A number of homeowners are opting for artificial turf that does not need to be watered or mowed. However, the ideal artificial lawn is more than just laying the turf. Underlay, the right foundation. Here, I will guide you through the vital steps you need to follow while selecting the best underlay for your synthetic grass.
What’s Under Your Turf Mat Matters
Therefore, you are ready to make your outdoor space into a beautiful artificial paradise. But what lies beneath that green beauty? The material of your underlay will either make or break the durability and performance of your synthetic turf.
Foam, Rubber, or Geotextile Fabric?
The first step in making the correct underlay selection is deciding on the appropriate material. There are several options from which you can choose, each with its own set of strengths.
The Soft Landing
Let’s start with foam. It’s like the soft mattress underneath your grass. Foam underlay is extremely soft; thus, it is loved by families, friends, and even pets. However, is it good for your yard? That depends on what you like, however.
Foam underlays may not be a perfect choice for regions which experience heavy rainfall or drainage problems. The grass may hold on to moisture that could be responsible for mold and nobody would want moldy grass.
However, foam underlays can have some advantages. They form to a plush soft surface which is good underfoot, therefore are very good for areas to children play or just any relaxing place in the outside.
Bounce into the Fun
Rubber underlays are like shoes for your turf. They provide great cushioning and is good choice for where kids play or for resting in the sunshine. However, a “but” there always is, rubber can turn very hot under the sun in hot environments.
The last thing you would like is to walk upon your artificial turf in a hot region on a sunny day and feel like you are walking on a burning griddle. Rubber can absorb heat and keep it, so it could not be the best option for such conditions.
However, if you are living in a cold climate, rubber underlays could be an excellent option. Such cushions have the extra bounce that one needs for play areas. In addition to that, they do not get wet and turn into the soggy mess.
The Versatile Choice
Moving onto geotextile fabric. It’s like an underlay chameleon. This is the best choice for places with high rainfall or for extra stability. It has good drainage and is long lasting. Therefore it’s the perfect all-rounder. Go for the safe bet and have it buddy with you, the geotextile fabric.
Geotextile fabric underlays are flexible and perform well in various climatic conditions. They provide dependable drainage which is an essential consideration in order to prevent water accumulation and prolong your synthetic grass life. Your best friend can be geotextile fabric in places with rain as regular as a houseguest. It will not be a sponge-like material to hold onto water, and it will not get extremely hot or cold in extreme temperatures.
This underlay is also sturdy. The artificial grass must be stable. For that it must be able to pass the test of time to survive both summer barbecues and winter snowmen.
Keeping It Dry and Fresh
We can’t stress this enough: drainage is crucial! Picture yourself walking on your synthetic grass on the day following a rain shower and feeling like you are treading on a water bed. Not fun, right? Water buildup can lead to mold and therefore proper drainage is needed.
Therefore, when selecting the underlay ensure that it is well drained. It’s important for your turf to dry up quickly after a downpour and waterlogged grass is something you definitely don’t want.
What makes a good underlay, though? The material and the design is all. As earlier discussed, geotextile fabric has excellent drainage capacity. It has permeable features that allow water to flow through. This is especially crucial if you live in wet weather areas where rain can become a regular visitor.
The open cell structure of the underlays also helps in drainage. The spaces between grasses allow water to pass through and therefore there will be no puddles or soggy patches. However, it is important to install it in the right manner and allow a slight slope on your lawn for efficient drainage.
However, foam underlays are brilliant in many ways but the worst champions of drainage. In particular, this will hold water, especially if the slope at your lawn is not ideal. So, if you are living in a rainy climate, the foam may not be the right underlay for you.
Soft as a Pillow or Firm as a Mattress?
How firm or soft do you want to grow your lawn? The thickness and density of the underlay are essential to the feel of your artificial grass underfoot.
No one would deny the attractiveness of a verdant soft plush carper lawn that you could walk on in a cloud. Therefore, you might prefer a more robust and spongier underlay material. It is equivalent to having the softest rug in your garden.
Having a thicker underlay can really enhance the comfort of your artificial lawn. It is ideal for establishing a place where you can take off the shoes off and have the feet sunk into the soft grass. Consider it as your private garden.
However, if you like a solid surface, say for yoga or a backyard barbeque, a thick subfloor would certainly be the answer. It’s all about finding the right compromise for your purpose. Though the surface is not as “pillow-like” as the thicker underlays, it creates a solid support base for several activities.
Another fact to consider in this regard is that there is the issue of density with which your underlay can also be a crucial factor. Thicker underlays are more supportive and ensure that the turf does not settle into bumps and keeps your lawn looking uniformly green.
Do you enjoy pulling stubborn weeds? I know I don’t. Some underlays become useful through the installation of a weed barrier. This is an important aspect since you would not want those sneaky intruders to penetrate through your artificial turf.
Remember, the best turf in the country can be destroyed by weeds uprising from below. The weed barriers are your lawn’s security guards. They only leave your lovely green grass standing tall and keep the ugly weeds away.
Usually weed barriers are made of a strong, non-porous material that doesn’t let weeds through. They serve as a physical barrier so you will not spend your weekends pulling out unwanted visitors from your lawn. It’s just like erecting a “No Trespassing” barrier for your territory.
Installation Guidelines: Nailing It Right
After making the right decision on your underlay, it is essential to start the dirty work. One might assume, “How difficult can it be”? Surprisingly, it is not that easy. It is also important to ensure proper installation.
- Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines exactly. This can be by making the ground ready, leveling it up, as well as using adhesive or fixing pins. And above all, do not scrimp on the details. It’s like baking a cake; you make a mistake and you won’t have a sweet outcome.
- Begin with the ground preparation. It is the foundation to the foundation. Take out any turf, stones or debris. A clean, smooth surface is what you would like to have. To further prevent undesired growth, a good-quality weed membrane should also be applied.
- Now build a gradual slope for effective drainage. This helps to prevent rain from forming puddles on your artificial lawn by allowing the water to flow away. Would you like your grass to transform into a mini swimming pool?
- Ensure that the underlay is placed evenly and smoothly. All your artificial turf will not hide any bumps and lumps that will still be seen and they will definitely not give you a pleasant view. Glue the underlay, preventing it from creases or wrinkles, which in turn will prevent the adhesive to penetrate inwards the carpet backing.
Ensure you fix the underlay’s weed barrier, if it is included. Having this extra layer of protection may save you a lot of headache in the future.
- Finally, lay down the artificial turf, and make sure to put a fence around the edges. The key to a perfectly even finish is to cut your turf carefully. Clean and well-measured cut is like trimming a hedge.
Consider Professional Installation
Professional installation is a good choice for those who seek the best results and do not want to leave anything to chance. These are experienced experts that know all about the underlay selection and installation of synthetic grass.
They understand what the best underlay for your area is, how to make sure the drainage is flawless and that the weeds don’t get out of hand. It feels like having a professional chef cook for you outside your backyard.
This is why professional installers are equipped with appropriate tools and equipment, expertise and skills to work efficiently. They can ensure that every aspect of your artificial turf, right from underlay to the turf itself, is perfect.
In addition, they are cheaper than a self-installation and could save you time and energy. With a flick of your finger, you can turn on your dream lawn that will not require you to break a sweat because you will be sitting back and relaxing as it happens.
The selection of the underlay for your synthetic grass is not only a visual question, it’s about having a durable, low maintenance and comfortable outdoor area. These elements, including material selection, drainage, cushioning, weed prevention, and installation, are crucial in turning your dream of having artificial grass into a reality.
So, when you’re shopping for underlay, ask yourself: How do I want my lawn to look? What’s the weather like in my region? Do I have the guts to fight weeds? Should I undertake the installation myself or call in the professionals?”
With these thoughts in mind, you’re well into creating the ideal year-round outdoor heaven that you, your family, will all cherish forever. No more mowing and weeding, just the beauty of fake grass as it should be.
Getting the smart underlay is just one step away to getting the ideal lawn. Happy turfing!