it dries.

How much does it cost to lay artificial grass?

Artificial grass installation cost depends on some factors, such as the area size, how difficult the installation will be, and the artificial grass quality. Below, we have outlined the costs you will need to consider. Our estimates are based on a 30m2 lawn space. 

Skip hire£220
Artificial grass (average £22.95/m2)£690
Crushed granite aggregate (1.5t)£180
Added extras£70

Can you lay artificial grass on concrete?

Gardener wearing yellow gloves laying artificial grass on concrete next to a timber fence.

Laying artificial grass is possible on a concrete base. It is a popular option for businesses and homeowners who want to transform a cold, grey space into a vibrant and welcoming area. Here are the 6 steps to follow when laying artificial grass on concrete.

Step 1 - Clean the concrete

Before you lay the artificial grass, make sure to brush the concrete and remove any dirt or debris. You may want to use a hard surface cleaner to remove any marks or stains on the concrete.

Step 2 - Measure the area

In the area where you are planning to lay artificial grass, take accurate measurements and be sure to order enough artificial grass to cover the whole space.

Step 3 - Prepare the concrete

To prepare the surface, apply a self-levelling compound to the concrete for an even and smooth surface for the artificial grass. This will act as the artificial grass underlay. You should allow the compound to completely dry before you lay the artificial grass. 

Step 4 - Lay the artificial grass

After drying, start to lay out the artificial grass rolls over the concrete slab surface. Be sure to check that the pile all faces the same way. Cut the turf to fit the area, but you should leave a slight gap around the perimeter.

Step 5 - Secure the edges

To secure the artificial grass edges to the concrete, you can either use adhesive or adhesive tape. You can also use a flexible artificial grass edging material, such as rubber or plastic.  

Step 6 - Add an infill

Introducing an infill material such as rubber or sand to the turf surface will depend on the type of artificial grass you have installed. An infill will help to provide a natural appearance and make sure the blades stand upright. 

Can you lay artificial grass on decking?

It certainly is possible to lay artificial grass on decking and it is a popular option to create a low-maintenance and aesthetically pleasing outdoor space. But there are some factors to think about before you start. 

  1. It is important to ensure that the decking is in good condition and able to support the weight of the artificial grass. Any damaged or rotting deck boards should be replaced before you begin. 
  2. Another key point is to provide proper drainage for the artificial grass. This can be done by creating drainage holes in the decking or by installing a drainage system beneath the artificial grass. 
  3. Be sure to use a good quality underlay beneath the artificial grass to provide cushioning and prevent an uneven and bumpy surface.

Buy reliable artificial grass materials for your garden

With speedy UK delivery options, you can buy the best artificial grass products from Building Materials Nationwide at competitive trade prices. Whether you are at the start of your artificial grass journey or need to replace your turf after years of wear and tear, we supply everything for a seamless installation process. If you work in the building and construction industry, a trade account will allow you to shop for tools and materials without any stress or worry. Your personal trade account manager will find all the products you require and make sure your orders are delivered straight to where you need them. You may also be eligible for a credit trade account - give us a call to learn more or sign up on our website.