What Goes Under Artificial Grass?
Artificial Grass installation has become quite popular for both residential and commercial purposes. The main reason for this is because synthetic turf can be placed almost anywhere, making it quite versatile. Artificial grass is known for its lush greenery, low-maintenance and pet-friendly blades. If you're curious about what goes under your artificial grass, this blog is for you.
1. Geo-textile Paper/Mesh Weed Barrier
These are similar to mesh membranes that have been designed to stop the germination of weeds in your synthetic turf. Make sure to keep the weed fabric at least 100mm thick and overlapping with the stone crushed material mixture as this provides the best protection to your turf.
2. Crushed Aggregate/Gravel
Crushed Aggregate or Gravel is being used to create a permeable compact rock base that creates the drainage field. The gravel is compacted every couple of inches, for both types of applications, which helps in creating a stable and fast drainage foundation. For artificial grass installation, ⅝ minus is used while ⅜" minus is used for putting green installs.
3. Weed Membrane
What goes under your artificial turf depends on two factors- site condition and what has been there before. A weed membrane is recommended if the area is quite prone to weed growth or if you just want to prevent those pesky weeds from pushing up through your synthetic turf. A quality weed membrane will help in preventing weeds from growing through the turf and ruining your artificial lawn. You can install your weed membrane underneath the sub base or on the top of the grano dust, either way, the results will be the same. If you own pets and are thinking of installing pet-friendly artificial turf for your pets to use frequently then laying a weed membrane is not recommended as it can slow down the flow of moisture. In this case, you can use a water-based weed killer on top of your synthetic grass regularly once installed to help prevent the pesky weeds from coming through.
If you want to install your artificial turf on hard surfaces such as deck, patio, or concrete, you may consider installing Astro Cushion first. Astro Cushion helps in creating a softer surface which is ideal if it's going to be used by young kids. Astro Cushion is completely porous which means it allows moisture to normally flow through which is quite important for an artificial lawn. The Astro Cushion is 10mm thick and if you're installing it in a playground or school, it conforms to the required critical fall height in the UK. It's not recommended to use artificial turf or Astro Cushion on top or hard surfaces if it's going to be used by pets. A good drainage system is required for artificial turf to become pet-friendly.
5. Granite Dust
Creating a good, high-quality drainage system for your artificial grass is quite important if you want to ensure the durability of your turf. The most important aspect of what goes under artificial grass is the drainage system. Not installing a drainage system or creating a bad one can lead to an unstable or unusable artificial lawn. It is recommended to use a material known as Granite Dust to create a drainage system for your turf. This material is quite porous yet strong and allows moisture to flow freely throughout. This Granite Dust can be laid to a depth of approximately 25mm, depending on the site where you're installing the turf. Granite dust should be compacted with the help of a wacka plate to create a sturdy, strong surface.
Apply a thin layer of crushed granite stone or any other crushed stone aggregate after leveling out the ground to consolidate. A 25mm layer is recommended for a solid base with a good drainage system. Drainage is quite important if you want to keep your artificial lawn looking new and best all year round. You can also add a Geo-textile fabric layer which helps in stopping any unwanted weed from poking through the soil. You can now also add a sand or shock-absorbing layer which will help in improving the feel of your new turf underfoot. At this stage, if you're adding the weed membrane, make sure it is pinned down tightly into the ground and as evenly as possible to get the best finish.
7. Artificial Grass Infill
Infill usually refers to the products which are placed in between the fibers of the Artificial Grass. The main purpose of having an infill is to help the grass blades stand up in an upright position, or return to their upright position after they have been walked on. Infill also helps in shielding the backing used on artificial grass from harmful UV rays. Having a sand infill in your artificial turf will help in preventing the weed membrane and artificial grass rolls from having any folds or wrinkles. It helps in keeping them in place.
- Silica Sand
Erosion of Quartz by wind and water leads to the formation of Silica Sand. As the erosion of quartz takes place it breaks down into small granules, which is then used in several commercial applications, such as Artificial Grass Infill. This Silica Sand helps in maintaining the upright position of blades in the artificial turf. It is the least expensive type of infill and has the advantage of providing improved drainage. However, this type of infill has some disadvantages as well. The shape of the sand is angular, not rounded. The sand composition can harden which may result in your artificial grass losing its permeability. It's ideal for areas with less footwork.
- Rubber Infill
Rubber is another material used as infill for Artificial Grass which provides softness and makes your grass feel more natural. Rubber has the property of natural bounce and makes your grass more permeable. Having a rubber infill adds volume to your artificial grass making it appear more lush and fuller and helps the blades in maintaining the upright position. Rubber Infill is pretty easy to install as well. However, rubber infill has few disadvantages as well. Rubber infill traps heat which results in excessive heating of the artificial turf, making its surface hot as well. It's ideal for areas with moderate footwork.
Durafill Sand is another type of infill for artificial turf. Constructed specially to be used as infill for artificial grass, Durasill sand is made of rounded quartz core. It has a property to stay cool which prevents heating up of your artificial grass. It also has an excellent quality of having an anti-microbial property that helps in killing bacteria. Durafill sand has a rounded shape which allows natural impact absorbency without causing damage to the fibers of the artificial grass. The only disadvantage of having durafill sand as infill is that it's more costly than silica sand and rubber. Durafill Sand is easy to install and can be used for areas with high foot traffic.