In hardscape design, few things beat the sophistication of beautiful green strips of synthetic grass between pavers. The look perfectly combines the elegance of pavers with the more natural feel of grass.
We are going to give you a complete guide on how to install synthetic grass between pavers and get this exquisite new trend at your house right now.
How to Install Synthetic Grass Between Pavers – Initial Planning
Planning is everything when it comes to combining synthetic grass and pavers. From here on, you are in one of these two situations.
Either you already have pavers installed and are wondering if you can alter things to incorporate the grass or are considering an installation from scratch, already including the grass.
In both cases you can still have the grass installed, you’re only going to have a little more trouble if you are in the first situation and didn’t plan ahead. Basically, you only need to remove a few pavers to “match” the design you want.
What this initial plan consists of is simply deciding on the visual design of your project. Do you want big strips of grass with only a few blocks of pavers in the middle? Do you want to preserve the paver design and only add thin lines of grass between them?
That is when things get complicated if you are in the first situation because there’s only so much you can alter in the design you already have. If you’re planning the entire from the start though, you won’t have this problem, as you can take the grass into consideration from the start.
So this is your first step. Get a pencil, a piece of paper and start drawing what you want. Then go outside and make some calculations so later you can start the real thing.
About Your Paver Installation…
An important detail: We are assuming here that you have correctly installed your pavers, which means you already checked for drainage and have a proper flow of water directed into a nearby drain.
Drainage is extremely important, and that needs to be accounted for from the very beginning of the installation. If you don’t have good drainage, we suggest you fix that first before continuing with the grass installation.
This article can give you some help about doing the proper drainage of your paver installation. Worst case scenario, you will have to re-do your installation to ensure proper drainage before moving on to the next step.
Step 01 – Add Sub-Base
Ok, we’re finally on the actual steps to installing the grass. Before anything, you need to add a sub-base around your pavers. The sub-base is important as it will help with the drainage and preserve your installation.
The sub-base will need to be very compact, and that can be very tricky depending on the space between pavers you’re working with. A hand compactor may not work, so you might need a brick or something similar to help you with that.
With the sub-base added and properly compacted, now is finally time to put the grass on top of it. And you can do that in two different ways that we are going to discuss in the next step.
Step 02 – Laying the Grass
Again, the technique you’re going to use depends on the space you’re working with between pavers. There are two different ways you can lay the grass: stripping or cutting around.
Stripping consists of cutting exactly the amount of grass you need in the exact shape you need and adding those stripes between the pavers.
While this method is very economical, it may make for a more “patchy” final product, with lots of uneven spaces and joints that you will need to worry about.
That is why we don’t recommend that you go for the stripping. Instead, we are going to teach you how to do it like a professional through the cutting-around technique on the next steps.
Step 03 – Roll Out the Grass
In case you don’t know, synthetic grass comes in huge rolls, really similar to a carpet. The idea of the cutting-around technique is that you simply roll a huge carpet of synthetic grass on top of your entire paver patio.
Walk slowly on top of the grass carpet as you lay it down, really pushing it to make it settle between the pavers. Let it rest for about one hour before moving on to the next step.
Step 04 – Nailing the Grass
You’re going to need a lot of metal spikes or nails for this.
In the next step, you will have to make cuts on your grass, which will make your grass move all over the place. This nailing step is required to leave the grass in place as you cut it.
Nail the grass to the ground using the spikes/nails, about 1 inch apart from each other. But be careful! These spikes are temporary, so you don’t need to nail them down all the way. Leave a part out so you can remove them later.
Alternatively, you can simply add some heavy object on the grout lines to hold the grass in place.
Step 05 – Cutting Around the Pavers
Now for the most important part. Make sure to have a really sharp blade for this part.
You’re going to cut the grass around your pavers, leaving as little space between them as possible. The secret is to feel the blade “pressing” the edge of the pavers and cutting slowly in an upwards motion.
We cannot stress enough how important this part is. This is what actually gives the right look to the design. Be very careful and patient during this part.
Step 06 – Securing the Grass
Now is time to secure the grass, and again you’re going to need nails.
Nail the grass down on the corner of each paver. This time you can nail them down all the way since those are supposed to be permanent. After that, you can remove the spikes from step 04.
Step 07 – Fixing the Joints
You probably won’t be able to cover an entire area with one single synthetic carpet. At some point, you’re going to need to deal with some joint between different carpets.
You want the joints to be as close as possible without actually being on top of each other, so prepare to do a lot of trimming. Once you got the perfect cut, you can glue them together at the bottom using tape or glue.
Step 08 – Add the Infill
And for the final to touch, you add infill alongside the entire project. The infill maintains the quality and appearance of the grass for longer, so is a step that you cannot skip. Simply slowly add infill by hand, giving the grass a little brush as you go.
Once you’re finished with that, you got yourself a beautiful paver patio surrounded by a beautiful green carpet of synthetic grass.
Sounds Like Too Much Work? Why Not Ask for Professional Help?
Installing synthetic grass between pavers can be a fun DIY project that you can do on a weekend, maybe even a day. However, when it comes to assurance that the quality of the installation will be as good as possible, nothing beats the work of a professional.
If you happen to be around the Sarasota and Manatee Counties, in Florida, you’re in luck, because the best professional can be found at S&S Pavers, a company with more than 10 years of experience when it comes to the installation and maintenance of pavers.