Have you ever wondered why artificial grass is becoming so popular among homeowners?
If you ask us, it’s because artificial lawns are just so versatile. From driveways to swimming pool surrounds, artificial grass looks and feels great everywhere you go!
Our team has installed hundreds of artificial lawns in homes around the world. And one of the best uses for it is on playgrounds.
To create the perfect play area for your entire family, you might be considering setting up a swing set in your yard over artificial grass.
It’s a fantastic choice! But there are some important considerations you should make before proceeding.
Your child’s safety takes priority over everything else, and it’s important to install it properly so your kids can enjoy the swing without you having to worry about them getting hurt.
When it comes to anchoring a swing set on artificial grass, security is everything. After factoring in momentum, wind, and wear and tear, your swing set must remain stable and securely anchored to the ground.
Today, our team will show you how to securely anchor a swing set on artificial grass, so kids can play on it safely with no risks or worries.
In This Article:
Why Use Artificial Grass on Playgrounds?
No one can deny that fake grass looks amazing. It always looks well-kept and properly trimmed compared with real grass, which needs routine care and monitoring.
But the best part? It’s also one of the safest materials for playground flooring. Here’s why:
Just like natural grass, artificial grass is soft and looks great. But it also has the additional benefits of being non-slip, not getting too hot, and having good drainage.
First, artificial grass is made of inert materials and is therefore safe for the whole family, including children and even pets. It is easy to clean, prevents bugs, and doesn’t require any chemical pesticides or fertilizers.
And just like a natural lawn, it provides a soft and gentle surface for kids to play on. This is great for preventing injuries from trips and falls.
An artificial lawn provides a consistent surface for play. Properly installed, it will remain smooth and flat over the years.
And unlike the soil under natural grass, an artificial lawn will not tear out and develop bumps and holes over time. This means added safety and a smaller risk of trips and falls.
Artificial grass is also a non-slip surface. On top of this, water easily drains through its backing. This provides a dry and safe play area that stops children from slipping.
Lastly, synthetic grass has a tendency to stay cool during sunny days, whereas other common playground surfaces like concrete and rubber can become scorching hot under intense sunlight.
The best part? An artificial lawn requires very little maintenance, and if installed and treated properly, can last up to 20 years.
For all of the reasons outlined above, it is easy to see why many people are choosing artificial grass for playgrounds. A good artificial lawn can easily handle people’s weight, foot traffic, and typical playground installations, including swing sets!
In this next section, we will show EXACTLY how you can securely set up and anchor your swing set on your synthetic lawn.
How to Properly Anchor Swing Sets and Play Equipment on Artificial Grass
There can be no shortcuts when putting up playground equipment. Children and their parents, as well as other users, need to know that they can enjoy the equipment is installed properly. It should be a completely safe area – No exceptions!
Below, you will find our simple 5 step method for securing playground equipment to an artificial lawn. Follow these instructions carefully, and you’ll have a safe and secure swing set set up in no time!
Step 1: Check That the Artificial Grass is Safely Installed
The success of your swing set installation all starts with the base! A badly fitted artificial lawn will only leave you with a poorly installed swing set.
If you haven’t installed your artificial grass yet, make sure to do it properly. Take your time in preparing the ground and laying the sub-base.
Many people hire professional artificial lawn installers, while others enjoy the hands-on work of taking it on themselves.
If you already have an artificial lawn laid out, it’s wise to go over it carefully and check to see if it’s installed properly.
For starters, it is important to avoid border stakes or nails across the play area, as they can be pulled out. There is also a risk of having these stakes slowly loosen and stick out over time, posing a serious risk to children using the playground.
Instead, nail the grass only at the perimeters into the lawn edging. This is more than enough to secure the grass, and you don’t need nails in the center.
For joins, use joining tape and glue instead of nails. Also, make sure that a foam underlay or shock pad is installed underneath the grass, and opt for a long pile height grass if possible. This will provide maximum safety and protection against injuries and falls.
The last point to check regarding the lawn installation is the sub-base. Make sure the sub-base and soil were properly prepared and compacted. For playgrounds, we recommend a sub-base depth of at least 4 inches, or 100mm.
Naturally, this is easier if you’re starting from scratch and inspecting the ground before laying the grass. If you’ve already installed the grass, discuss your playground plans the contractor responsible for installing the lawn.
Step 2: Make Small Cuts into the Grass Backing
Once you are confident in the lawn installation, it’s time to prepare it for the swing set.
Before you start putting it in place, you need to first double-check the position of your swing set before proceeding.
For this, you should identify where each anchor is going to go. The anchors must be positioned right next to every leg on the swing set. Make sure to refer to the swing set instructions.
These need to be in the exact positions where the stakes/anchors are going, so they must tight, or as close as possible, to the legs of the swing set to avoid tripping.
It is important to never jam stakes or nails into the lawn directly. Doing this can damage both the backing and the sub-base. Instead, you need to make two carefully placed cuts.
Once you’ve identified and double checked the positioning of the stakes, spread the grass fibers apart. Make a small incision with a fresh, sharp blade into the backing of the grass.
A standard utility blade or box cutter is fine of this job, but make sure to change the blades regularly to maintain sharpness.
Once you’ve made the first cut, go back and make another cut perpendicular to the first one, forming a small X. This should be big enough for the stake/rebar/anchor to fit through.
Always remember to do this slowly, and keep the grass fibers spread apart to avoid damaging them. This will help hide the holes later on.
Step 3: Install The Stakes Or Anchors
Many swing sets come with anchors. These come in two categories: Concrete or ground.
For several reasons, we recommend the use of ground anchors instead of concrete.
First, the costs of using concrete anchors will end up being significantly higher. It’s a much more complex process to excavate a hole in your lawn, and having the anchors fixed in place with concrete.
Anchoring in concrete is also a messy job that leaves you with a permanent and irreversible installation. This leaves zero room for mistakes, and you won’t be able to move or rellocate the swing set after it’s installed.
Some homeowners also experience wood rotting caused by concrete. This occurs when moisture is drawn out of the wood and into the concrete. Ultimately, there is very little additional benefit to this method of anchoring.
Alternatively, ground anchors provide great stability, while being a lot easier to work with. The most basic type can be hammered into the ground, though some variations require you to twist them in.
If you are in doubt, you can opt for stronger and longer anchors. From here, simply insert the anchor into the sub-base below your artificial grass through the X you had previously cut into the backing.
Stakes need to be carefully hammered into place, while twist-in anchors have to be screwed into the ground with a power drill, wrench, or simply a long tool inserted through the screw hole.
You can stop once the eyelet of the anchor reaches the backing on your artificial grass. Once again, ensure it is butted up or as close as possible to the legs on your swing set.
After you’re satisfied with the depth of the anchors, you can brush the area gently by hand. This will help the grass blades return to its normal shape and cover up the hole nicely.
Step 4: Secure Your Slide Set to the Anchors
To secure your slide set to the anchors, you must pre-drill a pilot hole in the swing set’s leg. This must be lined up with the screw hole in the anchor. Make sure to use a drill bit of an appropriate size, according to the bolts to be used.
Following this, press the legs of the swing set against the anchor hole, and begin to thread the bolt through the anchor hole and into the pilot hole in the leg.
Do a loose install on every leg, before going back and tightening each one. This will ensure a strong and stable installation across all corners of the swing set.
Step 5: Double Check Everything
Congratulations! You’ve arrived at the end of the installation, but you’re not done yet…
Once all of the anchoring work is done, it is important to inspect everything and make sure everything is 100% safe and secure.
For starters, you want to check and test the stability of the whole swing set by hand. You can do this simply by pushing it in every direction.
If there are any wobbles, check which leg needs tightening. If it remains loose, install more anchors wherever required.
As a final check, double-check the anchors to ensure nothing is sticking out and posing a tripping or falling hazard.
Once that is done, the swing set instasllation is complete! Clear the area of any tools and unused materials, and let your kids enjoy their new playground space!
Replacing natural grass in an existing playground with artificial grass might take a bit of work, but it is well-worth all the benefits.
From its safety features to aesthetic benefits, this low-maintenance surface is a great solution for your playground flooring.
The great thing is, you are not limited to swing sets. Jungle gyms, monkey bars and slides alike can also be anchored onto an artificial lawn in the same way.
Simply follow the instructions above, and you’ll have a safe and secure playground for your kids in no time!