The big draw of concrete gardens is that they require next to no maintenance, aside from the occasional bit of weeding. That being said, they can look slightly dull and grey. If you have a concrete garden and want to breathe some life into it but you don’t want to give up the no-effort garden lifestyle, fake turf is a great option.
We always recommend getting one of our professionals to complete the installation for you, but if you’re keen to get stuck in yourself, it’s essential you know how to lay artificial grass on tarmac to avoid damaging the turf.
Laying Artificial Grass on Tarmac vs. Existing Turf
In many ways, having a concrete base as opposed to real grass is easier. There’s far less manual labour involved in terms of preparation which saves time, effort and money.
You don’t need to hire a turf cutter, and there’s no need to factor in the cost of a skip, either. For the most part, concrete should provide you with a relatively even base.
Things to Consider Before Putting Artificial Grass Over Tarmac
Whilst tarmac is a good base, to begin with, unfortunately, it’s not quite as easy as just laying the grass over the concrete. The biggest issue you need to be prepared for is drainage. If you notice puddles of water forming on the concrete, you need to install drainage holes in those areas before you lay your turf. If you don’t, water won’t escape and will puddle on your new grass.
If your concrete has severe cracks or breaks in it, it’s best to break the concrete down and assume the course of action for installing fake grass onto existing turf. If you have minor cracks, you can level these out using a standard self-levelling compound from any DIY store and continue to follow the instructions below for laying the lawn on tarmac.
Concrete is a lot harder than natural grass. Although our artificial grass is soft and comfortable, if you were to lay it on concrete and fall on it, you would notice the difference when compared to natural grass. We offer two shock pad options which will soften the underneath of the artificial grass as well as aiding drainage, helping to preserve the lifespan of your turf and protecting you from injury.
Underlay will also even out any minor flaws in the surface of the concrete to allow your lawn to sit flush and flat.
Before You Begin
In order to create the best surface for your artificial lawn, you will need to prepare your concrete. If you have any cracks or drainage issues, these will need to be rectified first. Next, you will need to weed your concrete and put down some weed killer.
Once you have a good, even base with no puddling or cracks, you will need to clean the tarmac. If you have a jet-washer, it would be a good idea to do an intensive clean and leave it to dry. This will get rid of debris and allow the foam underlay to adhere to the concrete properly.
Measuring the amount of lawn you need is relatively easy, but knowing how much glue to order can be harder. We’d recommend using the mastic tube format glue and only spot glue the grass, this will then still allow for drainage. To work out how many tubes worth of glue you need, you will need to measure the perimeter of your lawn and double it to account for the spot glueing.
Installing the Underlay
The first thing you will need to do is to lay the shock pad. It’s easy to kay out and cut it to size/shape. Secure the different pieces of underlay together and then glue each piece down with a spot of glue if necessary.
If you don’t require drainage holes, it’s important to leave small gaps in the glue to allow the water to drain naturally.
Installing the Lawn
Laying the artificial grass follows the same process as installing the underlay. The lawn will need to be cut to size.
You will more than likely be using several sections of lawn which will mean you’ll need to join each piece together. Once the creases have fallen out, you will need to double-check that each piece of lawn is running in the same direction.
If there’s a manufacturing strip on the edge of your lawn, you’ll need to remove it. If there isn’t, cut off a stitch to remove as much backing as possible. This will aid the butting up of each piece of lawn.
You will then need to pull the edges of the lawn back to lay a strip of jointing tape down the centre, with the smooth side facing down. You can secure the tape at each end using a nail to help prevent the tape moving to make it easier.
Next, apply some glue in a zig-zag motion on top of the tape. Working from one end to the other, slowly lay the edges of both strips of turf on the tape, ensuring they meet seamlessly in the middle.
You will then need to glue the edges of the lawn. It’s important to do the joins first to create one large piece of lawn, as opposed to glueing each separate piece on to the underlay, otherwise, you’ll end up with different pieces of lawn that move differently when pressure is applied. This won’t look natural or flawless.
The Finishing Steps
When your lawn is dry, you can start to spread the sand. Apply it in sections to create an even layer. When you have an even layer, use a stiff natural bristled brush and work the sand into the lawn. Brushing it against the grain of the fibres will encourage the grass to stand upright and look more realistic.
Once the kiln has been worked into the turf, you’ve successfully installed your artificial grass over tarmac. Our lawns provide you with years of durable, low maintenance service. So once you’ve completed your installation, you don’t need to worry about doing it again any time soon.
We offer several different types of artificial lawns suitable for residential gardens, commercial settings and schools. If you’re thinking of investing in fake grass and want more information on the best type for you, or if you have any further questions about installing your artificial grass, get in touch with us.