One of the most crucial steps in installing artificial grass is finding the correct edging system. And reasonably so—edging systems play a very significant role in determining the appearance of artificial grass. Read on for the importance and different types of edging systems.
What’s The Use Of Edging When Installing Artificial Grass?
Typically, installing artificial grass involves excavating your existing lawn, pouring a sub-base (should have at least 50mm of MOT Type 1), and then adding a laying course before introducing the grass. Even after leveling and compressing these two layers, they sometimes still subside due to unrestrained sides.
And that’s where edging systems come in—they restrain the aggregates that form part of the groundwork beneath the grass and prevent them from talking apart. Edging also acts as an anchoring point for the region around the artificial grass.
Here are some of the most common edging systems for artificial grass:
- Pressure-Treated Timber Edging
- Composite Plastic Edging
- Pressure-Treated Sleepers
- Steel Edging
- Concrete Gravel Boards
Types Of Edging For Artificial Grass
There are several types of edging for artificial grass. As you’ll notice, each of them has fair shares of pros and cons, and none offers a one-size-fits-all edging solution.
1. Pressure-Treated Timber Edging
Pressure-treated timber edging is the most famous edging system for artificial grass installation. That’s because timber is relatively less costly than the materials in other edging solutions. Also, wood installation is quite simple; you don’t need any sophisticated skills to cut the wood to length, requiring minimal effort and focus. For the best results, we recommend using galvanized nails approximately 100mm apart.
If necessary, you can tuck the artificial grass’ edges around the timber. Most people do this to strengthen their edges.
The other advantage of timber edging is that wood is readily available in most neighborhoods. The amount of timber you’ll use depends on the availability and the depth of the lawn’s sub-base and laying course. The deeper the foundation, the more wood you require. For instance, if you’re installing artificial grass using 25 mm of laying course and 50 mm of sub-base, 75mm x 50mm of timber will suffice. And if the lawn has a 25 mm laying course and a 75 mm sub-base, you’ll need approximately 100mm x 50mm of timber.
Above all, remember to use pressure-treated timber. The treatment enhances the timber’s longevity and hardiness to extreme moisture or temperatures. If you use untreated wood, they’ll rot within months, requiring you to make frequent replacements. For treated timber, you can expect them to stay in good shape for over ten years.
2. Composite Plastic Edging
Composite plastic edging is similar to timber edging in design installation. Both also have the same advantages and limitations.
Composite plastic edgings are pretty easy to install—all you have to do is secure them to the ground using composite plastic stakes, and you’re good to go. Their main difference with timber is that they cannot rot. Most manufacturers of composite plastic edgings offer approximately 25 years guarantee against rot. However, with proper maintenance, these edges can last a lifetime.
Their drawback is that they are expensive, approximately three to four times more costly than timber edgings. Also, unlike time, their installation requires considerable subject matter expertise and experience.
3. Pressure-Treated Sleepers
Sleepers are multifunctional edgings. They not only act as a restraint for the sub-base and laying course but also enhance your lawn’s appearance.
Pressure-treated sleepers are almost as simple to install as timber edgings. You fix them to posts or lay them on a bed. Most people secure sleepers using galvanized nails or decking crews.
If you want to create raised beds, sleepers are your best shot. You can pile them on one another to achieve whatever heights that you desire. For additional aesthetics, consider complementing them with shrubs and other attractive plants.
Most manufacturers pressure-treated sleepers to enhance longevity. If the ones you bought are untreated, treat the ends that are more vulnerable to rot. Visit your local DIY store for end-grain preservatives or advice on the best one to use.
4. Steel Edging
Are you looking for a lifelong artificial grass edging solution? If yes, then go for steel edges. Besides durability, steel can shape and curve them to match whatever you want.
However, most people avoid steel edgings because they’re very costly. If you’re considering using composite plastic edgings instead, we recommend going for the steel ones. That’s because their prices are almost the same, but steel edgings are more durable.
The best way to secure grass edges when using steel edgings is by fixing them to the perimeter using galvanized U-pins. Some manufactures make their steel edgings with tabs for adding aqua bond adhesives to secure the grass. However, this alternative is precarious and often turns out unsuccessful.
You can also use your paving’s edges as restraints for your artificial lawn. With this method, however, you cannot fix the artificial grass’ perimeter to the edging directly. So, you might need to buy galvanized U-pins to secure the loans. Alternatively, you can connect the synthetic grass to the edge using grass adhesives. However, as we said, fixing lawns using adhesives often turns out messy and is less durable.
6. Concrete Gravel Boards
If the artificial grass extends to the fence, you can use the concrete boards as an edging. The most significant drawback of this method is that it makes it challenging to replace the wall. However, if you built the fence recently or are in the process of replacing it when installing the lawn, using the concrete gravel boards is a practical alternative. That’s because both the grass and the fence will stay for at least a decade before requiring any adjustments. Again, you’ll need to use galvanized nails to secure the artificial grass.
Selecting the best edging for your artificial grass depends on several factors. The most crucial one is the budget. However, if you have enough money and are looking for a solution that’ll give you the best value for your bucks, we’d recommend composite plastic edging. It’s cost-effective, easy to install, and has a pretty impressive shelf life. If you have enough money and want a lifetime solution, use steel edgings.