Do you have an old concrete yard surface and you’re wondering can you lay artificial grass on slabs? Or maybe you would like to do artificial turf over a concrete patio so it will be more pleasant to walk on bare feet or for your pets.
It is quite possible to do it, but there are some things to take into consideration. Here we will go through how to do it on even and uneven ground and take a look at some of the important points.
This way you will have an easier time putting artificial grass on concrete and also you won’t potentially damage the concrete under it.
“How is that possible?” you might ask, it’s just little something over the slab. Every time you place something over concrete that is not a waterproof coating, you will be creating something that holds the moisture in for a longer time and also all the dirt with it.
With enough time there will be moss and mold growing in there and the surface of the concrete might start spalling if the rebar starts to rust under it. You never know how deep the rebar is until it starts corroding. If you didn’t pour it yourself.
Artificial turf on concrete
So water is something we want to take into consideration here. Before putting fake grass on concrete, we need to take care of the drainage problem.
Usually, when concrete slabs are poured, they have sloped away from the buildings so the water will drain to proper drainages. When you place artificial grass on it without taking care of proper drainage, the water can’t travel easily and it will create a moist and good surface for mold and such to grow.
You can also imagine that it won’t be that pleasant if it stays wet for long periods of time after rain.
There are few ways to solve it. One is using something like drainage tiles for artificial grass and then there is always good old sand which will help to make it a little softer to step on as well. Sand will just slowly drift away with water.
There are also foam underlays for concrete and other hard surfaces that can make the user experience much better. If you want your artificial grass to be better for the kids, that could be one way to go.
If you search for underlays make sure it’s one that helps the water drainage as well. If it absorbs water, it will just make trouble like described before.
Installing artificial grass on concrete
Let us take a closer look at how to install astro turf on concrete while we’re at it.
Step 1: At the beginning, you need to be sure of what happens to the water. If you have proper drainage and water travels to the correct place don’t worry about this.
If you have puddles on your concrete and cracks, you might want to fix them. Some guides tell you to use a self-leveling compound and that is a good choice if you have flat level ground.
Those who have high slopes or greater uneven spots should use a firmer leveling compound that can be used for screeding the surface level. You would mix the compound, pour it in the slow spot, and level it with the rest of the ground with a long straight piece of wood or long trowel.
After that, you float the edges so it will be perfectly level with the rest of the concrete.
Step 2: Now it’s time for the drainage if you wish so. Personally, I’d invest in this as there might be multiple sorts of problems without and it’s also nice to use when it’s a bit softer surface if you decide to use sand or foam underlay.
If you just drill holes, remember to do them big enough. You can also drill when the grass is in place if you see unwanted water puddles.
Step 3: Install artificial grass foam underlay. If you have ever installed laminate, this is almost the same as the installation of foam under it.
First, you roll it out. Second, you will cut it when it reaches the end of the concrete slab from the other end. Third, you lay another piece next to the first one and tape them together with masking tape.
Fourth would be the artificial grass glue for concrete. This is where you need to choose again depending on the situation. If you have drainage holes in your concrete, you don’t need to leave routes for the water to escape.
If you don’t make drainage holes, use the glue-like the manufacturer info says. Just be careful not the make glue walls that won’t let the water go through proper routes.
You can also leave gaps in glue to let the water escape. Just look at what direction the water should go when you plan it.
On a well-sloped ground, I’d just do an even a layer of glue that the manufacturer info says for the underlay. Also, glues come in many forms, read how to use the one you buy so it will be as strong as possible.
Step 4: After artificial grass underlay is in place if you chose to use it or sand, it’s time for laying artificial grass on concrete.
It’s the same kind of roll it and cut it job as laying the underlay before. You need to cut pieces side by side and if you have joints, trim 3 stitches from the edge to make the joints invisible.
You need to do all of this without gluing anything to avoid mistakes. Imagine gluing the grass on the ground, but you failed to do the joint. It will just get messy.
After the pieces are cut, use artificial grass tape to get the joints together. If you try to glue them, it’s quite possible that the pieces will move and the joints will be ruined.
Step 5: Now that you have your artificial grass cut and joints attached and the whole concrete is covered, it’s time to glue it.
You need to read the manufacturer info again. How much glue do you need to use and how long until it can be walked on are the main questions.
After you’re clear with the info, proceed to spread it on the whole underlay. If you have ever installed floor carpet with glue, this would be familiar for you.
You can first lift the other half, spread the glue there, and place the artificial grass over it. Then you can pull the other half on top of the glued one and spread the glue on the last half and place the grass on top of it when done.
You need to be careful not to get glue on your shoes and if you’re worried about walking on the glued grass, use cardboard or something else like it on top of it.
Like that, when you twist your shoes or something else like that, it won’t be directed on the grass. It’s how we walk on new epoxy grounds and ceramic tiles when we have to work on the room after they are freshly done.
Real turf on concrete
Can you put real turf over concrete if you can put an artificial one on it? The answer would be no as the ground is solid, unlike the regular soil.
It won’t have any drainage for the water and you would end up working a lot on the concrete. It might be just easier to remove the slab and fill it with soil to grow grass on.
You might be thinking of drilling the concrete full of holes for the drainage, but the concrete might be a former slab after that. The holes will be a route for water, but it will also make the concrete weak overtime when the rebar is rusting.
How to lay artificial grass on uneven ground
As you can see, fitting artificial grass on concrete is a multi-step process. I would not really install it on uneven ground, but make the ground even first.
The main reason is that if you try to place a square piece of grass on uneven ground, it will be harder and harder to make the piece of grass settle well the more uneven it is. There will be some ugly spots that can be seen with the eye, etc.
I think the cheapest way to lay artificial grass is to level those uneven spots with proper cement-based compounds and let them cure. After that, if you don’t want to pay that much, install the artificial grass on top of it.
I hope you got a proper answer for can you lay artificial grass on top of concrete. It can be done and it can even be a nice addition if your concrete has seen better days or you just want something nice for kids.
You can even use artificial grass on concrete for dogs, but the foam might be a bad idea then. You can probably guess the reason as well, urine and feces might cause an unpleasant smell.
The softer grass will still provide something nicer for pets to walk on. Just keep in mind that there might be things like grass density and height that can make a difference for the pets.