There are many pitfalls to look out for when installing artificial grass turf. With our 16 years’ experience in fitting artificial grass turf, we have experienced many issues and found some great ways to deal with them.
Here I will show you 12 biggest artificial grass turf installation problems that we have come across and ways to resolve them.
Before having artificial grass turf installed, I suggest you get a good understanding of what makes a good artificial grass turf installation and what artificial grass turf options are available.
Unfortunately, there are many unscrupulous artificial grass turf installation companies operating in the UK who claim to be specialists with little or no knowledge of what they are doing, and what may look like a good job for the first few weeks will soon deteriorate.
Some companies are offering standard and premium installations. Ask what the difference is and why would you need a premium installation if the standard is good enough. If the artificial grass turf is installed properly there should be no need for 2 types of installation. Here are some other points to look out for when choosing an installation company
Perfect artificial grass turf posts all its installations on its Facebook page as a reference for our customers.
Although not visible when the artificial grass turf is installed a good subbase is vital. It stops the artificial grass turf from sinking, bumps from appearing in the lawn, and it helps with drainage. It will also give you a great-looking lawn that will last for many years.
Installing a good membrane like the Pro-Tec 125gsm Gold-Line stops weeds from growing through the artificial grass turf. If you have pets always install the membrane on the bottom. Installing it on the top causes trapped urine.
You don’t have to live with a bad-smelling lawn if trapped urine is a problem. We offer a unique artificial grass turf dog wee sand that can remove the smell of urine. At the time of writing, we are the only company in the UK that offers this product, and we find it is the best performer of all the products we have tested. We have tried and tested many other products that claim to reduce the smell but what most do is simply cover the smell, so you get a combination of dog wee and flowers! See the other products we have tried and tested here.
There are a few maintenance tasks that you need to perform to keep your artificial grass turf moss-free. I suggest you use a leaf blower like the Stihl BG86 once a week to clear leaves and debris from the artificial grass turf and then a pressure washer like the Karcher K2 Pressure Washer to wash away the moss. Other advice on maintaining your lawn can be found here.
Anyone who sells an artificial grass turf lawn as totally weed-free is not telling the truth. You will get weeds occasionally on the pile however the deeper the subbase and the better the membrane the less often weeds will grow. The most susceptible area for weeds to encroach is around the edges of the lawn. Fixing timbers (see below) will reduce this significantly. You can also use Weedol Weed Killer. This product should be used when first installing the groundworks for the new lawn to clear as many weeds as possible before laying the artificial grass turf.
You would be amazed at how many companies don’t fix the artificial grass turf properly. This can cause the artificial grass turf to lift at the edges and will not only look awful but will become a trip hazard. See how we install our perimeter fixings
So many people ask me to put on a lawn when their fence is falling. I suggest you sort this out beforehand. We run timbers inside the line, so it is easier to replace but many companies don’t.
I always ask about drainage on quoting as a poorly draining lawn will lead to pools of water accumulating every time it rains. It may be necessary to dig a small area one foot deep by 6 feet wide and fill it with rubble. If the drainage is sorted out early, it will not be an issue in the future. I’ve seen inexperienced companies skimming a wet clay lawn and simply putting an inch of granite dust down. I have also seen them look at an area in the summer months saying that the ground is firm enough without needing Type 1 aggregate. Well, it might be firm enough in the summer months when it hasn’t rained, and the ground has compacted but what will it be like in the winter when it does rain! Although cutting corners will save money it is a recipe for disaster. For areas with more severe drainage issues, a large sunken tank may be used.
There is always a chance you will see a faint line on a joint especially if the joint runs across the lawn. If the artificial grass turf is joined well, you will not see the joint when you stand over the artificial grass turf. This is simply the light bouncing off the fibres that have been pushed together. Look at our guide on how to join your artificial grass turf properly.
However, if the artificial grass turf is not joined well, it will be noticed from wherever you are looking. Trying to correct this at a later stage will be very difficult and expensive to correct. Many of the bad joining techniques I have seen involve laying timber down the join or even using cable ties.
Look at artificial grass turf samples first to make sure you are happy with what your artificial grass turf will look like. You will be amazed that there are still lots of artificial grass turf on the market that don’t look real. Take a look at our artificial grass turf products which are some of the most realistic looking and modern artificial grass turf available. Check the permeability of the artificial grass turf (which is the rate at which water will drain through the artificial grass turf). Make sure it is toxin-free especially if you have pets and young children. We never use a rubber crumb infill with our artificial grass turf. This has been in the media a lot over the last few years and is generally used on sports fields.
Our artificial grass turf is very resistant to heat, but many are not. Even so, if burning coals are left on the artificial grass turf for any amount of time (as from a BBQ) the artificial grass turf will mark. We always leave a 2sqm replacement section of artificial grass turf for the customer should this ever happen.
Being aware of these pitfalls will give you a good chance of choosing the right installation company. As I have said there are many companies claiming to be good artificial grass turf installers when they are far from it. So, get it right the first time to avoid expensive corrections in the future.
I have put together a selection of detailed guides on how we go about installing artificial grass turf on many different surfaces from decking to concrete and in different locations from balconies to rooftops. These guides will highlight the different steps that we take when fitting artificial grass turf and show that we have leaned to adapt our techniques accordingly.