It’s not surprising that a growing number of homeowners are tempted to lay artificial grass over concrete pavings. Laying artificial grass on concrete is a simple and convenient solution for sprucing up your garden.
In addition, the benefits of synthetic grass make the decision a whole lot easier. Who wants the constant chore of maintaining a natural lawn?
One of the most important steps to lay turf on concert correctly is the preparation of the surface. Laying fake grass on concrete involves following specific steps, which, if you get wrong, could impact the longevity of your lovely lawn.
However, like many other technical jobs, laying astroturf on concrete seems more daunting than it really is. If you follow this step by step guide and don’t cut corners, you should be able to install artificial grass without professional help.
Having said that, if you are not accustomed to DIY and want to make sure your artificial grass is installed correctly, you will be guaranteed that it will look great and remain fit for use for many years to come.
Step 1: Prepare the Concrete Surface
Before you lay astroturf on concrete, you need to make sure the surface is well prepared to serve as a foundation for your new lawn. Most importantly, the surface should be perfectly flat or otherwise, any bumps could project to the surface and cause potential safety issues.
Thoroughly clean the existing surface and remove any elements that could be embedded into the concrete. Simply sweeping the concrete with a broom to remove dust and dirt is not enough. You also need to wash away the excess dirt with a scrubbing brush and hot water then hose it down.
A more worrisome issue is the presence of large cracks that could compromise the stability of the entire structure. If you spot any holes or gaps more than 1cm, fill them in before you cover them with the next layer.
This can be done by applying self-levelling compound into the cracks and carefully flattening the surface with a trowel.
Step 2: Ensure Proper Drainage
The main issue you have when laying artificial grass on concrete is drainage. Concrete is not generally a good surface for irrigation. Therefore, if you don’t get the preparation right, water from rain and melted snow will cause mould and mildew on your fake lawn.
Uneven surfaces can also leave puddles on your astroturf which looks unsightly but also makes the surface slippery.
Before you lay turf on concrete, the drainage system is a key step in the installation process. Irrigation makes your artificial lawn more functional and practical by eliminating puddles of water.
In some locations, drainage occurs naturally due to ground inclination and the permeable structure of the soil. However, if your garden doesn’t drain water away easily, you will need to design a drainage system to avoid your artificial lawn being ruined or unusable.
You can tell whether laying artificial grass on concrete needs a drainage system well in advance. If your paved area gathers puddles of water, it’s clear you’ll need a drainage system.
If you don’t get the irrigation system right, it will be costly to fix it at a later date. Fortunately, drainage is an easy fix. All you have to do is drill 16mm holes in each of the paving slabs.
Depending on the size of your existing paving slabs or concrete space the holes evenly about 3-4 inches apart.
Step 3: Install a Weed Barrier
To prevent weeds from taking root on your lawn, you might want to consider adding a weed barrier to your home installation.
Weed membranes are heavy sheets made of polypropylene. They are designed to prevent any plants from growing underneath the artificial grass.
While this element is more important when you are placing astroturf on top of a layer of soil, if you have weeds growing through the cracks of your concrete, you’ll need to install a weed barrier.
If you are concerned about negatively impacting the environment, keep in mind that weed barriers are biodegradable and completely disintegrate after around 5-10 years depending on the quality of the fabric.
If you are laying artificial grass on concrete for your pets, we do not recommend a weed membrane because they retain moisture - which means the smell of urine will linger in the air.
However, if you do need to install a wed membrane, you can manage unwanted odours by laying zeolite and washing the artificial grass down with a hose.
Step 4: Do you need an artificial grass underlay for concrete?
The next step is optional; laying an artificial grass underlay. Some people will need one and others won’t so it depends who will be using your lawn and how they will be using it.
Placing an artificial grass underlay on concrete that is made from foam can be a great way to improve the stability of the lawn. It also provides cushioning underfoot which makes it safer for children to play on. They won’t hurt themselves when they fall over. Underlays also extend the lifecycle of artificial turf.
You can probably get away with skipping this step, but as we said earlier, cutting corners and pinching pennies could be more costly further down the line.
The foam you can use to create the underlay typically comes in rolls, which can be tricky to handle and has a tendency to roll back if left unsupported. You need to cut the roll down to size and fit the pieces precisely.
The adhesive needs to be mixed with the hardener, which is best done with a mixer. This mixture should be inserted between the foam and concrete, with at least 10-30 mm thickness throughout.
Be mindful to work with completely dry concrete if you want the grip to be tight, and keep in mind to leave some gaps for the water flow in case you haven’t drilled the drainage holes.
Step 5: Install the Artificial Grass
Artificial grass is delivered in rolls. All you have to do to lay astroturf on concrete is to roll it out across the prepared concrete or underlay. Cut the fabric to size with a sharp stanley.
The golden rule is to finish cutting the fabric before you start otherwise you may find yourself caught in a situation from which you can’t backtrack.
When you are sure you have all the pieces in all the right places, you can start applying a layer of glue to the underlay. Dab blobs of glue to a dry surface so the astroturf can stick to it. Press gently but persistently and try to make the surface as level as you can while eliminating any air gaps between grass and the underlay.
Step 6: Seam the Joints
In large gardens, you will probably need more than one roll of astroturf. If that is the case, you will need to seam the joints. If you’re not sure which tools you need, speak to one of our professional artificial grass installers for advice. We also sell jointing tape and adhesive.
The best way to fit jointing tape is to pull back the edges of the grass where they meet at the seams. You can pull the edges back by approximately 300mm and position the jointing tape along the centre.
Make sure the shiny side of the jointing tape is face down and the blotting side is face up.
Replace the turf over the tape and bring the seam together. Ideally, there should be a 2-3mm gap between the two pieces of fabric to get a good seam.
Once the seams are lined up, replace the grass over the jointing tape and apply adhesive under the edge of one section using a mastic gun. Then do the same on the other side.
Bring the seam together ensuring there are no blades of grass caught in between the seam. Gently press along the edges with your palms to help the adhesive spread out.
The final task when laying artificial grass on concrete is to secure the perimeter. There are several ways to do this, including using a mixture of glue and hardener, landscaping stakes, or even screws when the adjoining surface is hard.
Call Experienced Professionals to Lay Artificial Grass on Concrete
Laying artificial grass on concrete is not overly complicated but is a DIY challenge you should be confident of performing. Having the right equipment is necessary. Having the correct knowledge is vital.
If you don’t want to risk laying fake grass on concrete incorrectly contact our experienced artificial grass installers and we’ll do the job for you.
We cannot stress how important it is to get the installation process right. If your artificial grass is not installed correctly, you probably won’t get as many years of good use out of it as you would expect. High-quality artificial turf typically lasts between 10 and 20 years.