When you install artificial grass in your garden, it isn’t essential but edging systems can make a great improvement to the overall finish of the area. Edging systems are particularly useful when installing artificial grass up to flower beds as they create a separation between the two, preventing the subbase from leaking into the flower bed and vice versa.
There are many options available when it comes to grass edging. Often, the most suitable option for your needs will depend on several variables, including your budget, the environment in which it will be installed and the use of the area. Whatever type of edging system you opt for, you must ensure that a granite or sharp sand sub-base is present, which will then be compressed and levelled making for an even surface on which to lay your new artificial grass surface.
The area in which the artificial grass is to be installed should be measured and any existing lawn cut and removed, making way for the new turf. Edging is one of the main features of the installation process, acting as a perimeter which will retain the sub-base if nothing is currently in place.
Please keep reading for lawn edging ideas and the available options here in the UK.
Pressure-Treated Timber Edging
The most commonly used type of edging for grass is pressure-treated timber, largely because it is a cost-effective solution and can easily be cut down to size and installed. A down-side to the use of timber, and why it is a cheaper option than others in this guide, is because the average life expectancy is around 10 years; the wood will rot away over time as moisture penetrates the material. It is, however, relatively simple to replace as and when needed. Another downside is that it is very difficult to create curves with timber edging meaning that for some flower bed shapes it is not possible.
In order to secure the timber edging trim into the ground, drive stakes into the earth with a rubber hammer (we advise not to use a metal-headed hammer as this can damage the timber stake). Once the stakes are secure, fix the edging with a decking screw to create a stable perimeter which will be ready for the introduction of the artificial grass sub-base.
The size of the timber you use should be equivalent to the deepness of the sub-base and laying course. For example, if your sub-base is 50mm deep and the laying course on top is 25 mm deep, the timber lawn edging boards should sit at 75mm – making a standard 3” x 2” suitable for this particular installation. You can then either fix the artificial to the timber itself or cut the artificial right up to the timber depending on your desired finish.
Composite Plastic-Lumber Edging
If you have the budget available to invest in a solution that will last longer than a timber edging, a composite plastic-lumber edging system comes with a typical life expectancy of 25 years and makes for a fantastic option. Installed in a similar way to the press-treated timber, only changing the timber stakes for composite plastic stakes, the obvious attraction is that the material will not rot due to moisture.
That being said, you can typically expect to pay around three or four times the amount for composite plastic-lumber edging as you would for the timber alternative. If the environment in which the artificial turf is to be installed is likely to see heavy traffic and raised moisture levels, the composite plastic solution will be the better solution of the two despite the increased costs involved.
As well as timber and composite plastic, steel edging solutions are also becoming more and more popular, largely because the material can be bent into whatever shape the user desires. This is our preferred choice when it comes to edgings and we use a company called EverEdge who specialise in steel finishes. We use their classic galvanised steel product which is treated with a layer of zinc to protect against weathering, allowing it to last anywhere between 25 – 50 years (when maintained correctly). This is because the layer of zinc prevents the metal from oxidising - meaning that it will not rust or weaken over time.
Artificial grass can then be installed up to and cut into the metal around and then fixed with our standard 6-inch steel pins.
Pressure-Treated Edging Sleepers
Pressure-treated edging sleepers protect against the elements, ensuring that your edging system remains in good condition for as long as possible. It is important to remember to treat cut edges to avoid weather conditions rotting away the material.
Sleepers can be used both solely as a perimeter for the sub-base, as well as doubling up as an anchor for your artificial turf; you can do this by securing the edge with decking screws or galvanised nails at a 45-degree angle. The sleepers themselves are fixed into place by laying them on the ground on a bed of concrete or fixing them to posts/stakes, whichever method you prefer is purely your choice.
Providing additional flexibility for homeowners and anyone else responsible for garden features, sleepers can be stacked on top of each other, lending itself to a raised flower bed. This is ideal if you plan on adding plants and/or shrubbery in and around your lawn.
If you would rather not have a raised edge around your artificial lawn, you can utilise the edge of an existing patio or block paving to retain the sub-base and finish your grass up to. These are perfect as you can easily cut the grass up to them and then fix using our standard 6inch steel pins.
The edging just has to be raised enough to retain the sub-base, but you can have it to whatever height you desire your lawn to be. Some people prefer the top of their grass to finish flush with paved surrounds whereas others like the artificial grass to protrude over the top slightly. With paved surrounds, it is even possible to create a lip around the edge in which you can fix the grass to using our self-adhesive glue. This does mean that you will not be able to easily rectify any folds or wrinkles in the surface once it has been laid.
We would recommend securing your artificial lawn with the use of 6-inch steel pins as opposed to bonding to your edging. When it comes to replacing either your lawn or paving in years to come, it will make the process much easier and more cost-effective.
Concrete Gravel Boards
The main reason why you might elect to use concrete gravel boards as your edging system of choice is to run your artificial lawn up to fencing in the garden. If you are planning on doing this, we would recommend doing so with a fence that has been recently installed as the installation can make replacing your fence panels tricky when it is time for a replacement.
A properly installed and well-maintained fence should have a lifespan of at least 10 years and the concrete gravel boards will make for a good solution to retaining the sub-base of your artificial lawn. Once the sub-base has been properly installed, you can then run the turf up to your fencing panels and secure it into place with 6-inch pins around the edges.
I Still Don’t Know What Type of Edging to Use
If you are still unsure as to what type of edging system (or none at all) to employ as part of your installation, then the Artificial Lawn Company team can offer their expert advice on the best method to pursue based on your wants and needs. As part of our installation service, we will ensure that your artificial lawn is secured in place and its sub-base benefits from a retaining perimeter that keeps it in place for the long-term. Our team knows how to install concrete fillet edging and as well as all other options available, ensuring the best system for your needs is used.
What Does Artificial Lawn Company Recommend?
It is difficult to recommend one edging system as the best solution, as each project has different needs and each customer wants something personal to their own ideas.
Before any recommendations could be made, we would need to ask questions such as how rigorous its use and traffic will be, the size of the installation, environment and budget, too, as these all play a key role in selecting the best system.
While timber edging offers a more cost-effective solution, other options such as galvanised steel make for a better long-term answer. Additionally, if your lawn is expected to see a large amount of traffic, you might want to consider whether raised edges are going to be safe, especially if young children are likely to be running around the area.
Laying edging stones in the garden and using grass to patio edging can keep your garden as safe as possible, even during rigorous activity. Equally, using concrete gravel boards and running the lawn right up to fencing around the perimeter of the garden makes for a safe environment.
With that in mind, we are able to provide recommendations where possible on which type of artificial grass edging will work best for your garden. Ultimately, we would recommend investing in the option which you feel will work best in your garden and/or landscape. The last thing that you want is to spend the time and money installing your new artificial grass lawn, only to realise you do not like the appearance of the edging and/or find that it is not suitable for the environment and its use.
Contact Artificial Lawn Company Today
To discuss your project with the Artificial Lawn Company team today, please get in contact with us for more information or a quotation by calling 01474 364 320 today. You can also send us a message via the contact page and we will get back to you as soon as we can.