Note: This article was originally published on September 17, 2019. It has been updated to reflect current information.
Ready to go green in a big way? Looking to ditch the time, money, and labor spent maintaining a natural turf lawn? Then it’s time to go green with a synthetic turf lawn. Is this a DIY job? Yes, if you can pay attention to detail and follow instructions, you can install synthetic turf. Besides the turf, what synthetic turf supplies do you need? Well, you probably already have a hammer, gloves, and tape measure. Here are the other synthetic turf supplies and tools you’ll need for a DIY install.
Basic Tools for a Synthetic Turf Install
Installing synthetic turf requires digging, tamping, and moving dirt. That means you want a good shovel with a sharp blade. Sharpen the blade of your shovel, before you begin. Use the shovel to remove rocks, roots, and any other debris in the ground. In hard and rocky locations (such as Western North Carolina or Southeast Florida) use a pick as well as a shovel.
Once the ground is cleared and leveled, compact the base with a hand tamper or a mechanical compactor. Plate compactors make light work of the job and are well worth the nominal rental fee from your local big box home improvement store.
While you are there, grab a box cutter or razor cutter for cutting the turf material. A utility knife might seem handy, but the turf will dull your blade quickly and it’s much easier and faster to change blades on a razor cutter than a utility knife.
Special Synthetic Turf Supplies for a DIY Install
In addition to your basic tools, you’ll need some special supplies for your DIY synthetic turf install. This includes:
- turf nails
- turf glue
- seam tape
- synthetic turf edging
The glue, infill, and seam tape used depends on the type of synthetic turf installed. Turf nails keep the turf in place and also help hold it together at the seams. Select ungalvanized nails for the best hold. Turf glue comes in handy when installing synthetic turf on a hard surface like a patio or balcony. Glue holds the turf in place when you can’t use nails. Seam tape joins sections of turf together. Think of synthetic turf as a carpet for your yard. The turf is seamed the same as carpeting.
Finally, the infill and synthetic turf edging selected are extremely important to a successful DIY install. Apply the infill directly to the installed turf. Infill gives bounce underfoot and acts as a cooling and odor-absorbing agent. Pet lawn infill must provide odor-absorbing properties. Read labels carefully.
Synthetic turf edging holds the turf in place at the edge and gives a finished appearance. Don’t use the bender board sold at big box lawn centers. You’ll spend more time trenching for the bender board edging than installing the turf itself. Instead, buy Wonder Edge synthetic turf edging from the synthetic turf supplies shop. Nail Wonder Edge in place before you lay the turf. When installed on a hard surface, Wonder Edge glues in place. Either way, simply rough-cut the edge and tuck it into the edging. No digging or trenching is required.
Installing synthetic turf is a DIY job if you have the right tools and follow the directions.