Pretty much every indoor sport facility has some form of artificial turf. There’s nothing like playing soccer or lacrosse on the real thing, but newer turf technologies make it possible to get pretty close. Last week we looked at how turf is made, but that’s only half of the story to getting fake grass that simulates the feeling of the real thing. The other half is in the installation.
You might be thinking that it’s a relatively straightforward process for laying turf, but there is an art and technique to it which means you’re best bet is to hire professional installers to create your indoor turf space.
The first step for any turf install is planning. Just like any other large project, planning is crucial. To make most efficient use of time and materials, the entire area needs to be mapped and measured. Once you have a blueprint for the area, work is ready to begin.
The next step is to prepare the surface. Synthetic turf usually replaces growing grass, so first the layer of grass needs to be cut off. The top layer of soil is then dug down a little to remove as much plant material as possible, then a weed suppressing membrane is laid down.
On top of the membrane, it’s time to build the surface back up, starting with a layer of crushed rock. The crushed rock provides a solid base that still allows water to percolate down. On top of the rock goes a layer of soil or sand which is then levelled to create a nice flat surface. Sandwiched on top then goes a shock absorbent material, important for play surfaces where players will be running—or perhaps falling.
Now we get to actually laying down the turf. It’s a simple process when the turf is laying out straight, the tricky part is when you hit an obstacle and an irregular cut is needed. This might be at a goal post, a curved wall, or maybe a line marker. Carefully cutting away the excess needs a steady, practiced hand!
Once the turf is laid out, it needs to be fastened into place using nails or spikes. It’s important to make sure the top of each nail is hidden deep within the grass.
Finally, silica sand is sprinkled directly on top of the turf then swept in to let it settle deep within the grass. You’ll never see this sand, but it acts to weigh down the turf and secure it in place.
After this, the turf is ready to be played on! Of course, soccer or football fields will still need lines painted to be ready for gameplay. The turf surface, though, should feel pretty close to the real thing. Of course, it won’t be exactly like an actual grass surface but the benefits of being able to play indoors during the winter as well as the reduced maintenance quickly outweighs the slight change. If you’d like to learn more about artificial turf surfaces in indoor sport domes, don’t hesitate to contact us to ask!