Tucking synthetic turf edges has become the new trend in synthetic turf installations. When done properly, tucking synthetic turf edges can give beauty to the overall appearance.

This month Ask JW will explain when to tuck and when not to tuck and the proper steps in creating a tucked edge.

When to Tuck and When Not to Tuck

Not every synthetic turf installation is a candidate for tucking the edges. Tucking the edges on high-traffic areas can cause a trip hazard and possible injury. I recommend placing the elevation of the synthetic turf surface level to the surrounding hardscape if it is a high traffic commercial application.

If the elevation of your compacted materials are too low, then tucking the synthetic turf will allow the hardscape to be higher and create a trip hazard.

Tucking Tools

I recommend using a professional carpet tucking tool. The carpet tucking tool has a smooth edge and is more forgiving and will not cut or damage the synthetic turf fibers. Chisels that have a sharp edge may cut or damage the synthetic turf.

Other chisels may work well, but you must file down the sharp edges prior to using so that you don’t damage the turf.

I f your project is larger than 5000 square feet and it seems like you have miles of edges to tuck, I recommend using a concrete stamp chisel. The longer the tucking chisel allows faster production and less wear and tear on your body. This tool can be ordered up to 12 inches wide and has a smooth aggressive edge.

Grading and Compaction

In order to create a nice rounded edge, the grading materials should be compacted higher than your normal installation. The height of your turf will determine what elevation you should go with.

If the pile height of the synthetic turf is short, then the subgrade material should be graded higher to the hardscape elevation in order for you to have the appearance of a thick natural grass edge.

When the compaction is complete and the synthetic turf is in place, curl the exterior edge of the synthetic turf and fold over into edge of hardscape.

If the edge is uneven or too high I recommend taking a claw tool or something similar and remove enough soils along the entire edge so that you can curl the exterior edge of the synthetic turf and fold over into edge of hardscape.

Securing the Tucked Edge

When the compaction is complete and the synthetic turf is in place, curl the exterior edge of the synthetic turf and fold over into edge of hardscape.

Tucking Synthetic Turf Ribbons, Small Borders & Natural Stone Sidewalks

Tucking synthetic turf ribbons, small borders and natural stone can be tricky. Since the area is small, most of the grading and compaction must be done by hand. The graded materials are usually placed higher than the walking or driving surface. I have seen contractors slope the small border or ribbon by hand creating a “mini speed bump” which looks appealing to the eye. As I mentioned above, preventing trip hazards must be acknowledged, but to achieve this look there is the possibility that the synthetic turf edge will be higher. To achieve the “pillow top” look you must explain to the client that a trip hazard may be present. Most of these installations are residential and the client would rather have a nice pillow top edge than being flat. Driveways that have synthetic turf ribbons should graded higher than normal due to heavy traffic. If the ribbons or borders are too low, heavy traffic will cause the fibers to depress leaving a sharp edge.

Placing of Infill

I recommend placing the infill either by hand or carefully placing with a dropspreader. Placing too much infill at one time will trap the fibers and leave behind an ugly edge.

Brushing of Turf

Excessive brushing and fibrillating will cause the edges to lift and extracting of the edge nails. I would take a stiff hand brush and brush the fibers vertical. If you use a power broom, use a slow RPM and be careful not to lift edges.

Remember to always take your time and don’t rush tucking synthetic turf edges. Going back to fix any problems with your installations just takes time and money out of your life.

“THERE IS NEVER ENOUGH TIME TO DO THE JOB RIGHT, BUT ALWAYS ENOUGH TIME TO DO IT OVER”

“Don’t be one of those guys”… JW

For more information regarding Tucking Synthetic Turf please contact J.W. askjw@sgwcorp.com or call 888.846.3598

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