Unless in exceptional circumstance we recommend loose-laying artificial grass over fixing it down.
For the vast majority of applications we believe loose-laying is the professional way to install artificial grass for the following reasons:
- Artificial grass can expand and contract with heat fluctuations. Exactly how much varies from product to product but when a product is restricted from these movements it will wear excessively around fixing points
- Timber rots – especially in the ground. Fixing artificial grass to timber in the ground is definitely a bad idea. A properly installed artificial lawn could last 15 – 20 years – timber in the ground will usually last anywhere between 6 – 8 years before becoming rotten. Once rotten fixings (nails, screws etc) become free and may become hazardous to users. Fixing to timber is an old DIY method of installing artificial grass which should be avoided unless your artificial grass goals are short-term.
- ‘Ghosting’ – this is the phenomenon of the surface-level timber/composite frame (used to fix the grass to) becoming apparent through the grass over time. No matter how much compaction is applied during the installation process – if groundwork is made up to the level of a frame further compaction will occur with use and the frame eventually becomes visually apparent in the artificial grass ruining the natural aesthetic.
- Base Maintenance – we believe a base should be maintainable. Fixing to a timber or composite frame means using nails or screws which are almost impossible to find within the thatch of the grass (resulting in tearing when the base needs to be accessed). Gluing the grass to concrete or other hard surfaces means it’s game over for the grass if the base need to be accessed. Potential reasons for accessing the base include, groundwork settling, vegetative growth from bulbs or similar, tunnelling animals, drainage issues, services access and grass repairs.
But won’t it blow away?
No. Unless wind can get underneath the grass it will not blow away. Part of the installation process should include the installation of edges sufficiently high enough for the grass to butt-up to – ideally so the full depth of the grass is contained by the surrounding edge. 100m² of grass weighs circa 300kg, add to that dressing sand which should be anywhere between 2kg and 5kg /m² and you begin to see that the grass will need some strong persuasion to go anywhere.
There are always exceptions to the rule and in this case these could include:
- where a lawn is at risk from theft or being maliciously tampered with
- where a lawn is installed with open edges i.e. so wind can get under the grass
- certain sports applications