How to Install Artificial Grass By Yourself – A Step-By-Step Guide From the Experts

If you’re interested in reaping the many benefits of artificial grass, but don’t want to pay for professional installation services, then you’re in the right place.

Do-it-yourself synthetic turf installation is very do-able with the right tools, preparation, and research.

We are going to fill you in on the exact step-by-step process that our expert turf installers follow.

Here’s how to install an artificial grass lawn, pet area, or playground surface on your own.

Step 1: Gather Tools & Supplies

The first step to installing artificial grass is to gather your tools & supplies.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Tape measure
  • Marking paint
  • Spade shovel or bed edger
  • Mini skid steer
  • Dump truck
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Shovels
  • Landscape rake
  • Plate compactor
  • Gravel (or road stone) – *1.5 tons per 100 sq. ft.
  • Lime screenings (stone dust) – *.5 tons per 100 sq. ft.

Step 2: Mark & Trace Your Area

Use marker paint to outline the area & shape of your desired installation space. Be sure to stay within your maximum length and maximum width of the turf you ordered (ie: If you purchased 15×30 of turf, you will want your border to be slightly less than 15 wide and slightly less than 30 long). Trench 4 inches down, following the marked perimeter,  using the flat ‘spade’ shovel. 

Step 3: Dig & Haul Dirt

Use a mini skid steer (dingo) to scrape out 4 inches of sod and dirt—it’s okay to be slightly over or under 4 inches as long as you are right that amount around the perimeter. If a skid steer is not available, rent a sod cutter and make two passes, removing two inches of sod and dirt each pass. Remove and haul away with shovels and wheelbarrows. The excess dirt can be dumped at your local landfill, or construction/landscape companies may also take it. 

Step 4: Lay, Spread, & Compact the Gravel

Use the skid steer to fill the hole with 2 inches of the ¾ inch gravel (or road stone). After filling, spread the gravel evenly using a landscape rake. Once the area is filled and spread, use a plate compactor to compact the rock and firm the base.

Step 5: Lay, Spread, & Compact the Lime Screenings

Use the skid steer to fill the hole with two inches of lime screenings (stone dust). Spread evenly using a landscape rake. Use a plate compactor to compact the rock and firm the base. Two passes should be enough to achieve a compacted surface. After compacted, use a hose to apply a light layer of water to help harden the base. *Tip: Take your time with this step. Getting a smooth lime screenings base is one of the most important steps. You will be able to feel ridges and imperfections under the turf if it’s not completely smoothed out. Crouch down to get eye level and make sure any grade is gradual and subtle. Make sure all lumps and bumps are smoothed out. Pick out and remove all pebbles and larger rocks and use the back of the landscape rake to groom the surface.

Step 6: Cut & Lay the Turf

Roll out the turf and lay over the top of the rock base. Fold the corners back and trim the excess so that the turf is 1-2 inches longer than the border to make the turf easier to work with when trimming your border. Use a top cutter or carpet shears to cut the shape into your turf. Follow the outline of the base to use as a guide along the edge of your shears. Then, using 4 inch common nails, nail in the turf every 12 inches  around the perimeter of the green (about ½” from the edge of the turf).

Step 7: (*Pet Turf Only) Apply Antimicrobial Infill

Use a drop spreader to apply and spread the pet infill sand evenly—2 lbs per square foot. While spreading, walk at a normal pace and try to minimize excessive pooling of the sand. Make 1 pass around until all of the turf is covered with a layer, then use the Stihl power broom, or hard bristle broom, to stand the fibers up and blend the sand into the turf. Repeat the sand spreading and brooming cycle until sand is completely installed. 


Artificial grass is an excellent way to create a beautiful look year-round, with minimal maintenance.

To cut costs, you can buy the turf and install it yourself using our simple 6-step guide.

If you need turf or are looking for inspiration, check out our services pages for some inspiration or to contact us:

Artificial Grass Lawn Installation Services

Pet-Friendly Artificial Grass Installation Services

Artificial Playground Turf Installation Services