Deciding which type of artificial grass adhesive to use can be tough, especially if you don’t know the benefits or drawbacks of each. They all have their own strengths and weaknesses that make them better for certain types of jobs. Here is a quick rundown on the three main varieties: single-part glue, two-part glue and jointing tape.
What is artificial grass adhesive?
Artificial grass adhesive is a substance that connects artificial grass to the ground, a frame or to other artificial grass via jointing. Its is used in places where nails or other solutions are not possible or would be less effective.
Types of artificial grass adhesive
Single part adhesive
- Setting time: 8 hours
- Ease of use: Moderate
- Strength: Medium
- Cost: Low
- Best for: Small to medium sized jobs and jointing two pieces of artificial grass
Single part adhesives come in 310ml tubes and are especially useful for smaller projects. The glue is applied between the artificial grass and jointing tape, which will then stick together to create a strong bond. This glue can also be used to join artificial grass to other surfaces such as paving or decking.
Single part artificial grass adhesive does not require any mixing. Once opened, you’ll typically get around 30 minutes (depending on the temperature) before it becomes too stiff for use. Each tube can cover roughly 4 linear meters of jointing tape so make sure to buy enough.
Its applied using a sealant applicator gun which is a hand held device which pushes out the adhesive at a steady rate. For small jobs a good quality manually operated gun will work well. For larger jobs or if you do this for a living then you will want the battery operated version.
Two part adhesive
- Setting time: 4 – 12 hours
- Ease of use: Hard
- Strength: High
- Cost: Low (for large areas)
- Best for: Large areas and sticking artificial grass to other surfaces such as concrete
Two part adhesives come in 5kg or 10kg tubs and are perfect for larger projects. They come in two separate tubs, one containing the glue and the other containing the activator or hardener.
There are two parts to artificial grass adhesive; the first is polyurethane and second, a hardener made from liquid isocyanate.
It’s necessary to mix these two parts before use – mixing directions can usually be found on the tub.
The variety of Two-part adhesives available makes it easy to find a solution for any project. For example, Multi-Purpose is perfect when you need general adhesive; Ultra Fix works best in sports fields with low temperatures and damp conditions; Wet fix should be considered if working in cold or wet climates while Flexibond can withstand the wear and tear from high traffic areas such as parks.
Most two part adhesives work well in almost all weather conditions. With no problems in wet or cold environments.
Application can be a little more tricky than other types of adhesive for a few reasons. First it needs measuring and mixing (unless you are using it all). This can be tricky and will require some measuring containers and another mixing containers.
To mix effectively a paddle mixed will ensure an even quick mix. Here is our recommendation for easy to use paddle mixers.
Secondly, any two part adhesive mixed will have to be used quickly. If it is not used for the application right away, then you’ll have to mix another batch and start again.
Finally, it can get everywhere and ruin brushes and clothes.
Pre-glued Jointing tape (self sticking)
- Setting time: Instant
- Ease of use: Easy
- Strength: Low
- Cost: Low
- Best for: Low foot traffic areas, repairs and smaller patches of artificial grass.
Pre-Glued Jointing tape is a type of artificial grass adhesive which comes in rolls and has been specifically designed to be used with polypropylene (PP) turf systems. The glue on this particular type of artificial grass adhesive can set within just one minute, making it quick and easy to apply.
This type of artificial grass adhesive is perfect for smaller projects or if you’re looking to cover a small area very quickly or create discrete joint without any hassle. We frequently use jointing tape for smaller joints.
The downside to this type of adhesive is its low strength. It can only be used for jointing so you will always need some other method of fixing the edges down.
Its super simple to apply jointing tape, due to the fact you don’t need any other equipment or specialist skills. All you do is peel up a strip and apply it onto one side of your joint, match this with the other side and press down.
The tape can be easily cut into smaller pieces if necessary with normal scissors.
Which type of artificial grass adhesive is best for your needs?
To find out we will look at the main jobs it is used for and how each type compares on things like time to set, durability, and cost.
Jointing artificial turf
When jointing two pieces of artificial grass you need something which is going to hold them in place so which one is best?
The answer here depends on how large the joints are and how heavily used the artificial grass will be.
Keeping cost down usually relies on getting the optimal amount of adhesive for your job.
For 5 – 10m long joints adhesive tape is a quick and painless option. Jointing tape comes in handy 5 – 10m roles which are super easy to use and have a low price.
If you are looking to buy bulk or have larger joints, two-part adhesive is the way forward. It’s 10kg tubs can cover up to 20m of jointing tape.
For all the jobs in-between we recommend single part adhesive.
If you artificial grass will be used for sports, kids pets or anything else which will put it through its paces then you need to consider joint strength.
Two part adhesive is a great option for heavily used artificial grass. It will allow you to get the job done quickly but still give an adequate amount of strength if needed.
Repairing artificial grass can be a tough job, but one which is often needed if a stray BBQ coal hits the grass or some sections get a bit worn out.
Single part adhesive and jointing tape are perfect for small repairs of less than a metre or two. They are extremely fast to use and require no mixing. If you have an area with low foot traffic then you will be best served using jointing tape.
Just cut off the amount you need and start sticking.
Sticking artificial grass to paving or concrete
Laying artificial grass on concrete can be a great way to bring some life to a drab section of the garden but sticking artificial grass to concrete or paving is harder than it looks and frequently goes wrong. If you don’t get it right then you will spend hours trying to fix the problem.
For this, a two part adhesive is your best option. Make sure the surface is completely clean and free of dust so that the adhesive can properly stick to the surface and the grass. Make sure to use at least the recommended amount.
Securing the edges of your fake lawn
Artificial grass edging is very important and not just for the getting the look you are after. They act as a container for the base and something to fix your artificial grass down to so it doesn’t lift up or move around.
If you have the option to use nails or U-pins then this is the recommended soliton for gardens. However if you don’t have this option then you can use single or two part adhesives.
You should use the same adhesive as you have used for sticking down the artificial lawn in order to ensure that it is stuck well and tightly enough not to come loose over time.
Fixing to foam underlay
Foam underlay can help your artificial grass to feel more comfortable and give it a better level of insulation. Foam underlay can be cut with scissors in order for you to fit it around the edges of your garden, underneath any paving or decking that is on top of the ground.
Foam underlay may need some adhesive and for this job we recommend single part adhesive
Is it possible to lay artificial grass without adhesive?
The short answer is yes, if you are laying smaller amounts of artificial grass with no joints nails and U-pins can be used to hold it in place. They are faster to use and often more effective.
A wooden border around the edge can provide a base to screw down the artificial grass onto and a wooden border will also provide the insulation that foam underlay provides.
Artificial grass glue vs nails vs U-pins
This completely depends on the purpose of the artificial grass and the surface it is being installed on. For example, you need two part adhesive to install artificial grass onto concrete but if it is only going over compacted sand then U-pins and screws can be a better solution.
If the grass will be heavily used then you will want to make it as secure as possible with all methods available. However if it will be mostly decorative or for light use then jointing tape and nails could work well.
The best type of artificial grass adhesive is the one that will be most secure on your surface and in your situation. For lighter applications you will be best served using jointing tape, for heavy-duty applications you will want the two part adhesive.
Remember to read the instructions carefully before you start installing artificial grass, as well as how long it takes for each type of glue to dry so you can plan ahead. Although most adhesives are water and weather resistant you will have the least issues on a cool dry day.