Are you considering installing artificial grass in your yard or garden? If so, you may be wondering if you need to stretch it out before installation.
The answer is yes! Stretching out your artificial grass is an important step in ensuring a smooth and wrinkle-free installation.
In this article, we’ll explore why stretching is necessary, how to do it properly, and what to do if you notice wrinkles after installation.
So, let’s dive in and learn all about stretching artificial grass!
Do You Need To Stretch Artificial Grass
Artificial grass is essentially an outdoor carpet, and like any carpet, it needs to be stretched out before installation. This is because artificial grass can become wrinkled during shipping and storage, and if these wrinkles are not addressed before installation, they can become permanent.
Stretching out your artificial grass before installation will help it conform to the base material and reduce the chances of wrinkles. It’s important to lay the turf flat for a couple of hours prior to installation to allow it to adjust to the environment. If you expose wrinkled synthetic turf to UV sunlight and other harsh environmental conditions for long periods of time, it will memorize its shape and be impossible to remove.
During installation, the turf must be stretched tightly and secured to flatten any wrinkles. If you have the inner core roll that came with the roll of turf, it makes a good tool to push out all the wrinkles while nailing behind at the same time. If you are short of nails or staples to secure the turf to the base materials, you could experience large wrinkles when it gets hot.
Carpet kickers can also be used to stretch out your artificial turf if necessary. This tool originated in the carpet installation business and is used to make small changes that would otherwise impact the overall appearance of the finished installation. A carpet kicker can’t correct poorly measured or inaccurately cut grass, but it can help smooth out smaller wrinkles and expertly line up pieces of grass that are to be seamed together.
Why Stretching Artificial Grass Is Necessary
Stretching artificial grass is necessary for a few reasons. Firstly, it ensures that the turf conforms to the base material, reducing the chances of wrinkles. This is particularly important if the turf has been stored or shipped and has become wrinkled during this time. If these wrinkles are not addressed before installation, they can become permanent and ruin the overall appearance of the finished installation.
Secondly, stretching artificial grass ensures that it is secured tightly during installation. This is important because any loose or wrinkled sections of turf can create tripping hazards and cause injuries. By stretching the turf tightly and securing it with nails or staples, you can ensure that it remains flat and level.
Finally, stretching artificial grass helps to ensure that it looks great and lasts a long time. By smoothing out any wrinkles or creases, you can create a seamless and attractive installation that will be enjoyed for years to come. Additionally, by securing the turf tightly and ensuring that it conforms to the base material, you can prevent it from shifting or becoming damaged over time.
How To Properly Stretch Artificial Grass
Stretching artificial grass properly is essential for achieving a smooth and seamless installation. Here are some steps to follow:
1. Lay the turf flat: Prior to installation, lay the turf flat for a couple of hours to allow it to conform to the base material and reduce the chances of wrinkles. Make sure to avoid extreme heat and UV exposure during this process.
2. Secure one end: Start by securing one end of the artificial turf with garden staples before starting the stretching process. Space staples every 3-4 inches along the perimeter and 12-24 inches apart along the center. At seams, space them 1-2 inches apart.
3. Stretch tightly: During installation, stretch the turf tightly and secure it with nails or staples as you move across to the opposite end. Be careful not to drive the nails too deep as this can cause dips and divots. Also, avoid any blades or thatch catching under the nail heads.
4. Trim edges: Like trimming carpeting around the perimeter of a room, trim any excess edges of the turf with a sharp utility knife. Always cut from the back and leave a few extra inches on the edges so you have something to tuck under borders or against walkways.
5. Use a carpet kicker: If necessary, use a carpet kicker to stretch out your artificial turf and smooth out smaller wrinkles. This tool can help expertly line up pieces of grass that are to be seamed together.
By following these steps, you can ensure that your artificial grass is properly stretched and installed for a beautiful and long-lasting outdoor space.
What To Do If You Notice Wrinkles After Installation
If you notice wrinkles on your artificial grass after installation, don’t panic. There are a few things you can do to fix the problem and get your grass looking smooth and even again.
First, try applying heat to the affected area. You can leave your grass out in the sun for an hour or two to warm up the backing material, which should make it more pliable and easier to work with. Once it’s warmed up, stretch out the grass to flatten out the crease.
If the wrinkles are still there, try brushing the grass with a stiff-bristled push broom. Focus on the affected area and apply consistent pressure as you brush to push the ruffle down.
If the crease is near the edge of the turf, you may be able to stretch the edge until it’s straight again. Leave it for 20 minutes to settle before flipping it over and pulling the area out again.
Rolling up your artificial grass tight and leaving it for 1-2 days can also help stretch out the backing and adjust it to its original shape and form. Once you’ve done this, lay it flat again for another hour or two so it gets back its original shape. Then reinstall it.
If none of these methods work, you may need to have your installer come back and reinstall the turf properly. Wrinkles caused by improper installation can be difficult to fix without professional help.
Tips For Maintaining A Smooth And Even Artificial Grass Surface
Once your artificial grass has been installed, it’s important to maintain a smooth and even surface to prevent wrinkles and buckling over time. Here are some tips for maintaining a smooth and even artificial grass surface:
1. Nail down the perimeter: Stretch and nail down the turf along the perimeter every 2 inches using non-galvanized nails that are hidden and deep. This will help to prevent wrinkles and buckling over time.
2. Add extra stability: To add extra stability, we also recommend nailing every 2 feet throughout the turf.
3. Brush regularly: Brush the areas that start looking a little flat to keep the blades standing upright. This will help to prevent matting and keep your artificial grass looking fresh.
4. Rinse off debris: Rinse off any debris that accumulates on the surface of your artificial grass to prevent it from getting trapped in between the blades.
5. Pick up debris: Pick up any debris that falls onto your artificial grass, such as leaves or twigs, to prevent it from getting stuck in between the blades.
6. Flatten out wrinkles: If you notice any wrinkles forming in your artificial grass, use a carpet kicker or the inner core roll that came with the roll of turf to push out all the wrinkles while nailing behind at the same time.
7. Keep spare pieces: Keep any unused pieces of artificial grass that you have left over for minor repairs and patches in the future, or as a reference if you want to buy more turf in the future.
By following these tips, you can help maintain a smooth and even artificial grass surface that will look great for years to come.
The Importance Of Professional Installation For Artificial Grass
While it is possible for homeowners to install artificial grass themselves, it is highly recommended to hire a licensed professional for installation. Professional installers have the necessary tools and experience to ensure that the turf is stretched and secured properly, reducing the risk of wrinkles and buckling over time.
Professional installers use specialized tools such as stretchers and carpet kickers to ensure that the turf is stretched tightly and evenly across the entire surface. They also know how to properly seam together multiple pieces of turf, ensuring a seamless and natural-looking finish.
In addition, professional installers are knowledgeable about the different types of base materials needed for different types of applications, such as pet-friendly or high-traffic areas. They also know how to properly secure the turf to the base material using non-galvanized nails or staples, ensuring that the turf stays in place even during extreme weather conditions.
Overall, hiring a professional installer for your artificial grass installation can save you time, money, and potential headaches in the long run. They have the necessary expertise and tools to ensure that your artificial grass is installed properly and will last for years to come.