How to Install Synthetic Grass: The Ultimate Step-By-Step Guide

Installing synthetic grass is the next best option for homeowners who don’t want to deal with dry or muddy natural grass all year round. While some people hire professionals to get the job done, you can always install the artificial grass yourself. All you need are certain instruments and materials, and a set of instructions to follow. Voila! Your lush synthetic grass will be ready to enjoy in no time.

To install your synthetic grass: get rid of the existing grass, compact the dirt, and prepare the new base. Next, roll out your artificial grass. Once you’ve laid out the turf, cut it to fit the lawn and secure the grass by nailing it to the ground. Finally, spread the infill and brush the turf.

We have several other articles that explain these steps in more detail, but this article gives you an overview of everything you need and how to install artificial grass. The best part of choosing synthetic grass is that you won’t have to worry about dry, muddy, or unattractive turf if it’s correctly installed. You’ll get to enjoy a lush-looking lawn throughout the year without much maintenance.

What Do You Need to Install a Synthetic Grass Lawn?

A landscape designer spreads a roll of artificial grass

We’d like to believe that everyone reading this article has already picked out their synthetic grass and is reading this to know what they need to install it. If you haven’t yet picked out your grass, refer to our article on picking synthetic grass and turf fill.

Besides the actual turf itself, there are some other things you need to install your artificial grass. Let’s look at the necessary tools and materials and how you can use them to complete the job.

What Tools Do You Need?

The tools you use can make the difference between a good or bad installation. Also, while some tools will make the job more stressful and time-consuming, others will help you get the job done far quicker and easier.

Before installing your lawn, you should compile all your tools, so you don’t have to run out in the middle of your project to purchase or hire something. You may have some of these tools already, or you may need to buy or hire them.

We’ve categorized these instruments so you can easily monitor what you already have, or need to buy or hire.

Tools You May Already Have or Could Buy?


You’ll have to move out the old grass and move in the new synthetic grass; this will be stressful and time-consuming unless you have a wheelbarrow to use. You can put the bundles of rolled grass in your wheelbarrow and move them easily.

Most house owners, especially those who do lots of gardening, will have a wheelbarrow already. But, if you don’t have one, you can always borrow from your next-door neighbor.


A shovel comes in handy when you need to distribute the base material across the area before laying down your synthetic grass. This is another tool that most homeowners will have lying around somewhere, and again, you can always borrow it from a neighbor if you don’t.


A turf cutter may not be able to reach all the edges and corners of your lawn, and this is where a pick comes in handy. With this tool, you can easily remove the old grass from those corners.


Whether you’re using timber or U-pins to secure the edges of your synthetic grass, you’ll need a claw hammer. The hammer will help you drive in the wood around the lawn, and you can also use it to remove bent U-pins or nails if necessary.

Another kind of hammer you’ll need is a sledgehammer, also called a club hammer. To secure your timber edge, you use this hammer to drive stakes into the ground.


You’ll need a rake after you’ve used the shovel to distribute the base material. A wide-headed rake will help you to easily spread the base material evenly across the lawn. If the base material is not evenly spread out, it can cause issues later, and may even make the installation process itself more difficult.

Even after you’ve spread out the base material and installed the turf, you’ll need the rake to maintain the lawn. This is why it’s pretty essential to have one in your shed. We recommend purchasing a plastic rake as a metal one can ruin the synthetic grass.


After compacting your base material, you might notice some surface marks left by the compactor. You can smooth out these marks using afloat.

Hand Saw

If you’re installing timber edges, you can use a hand saw to cut timber into the required lengths.


A hose is one more tool needed to lay the base material. After you’ve evenly spread out the material, the next thing to do is to wet it to make compacting easier. If you have a wide expanse of land to cover, using a simple watering can will take a lot of time. So to speed up this step, consider using a hose instead.

Using a hose will soak every inch of your lawn in no time. After installing your grass, you’ll also need to use a hose to clean dust from your new turf and help with infilling.

Razor Knife

Many lawns aren’t perfectly square, and you may need to cut up your grass into different shapes to fill some awkward corners and edges. So to do this well, it’s best to use a sharp razor knife with a robust handle. You’ll also need some spare blades for this.

Besides a razor knife, you’ll also need a pair of scissors to help you trim some elevated fibers from your roll of synthetic grass. These raised fibers are normal occurrences, so you don’t have to worry if you notice them while installing your new grass – simply cut them.

Tape Measures

You need a tape measure to accurately measure your lawn and know what size of synthetic grass will be enough to cover the entire yard.

Spray Paint

You may not need this, but if you want to accurately mark out the areas needed for your synthetic grass, you’ll need spray paint.

Joining Tape

While installing your synthetic grass, you may need to join two or more parts of the turf together. This means you’ll need joining tape and adhesive to do this correctly. You use joining tape to secure two pieces of turf together, and you shouldn’t be able to see the joined part if you applied it correctly.

Usually, the shiny part of the tape is placed downwards, and joining adhesive is applied on the textured side.

Joining Adhesive

Joining adhesive is used alongside joining tape. This adhesive is used to cement the joined turf into place. Apply the adhesive on the entire textured side of the joining tape, just make sure the glue isn’t too thick.

Proper application of the joining tape and adhesive will ensure that your synthetic grass lasts a long time and won’t come apart even after years of usage.

Stiff Broom

The final step of installing synthetic grass is the sand infill. After pouring the sand onto your new turf, you’ll need to use a rigid bristled brush to spread the infill across the lawn. The stiff broom will also ensure that the sand gets into the bottom of the material.

As well as using the broom for sand infilling, you also need it to clean your lawn regularly and get dirt or mud from the grass.

White Spirit

Accidents happen while doing anything. In this case, adhesive spillage is a common one, so you need a bottle of white spirit. If glue spills onto your synthetic grass you can use a cloth or turf cut-offs to remove the excess adhesive, followed by white spirit to get rid of whatever is left.

Tools You May Want to Buy But Can Probably Rent Locally

Now let’s look at some tools you’ll need, and can probably just rent but you may want to buy as they could be useful later!

Turf Cutter

Before you install your artificial grass, you’ll need to cut the old grass into strips and remove it from your lawn. This process is usually one of the most stressful parts of the turf installation process, and to ease the burden, you’ll need a turf cutter. This device will cut up the old lawn into sections that you can effortlessly roll into bundles and discard.

Another reason you need this tool is that it will help keep the area level, which would be difficult to achieve if you’re manually cutting up the grass.


A compactor is a large tool used to compress the base material and provide a smooth surface to lay your synthetic grass on. The compactor also ensures that your artificial lawn will be stable and last longer. You will probably need to rent this tool from a hire company.

Carpet Knee Kicker

This tool can be used to stretch your synthetic grass out to get rid of stubborn ripples and wrinkles and also to align pieces of turf together more seamlessly. This device guarantees a high-quality wrinkle-free finish. 

What Materials Do You Need?

You can’t use the tools mentioned above if you don’t have any materials to use them on. That’s why we’ve dedicated this portion of the article to showing you the materials you’ll need to carry out this project.

The Turf

This is obviously the most important material. The turf/synthetic grass is a patch of synthetic fibers made to look like natural grass. The turf is what you replace your old grass with, and homeowners use it because it stays evergreen without much maintenance for a long time.

Installation Nails and U-Pins

These nails are used to secure the synthetic grass around the perimeter of your lawn.

Weed Killer

After getting rid of the old grass on your lawn, you need to spray the area with weed killer to get rid of any grassroots and weeds and prevent unwanted plants from growing after you’ve installed your turf.

Weed Barrier

A weed barrier is a kind of geotextile material laid on the lawn area before the base material is distributed. This permanently seals the fate of whatever stubborn weed tries to grow even after you’ve applied the weed killer.

Crushed Rock

Crushed rock is used as a base layer for your synthetic grass. It’s typically what your turf will be laid on.


The infill helps your synthetic grass feel more like natural grass. Besides that, the material helps keep the turf blades upright and protects the grass’s foundation, ensuring the turf lasts longer.

Silica sand is the most recommended infill for synthetic grass, but others are crumb rubber, zeolite, and acrylic coated sand.

How to Install Artificial Turf/ Synthetic Grass

Remove the Existing Grass

The first step in installing your new turf is getting rid of the old grass. Experts advise that you should remove roughly four inches of the old grass from your lawn.

Ensure that you accurately measure the base before removing it so that you can ensure an even surface for your new grass. Cut the grass in strips and roll them into bundles so you can easily remove them from your lawn.

Grass is heavy, and sadly there’s nothing you can do about that. The best way to ease this burden is to remove the old grass during the summer – the grass is usually dry during this period and less heavy.

There are two ways to cut up grass from your lawn: you can use a shovel or a turf/sod cutter. Using a shovel is more difficult and time-consuming, so it’s better to use a turf cutter. They’re much faster and will make the job cleaner and easier.

Prep the Ground for the Synthetic Grass

This step comes before you set up the base layer. We have an article that explains this process in full detail, but as an overview, this is how you should prep the ground:

  • Apply weed killer to the soil to get rid of weeds and prevent future ones growing
  •  Although synthetic grass usually drains well, you may still need to set up a drainage system, especially if the soil you’re laying the turf on is poorly draining soil
  •  Map out your lawn perimeter, so you know what area you’re laying the artificial turf down on
  • Overlay the soil with a weed barrier.

Prep the Synthetic Grass’s Base Layer

The base layer is as important as the synthetic grass itself because it determines how well the turf will be installed and how long the grass will last.

After ensuring weeds can’t grow on the lawn anymore, evenly distribute rocks or sand across the area and use a compactor to condense it. We have another article that explains this process in more detail.

Lay the Synthetic Grass and Secure

After you’ve laid the base and compacted it, you can roll out the synthetic grass over the lawn. If you’re installing multiple rolls, ensure that the stitch blades all face the same direction. You can also use a carpet kicker to make the turf wrinkle-free.

After covering the desired area with turf, you should cut the synthetic grass to fit. Then, you can use nails or U-pins to secure the synthetic grass into the ground. You can check out our other article for a breakdown of this process.

Add Turf Fill to Finish the Job!

This is the final part of the project. Spread the infill across the installed grass and use a stiff broom to brush the turf. The broom will ensure that the infill reaches every part of the turf and give your artificial grass a more natural look.


After you’ve put in this much effort to get your dream lawn, the last thing you should do is enjoy it with your loved ones. With very minimal maintenance, you can have one of the most beautiful lawns in your neighborhood.

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