There’s no surprise that artificial grass has become so popular in recent years.
It’s easy to clean, requires no mowing, and will never die from a lack of water, while looking and feeling exactly like the real thing!
If you want to enjoy your own artificial grass lawn, however, you must get the installation right. And one of the most important parts of this process is the edging.
Now, with all the available options out there, things can get quite confusing.
That’s why we decided to put together a handy guide on everything you need to know about artificial grass edging.
Our team of artificial grass experts will walk you through what are the options available, as well as how to put them to use.
Read on to find out everything you need to know about artificial grass edging!
- Why Do You Need Edging For Artificial Grass?
- The 10 Main Types Of Artificial Grass Edging
- 1. Timber Edging For Artificial Grass
- 2. Composite Plastic Edging For Artificial Grass
- 2. Sleepers / Railroad Ties
- 3. Aluminium / Steel
- 4. Bender Board
- 6. Paving
- 7. Brick / Block Stones
- 8. Concrete Gravel Boards
- 9. Rubber Edging For Artificial Grass
- 10. Custom Edging Solutions
- Honorable Mention: Gravel / Wood Chips
- How To Install Artificial Grass Edging
Why Do You Need Edging For Artificial Grass?
When it comes to well-installed artificial grass, two of the most important steps are the seams between the panels and the outermost edges of the lawn.
While most people understand the importance of well-cut panels that blend into one another with invisible seams, the exterior edges are often neglected.
Artificial grass edging serves two main functions: To contain the aggregates used in the base, as well as providing an anchoring point for the outer edges of the lawn.
The integrity of the base materials may be significantly compromised if the artificial grass edging is not properly installed and secured.
This results in the artificial lawn’s edges sinking into the base materials and soils. Repairing this can be an expensive affair, so it’s important to get it right in the first place.
Poorly installed edging not only looks bad, but it can also lead to loose nails and spikes becoming exposed as the sub-base erodes.
This can pose a huge health and safety risk down the road, especially to children and pets!
The 10 Main Types Of Artificial Grass Edging
There are several things that need to be taken into consideration when you are creating an edging system for your lawn.
These include the purpose and usage of your installation, your preferences in terms of looks, as well as your overall budget.
Below, we’ll take a look at the 10 main types of artificial grass edging, and what makes them special:
1. Timber Edging For Artificial Grass
Pressure-treated timber is the most commonly used edging for artificial grass, due to the cost-effectiveness nature as well as the fact that it can be easily trimmed to size.
Timber is less expensive than the other options presented in this guide, but it also comes with a relatively short average life expectancy of 10 years.
The main downside of timber is because it will be exposed to moisture on the ground, it will eventually rot. Pressure-treating can only prolong its lifespan, but cannot prevent eventual decay.
On top of this, timber edging is not flexible, and therefore cannot produce smooth curves. This makes it difficult to fit around flower beds and other existing installations.
The depth of your sub-base and laying course should be considered when you select the appropriate timber size. Ideally, the width of the timber should match the total depth of your base materials.
For example, if your laying course was 1 inch (or 25 mm) deep, and your sub-base layer was 2 inches (or 50mm) deep, you’d opt for 3 inch timber edging (75mm wide).
2. Composite Plastic Edging For Artificial Grass
Composite plastic lumber represents an upgrade to traditional timber edging.
This edging is easy to set up and is secured via composite plastic stakes, which are driven into the ground.
Plastic edging, however, does not rot from moisture, which is a major advantage when compared to timber edging.
In fact, most manufacturers will guarantee the product for up to 25 years against decay.
The downside is cost: If you choose to use composite plastic edging, expect to pay 3-4 times more than pressure-treated timber.
2. Sleepers / Railroad Ties
Sleepers or railroad ties are close alternatives to traditional timber.
Just like timber, sleepers and railroad ties are made from wood and can be pressure-treated for durability.
The main difference is that timber edging tends to sit level with the grass, whilst sleepers provide a raised edge around the perimeter of your lawn.
They provide a very solid platform to anchor the perimeter of your artificial grass to, whilst fulfilling the function of restraining the base materials too.
Sleepers also give your lawn a new look, which complements certain homes and yards very well.
What’s more, there are many creative applications for sleepers. For example, they can be stacked on top of each other to create raised flower beds around the yard.
The installation process for sleepers can be a bit tricky, however. Some opt to set them in a new concrete bed, while others would simply attach them to stakes or fence posts.
Sleepers can be very difficult to install on an existing concrete base, so we’d recommend another option if you are installing artificial grass over concrete.
While most sleepers are pressure treated to prevent deterioration in harsh environments, it is highly recommended to treat the cut ends of the sleepers as well.
3. Aluminium / Steel
Another popular option for artificial grass edging is metal.
The main advantage aluminum or steel edging has over wooden edging is the longer lifespan.
Metal edging for artificial grass is also quick and easy to install, and can be bent to follow various curves as needed. Often, spikes are already built-in, allowing you to set the edging directly into the ground.
If you opt for aluminium or steel edging for artificial grass, double-check to make sure it is weather resistant.
Most steel edging will be made from galvanized steel that is coated to ensure it does not rust. Aluminium edging will generally not exhibit weathering either, due to its oxidized outer layer.
However, these advantages do come with a higher price tag. Properly installed, metal edging should not be very visible, but some still prefer the look of timber.
Homeowners should also be careful when using steel or aluminium edging – Because of its narrow thickness, the edges may be sharp, which can be a safety risk for children.
4. Bender Board
Bender boards are a simple, affordable, and long-lasting solution that comes with many attractive features.
As the name suggests, they are pliable and flexible enough to fit most curves that you will come across.
While they are generally made from plastics, bender boards often come with a textured, natural look, closely mimicking the appearance of wood.
Generally, bender boards will feature slip joints at the ends, which allow space for thermal expansion between connecting boards.
Installing bender boards can be somewhat tricky, especially if you’re doing it alone. It involves driving stakes into the ground on the outside of the board, then securing the board onto the stakes using screws.
If you already have paving surrounding your lawn area, you can simply use this as edging for your artificial grass.
The main requirements are that it has to be elevated high enough to keep the sub-base in place, and provide a solid perimeter below the surface to keep in the base materials.
Some prefer to keep their grass completely level with their paving, whilst others like to have the grass blades protrude above the surface.
However, it is not possible to secure the perimeter of your artificial lawn directly onto paving. Glue is a possible option, but it prevents you from fixing any wrinkles or mistakes after the grass has been installed.
Instead, most contractors will opt for steel spikes driven into the ground around the perimeter.
If you choose to use paving as your artificial grass edging, you must first check what materials are underneath the surface.
Sometimes, your paving would have been laid on a sand base. In such cases, you have to install additional edging in order to keep your base materials contained within the perimeter of your lawn.
7. Brick / Block Stones
Another option for artificial grass edging is brick or block stones, set in concrete to form a hard edge.
This is a great option if you’re looking for edging to separate your artificial grass from a soft surface, such as a flower bed and herb gardens.
Block stone borders look great, and they are very long-lasting. But just like paving, you will have to secure the perimeter of your artificial grass into the ground instead of directly in the edging.
8. Concrete Gravel Boards
Concrete gravel boards are a great edging option if you intend to lay your artificial lawn such that it runs up to a garden fence.
These are a perimeter of concrete used in place of the lowest slat of a fence. Since wood tends to rot from moisture when placed on the ground, a concrete gravel board is used instead.
This provides a unique solution to artificial grass edging, but it is a permanent fixture that makes it difficult to replace your fence in the future.
And as with brick and paving, you will have to secure your artificial grass at the perimeter with spikes driven down into the ground.
9. Rubber Edging For Artificial Grass
Rubber edging for artificial grass is a largely cosmetic finishing touch to your artificial grass perimeters. It provides a beveled rubber edge that hides the cut edge of your artificial grass and prevents trips.
It does not, however, fulfill either of the traditional goals of artificial grass edging.
Because it merely sits on the surface of your laying course, it does not do anything to retain the aggregates in your base layer. It also does not provide a platform for your artificial grass to be anchored onto.
Rubber edging is generally reserved for usage in commercial settings, such as showroom installations or playgrounds.
10. Custom Edging Solutions
In addition to the types of edging listed above, you may want to consider custom edging solutions, such as EverEdge, Wonder Edge, and VertEdge.
These solutions come in various materials and unique designs, each with its own features and applications.
Which edging solution is best for you will depend on your specific needs and desires.
For example, VertEdge provides a sloped edge for you to adhere the perimeter finish of the artificial grass onto, eliminating any risk of tripping or edge lifting down the road.
Honorable Mention: Gravel / Wood Chips
Gravel and wood chips, of course, are not solid borders. But they deserve a place on this list because they are popular compliments for existing edging.
When used as ground cover for the areas outside of the edging, these materials provide good visual contrast while maintaining a natural appearance. Some homeowners prefer this look to having the edging exposed.
By backfilling the outside of the perimeter with gravel or wood chips, you can provide additional support for certain types of edging (such as bender boards and metal edging).
Take care not to use too much, however, as it can spill over into your artificial lawn and become hard to pick out.
How To Install Artificial Grass Edging
Installing edging is only one part of the entire installation process for artificial grass.
It typically takes place early on in the process, after the ground has been excavated and prepared, and before the sub-base is laid.
There are 3 main steps to installing edging for artificial grass:
Step 1: Set The Edging Into The Ground
The exact method you use to secure your edging will depend on the specific type of edging you chose.
However, the most popular method is to use stakes. This works with bender boards, timber edging, and composite plastic.
Begin by laying down your edging. For curves and contours, it helps to have somebody give you a helping hand here.
If you’re using bender boards, be sure to leave a gap of around 1/2 inch (or 1 cm) in between connecting pieces at the slip joints to allow for contraction and expansion from temperature changes.
Next, start driving stakes outside the perimeter of the edging. Hammer a stake down so that it is slightly below the top edge, then drive a galvanized screw through the stake and into the edging to secure the two together.
Repeat this process, working your way around the lawn. We recommend 1 stake every 4 – 5 feet, or every 120 – 150 cm.
For bender boards, you may need to place the stakes closer to each other depending on your curves. We also recommend mounting 2 stakes close to the joints, one on each board.
After securing your edging, backfill and lightly compress the soil or materials outside of the perimeter. This will give your edging additional support. You may now proceed with preparing the sub-base and laying course.
Step 2: Trim The Artificial Grass
After laying the artificial grass and taking care of the joints across the yard, it is time to trim the outermost edges of your artificial lawn.
For this, we recommend using a simple box cutter or utility knife. Work your way around the perimeter, cutting downwards and using the edging as a guide against the protruding end of the knife.
For the best results, change your blades regularly to ensure the cuts made are clean and sharp.
Step 3: Secure The Artificial Grass At The Perimeter
The method you use to secure the artificial grass at the perimeter will depend on what sort of edging you used.
Whichever method you use, we recommend investing in a carpet kicker. This will help to keep your artificial grass pulled taut and flat, preventing any creases and wrinkles on the surface.
In general, there are 3 main ways to secure artificial grass edges:
Option 1: Glue
Glue is an option available for most edging types. However, it is a permanent solution that doesn’t allow you to fix mistakes or wrinkles afterward.
You may glue artificial grass to edgings like paving and gravel boards by leaving a thin border when trimming, rolling that against the vertical surface of the edging to create a “lip”, and gluing that in place.
With certain types of metal edging, there may be tabs built-in for you to glue the artificial grass onto.
In our experience, glue tends to be a messy solution that requires very careful installation.
Option 2: Secure It Onto The Edging
For timber, composite plastic, and sleepers, you may attach the artificial grass directly on it by driving galvanized screws or nails at a 45-degree angle downwards into the edging.
However, this isn’t an option for thinner types of edging like bender boards and metal, as well as harder materials like paving and brick.
Option 3: Secure It Onto The Ground
The one method that works for all edging types is to secure the grass directly onto the ground using galvanized pins and landscaping spikes.
We recommend driving 1 pin or spike at 3 feet/1 meter intervals.
Take care to make sure they are seated flush with the backing of the artificial grass – Any protruding metal can pose a risk of injury should anyone trip or fall on them.
The only situation in which this method would not work is if you had laid your artificial grass on concrete. In this case, it might be best to opt for glue instead.
Congratulations! You’ve now learned the importance and function of edging for artificial grass, the different types of edging available, as well as how to install it yourself!
Remember: Your installation will determine the longevity and quality of your new artificial lawn.
So take your time to do things carefully. And if you have any doubts, don’t hesitate to contact a specialist!