People often choose to install directly over rough pavers as an easy way to add colour or softness to their area. Artificial grass is perfect to create an area that is soft underfoot, for adults and children alike. Many consider synthetic turf a more toddler friendly play surface than concrete or pavers.
Check out these before and after photos of our 35mm Jumbuck artificial grass installed over pavers around a swimming pool. What a fantastic transformation!
Standard installation for artificial grass is onto a cracker dust substrate. Existing sand is replaced with 50-100mm of cracker dust. The cracker dust is compacted to create a firm base for the synthetic turf. The firm base stops movement from foot traffic and water erosion. Cracker dust provides a porous base for the artificial grass. Artificial grass has drainage holes punched into the backing to allow water to pass through. As the cracker dust is porous, water can drain straight through the artificial grass without the need to create an angle of runoff as you would with a hard surface such as paving or concrete.
When artificial grass is installed onto a non-porous surface such as concrete, water is unable to drain into the substrate. Instead, it will need to run off, as it would if the grass weren’t installed.
A thick landscape turf is usually quite weighty, meaning over a larger area it will somewhat hold itself in place. When installing over a hard surface, you can choose to direct stick the grass. It may be enough to glue the grass just around the perimeter and down the joins. This will stop the wind from getting underneath the grass and flipping it. It will also stop tripping at the edges of the grass. There are a few options for glue made specifically for direct sticking artificial grass to hard surfaces.
Laying synthetic turf over concrete is also a great option for a temporary installation. For example, you can install artificial grass temporarily at a rental property. Without gluing the grass down, it can be taken with you in the future and it won’t damage the existing hard surface. If the edges need to be secured temporarily, placing heavy pot plants on exposed corners should suffice. If installing over brick pavers, some of the pavers on the edge of the area could be removed so that turf pegs can be used to hold edges down.
You can still apply a layer of infill sand to the top of the grass just as in a standard installation. Artificial grass infill sand helps the blades stay standing in an upright position. It also adds weight to the grass and protects the backing from UV light. We recommend using kiln-dried silica infill sand. For more information on why we use silica sand see our blog post here.
If you intend for the grass to be reused somewhere else in the future, we recommend not applying infill sand to the synthetic turf. Infill sand will make the turf very heavy to roll up later. Without infill sand, the turf may require more frequent brushing up to look its best.
To install artificial grass into an area over pavers you may still need to cut it into the shape of the area unless you are installing it as a large outdoor mat. For a standard installation onto a cracker dust base, you are able to leave the base lower than the finished floor level. This allows the edges of the grass to be installed lower, which hides the edges and backing of the grass. Where installing over concrete, where possible you can install against a raised edge. For example, installing against a wall of the house, raised garden bed or boundary wall will hide the edge and backing of the turf.