Synthetic grass looks great all year, and it’s easy to maintain. However, you do need a top-quality installation to ensure your grass looks great.
One of the most common problems involved with installations is hiding the seams. When the seams are fitted properly, your grass has a beautiful, flowing look of a real lawn.
But if the seams are showing, or the direction of the grass blades don’t match, your grass will look fake, ruining the visual effect.
5 Pro Tips to Hide Joins in Artificial Grass
Over the years, our team has installed artificial grass in countless homes.
Today, we’re going to show you EXACTLY how to make those seams in your artificial lawn disappear!
Just follow these 5 pro tips, and the joins in your artificial lawn will become completely invisible.
1. Brush the Grass and Install a Sand Infill
When installing an artificial lawn, the infill makes a huge difference in the grass’s fitment and final visual effect.
If you don’t use an infill, the grass will absorb friction when people turn sharply on its surface.
For example, if your kids are playing with the dogs, their footsteps might tear away the lawn from the membrane. As a result, your seams will start to skew and tear, becoming more and more visible.
Some installers skip on the sand to save costs, but this is a big mistake, reducing the lawn’s service life.
A sand infill provides a stabilizing substrate, holding the grass in place. The infill helps the individual grass blades stand up, making the seams in your lawn less obvious.
Sand infills minimize the expansion and contraction of the grass and the sub base due to temperature swings. It also helps the grass follow the contours of your lawn, providing a realistic look.
After installing your artificial lawn, you’ll need to brush it from time to time to reduce matting. This encourages the grass to fluff up, hiding the joins in the lawn.
Well-maintained and brushed grass makes it easy to hide evidence of any seams showing in your lawn.
A power brush is a great choice for this job, allowing you to clean and brush your lawn in minutes.
It’s important to brush against the direction of the grass to fluff it up and prevent matting in high traffic areas. This technique is called cross-brushing.
2. Start Cutting 3 Tufts from the Edge
Artificial grass comes in rolls. Modern day designs feature tufts of grass blades arranged in long rows of stitches along the length of the roll.
Artificial grass also comes in a range of gauges, with varying distances between the tufts to provide a range of looks to suit any yard.
Here’s the mistake that many installers make in joining the artificial grass:
If you cut the edges improperly, you will end up with the “mohawk effect”. This occurs when grass blades along the edges of each piece push together, forming a line of dense grass visible on the surface.
When installing artificial grass, you must first understand what the “selvedge” are in your lawn.
This is the strip at the edge of the roll that does not have grass blades on it. The backing of your artificial grass extends past the fibers in the roll of lawn, forming the selvedge.
When installing the grass, you’ll need to trim 3 stitches past the selvedge. This is because the first three rows of grass at the edge slant outwards towards the edge, which is what creates the mohawk effect.
Also, avoid cutting into the stitches themselves, as it causes fibers to pull out in high-traffic areas. See the next section for more tips on this.
3. Make Your Cuts Properly
Have you ever heard the old saying: “Measure twice, cut once?”
It’s an important adage with your artificial lawn installation. Make sure you concentrate and cut properly, or it’s going to be an expensive mistake.
When cutting your lawn to size, make sure you cut as close as possible to the stitch, but not into it. Cutting into the stitches will result in a very visible seam.
Also, change your blades every 20-feet to prevent dull blades from going off-course.
It is also important to avoid cutting the grass blades near the seam. If you cut these fibers off, you will leave a gap without any grass, and the infill will sink into this gap, making the seam very obvious from the surface.
It also goes without saying that you should make your cuts from the underside of the grass, and not from the top down.
We highly recommend laying both pieces down and making your measurements before actually cutting them to size.
4. Match the Pile Direction on Both Sides
The “pile” refers to the height of the grass blades in your artificial lawn. This is a big factor in determining the look and function of the lawn.
For example, short piles are suitable for putting greens, while long piles feel springy and are ideal for back yard lawns.
In many cases, you may notice the pile has a tendency to lean slightly in one direction. When installing the artificial lawn, you must match the pile direction of both pieces.
By lining them up, the grass blades on each piece of artificial lawn will blend in with each other, creating a seamless effect.
On the contrary, if you line-up the pieces opposite one another, it’s going to make the joint even more pronounced.
For best results, point the pile direction towards your house. This provides the best viewing angle for most lawns, and will keep the joins hidden.
5. Secure the Joins with an Adhesive
When installing your artificial grass, you must secure the pieces, not only downwards on the membrane, but also sideways with each other.
Some fitters use nails and pins for the task, but we find that’s a bad choice. Nails and pins create dents in the lawn, and they also present an injury hazard if someone steps on a rusty nail.
In our experience, we’ve also found them to be insufficient to provide a strong, invisible join.
Instead, we recommend fixing your artificial lawn down with joining tape and adhesive. Don’t cheap out on this – Always use tape and adhesive made specifically for laying artificial grass.
It’s also important to use the right amount of glue – Too little, and your lawn may eventually peel off at the joins.
Too much, on the other hand, and the glue may start oozing through the join. If this happens, just wipe it off with some brush cleaner on a spare rag. This will stop dirt and debris from sticking to the glue and making the join ugly and unsightly.
Lastly, make sure you allow for at least 24 hours of curing time before using the lawn.