If your decking is beginning to look a little dull and worn out—even after spending hours cleaning and treating it, you may want to consider an alternative. The installation of artificial grass on decking is growing in popularity, as it is a cost-effective, durable, and quality option for improving the appearance of your decking.
While artificial turf on decking is great for families, couples, and virtually anyone, it is also a great option for families who have pets. Let’s learn more about putting artificial turf on decking.
Benefits of Laying Synthetic Grass on Decking
There are numerous benefits to laying artificial turf on your decking. Artificial grass can restore a deck that is damaged or discoloured. In addition, you are reducing the amount of maintenance and upkeep your decking needs, as the synthetic turf will cover the boards.
This means there will no longer be the need to repair, treat, or seal your deck. Of course, this doesn’t mean that artificial turf is completely maintenance-free, but it does only require a quick scrub and vacuuming every now and then to keep it looking great.
Things to Consider Before Laying Artificial Grass on Decking
As with most things, there are several things that you must take into consideration before simply moving forward with the installation of artificial turf on your decking.
If you fail to do this, you may find that the artificial grass must be pulled up so that the decking can be repaired or replaced. In the end, this will cost you more time, effort, and money.
Look Out for Wide Gaps
Ideally, the gaps between the boards of your deck should be less than one cm. If the gaps are larger than this, the artificial grass may eventually sag into the gaps.
This will not only be unattractive, but it could turn into a tripping hazard as well. If your decking boards are larger than one cm, it is recommended to reduce those gaps or fill them in wherever possible.
Clean the Surface of the Deck
Before installing artificial turf on the deck, you must clear all debris from the surface of the deck and clean it thoroughly. This means you must remove garden furniture, decorations, plants, tables, chairs, etc. Scrub the deck down and make sure all algae and moss are removed.
Otherwise, it will continue to grow beneath the turf and create significant issues for you and the structural stability of the decking. Make sure to reapply any kind of protective coating where needed on the deck.
If you notice any deck boards that have rotted or broken, remove and replace them before moving on.
Decking should be installed with a slight slope to allow for sufficient water drainage. Ensure this slope is still present and has not changed considerably. A significant change in the gradient can cause issues with water drainage and the turf.
Maintain Weed Membrane
A weed membrane is generally installed beneath the decking to prevent the growth of weeds through the boards. Make sure this membrane is still intact and replace it as needed. A thicker overlay can be installed on the decking before the artificial turf if needed.
How to Lay Artificial Grass on Decking
The process of laying synthetic turf on decking is relatively simple and straightforward. While you can hire a professional to lay the grass on your deck, it is also a great DIY project. Here are the steps you should take if you choose to do it on your own.
Prepare the Decking
As mentioned earlier, you must remove all debris, furniture, plants, etc. from the deck. The deck must be thoroughly cleaned to remove any moss, dirt, etc. Broken or rotted decking boards need to be replaced. Consider treating the decking if it has been some time since it has been treated.
Install the Underlay
To ensure that there is sufficient water drainage, you want to ensure there is a quality underlay installed before installing the turf.
This will also prevent the deck from being seen through the artificial grass. The underlay can be a foam shock underlay or marine plywood boards.
Lay Artificial Grass on the Decking
Once the decking has been fully prepared with proper underlayment, it is time to lay the synthetic turf on the decking. Of course, before you do this, you will need to measure the decking to determine the amount of artificial grass needed.
Once the grass has been rolled out in place, it should be left to rest for several hours.
This gives the artificial turf time to flatten out. Then the grass can be secured in place by tacking it around the perimeter. Glue and/or nails can be used for this, but it is typically recommended to use nails since the grass glue can tear some of the decking away with the turf.
Will Decking Rot Beneath Artificial Grass?
If you choose to put artificial turf on your decking, you may be curious whether the decking beneath the grass may rot. As a general rule, there is no risk of this happening.
Just make sure your decking has been installed properly and measures have been taken to protect the decking against the various elements.
How to Take Care of Artificial Grass on Decking
Once the grass has been installed, you will want to brush it occasionally with a stiff brush to help ensure the grass piles remain upright. Pay close attention to highly trafficked areas of the grass. These areas may require more frequent brushing.
Remove twigs, leaves, and other debris regularly to prevent drainage blockage. Pet waste should be removed as soon as possible, and the area should be washed down afterwards.