Artificial Turf

Installation Manual


At Turf Factory Direct, we have created the following DIY guide for individuals who wish to install artificial turf.  This guide is broken down into four sections; getting started, preparation, installation, and care!  The guide may seem a bit overwhelming at first glance, but artificial turf installation can be straightforward if you follow some basic instructions!   If you have additional questions, please feel free to contact us at any time at the following email address or by phone at 1-800-496-3092.


The guide is for individuals or contractors wishing to self-install artificial turf.   Turf Factory Direct makes no representations or warranties regarding the following installation information.  The guide is to show DIY methods and the best way to install your artificial turf.  The guide is not intended for certain types of specialized turfs, and results aren’t guaranteed!

Installation Temperature

For best results, the best time to install your artificial turf is when the temperature is close to 60 degrees Fahrenheit and above.


The following list of tools may be needed during your artificial turf installation:

A shovel, hoe, wheelbarrow, sod cutter, measuring tape, spray paint or chalk line, landscape rake, plate compactor or vibratory, hand roller or plate tamp, trowel carpet cutting knives or razor knife, trimming shears, roof flashing tape, or other seaming solution, carpet kicker, and nailer boards or Pole-Barn Nails. Most local home improvement stores rent equipment, or you may wish to rent power tools to make the job easier and more efficient.


When determining the size you need, keep in mind most artificial turf comes in 15 ft widths (occasionally 12 ft widths for putting greens) and up to 200 feet in length.  To fill larger areas, synthetic turf can be seamed, but the idea is to have the least amount of seams possible.  To get the amount of square footage that you will need, multiply your length times your width at the widest point in the space you want to cover.  Let’s say you have a 30 feet wide yard at its widest point and 60 feet long—30X60=1800 sq ft.  Since most rolls come in 15 ft widths, the most efficient and best way to tackle your project is to purchase two 15 ft rolls that are 60 ft long for best results; you may want to consult with your Turf Factory Direct sales rep about the best way to layout your project.


Turf usually weighs about a ½ pound per sq ft.  To get your total weight, you should take your sq footage and divide it in half.  Using the example above, if you are receiving 1800 sq ft- divide 1800/2 = 900lbs.  Since artificial turf comes on carpet rolls, the turf will always come in 15’ widths unless otherwise specified.


Bordering is an essential aspect of the installation process because this is where your turf will line up with your other landscape to make your turf have a beautiful appearance.  Some customers/installers have used decorative rock, mulch, trek boards, nailer boards, or bender boards. The bordering aspect is totally up to the customer, so you can use your imagination and get creative.

*If you are going to install around trees, bushes, or any utilities such as light poles and air conditioning units, you must mark around these areas to account for the turf edges.  It would help if you allowed a 6” radius area uncovered around the bases of any tree, bushes, and structures.

Turf Direction:

Artificial turf is directional.  You must note the direction of the fibers on your rolls.   Once you have decided how you would like the fibers to run, you must continue to run the seamed pieces’ fibers in the same direction. If you DO NOT lay the turf fibers going in the same directional pattern, it will become an eyesore. Keeping the material in the same direction is a critical installation note to ensure your turf’s appearance is the BEST!

Ground PREP:

Measuring and Outline:

Measure the width and length of each area by using irrigation flags or landscape stakes.  Then use spray paint or chalk to mark your turf rolls.  Note the direction you had decided to lay the turf when you did your planning.

Removing Topsoil:

Utilizing a sod cutter, hoe, or shovel to cut grass, sod, or any other unwanted vegetation from your marked areas, remove sod or any additional topsoil currently in your project area.  Also, remove any large rocks or roots that are unwanted.  The typical depth of a sod cutter will need to set at 2-3 inches; however, in colder regions of the country, you may need to excavate up to 4 inches due to the need for more base material to address cold-weather ground expansion and contraction.   Your sales rep can give you advice based on your location.

Rough Grading:

With a landscape rake, rough grade your turf application areas, and then use a garden hose to water the areas lightly.  Next, compact the area with a plate compactor or a heavy drum roller.  Keep making passes over the project area until you have ensured that your compaction is acceptable.  80-90% compaction is recommended.

Weed Killer:

With the ground completely cleared, it is good to apply a week killer and a grass blocker to the area.  Additionally, some customers/installers like to use a weed barrier material.  Cut the material to fill the area.

Edging Installation:

Once the area has been cleared and the weed killer is applied, it is time to install your selected edging.  As discussed above in the Boarding section,

Base Type:

The purpose of the base material is to provide drainage.  The base allows the turf to drain up to 30 inches of water per hour in most cases. In most artificial turf installations, the best base to use is a ¾” down to a ¼” crushed drain rock.  These rocks can be found at your local rock yards and may have several names.  You do not want to use a well-rounded rock like most pea gravels, as they will not compact well.  Some common names for the base rock material are crushed stone, breeze rock, chat decomposed granite (DG), crusher fine gravel, Class 2 Aggregate, or Class 2 Roadbase.

Tip: Homeowners and pet facilities have experienced faster and better drainage of dog urine to reduce odor with a ¾” rock.

Base Depth:

Sub-base heights may vary from climate to climate and from project to project.   A 4” base is the standard recommended base; however, in some arid climates, the sub-base may be as low as 2”.  In colder climates, a deeper base of 4” will most likely be needed to aid in the ground’s expansion and contraction due to freezing weather.

Base Application:

As a general rule of thumb, 1 TON (2,000 LBS) of rock base will cover approximately 100 sq ft. of artificial turf a 2” sub-base.  If you need a 4” base, you need 4000 LBS.  Spread the sub-base material around your project area evenly as possible. You may want to use the back of a bow rake or similar tool.


Using a sod roller or plate compactor, you will lightly compact the sub-base up to 90%.  The goal is to have the sub-base as smooth as possible yet solid when walking on.  You may have to wet the area to get the best compaction.  You will need to compact the areas to meet your needs. If you have an area with depression, you will add a small amount of screening or stone dust material until the compacted level.   You should compact the area and fill any depressions in the sub base as best you can to give the best appearance one the turf is applied.  Keep in mind; you may have to repeat this process several times to get the best results; however, it doesn’t have to be perfect for your turf to look great!

Turf Installation:

Now that you have prepared the area, you are ready to install!!  Roll the turf over a clean, flat surface.  If you have an additional piece of turf to install or a seam to make, make sure the turf fibers are going in the same direction!

You must allow the turf to acclimate for 24 hours after unrolling the turf.   This process must be done to ensure the product will not wrinkle after being installed.  

Once relaxed, lay your turf accordingly and for areas that will have seams, cut off the un-tufted edge or one roll, and lay it to the base in your intended direction. Then lay your next artificial turf roll adjacent to the first one and overlap one edge of the adjoining roll on top of the first synthetic roll with the trimmed edge.

Turf Cutting:

Whether it is a winding path or an existing new or old border, the artificial turf can be custom cut to fit your yard.  You will need a carpet cutting knife or a razor knife.  Most contractors mark the back of the turf with a marker pen or chalk line, where they plan to make their cut.  Once accomplished, you can roll the turf back and custom cut the turf with your carpet knife.  With the overlapping area, trim the overlapped roll to match the first roll that you trimmed.  Your cuts should leave the two pieces as close as possible without actually touching.  Then, you can trim the turf to match your edges around the borders.

Turf Seaming:

For those artificial grass projects requiring seaming, this can be a very crucial part of the installation.   Remember to trim the un-tufted edge off once of your rolls.  By now, your base will be complete, and your turf should be rolled out onto the base.   Now, mark the areas where your seam will be with chalk.  Place the seam tape down on chalk lines where you will have the seams.  Nail in two of the 6” galvanized nails at the end of the seam tape to hold it in place.  Next, you will prepare the turf by cutting both edges of the rolls to be seamed.  One TFD Glue Kit will cover 30′ of seams shown here:  Roll out seam tape the whole length of the seam and apply adhesive. Apply edges of each turf roll edges, lying in the same direction. Hint – Do not overlap the grass or leave a gap; otherwise, the joins will be visible. Add weight down the length of the seam or use a heavy roller. The drying time for adhesives will vary

*Tip*using 6” 60D galvanized nails!  Other acceptable options are landscape spikes or sod staples.

Finishing Touches:

Using a leaf blower, broom, or plastic rake, you can quickly clean up the area, and this also helps agitate the blades of artificial grass, helping the stand up better.

Infill Optional:  Discuss this with your sales representative.

This manual is intended for Infill with Artificial Turfs.

Brush or comb the turf with your desired tool such as a push broom, backside of rake, or carpet comb. Apply the infill EVENLY EVERYWHERE, one layer at a time, using either a drop spreader or a broadcasting spreader. Take your time and pay attention to how much area you are covering with one or two sandbags. You should walk at a CONSISTENT speed and adjust speed depending on how fast the sand is falling out of your spreader. You can hand spread these areas for hard to reach or small areas such as corners or against walls where a spreader cannot reach. Brush or comb again; repeat these two steps until you are out of sand/rubber bags or have reached your desired level of infill.

If any uneven areas of infill that the broom or comb cannot fix, quickly use a leaf blower about 3 inches from this area, and the infill will soon disperse. Feel free to level out any other areas, especially corners and walls, with the blower also. Once you are happy with your infill and brushing, generously hose the entire project area down evenly. Consider this the last self-leveling step. You will be able to manipulate the infill once it’s dry again, which may take a few days.

Tip, :(1-2 Pounds per sq ft) to help weigh the turf down and help keep the turf from matting down from high traffic areas. After turf material installation is complete and glue/seams are set, make sure the sand/rubber you buy is dry and that your turf is dry when applying the sand/rubber.

WARNING: DO NOT INFILL while the infill material or artificial turf is wet; wait for ideal dry conditions. The infill will NOT clump up on you while trying to complete the project.


Secure the perimeter with your 6” inch galvanized nails every 6-10 inches around the edges is one option, but there are a few other options as well. To secure turf in curved areas, you would typically excavate a narrow trench around the perimeter so that you can then bury the edges of the artificial grass. Then you can backfill it with the base material, decorative rock, mulch, straw, or other product.

You can use Nailer Board when you are installing next to asphalt or concrete. Use concrete nails to secure the Nailer Board, and then the artificial grass can be nailed to the Nailer Board using a nail.

Finishing Touches:

Using a leaf blower, broom, or plastic rake, you can quickly clean up the area, and this also helps agitate the blades of artificial grass, helping the stand up better.

Turf Care:

Although artificial grass is virtually maintenance-free, you will need to care for your lawn in the following ways to help maximize the life span or your artificial lawn:

Typically, you will use a push broom if you do not have a rake or blower to care for your artificial turf. It would be best if you blew off or rake your grass once per month to maximize its look (OR AS NEEDED), but this isn’t’ required for all projects. Once every three months, the artificial grass should be brushed with a push broom against the grain to help eliminate any debris and dust and stabilize the fibers.

Water can be used to spray and clean up after any spills. You may also try a mild detergent.  This also works well with pet odors.  Additionally, in areas where the temperature is over 100 degrees, water should cool off the grass for children if the grass gets too hot. However, the shade areas of the turf will always be cool enough for play.