Are you looking to improve your deck’s appearance? Is your decking starting to look a little worn?
In any case, laying artificial grass on decking has become a hot new home improvement trend. And it’s not hard to see why!
Having a deck is a luxury. It’s a lovely place to sit down, relax and enjoy the sun.
But it’s even better to walk outside barefoot and feel the grass on your soles, and turn your deck into a green space that stays beautiful all year round! With artificial grass, this is easy to do.
Artificial grass can be quickly installed on most surfaces and requires little brushing to keep the pile standing upright. It’s perfect for families that may not have the time to keep a grass garden properly.
And of course, it can be used as an affordable solution to renew decking, and to bring your home back to life!
Today, our team is going to show you exactly how to install artificial grass on decking.
Follow these easy instructions, and you will be able to lay artificial grass on your deck and completely renovate your area in no time!
In This Article:
Why Should You Lay Artificial Grass on Your Deck?
If your decking is stained or discolored, one of the best ways to repair it is simply to cover it with artificial grass. Here’s why:
Once you install it on your deck, you reduce the need to fix, treat, and seal your deck forever. Your new grass can protect your deck, and only needs a quick sweep every week to remove any moss or dirt. This is perfect for families or animal owners!
Moreover, you can upgrade and lighten up your outdoor space with some artificial grass. Your home will suddenly look more stylish and modern, standing out from all your neighbors.
Whether it’s your balcony or a patio, artificial grass can solve all your decking problems and bring life to your home once again!
Step 1: Prepare And Clean The Decking
When installing artificial grass on decking, it’s important to start with a clean surface.
Start by removing all items from the surface, such as chairs, tables and potted plants that may have been sitting on your decking over the years.
Following this, scrub your deck clean with a stiff poly broom and soap water, to remove any dirt and moss. At this stage, you should reapply surface coating wherever it’s needed.
Make sure to let your decking dry out before moving to the next phase fully. If you notice any damaged or rotted deck boards at this degree, it is best to remove and replace them before proceeding.
Finally, double check the gradient on your deck. If your deck was built properly, there should be a slight slope away from your house of about ¼ to ⅛ inches per foot of decking.
This slight slope helps water run off the deck, and is important for preventing trapped water underneath the artificial grass.
Step 2: Maintain The Weed Membrane
It’s worth it to take a bit of time and check the weed membrane underneath your decking.
This is a layer of fabric designed to stop weeds from growing up from the soil and through the gaps in your deck.
You can check its condition either by shining a light through the gaps in between the decking, or lifting up a plank or two to get a better view underneath.
If you find the weed membrane is broken or missing, consider replacing it before proceeding with the next step. This little bit of extra work is going to save you a lot of trouble in the future!
Step 3: Install An Underlay
One of the most important element of laying artificial grass on decking is installing a foam underlay.
This layer will give the grass extra cushioning, offer a soft and spongy feel to the lawn, and protect against unexpected falls.
A foam underlay is especially important for families or anyone planning to let children play on the deck.
It is great for smoothing out any minor unevenness, and can serve as a weed blocker to limit weeds from growing through the backing of your artificial grass.
The foam underlay has a number of benefits:
- It serves as a shock pad, which offers a softer underfoot feel to the lawn, just like real grass. Putting artificial grass directly on decking would make the surface feel hard and unrealistic.
- In case you slip or fall, it helps to avoid injury.
- Laying a foam underlay can help to cover the gaps and irregular ridges in the existing boards, ensuring the end result is smooth and flat.
- A high-quality underlay, which will allow water to drain away freely through the gaps in the decking boards.
You may want to consider filling the gaps between decking planks, too. With larger gaps, your artificial grass might being to sink into the cracks, even with a foam underlay.
If this is the case, we recommend covering the entire decking surface with plywood, with plenty of holes drilled to allow for drainage.
Step 4: Lay The Artificial Grass
Before you make the final installation, you need to measure the size of the area you plan to cover before you install your artificial grass over your decking.
Doing so will help you plan your cuts and joins. It is wise to order a little more grass than needed, and then trim off the extra.
Start by unpackaging and rolling out your synthetic grass on a flat surface outdoors. Make sure the grass is perfectly level and allow it to settle for at least 24 hours. It is important to let the grass settle and return to its original shape before proceeding.
After this, lay and arrange your artificial grass on your decking. Plan out any joins you need to make, and double check everything before fixing it in place…
Step 5: Fix And Secure The Grass
When it comes to attaching artificial grass on decking, some people opt to use glue. However, we strongly recommend against this, as it almost always results in poor drainage.
Instead, we recommend nailing/stapling the grass around the perimeter of the deck. This will ensure a free flow of water underneath the backing of the artificial grass.
When it comes to joining artificial grass panels together, you can either use nails or joining tape and adhesive. While the adhesive method will result in a stronger, more stable bond, nails and U-pins will ensure good drainage.
Whichever method you use, make sure you line everything up carefully and prepare your joins properly before securing them down.
After you take care of your joins, you can finally attach your grass at the edges of your deck. Trim the grass down along the perimeter, then use galvanized nails or spike and drive them into the deck planks with a hammer or a nail gun.
Step 6: Brush And Maintain The Grass
Now that you’ve installed artificial grass on decking, you only need to clean it occasionally to keep the grass fluffy and remove any debris.
We highly recommend installing an infill. This will help the grass fibers stand up, and keep your artificial grass strong and durable.
When maintaining your new deck, pay attention to areas that experience heavy or regular foot traffic. Make sure to eliminate debris and leaf litter, so drainage is not obstructed.
Also, remove any animal waste as soon as possible, cleaning down the area with water where appropriate.
Following these easy maintenance tips, you can keep your new deck looking top-notch for many years!
Common Problems with Artificial Grass on Decking
Though the installation process is relatively straightforward, there are a few common mistakes that can occur when laying artificial grass on your deck.
Here are a few things you should look out for and avoid:
Even the smallest stone can stick out like a sore thumb on a beautiful smooth lawn! So take the time to prepare your base, eliminate potential hazards, and make sure the surface is completely flat and level.
Additionally, decking with large gaps in between the planks may lead to bumps and sags in your artificial grass. In such cases, we recommend covering your entire deck with plywood to ensure a flat surface.
To further ensure a smooth, flat surface, choose an artificial grass with a pile height of 30mm or more, and make sure to install an underlay before laying down the grass.
Poor drainage can lead to pools and puddles forming on your artificial grass. But this can be easily prevented during installation.
As we’ve mentioned above, check the gradient of your decking before installing the artificial grass. Also, make sure to drill holes in your plywood if you choose to lay it down under the grass.
Lastly, make sure to choose a high-quality artificial grass underlay. These usually come with drainage holes, and will allow water to drain freely without being trapped.
This may go without saying, but you can be surprised at the number of people who forget to secure the edges of their artificial grass properly.
If you fail to do so, the edges of your lawn can fray and curl, which can cause several problems. Not only should this look unattractive and cause people to trip, but water and debris can get under the lawn and cause serious damage.
Use the proper galvanized nails for this job, and space the nails 6 inches apart. Make your way around the perimeter of the grass, and do this patiently and carefully!
Ideas for Decorating Your Artificial Grass Decking
No matter how realistic or high-quality your artificial grass is, your deck will look odd if you just leave it bare.
That’s why it’s always a great idea to decorate it, and use it as a normal deck. Now that the installation is complete, it’s time to move the lawn furniture back.
We recommend adding potted plants and earthen pots. These will brighten up your deck, while helping the artificial grass blend in.
To enhance the area, add stools, cushions, tables and folding chairs so you and your friends can enjoy a moment of peace on your balcony whenever you want. Recycling used wooden pallets can also be a great idea for making an inexpensive sofa. Simply add a few enhancements, and what used to be a generic deck is now a gorgeous green space.
Let’s face it. Decking gets old after a while. But by simply laying down artificial grass, you will instantly turn your balcony or patio around, and end up with a sleek and modern looking outdoor space.
Just follow the simple steps above, and you’ll have a brand new deck in no time that every neighbor is going to be jealous of!