It is surprising what artificial grass can be laid on nowadays, as, artificial grass has come a long way since it was first introduced as a lawn alternative and what many people don't realise is that artificial grass can be installed on many different types of surfaces.
Artificial grass can be installed on a multitude of different surfaces such as concrete, decking and paving slabs, artificial grass can also be installed on slopes and on balconies as long as the grass is installed properly, it will not get damaged when installed on these surfaces.
The only thing you need to think about when installing the grass is drainage, as installing grass on soil or sand with being completely different from installing artificial grass on concrete as concrete relies on evaporation however, the grass will hold the water underneath, which means the grass would be continuously wet.
Below I will go through all the different types of surfaces you can install artificial grass on, including some tips on fixing drainage issues on concrete.
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Can Artificial Grass Be Installed On Concrete
Artificial grass can be installed onto concrete, however, it is good practice to install an artificial grass foam underlay first as this will make the grass softer to walk on, there are a couple of things that will need to be checked first before installation such as:
- Are there any cracks
- Are there any pieces of concrete missing
- Is the concrete uneven
- Does the concrete leave a puddle after it rains
1 . Are There Any Cracks
Small Cracks: If you have small cracks in the concrete then it would be best to fill them using a self-levelling compound or a bag of concrete repair compound, which can be purchased at most DIY stores, most self-levelling compounds will just require you to add water and then follow the instructions, allowing the self-levelling compound to fully dry before installing the grass or underlay, otherwise this could cause the concrete to sweat and potential crack after installation.
Large Cracks: There are two ways you can fix large cracks in your concrete, firstly check to make sure that the concrete is still intact and not loose, if the concrete is loose then it would be best to try to remove the concrete completely if possible and then choose a different installation type, such as MOT Type 1 for drainage followed by sand then granite dust.
If the concrete is not loose but just cracked then it would need to be repaired using sand and cement first then using a levelling compound to go over the area to flatten and level.
2 . Are There Any Pieces Of Concrete Missing
If there are pieces of concrete missing then it would be best to remove all the concrete first and continue with a more traditional installation, if it is not possible to remove all the concrete then you can still install the artificial grass onto concrete however you would need to repair the missing concrete first by filling it with rubble and then concrete the missing areas, this is critical as if there are any edges that are lower or high than the rest f the concrete it could damage or tear the grass.
3 . Is the concrete uneven
If your concrete is uneven then you will need to level the entire area before installing the artificial grass, this can be done by using a self-levelling compound as mentioned before, you will need to make sure that the entire area is levelled otherwise it could cause the artificial grass to crease or ripple.
4 . Does the concrete leave a puddle after it rains
If your concrete does leave a puddle after it rains then this could be a drainage issue, which would need to be fixed before installing artificial grass.
the best way to find out if there are puddles after it rains is to use a garden hose, spraying the concrete area and allowing it to dry, if after a bit of time you find that the concrete is dry except in some small areas, then there is an easy fix.
The easiest way to fix this would be to drill some holes into the concrete to allow for better drainage, this can be done by using a drill with a masonry bit and drilling about 2-4 holes in each corner of the concrete.
If you have already installed artificial grass on your concrete surface, then there are still steps you can take to improve drainage.
First, make sure that any excess water is removed as soon as possible, using a wet vacuum or similar tool.
Then you can try to add some extra drainage into your concrete surface, by drilling more holes.
Can Artificial Grass be Installed On Paving Slabs
When installing artificial grass onto paving slabs, it is important to make sure that the paving slabs are clean, and dry also make sure there are not any large gaps or cracks on the paving slabs as these would need to be filled in before starting the installation process.
You should also check that the paving slabs are level, as any unevenness could cause the artificial grass to ripple or crease.
If you find that the paving slabs are not level, then you can use a self-levelling compound to level the surface before starting the installation.
Once you have checked that the paving slabs are clean and dry and that they are level, you can start to lay the artificial grass.
It is important to make sure that you use an adhesive designed for artificial grass, as this will ensure that the grass is securely attached to the paving slabs.
You should also use a brush or roller to smooth out any wrinkles or creases in the artificial grass, as this will ensure a neat and tidy finish.
Can Artificial Grass Be Installed On Tarmac
Tarmac is a suitable surface for artificial grass to be installed on top, installing a 10mm artificial grass underlay would be recommended as this would make the surface much more comfortable to walk on as well as give the artificial grass a much more natural look and feel.
When installing artificial grass onto tarmac however you will need to make sure that the area is clean and dry before starting, as any dirt or debris could prevent the adhesive from bonding properly.
Can Artificial Grass Be Installed On To Decking
Artificial grass can be installed on to decking, however, there are a few things that need to be considered first. The first thing you need to do is make sure that the decking is structurally sound and in good condition, if there are any loose boards or nails sticking out then these will need to be fixed before continuing.
If your decking is looking a bit tired and you simply would like to change the look of your garden, then the best way would be to install artificial grass on the decking this can easily be a good way to bring life back to your decking and it's easy to install.
Artificial grass can be installed straight on top of the old decking, however, as most decking has drainage grooves built into the decking this can cause the grass to be uneven and therefore you would need to install an artificial grass underlay onto the decking first.
Before installing artificial grass on to deck you will need to check your decking to make sure that is in reasonable condition first, you would need to check that:
- There are no loose nails or splinters that could damage the grass.
- Check for any areas where the decking may be weak and needs reinforcement.
- Replace any boards that are broken or rotten
If there are large parts of the decking that is damaged or rotten then you may need to replace the boards or go over the top of the decking with marine plywood first however, if you do go over the decking with plywood you would need to drill holes into the wood with an 8mm wood drill bit to allow for drainage.
Can Artificial Grass Be Installed On To Soil
It is not recommended to install artificial grass directly on top of the natural turf or grass, this is because grassroots and weeds can damage the artificial grass, also the new grass would be extremely uneven and will make the artificial grass uncomfortable to walk on and look completely unrealistic.
before installing artificial grass in your garden you would need to remove the top layer of grass and dig down around 3 inches (75mm) below the finished height of your garden, this is to remove any weeds or anything else that could grow through the grass and damage it.
once this has been done you would then need to build back up using MOT Type 1, sand and granite dust, before installing a weed membrane, then your new artificial grass.
Can Artificial Grass Be Installed On To Sand
It is not recommended to just install artificial grass onto just sand this is because the sand will move under the grass and it will become uneven over time, also if heavy items and put on top of the grass it will push down into the grass and could cause the grass to rip.
When installing artificial grass using sand you would use sharp sand as a base layer and install granite dust over the top then use a whacker plate to compact the layers making sure you have an even finish.
It is important that you use good quality sand when installing artificial grass, if you use lower quality sand it will not be as durable and could result in the grass becoming uneven over time.
Can Artificial Grass Be Installed On A Slope
Artificial grass can be installed on a slope, as long as it is installed correctly and would look as natural and realistic as if it was installed on a flat surface, the process of installing artificial grass on a slope is very much the same as installing on a flat surface however you would need a few more fixing to hold the grass in the place.
The first thing you need to do is make sure that the slope is not too steep as this will make it difficult to install the artificial grass and it may not look very natural. The next thing you would need to do is make sure that the slope is secure and won't collapse or erode over time, if there are any loose stones or debris then you would need to remove this.
Once you have done this you can start installing the artificial grass, you would need to install a weed membrane over the slope to stop any weeds or grass from growing through, and then you would need to start laying your artificial grass.
To make sure that the artificial grass is secure you would need to use long nails or artificial grass pins around the perimeter of the lawn and also in the middle of the lawn to make sure that it doesn't move.
So what artificial grass can be laid on nowadays is surprising as you can see, artificial grass can be installed on a variety of surfaces, but it's important to make sure that the surface is prepared correctly before installation. If you install artificial grass on top of a hard surface such as concrete, paving slabs or tarmac it is always best to install a 6-10mm underlay so that is softer to walk on and helps with drainage. When on concrete always make sure there is adequate drainage if not drill holes through the concrete to make sure water doesn't lay under the artificial grass or underlay which could cause the grass or underlay to rot and could create smells.
To make sure your garden looks great and natural a good quality grass would be required regardless of what type of surface your artificial grass is being installed on, you can get more information about the different types of artificial grass for a realistic look for UK Gardens