The appeal of a well-landscaped garden or backyard is undeniable for homeowners. However, maintaining natural grass lawns is a labor-intensive and time-consuming process. A practical and popular alternative is to install artificial grass between pavers. This solution is not only aesthetically pleasing but also requires less maintenance, is environmentally friendly, and can last for many years with minimal care. This guide will walk you through the process of installing artificial grass between pavers, from preparation and turf selection to installation and maintenance.
Preparing the Area for Turf Stripes Installation
Before starting the installation process, it’s crucial to prepare the area properly. If you’re starting from scratch, ensure that the hardscape — such as concrete slabs or pavers — is laid first. This is important as installing turf before the pavers could result in damage to the artificial lawn and an undesired final look. Ideally, there should be a 3-4 inches gap between each paver or concrete slab for the best aesthetic outcome.
Make sure the hardscape is clean on the edges, with no excess concrete or stone spilling into the gaps. Such spillage could make it difficult to secure the artificial grass with nails. If any concrete remains in the gaps, it should be removed before proceeding with the installation.
You should also ensure that there is approximately 3 inches of depth in the gaps between the hardscape. This depth will allow for 2 inches of base material and the artificial grass itself.
What’s the Best Fake Grass for Artificial Turf Stripes?
The type of artificial grass you choose to install between your pavers depends on your personal preference and the intended use of the area. You could opt for a shorter, more durable blade for a flush look with the hardscape, or choose tall, plush artificial grass for a softer, over-spilling look.
For areas with heavy foot traffic, such as driveways, a more durable turf that’s flush with the stone is ideal. This type of turf can withstand wear and tear better. On the other hand, in backyards or recreational areas, a softer and taller artificial grass may provide a more comfortable space for family activities.
How to Install Artificial Grass Strips Between Pavers
Ensure The Area Has Proper Drainage
Before proceeding with the installation, the first step is to examine the type of ground material that is between your pavers. If it’s dirt or soil, you can lay a sub-base as usual. However, if the ground is made of concrete, cement, or rock, you’ll need to assess the grading on this hard surface. Grading refers to a slight slope built into the ground during construction to allow for easy water run-off, thus preventing water accumulation.
To check the drainage capabilities of the area, spray it with water and look for any pools or puddles that might form. These areas may need to be addressed with drainage holes. Remember, good drainage is key to a successful artificial grass installation.
Install Turf Sub-Base Between Concrete
Regardless of the type of ground material between your pavers, a sub-base layer is recommended to ensure optimal drainage and performance. Laying and compacting the sub-base in narrow gaps between pavers can be a challenge. A standard plate compactor may not fit, while a hand tamp may not provide sufficient compaction. Instead, you could manually compact the sub-base using a brick and a heavy hammer.
Unroll and Cut Synthetic Grass
After preparing the road base, unroll the artificial grass on top of the hardscape. Allow it to rest in the sun for at least 30 minutes. This will help the turf fibers stand up again and the grass backing to conform around the shape of the pavers. When cutting the turf to fit the area, ensure that all strips are aligned in the same direction. Typically, the most attractive viewing angle is when the blades are facing the house.
Strip Method Versus Cutting Around
Artificial grass comes in convenient large rolls, allowing you to easily shape and customize it to fit your existing landscaping. Whether you want straight strips or curved edges, all you need is a sharp knife and a careful hand. The versatility of artificial turf makes it effortless to integrate into your yard design.
When it comes to installing artificial grass between pavers, you have two options. The first is the strip method, which involves cutting and gluing down strips of grass between the pavers. This method minimizes wastage since you only use and cut the exact amount you need. However, there are drawbacks to consider. The strip method tends to be less secure and may result in a patchy appearance due to multiple seams. Joining different pieces of artificial grass requires meticulous effort and may leave visible seams, affecting the overall aesthetic.
Therefore, we usually recommend using the cutting around method, unless the gaps between the pavers are exceptionally small. With this approach, you start by laying a large piece of artificial grass over the pavers and then carefully cut around each individual paver, allowing them to protrude through the grass layer. This method provides a more secure installation and offers a seamless look, avoiding the patchiness associated with the strip method.
In summary, artificial grass offers the flexibility to adapt to your existing landscaping design. While the strip method is an option, it may lead to less secure and visually inconsistent results. Instead, opting for the cutting around method ensures a more secure turf installation and a seamless appearance, especially when the gaps between the pavers are larger.
|* Seamless appearance* Easy installation* Minimizes weed growth* Time-saving
|* Limited design options* Difficult to replace* Potential drainage issues* Limited flexibility
|Cutting Around Method
|* Design flexibility* Easier replacement* Enhanced drainage* Versatile for different pavers
|* Time-consuming* Potential weed growth* Challenging installation* Potential aesthetic challenges
Seam Turf Strips Together
Once the artificial grass is cut to the right shape and size, the next step is to connect the panels together. This is a crucial process, as a well-done seam guarantees a strong and invisible connection. To achieve this, you’ll need to use joining tape and glue, following the product instructions meticulously.
Secure Fake Grass to Base Layer
After cutting and seaming your artificial grass, you need to secure it to the ground. This is typically done using a lot of nails to ensure that the grass is firmly fixed. Non-galvanized nails should be placed every 2″ along the perimeters and every 2 ft. throughout the strips. For harder surfaces such as concrete or stone, an adhesive specifically designed for artificial grass can be applied sparingly to avoid blocking drainage.
Lay Turf Infill and Brush the Surface
Once the artificial grass strips are secured, it’s time to apply the infill. Made from materials such as silica sand, rubber, or cork, infill serves several purposes. It helps keep the grass blades upright, cools the lawn, and ensures good drainage. After adding the infill, give the grass a good brushing to fluff up the grass fibers and distribute the infill uniformly.
Proper Maintenance Tips for Ensuring the Longevity of Artificial Grass Between Pavers
To ensure the longevity of artificial grass between pavers, it’s important to follow proper maintenance practices. Here are some tips to help you maintain and care for your artificial grass effectively:
- Regular brushing: Brush the artificial grass fibers regularly using a stiff hand brush or broom. This helps to prevent the buildup of debris, leaves, and dirt, ensuring optimal drainage and a clean appearance.
- Remove debris: Remove any fallen leaves, twigs, or other debris from the artificial grass surface. These can accumulate and affect the grass’s appearance and drainage if left unattended.
- Rinse and clean: Occasionally, rinse the artificial grass with water to remove dust, pollen, and other small particles. For more stubborn stains or spills, use a mild detergent mixed with water and gently scrub the affected area using a soft brush. Rinse thoroughly afterward to remove any residue.
- Prevent weed growth: Although artificial grass minimizes weed growth, some weed seeds may still find their way between the pavers. Regularly inspect the area and remove any weeds promptly to prevent them from spreading and damaging the grass.
- Address pet waste: If you have pets, promptly remove solid waste and rinse the affected area with water. For urine, rinse the area thoroughly with water to dilute and remove any odors. If necessary, use a pet-friendly artificial grass cleaner to maintain freshness.
- Proper drainage: Check the drainage regularly to ensure it remains unobstructed.
- Avoid heavy objects and sharp tools: Do not place heavy objects, furniture, or equipment on the artificial grass as they can cause indentations or damage to the fibers. Also, avoid using sharp tools or blades near the grass to prevent accidental cuts or tears.
- Protect from extreme heat: If your artificial grass is exposed to intense sunlight, consider providing shade or using a UV protective coating to prevent color fading and prolong its lifespan.
- Periodic grooming: Over time, the artificial grass fibers may become flattened or compacted. Use a specialized brush or rake designed for artificial grass to fluff up the fibers periodically and maintain a natural appearance.
By following these maintenance tips, you can ensure the longevity and visual appeal of your artificial grass between pavers. Regular care and attention will help preserve its quality and keep it looking vibrant for years to come.
Installing artificial grass between pavers is an excellent way to enhance the aesthetic appeal of your outdoor spaces while reducing maintenance efforts. With the right preparation, choice of grass, and installation techniques, you can enjoy a beautiful, green, and easy-to maintain space for years to come. Additionally, by selecting eco-friendly materials and ensuring proper drainage, you’ll contribute positively to the environment. So, go ahead and bring that touch of green to your hardscapes with artificial grass between pavers. Keep in mind that the artificial grass market is continually evolving, with new products and technologies emerging. It’s advisable to keep an eye on the latest trends and materials, which can enhance the durability and appearance of your installation.