The Purchase Green Blog shares our artificial grass information such as artificial grass installation, what is the best artificial grass, where to buy artificial grass, DIY artificial grass projects, events & more!
Purchase Green Artificial Grass, a local-market distributor of turf goods and services, announces a September 1st opening of their 3rd market distribution center – strengthening their already substantial nationwide distribution network.
As the demand for synthetic turf steadily increases and the challenges with overseas shipping and logistics continue, keeping a step ahead has been critical to Purchase Green’s success. The NorCal center will support ongoing improvements to logistical operations, shrinking the gap between the company’s Master Distribution Center in Southern California and 27 retail locations across 8 states, as well as dozens of dealers and installers nationwide.
Anthony Vena, CEO and Co-Founder of Purchase Green Artificial Grass, states:
“As the adoption of turf continues to grow and to better support our existing customer base and store network in Northern California, we are pleased to announce the opening of another local sales office and market distribution center. This addition will help us to better serve our contractor base in West Sacramento, and expedite restocks for our 2 existing company stores and 5 franchises in the market, as well as support future store growth in the Northwest.”
The opening of the West Sacramento Center marks a major milestone for the organization, having begun as a startup with only one small warehouse in La Verne, CA. Now, there are over two dozen Purchase Green locations – plus a mix of showrooms, business offices, and one call center.
After being acquired by Controlled Products in 2019, Purchase Green outlined some big goals for expansion. In the 12 months ending in July 2021, 7 new locations were launched, a combination of corporate-owned and franchised. The second half of 2021 looks equally promising with 2 more stores and a 4th distribution center planned to open. This will not be the last time we hear from Purchase Green.
For more information on business opportunities with Purchase Green, check out our Partner Solutions page here.
Are you a DIYer looking for guidance on how to start your artificial grass project? Or maybe you’ve already started and got stuck looking for the answers you need. It’s Shayla here with Purchase Green, and I’m happy to help! I’m going to take you through the steps of artificial grass installation DIY.
I’ve been wanting to do my own artificial grass installation DIY for a while. When my parents told me that they wanted some artificial grass for a dog run, I was super excited to help them out! I was finally going to be able to put into practice all of the knowledge I had been learning and writing about for months as a member of the Purchase Green marketing department.
Before we get into it, I just want to iterate that every project is different. My project is a 50 square foot dog run, which is obviously a different experience from installing an entire backyard full of grass. However, the quantity of material and time taken are potentially the two biggest differences there may be between my project and yours.
Also, even though I work at Purchase Green, I am not an installer. As I researched for my project, I realized that a lot of the DIY artificial grass content out there is not actually DIY. I found that many of the DIY videos were done by entire professional installation crews. So I wanted to make sure that this project was actually do-it-yourself. I went through the whole process that an average DIYer would experience. I have never done anything like this before, but I’m going to try my best to outline everything that can help your DIY project go smoothly. So let’s jump into it!
Here’s a video of the entire process, starting with materials and going all the way through the finished product.
What You’ll Need
Here are all of the tools, accessories, and miscellaneous things we used for the installation broken out between things we already had at home and things we bought at Purchase Green:
Because we wanted this to be as easy and low-cost as possible, we opted for a basic installation that doesn’t require any kind of perimeter product like Bend-a-Board. The basic installation isn’t as robust as far as securing the grass and making it look perfect, but my parents were just looking for a nice touch of green and wanted their dog to not track dirt and mud into the house. Easy enough! We followed along with the Purchase Green 2021 DIY Installation Guide. Let’s get into the backyard!
Site Walk & Prep
In the housing complex where my parents live, they can submit landscaping requests for free. There was a huge bed of dead plants and weeds in this space. Luckily, that was able to be taken care of by the complex, so we were left with this patch of dirt.
We started by measuring the dimensions of the space – 26’x2′. We knew we could save a ton of money by using remnants – and the space was small enough that we would have some great options. We had to keep in mind that Purchase Green doesn’t cut remnants – they come as-is. So we hopped on the remnants shop on the Purchase Green website and found our local store – San Marcos.
When picking the right grass, I considered a few things:
the square footage of the remnants and how they’d fit together
if it was a good grass for dogs
if it had Cool Yarn to keep the grass a little cooler when it’s in the sun
I ended up finding two Arizona Pro remnants that would fit great in the space and would work for their dog, Peaches. Arizona Pro is a Cool Yarn grass so it’ll reflect more heat from the sun, and it can withstand high traffic – perfect for Peaches!
After picking our remnants, we moved onto tools and accessories – what we were going to need to actually install. Since our installation was only 50 sq.ft., we only needed one 10lb box of 5″ nails and the smallest roll of weed barrier. We decided that since our one seam was only going to be 2 feet long, we would just use nails instead of seaming tape and glue. Again, not as robust, but more cost and labor-effective.
For our infill, we decided on HeroFill since it’s the best option for areas with pets. Regular silica infill stinks when pets use the area, but Herofill controls odors caused by pets, mildew, and mold – it’s also antimicrobial. We got two 50lb bags of infill, but we only ended up using one. We got a turf broom to brush up the fibers and get the infill down toward the backing. We also got a carpet knife to cut the remnants and 8″ shears to cut the weed barrier. And finally, we bought some Turf Bomb for added odor prevention and treatment down the road.
After picking up all of our materials at the San Marcos store, we got it back to the house and finished excavating the site. We opted out of using a subbase for, once again, cost and labor reasons. If you have a bigger or unleveled space, or if you need a better drainage solution, I’d recommend subbase. Subbase also helps prevent weeds and movement of the turf, so it’s definitely something to consider. I think the finished product would’ve turned out a little better if we did have a subbase underneath, but we just didn’t want to deal with it.
The recommended excavation depth is 3-4 inches with a subbase. Because we didn’t use subbase, we excavated about 2 inches below the cement line because our Arizona Pro grass is 1.7″ tall, and we didn’t want there to be a huge dip going from the patio to the grass. We removed as much organic material left in the dirt as we could because as that decomposes, the turf can shift and wrinkle. We compacted the soil with a square-nosed shovel. A hand tamper would’ve worked better, but we didn’t have one.
After we compacted the soil, it was time to lay the weed barrier. We nailed one side down first so it wouldn’t blow away, then rolled it out and folded it to fit the space. We used the whole roll and used the 8″ shears to cut around the fence poles and big concrete slabs along the fence. Then we nailed it down every foot or so along the perimeter.
Measuring, Cutting & Orienting
We brought in the Arizona Pro remnants and unrolled them to sit in the sun for a bit to get the blades to stand up. We wanted the grass grain to face the house, so we took the larger piece and lined up the already cut edge with the cement. We left overlap on the other sides because we were going to have to cut around some poles and concrete. Once we got it lined up how we wanted, we nailed down one side, stretched the other side and started cutting along the fence line.
Definitely take your time measuring and cutting because once you make a cut, that’s it. We got our edges trimmed and started nailing everything down. We nailed every 6 inches along the perimeter and every foot down the middle. Something I found when nailing is that it’s important to try and keep the grass blades out from underneath the nail head. You want the nail to get right into the backing in between stitch rows, and if there are grass blades stuck underneath the nail, you can see the top of the nail in the ground.
When it came to placing the other remnant, we made sure the grass grain was facing the same direction as the other one so that they’d look natural together. We lined up the cut edge the same as we did before and stretched it out and cut the overlap along the fence. Before we started nailing, we made sure that the edge along the fence would be the right length for the seam to line up. We got it all stretched and ready and started nailing the perimeter like before. When it came time to nail down the seam, I lined up the stitch rows so it’d look as seamless as possible, and started nailing every couple of inches in a staggered kind of zig-zag line. And it ended up looking pretty good, I was proud of myself!
After we finished all the nailing, we stepped back to admire our handiwork. And then went right into infill. We didn’t have a drop spreader or anything so we just used a big cup to disperse it. It worked pretty well and we were able to get into the corners easily. I’d walk back and forth dropping the infill and my stepdad would follow behind working the infill into the grass with the turf broom. It was some good teamwork!
We got through the first bag of infill, and it seemed sufficient. Usually, you want 2-4 lbs of infill per square foot. Maybe we just wanted to be done, but opening a second 50lb bag of infill seemed like a lot, so we called it after one bag. We still have the second bag if we do decide to add some more later.
After about 5 hours of work, we showed the finished lawn to my mom and their dog, Peaches. Peaches was suspicious at first, but she got used to it. Overall, we were all happy with how it turned out.
I’ve been to a handful of artificial grass installations and have gotten to watch the professional installers do their thing – and do it fantastically. After doing this little DIY installation, I cannot express enough how amazing our installers are at their jobs. It’s a tough job that takes incredible skill and attention to detail. I definitely learned a lot from this and I’m glad I get to share it with others trying to DIY their own project. In a nutshell, here are the key insights I’ve learned from my DIY project:
Talk to an expert! Because I work at Purchase Green and maybe know more about artificial grass than the average DIYer, I had an advantage in knowing where to go for knowledge and resources, but everything I used is available to any other DIYer! The DIY Guide was an incredible tool, and I reached out to our installation experts to help me get an idea of all the materials I would need. You can absolutely reach out to your local Purchase Green to get expert advice and help if you’re feeling stuck. You can get all of your questions answered 100%.
Manage your expectations! Going into this project, I knew it was not going to turn out how I’ve seen professional installations turn out. I know my skill level as far as landscaping experience goes – I have none. And I knew that we weren’t going to do a lot of the recommended methods for installation – like excavating, subbase, and perimeter board. So I knew it wasn’t going to be perfect. And I kept that in mind as I was installing. I sure did my best to make it look good and followed the directions, but in the end, the project is yours. You can decide the level you want to commit to making it look like a professional installation, whether that’s based on your budget, or labor, or something else.
Have help! I worked on this project with my stepdad and it was so much better than if I tried to do it by myself. Not only does he know a lot more about landscaping than I do, but it was just more fun to work alongside someone. And it made it go by so much faster. I one-hundred percent recommend having a helper or putting together your own little installation crew to have it take less time.
Choose the right remnants! I scoured the San Marcos remnant page for a long time before deciding on the Arizona Pros. I already knew that Arizona Pro would be a good grass for the dog, and I didn’t want remnants that were way too big or not big enough. They ended up being a nice width so we didn’t have to cut too much off, but we did end up having a lot of length left over. We made a nice doormat for the garage. If you do choose the remnant route, the thing to remember about remnants is that there isn’t the typical lifetime product warranty on them and they do come as-is, so you can’t have them cut when you pick them up in-store.
And that’s it! I hope you enjoyed going on this DIY journey with me, and I hope it shed some light on starting your artificial grass DIY project with realistic expectations. If you have any questions, feel free to call us at 844-TURF-444 or contact your local Purchase Green to get help. And don’t forget to check out the DIY Installation Guide to walk you through a proper artificial grass installation DIY!
Backyard Putting Green Cost is lower with artificial grass.
Updated July 2021:
Like any sport, getting good at golf requires a lot of practice. For those who’ve always dreamed of having their own personal putting green, or simply don’t have three or four hours a day to devote to going to a driving range or a lot of money to spend on green fees, installing a backyard putting green can be a cost-effective and convenient solution.
The Cost of Playing at a Golf Course
The cost of a round of golf in the U.S. varies depending on the tee time, the day of the week and season, the golf course (whether it’s public or private), where the golf course is located, etc. However, in general, the cost at daily-fee courses ranges from $25 per round (for 18 holes) to hundreds of dollars at a resort. This means the average golfer typically spends several thousand dollars to play golf each year, not counting the cost to rent a golf cart, buy golf equipment, and so on. Multiply that amount by several years and the costs can really add up!
The Cost of Having a Backyard Putting Green
Fortunately, putting in a backyard putting green costs a lot less than regularly going to a golf course, depending on the size and type of putting green. And, residential golfers can currently choose between two options: installing natural grass or artificial grass.
Natural Grass (FYI: Most expertsdon’t recommend this option for residential golfers.)
Natural turf putting greens (e.g., bent grass or Bermuda grass) can be great under the right conditions (such as when a golfer has a lot of money or also happens to be a professional gardner), but this option does require a lot of time, expertise, money, equipment, and extensive labor to keep green. The groundskeeper has to water every day and mow four to six times a week.
Cost: (For an approximately 1,000 square foot backyard putting green, according to the University of Arkansas)
Greens mower: $1,000-$5,000
Mower sharpening: $100 per year
Cup (hole) cutter, cups, and flagsticks: $300
Fertilizer: $75 per year
Fungicide: $150 per year
Insecticide: $50 per year
Creeping bentgrass seed: $50
Tifdwarf, TifEagle, or Miniverde sprigs: $150 to $300
Plus all the time required to mow, water, and maintain it.
In contrast, experts typically recommend installing synthetic putting greens due to greater manageability, as well as the improvements to artificial grass’ manufacturing technology. Artificial putting greens available in today’s market look and respond like real putting-green grass. More importantly, this type of grass can be quickly and easily installed in a backyard and is virtually maintenance-free.
Installing a backyard putting green can cost as little as $4 to $6 per square foot if completed as a DIY project, and can last more than a decade. What’s more, laying artificial grass is much more straightforward than you might expect.
If you’re concerned with the cost of a full artificial grass installation, then check out our guide to DIY installing artificial grass. That can certainly help reduce the project cost.
We’re proud to announce the publication of our new “DIY Install Guide”. If you’re looking for more information about how to install artificial grass yourself, this is the guide for you. Click here to read our “DIY Install Guide” and become the expert on artificial turf installation.
So, you’re interested in artificial grass for your home, but not really feelin’ the up-front cost of installation? Today, we’re going to show you how to install artificial grass inexpensively, making modifications along the way to bring your project’s price tag down.
Make no mistake, though. In order for this to work, you’ll need to be prepared to get your hands dirty, put in a substantial amount of time and energy, and problem-solve as you go.
Further, while all of the techniques discussed below will reduce your price point, they will also increase the amount of labor you’ll have to do yourself. You’ll be using hand tools, like a shovel, and carrying up to 50 pounds repeatedly, even if you have help.
Sound like the kind of challenge you’re up for? Let’s get to it!
There are four components to almost every installation that can be modified to reduce the cost of installing artificial grass without posing a significant threat to the performance and longevity of it. They are:
1. The Secret to Low-Cost Subbase
Subbase. What is it? Who needs it? Well, if you’re installing artificial grass, you do, my friend.
Subbase goes where your natural grass was once you’ve excavated down a few inches and before you install the grass. Its primary job is to prevent the natural expansion and contraction of your yard’s native soil from affecting the turf, thus preventing wrinkles from popping up.
In most professional installations, it’s one of three things:
crushed miscellaneous base – CMB,
class II road base, or
Decomposed granite is considered the best of the three due to its superior drainage and ability to render a consistently flat surface. Certain types of installations, like putting greens, need decomposed granite subbase more in order to perform and last.
The problem with decomposed granite is it’s expensive.
Is there a workaround?
In most cases, you can get good performance and longevity out of artificial grass with the use of only a small amount of decomposed granite. In fact, only the top few inches of subbase need to be decomposed granite in order to get good drainage and overall performance. This means you can fill most of your excavated area with inexpensive class II or CMB, then just spread a few inches of decomposed granite on the surface. This will bring down the cost considerably and produce fair results.
That being said, there are some installations for which we never recommend skimping on decomposed granite subbase. If you receive lots of rainfall, or already have drainage issues in your yard, this strategy isn’t likely to work out. Be sure to discuss your project’s particulars with our turf experts for more guidance.
2. Saving Money by Reducing Material Waste
It’s virtually impossible that all the grass you use will be used up in your installation, unless your installation area is the exact shape and size of a roll of turf. Most likely, you’ll have to do some cutting and seaming together of multiple pieces, and some turf will be discarded. The trick here is to figure out how to make the most of a 13′ or 15′ wide roll of turf. One way to do that is to ignore grain direction.
Artificial grass grain direction is one of the main culprits behind wasted grass. Grain direction is the direction in which the grass blades are predominantly pointing. Crews typically install artificial grass pieces so that the grain is facing the same direction, creating the most aesthetically-pleasing lawn.
For irregularly-shaped installation sites, though, maintaining a consistent grain direction often means wasting a lot of grass.
If perfect aesthetics aren’t terribly important to you, there’s a good chance you can save money by installing the pieces of grass you’ve purchased however they best fit the installation site, regardless of their grain direction.
3. The Seaming Method Hack
As mentioned above, you’ll probably have to cut and seam together multiple pieces of turf when you install artificial grass. Most of the time, this is accomplished using seaming tape, seaming glue, and nails. This method is considered the most secure and reliable, but also the most expensive. While the cost of seaming tape and glue might be negligible for a small installation, it can become substantial for larger ones.
The cheap alternative? Just use nails – a lot of them. This is a perfectly viable seaming method for some installations, though not quite as secure. Nails can and often do work loose over time and with enough foot traffic, so we only recommend this method if your grass isn’t going to get a lot of that.
If you’ve got a large installation area that won’t see much foot traffic, a box or two of inexpensive 5-inch nails might just do it.
4. Cost-cutting Tools
When it comes to specialized tools for installing artificial grass, the options are endless. Professional install crews have a myriad of gizmos and gadgets at their disposal to make the work go faster, including tools like the sod cutter, plate compactor, power broom, turf cutter, turf gripper, puller, kicker, and the list goes on. If you wanted to do it by the book, you could rent all these tools to automate your installation project and impress your neighbors.
We’re guessing you’re not doing this by the book, though. If not, our recommendation to you is to ditch the fancy gear and get back to basics with hand tools. It turns out, just about everything those power tools do can be done with low-tech hand tools. Switch out the sod cutter for a pick-ax, the plate compactor for a hand compactor, the power broom for a push broom, and the turf cutter for a carpet knife. Just get ready to apply some serious elbow grease and work up a sweat!
Even though it’ll take some hard work, it’s well worth it. If you’re still unsure about how to install artificial grass, we have a super helpful DIY guide. The guide has step-by-step instructions on how to install artificial grass, so you’ll have all the info you need to have an easier install process. And, of course, our PG team is always happy to help if you come across any issues or have any questions before, during, or even after your install. Check out that guide to get the low-down on how to install artificial grass yourself!
Installing artificial grass yourself may appear to be a daunting task. While it’s certainly a lot of work, Purchase Green is here to make it as easy, painless, and inexpensive as possible.
We’re proud to announce the publication of our new “DIY Install Guide”. If you’re looking for more information about installing artificial grass yourself, this is the guide for you. It has great insights for any contractor how is looking to perfect their skills at artificial grass installation. Click here to read our “DIY Install Guide” and become the expert.
Patios, balconies, and decks are often awkwardly shaped spaces with limited surface area to work with. Maximizing these spaces can be challenging, eventually leaving some (even myself) to end up neglecting them, not recognizing the missed opportunity. But, for those who are tired of the dirty concrete and lacking appeal, patio turf is an easy first step to elevating your outdoor space.
Why Patio Turf Works
All Purchase Green artificial grasses drain at a rate of at least 27 (cubic) inches per square yard per hour, with some product types draining even faster than that. In short, artificial turf for the patio will not worsen the pooling of water and other liquids. In fact, adding a drainage mat beneath the turf – such as AirDrain – can improve how well your balcony or deck keeps dry.
Great for Kids and Pets
Small apartment living with kids and pets is not easy. Providing them adequate room for exercise, play, and personal space is important for their home life. Open up and maximize your small outdoor living area with patio turf to instantly increase the space’s functionality and comfort. You can even give the surface some extra cushion by adding a Shockpad beneath the turf.
Easy, Temporary, and Inexpensive
Did you know that the easiest installations are patio turf projects because they require the least amount of product and prep work? Lucky you! They’re also durable and functional, but still a temporary solution that you can remove later on. Double yay! And, to top it off, they’re super inexpensive, with most Purchase Green locations offering discounted remnant pieces – the perfect sized artificial turf for patios!
Whether your goal is to create a space for outdoor recreation, such as yoga, aerobics, bocce ball or golf, or if you want to compliment your balcony garden with ground cover, or even if you want to simply enhance the appearance of your home – artificial grass gives the DIY homeowner versatility.
Your Material Cost
The average cost of a DIY artificial turf installation is between $3 – $6 per square foot. This range encompasses the cost of all tools and materials needed for the job. However, because patio applications require the least amount of material and prep, these projects average closer to $3 per square foot.
Your Material Checklist
Double-Sided Seaming Tape: This seam tape is specially made for temporary applications, ideal over hardscapes, such as asphalt and cement. Double-sided seam tape is used to secure the perimeter line and interior sections of the turf directly to the hardscape surface.
(optional) AirDrain Drainage Mat: Proper drainage is crucial to all artificial grass installations, especially those installed over hardscapes like patios and rooftops, and AirDrain will assist in increasing the overall drainage rate of the area. AirDrain is a sub-surface gid that is installed beneath the turf to collect and redirect water away to an exit drain or predetermined point. As a result of AirDrain’s 1-inch depth and 92% air void, air easily circulates and water passes through rapidly – helping keep turf cooler, further preventing odor and bacteria buildup, as well as reinforcing injury prevention by improving the surface’s shock absorbency. Additionally, AirDrain mats can hold up to a ½ gallon of water per square foot, if needed, until it can reach the exit drain – allowing the turf surface to remain dry.
(optional) Shockpad: An optional item, the 8mm shockpad is a great addition to a patio turf project for extra comfort. The shockpad can adhere directly to a hardscape surface or AirDrain mat using the 29 oz Ultrabond glue, which is also used to adhere turf to the surface of the shockpad.
Turf Bomb: Artificial grasses regularly exposed to pets and foot traffic may benefit from periodic cleansing with a deodorizer that’s safe for synthetic turf, such as Turf Bomb – a non-toxic, hypoallergenic, biodegradable disinfectant that is specially made for artificial grass. Attach the Hook and Hose sprayer, included with your purchase of a 32 oz bottle of Turf Bomb, to your garden hose to lightly soak the turf, then leave the mixture to dry. Repeat as desired.
Turf: Of course! But which one is best for your needs? Chat with our product experts online, over the phone, or in person at any of our retail showrooms to find out which grass has the features and specifications you need. And don’t forget to check out the deals at your nearest Purchase Green store! Most locations sell discounted remnant pieces, available for free will call.
Watch these How-To Videos
Our media library is filled with great videos that demonstrate how to use and install our products – check ’em out!
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Water conservation is of interest to all: individuals, businesses, and policymakers. Protection of water began in 1948 when the Clean Water Act was signed into law. Since then, water as a resource has been looked at in an entirely new way, as an entity with integrity and intrinsic value, driving the need for more drought-tolerant landscaping.
Concerns over periods of drought and water availability have increased in recent years. More individuals, and businesses, depending on their geographical location, may even be subject to water usage restrictions due to drought conditions. As of July 20, 2021, 40.1% of the U.S. is in drought, affecting 48 states.
Homeowners, landscapers, businesses, municipalities, and many others who wish to maintain their backyards, grounds, and sports fields may feel overwhelmed by water usage restrictions. They also may feel responsible for doing their part to limit water usage and wastage.
Purchase Green offers a creative solution to a large-scale problem; one that affects local and global communities. We have expertise in drought-tolerant landscaping that not only looks fantastic, but provides a sustainable approach to water usage and conservation, recyclability, and more.
Opting for synthetic turf over maintaining a traditional lawn is guaranteed to conserve water over time. According to the STC, “A typical grass sports field requires between 500,000 to a million gallons of water or more each year.” While this does depend on the geographical area and usual rainfall, maintaining a green space without regular watering is not feasible.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that the average American family of four uses 400 gallons of water per day. In areas, especially desert climates, where rainfall is low, this is simply not sustainable for ensuring water accessibility to all. Choosing a synthetic option for some or all of your green space can help you personally save hundreds of gallons of water per year.
The Southern Nevada Water Authority estimates that every square foot of natural grass replaced saves households between 400 and 750 dollars annually in water usage costs, depending on the size of the yard. Synthetic turfs provided by Purchase Green are low maintenance; they don’t require watering, chemical fertilizers, or pesticides.
Occasionally, debris, leaves, and other particles that have fallen on the turf may need to be removed. A rake or broom are simple and efficient tools for removal. Purchase Green installations look just like real grass, with vibrant green hues, minus the maintenance headaches and unnecessary water usage.
Moreover, synthetic turf options reduce carbon dioxide expenditure. Many lawns require mowing to maintain aesthetic value. One hour of push mowing creates as much pollution as 11 cars, according to EPA studies, and riding mowers create as much pollution as 34 cars. This alone can directly help conserve water, as carbon dioxide accelerates climate change, which worsens drought conditions.
Purchase Green’s priorities lie in education, honesty, precision, and conversation. These are not only important as a business model but also to form a community around preserving natural resources!
Whether you’re a landscape professional or a handy DIYer, the general guidelines for estimating a synthetic turf project are the same. We’ve laid out how to install artificial turf and how to plan out your project.
Below is a step-by-step guide for thoroughly evaluating a job site, identifying risk factors, and how to best prepare for a successful and lasting installation.
Step 1: Examine and Identify Risk Factors
First, observe the streets and path leading up to the install site and take notes if you see potential obstacles for either the crew, the tools, or delivery trucks. Narrow streets can be difficult or even impossible to maneuver with a large trailer, and narrow gates or steps can make it much more difficult to move material.
Next, seek out and take note of all risk factors, including irrigation or electrical systems, large rocks, trees, roots, and nearby reflective surfaces.
Job sites with irrigation systems often have their sprinklers capped at the pipe level. Although, some elect to leave sprinklers as they are and simply install the turf around them. The latter is usually recommended for DIYers, but it’s completely optional and up to personal preference.
To cap a sprinkler head, ensure that the new cap is compatible with the system. In most cases, a threaded half-inch cap will suffice, and in fewer cases, you may need a three-quarter-inch cap. To begin, turn off the water line and remove the dirt surrounding the head, creating a hole roughly two to three inches in diameter. Remove the pre-existing sprinkler head and lightly coat both the new cap and the opening of the sprinkler line with a primer and sealer. Once primed, screw on the new flat cap and refill the hole.
Then, turn the water line back on and observe the capped sprinklers, making sure there are no leaks. If the sprinkler system for the lawn is an isolated system – meaning, all the sprinkler heads on that valve are located in only the installation area – you may cut and cap the line right at the valve; this is typically a one-inch non-threaded cap, which you would prime and seal in the same way.
Alternatively, drip lines can also be installed for more precise and conservative watering. However, if more complex solutions are needed, Purchase Green recommends seeking instruction from irrigation professionals before you install artificial turf.
Electrical systems and underground wiring may exist in landscapes to power lights, water features, and other elements. Electrical wiring is even a factor for some putting green projects that include our lighted cups. Unless the contractor or DIYer is familiar with handling these types of systems, again, Purchase Green recommends consulting with a professional before installing turf.
Identifying underground systems is critical in the estimation stage. Their exact location must be known and/or avoided during installation to prevent punctures.
As for trees, they can either be removed or installed around. Though, as you can imagine, installing around root systems can present certain challenges. The task is possible, just tedious. To be safe, Purchase Green suggests conferring with an arborist to ensure that the installation process will not harm the trees and their roots.
Installing artificial turf around tree trunks and roots takes careful planning and an eye for detail.
Beware Localized Heating
Another common risk factor is reflective surfaces, often from south or west-facing windows, resulting in localized heating – which is not covered by Purchase Green’s product warranty.
Localized heating occurs when reflective surfaces catch sunlight at a particular angle, then redirect and focus that light onto a surface below. In many cases, the reflected light creates temperatures that the surface material cannot withstand, so the material deforms.
Common culprits of localized heating are nearby metal objects, such as cars or barbeques, and even everyday objects like plastic pools, tarps, fire pits, white fences, or glass tables – even neighboring windows. Purchase Green recommends using turf samples to test potential areas of concern by placing them in the path of nearby reflective surfaces and observing. If it is recognized that there is potential for melting, you can opt to install window tints, awnings, solar screens, or not install turf in zones where there is a risk.
The presence of critters such as gophers or moles can be challenging, and while the process of excavating three to four inches typically deters them, it is still possible that they will return. To help curb this problem, you have the option of installing one or multiple layers of weed barrier, and in some instances even gopher wire; though it’s important to note that this is not a guaranteed solution, unfortunately.
Additionally, weeds can be just as stubborn. Like gophers, if weeds are preexisting in or around the installation site, it may be challenging to keep them away. However, there are proactive actions you can take to mitigate their invasion, such as applying a pre-emergent product to help prevent weeds from protruding and using non-toxic weed killers to eliminate those that do without damaging the turf. If the weeds are particularly invasive, installing a layer of weed barrier is recommended both below and above the subbase.
Step 2: Measuring Square Footage
Now it’s time to measure. You can begin with measuring the total linear footage of the perimeter – most easily achieved using a measuring wheel. Walking the perimeter line with your measuring wheel will allow you an opportunity to determine where a perimeter product should be installed and how much of it you need. Remember that steeply graded areas or areas without a constructed restraint, such as a retaining wall or sidewalk, will likely require a perimeter board – such as Bend-a-Board.
This 1.5″x1.5″x12′ Bend-a-Board acts as a perimeter for the artificial turf being installed against a fence.
Next, calculating the actual square footage. To do so, simply multiply the length and width of the install area, but don’t forget to subtract planters, trees, and other areas within the perimeter that would not be replaced with turf, as the goal is to establish the true square footage so that we know the minimum amount of artificial grass required. If needed, here is a handy square footage calculator.
After you’ve established the length of the perimeter and calculated the true square footage, you will have enough information to determine the linear footage of grass required for the project. Though, factors such as the grass’ roll width, the desired grain orientation, as well as the shape and size of the installation area will impact this number. For example, if a job site is odd-shaped and orienting the grass grain in the standard direction increases the material cost, then you may elect to install in a different direction. Alternatively, you could consider a 13-foot-wide product rather than a 15-foot-wide to reduce material waste.
Step 3: Illustrations and Visualization
Now to illustrate your estimate and calculations with drawings of the job site. These drawings should be to scale and as accurate as possible, seeing as they will be used as references when quoting and planning the job – such as indicating the placement of a perimeter product, seams, and the grain of the turf. Though there is no perfect plan, in the end, there are a variety of ways to approach every project; simply do your best to be smart and creative.
Below are some examples of project illustrations from our install managers:
Notice how the estimator draws arrows to indicate the main vantage point of the job site – where the majority of spectators will be when viewing the lawn. For the most aesthetic outcome, it is recommended to install turf in such a way that the grain or direction of the grass is pointing toward the main vantage point. As previously mentioned, installing turf in this way is not a hard and fast rule, and is often disregarded if orienting the turf in a different direction could conserve material.
Illustrations will also greatly assist in calculating the material and labor required for seams, if applicable. The estimator will draw dotted lines of the grass’ roll width to indicate where individual pieces would meet and be seamed. This visualization helps to accurately place and measure seam lengths so that you know exactly how many nails or how much seam tape your project requires.
How to Install Artificial Turf
This has been a pretty extensive guide on how to install artificial turf. It was a lot of information, but we think it’s hugely important for DIYers and homeowners looking for turnkey installation to have every bit of knowledge they can get.
Our goal is to educate our customers to make the best decisions for their projects, not sell them products that they don’t need. With this guide, you can be assured that you have the knowledge to start planning your artificial grass project, and the understanding of what our installation crews and team members do to help you get the lawn of your dreams.
Synthetic turf, a comparatively young industry, is taking the world by storm and ushering in a new age of modern landscape design.
In this blog, landscape design professionals discuss why they promote turf for the home and for business. They’ll also provide their own best practices for creating seamless landscapes.
Why Landscape Designers Prefer Synthetic Turf Over Sod
Once upon a time, landscapers and property owners scorned the mere mention of ‘AstroTurf.’ The resemblance to cheap, odd-colored carpet and its low-quality construction were the driving forces behind this disdain. But then, rather quickly, things just got better.
Manufacturing technology improved, chemistry enhanced the material quality, and the U.S carpet industry grew exponentially – making synthetic turf more readily available and at a much lower cost. As the West continues to endure extreme drought conditions and lawmakers push for greater restrictions on water use, artificial grass has become the hero for those of us still desiring a green dreamscape of our own.
“The tables have completely turned,” states Prem Penglin humorously, owner of Penglin Paving and Landscaping. “We originally started installing about ten years ago, and along the way we’ve learned a lot about product quality, that’s for sure. Back then, turf wasn’t a thing and was actually looked down upon. Also because there wasn’t so much of a drought as there is now, and sod was cheaper, but sod is on the downhill and turf has come up.”
Modern Landscape Design with Synthetic Turf
These days, artificial grass is no longer the up-and-coming player, but now a real challenger to sod in the landscaping industry. While initial costs of installation appear to be in sod’s favor, the long-term challenges and expenditures of maintaining an organic lawn add to the bill year after year. Turf, on the other hand, can often have a greater initial investment, but that investment pays for itself within the first 3-7 years on average.
“Turf brings a stress-free landscape. You’re able to save time and money between repairs, maintenance, watering, fertilizing, etc. So, in essence, artificial grass gives consumers a stress-free lifestyle,” explains Veer Singh, founder of Steve’s Landscaping. “Natural grass needs the correct amount of water – not too much and not too little, as well as weed prevention, the correct amount of nitrogen for the climate, fertilizer, and mow height. Even a gardener is often unable to constantly keep the optimal beauty of a natural lawn.”
When questioned about the potential limitations of turf in garden landscape designs, Veer responded, “I don’t see any limitations with artificial grass pertaining to landscape design. If anything, it opens up more options. For example, a common issue with landscape is drainage. By incorporating artificial grass into the design, we basically create a giant drywell underneath the turf. Water finds the path of least resistance, and once the water penetrates the grass, it travels through the base hitting the dry dirt below the base level. By adding artificial grass, we’re able to achieve a faster drain rate in our landscapes.”
Insane Drainage Rates
Veer has kindly provided the video below, demonstrating the turf’s ability to quickly drain water, even during a downpour.
In addition to increasing both the aesthetic and functional value of a property, synthetic turf provides an incredible opportunity for business owners as well. As Prem describes, “Turf is much more streamlined for the business, and the turnaround for it is a lot quicker. Turf also has a larger profit margin compared to sod. But even though it isn’t the main thing we do – it’s an accessory item – and it’s made all of the landscapes we’ve done look even more luxurious. If you’re working in an area that values luxury, turf is a must-have for your business.”
Veer also adds: “Turf is a simple service to add into any landscape, paver, or concrete company. The concept of pavers and concrete is similar to an artificial grass installation. By adding turf to any contractor’s service package, it will generate a higher close rate because a contractor can offer total landscape packages. When installing real grass contractors have a ton of return calls due to grass not taking into the native soil, dry spots, and simply poor post-install maintenance. For us, artificial grass has a return call rate of less than 5%.”
Higher close rate, accelerated project turnaround, increased profit margin, and reduced go-backs – all while still providing a functional and affordable luxury product? Synthetic turf really is the hero of this story.
Design Tips for Turf
Make the most out of your synthetic lawn by including these design tips from the pros:
Choose the Right Turf for the Style of Your Home
Shopping for artificial grass can sometimes feel daunting – there are so many to choose from. But by asking yourself the right questions, you can quickly narrow down to your best options.
In every Purchase Green store is a ‘Menu Board,’ which aids customers in identifying their ideal turf. Step 1 is specifying which type of application you’re installing for. This helps by prioritizing certain types of products with specific features, such as an anti-bacterial turf for pet applications, or a grass with Charge Guard carbon fibers to reduce the build-up of static electricity for playgrounds.
Then, most importantly, consider the anticipated foot traffic of the installation site. Knowing the traffic will inform you of the minimum performance requirements you need from your turf – such as grass with a particular blade shape, pile height, or density. Unless you consider your foot traffic as ‘light’ or non-existent, this step narrows your options considerably.
Lastly, style. Artificial grasses come in an array of color combinations (sometimes up to 4 different colors in one product) and with varying degrees of sheen. The tip here is to pick a style or color of grass that contrasts the property. Veer Singh has had great success in pairing Spring or Apple green turf colors with property designs that have darker tones. Conversely, properties with lighter tones pair nicely with an Olive or Forest green turf.
If this styling method doesn’t float your boat, Purchase Green recommends matching your synthetic turf with that of the natural sod in the general vicinity of the property.
The Most Attractive Landscapes Have Variety
While a landscape that is solely turf can be the look that some prefer, design professionals suggest having variety in your front or backyard landscape design.
If possible, add curvatures to your perimeter, rather than straight lines.
Create smooth and beautiful transitions from your lawn by lining the perimeter with woods chips or rocks.
Add planters and shrubs for balance and color. You can also install turf AROUND trees and their roots!
Add Undulations to Create Realism
Undulations are slopes in the landscape, usually with slightly different heights and grades to them. Adding undulations to larger installation sites greatly improves the realism of the landscape. However, keep in mind this could marginally increase the material cost of the job.
The Orientation of Turf Impacts the Finished Look
The majority of synthetic grasses have an obvious directional grain, due to the way they are manufactured and stored.
The general rule of thumb is to orient the turf’s grain toward the main vantage point. This perspective of the grass blades is known to be the most realistic. If you’re installing in the front of a property, face the turf grain toward the street, where most of the viewers will be. Or, if you’re installing in a backyard, you can orient the turf toward the home.
However, some may elect to orient their turf non-traditionally, sometimes to minimize material waste or to orient toward a different vantage point – like a pool, BBQ, or cabana. It really just comes down to personal preference.
Alternatively, Purchase Green offers a line of multi-directional grasses. These are grasses with blades that are curled in every direction. This type of construction allows for greater flexibility when orienting and also makes hiding seams so much easier.
First and foremost, always dry seam before permanently securing the turf. Dry seaming is a method in which you freely position multiple pieces of turf before gluing them together to help ensure an invisible seam.
Next, you must consider which seaming method is best for the installation’s layout. The two most common seaming methods are in-line seams and butt seams. In-line seams are seams cut parallel to the stitch rows of the artificial turf backing. Butt seams, on the other hand, are cut perpendicular to the stitch rows. See an example below in which both of these methods might be used on one installation:
The vast majority of installations will only need in-line seams. In-line seams are also the simplest method, for both DIYers and installation professionals.
Not All Turf Styles Should Go Between Pavers
When you place strips of turf in-between pavers, make sure enough of the pile height is exposed above the hardscape edge, but not too much as it will overpower the concrete slabs. Designers recommend using a turf with a pile height between 1.6″ and 2″ for the best aesthetic.
Additionally, grasses with a firmer fiber have blades that will keep them standing straight and above the paver edges. Softer grasses, such as products with a flat blade shape, will compress and compact much easier and can be difficult to fluff up again once installed in narrow spaces.
Save Your Waste
Last but not least, save your material waste! It could come in handy someday.
Accidents happen and can sometimes result in damage – such as moving the BBQ to close and melting the turf blades. In instances like these, use excess material from the initial installation to patch damaged areas.
Many people also find creative ways to make use of their scraps, such as doormats, decorative table placements, or even keeping a roll of turf for the garage gym. You’re only limited by your imagination!
In 6 years, a Nevada sod ban will block certain uses and installation locations for natural sod. However, the advantages of this law will not just impact the environment, but local business owners, too. Here is how they can best prepare.
Since 2000, Nevada’s drought has limited the Las Vegas region’s opportunity for economic growth, indicating an unstable future. With the most intense drought period occurring just earlier this year, the need for lasting water conservation must be met soon.
On June 4th, Nevada State Governor Steve Sisolak signed a law that will restrict many public and commercial sites within the Southern Nevada Water Authority jurisdiction from using ‘nonfunctional’ natural sod. The Vegas area is expecting to replace roughly 31%, or approximately 6 square miles, of commercial landscape space.
The Nevada sod ban restrictions will apply to sites that receive little to no daily foot traffic. Affected locations include commercial courtyards, street medians, and entrances to housing developments. Single-family homes, parks, and golf courses do not meet the requirements for the sod ban.
What’s the Impact of Nevada’s Sod Ban?
With bipartisan support, as well as backings from various groups and associations, Nevada lawmakers are taking major strides to “allow for more sustainable and efficient use of resources, build resiliency to climate change, and help ensure the community’s current and future water needs continue to be met,” as stated by Southern Nevada Water Authority General Manager, John Entsminger.
Replacing 6 square miles of sod will result in saving around 11 gallons of water per person per day. This equals about a 10% reduction in water consumption from the region’s primary source – the Colorado River. Although, with clear environmental benefits, how might this ban impact Nevada locals on an individual level?
Purchase Green Supports Small Business
While limitations to the ban are still being defined, business owners and property managers can stay one step ahead. There’s time to determine the important needs regarding synthetic turf’s style, performance, and longevity – as not all are made equal.
Purchase Green Product Experts can identify the best possible turf from over 30 options, each with varying styles and functions. Grass features can increase usage and comfort by reducing the amount of heat retained from the sun. Or they can kill harmful bacteria and keeps surfaces sanitized. Some have multiple blade shapes and directions for the ultimate realistic look. Additionally, consider a professional installation by starting with a free on-site estimate.
Contractors are in a special position as well, with the opportunity to advertise themselves to a broader pool of prospects by offering turf as an additional product and/or service – if they are not already taking advantage of the turf market.
Purchase Green teams in Nevada – which service North Las Vegas, Henderson, and surrounding cities – maintain a reliable inventory of goods. Our warehouses stock up to 160,000 sq. ft. of turf at all times for fast order fulfillment, delivery, and same-day will call. With Purchase Green, contractors can also qualify for discounted material pricing or gain access to leads when they sign up as an Installation Partner.
Purchase Green is an organization that believes in the power of knowledge and creating genuine, lasting partnerships. Regardless of experience or industry, we’re confident that – with Purchase Green – contractors, landscapers, and business owners alike will find the solution they need!