STEP 3 STRIPS: Gluing
There are two types of connections - 1) Connecting the longer run strips and 2) The shorter cross strips and junctions. As stated earlier, we will be using 3" wide turf strips. You will need a 12" wide seaming roll or pre-cut glue strips and turf glue tubes. Get Seaming Cloth and Turf Glue
First, take the 12" wide roll of seaming cloth and cut several 3" strips (3" x 12"). Cut more as needed. They will be used on all of the glue connection points. If the turf strips are 4" wide then cut 4" wide strips of cloth. There are two different ways to get the job done - glue just the long runs first, or start and go up a row gluing all points as you go.
It may be easier if you are new to this installation process to glue the single point longer run connections first. You will need to accomplish the gluing in two stages to let the glue cure if you go this route. You could glue all the long strips one day and then all the cross pieces the next. You will be a pro in no time once you get a few under your belt.
3" x 12" Seam Cloth Strips
#1 LONG TURF RUNS
Take the 2 butted turf strip ends at the connection point and fold them back away from each other about 6 inches to a foot on each side. Place the 3" x 12" piece of seaming cloth down in place on center where they meet or on the paver on top of a piece of cardboard or drop cloth to protect the area. Next, apply a 1/2" bead of turf glue in a generous zig-zag pattern covering most of the cloth area. Be careful to release the caulk gun trigger prior to finishing your last zag since the glue is thin and will continue to ooze after you release the trigger. Next, take a 3" wide V-notch adhesive spreader and smooth out the glue.
If you spill any glue on the pavers or turf, clean immediately. Have a box or some cardboard nearby to rest the caulk gun on to help avoid any spills. To clean any unwanted glue areas, take a clean cloth or brush and apply or spray Mineral Spirits or Isopropyl Alcohol and wipe until clean. We like to use a small turf scrap which acts like a brush to remove any spills. For more info on cleaning glue...
Fold both turf strips back at junction to expose at least 12" for the seaming tape cloth and glue.
Make sure to prep the area (cardboard or drop cloth) and be careful not make a mess with the glue!
Apply a 1/2" bead of turf glue in a zig zag pattern
Be careful towards the end of the strip since the glue will still slowly flow after you release the trigger. I keep a box close by to set the caulk gun in to prevent any mess. Spread glue evenly with plastic V-notch adhesive spreader.
Next, slowly fold back down the turf strips one at a time. VERY IMPORTANT! There is a proper order that must be followed to make an invisible seam. Note the fiber direction and if the fibers are leaning left, put the left side down first followed by the right side. Make sure not to fold over any turf fibers in any glue (try to hold them back) in the process and make sure the bottom turf backing edges barely touch each other without overlapping.
The glue will allow you to make adjustments once down and you do not have to rush. Apply pressure to the glue areas to make sure there is good contact between the turf backing, glue and seaming cloth surfaces. If possible, place some type of weight on the area while it cures to keep everything tight and to help prevent any air pockets or movement.
Rinse and repeat. We use spare brick pavers for weights. Once all the longer runs are done, let them cure for at least 4 hours before moving on to the cross sections. The glue will usually fully cure in 24 hours, weather and temperature permitting.
Fold over your first turf strip and press into glue with the palm of your hand. If the turf fibers are leaning left, put the left turf strip down into the glue first.
Turf fibers lean left in above pic. Left strip was placed down first. Then, while folding the right side into place, make sure to hold the left side turf fibers back. This will help to create an invisible seam.
Make any necessary adjustments by sliding the turf at this point. The backing materials of each turf piece should gently touch or be just slightly off of each other. Do not overlap.
Apply pressure up and down the entire glue area by pressing down and rocking your palm to make sure the glue has good contact to all surfaces.
The glue seam is invisible at this point and ready for some weight.
Any type of weight can be used to help keep pressure and good contact to the glue joint area while curing. This prevents air pockets and puckering. 2-4 hours is usually good enough. The glue will fully cure in 24 hours depending on weather and temperature.
After you remove the weight, fluff or comb up the turf.
#2 CROSS PIECES
We will use the following terms "center, left and right" turf strips to describe the next steps in order when looking down at an intersection point. First, fold back the left and right short side turf strips leaving the center (long strip) in place. Place the 3" x 12" seaming cloth piece in the turf space (left or right side) or on a piece of cardboard nearby and apply turf glue using same method as before. Carefully lift up the center turf strip and slide the 3" glue strip under it until centered. Set the middle turf strip down on the glue and make sure it lays flat and tight by applying pressure with your palm.
Next, fold back both left & right turf strips one at a time and adjust as necessary with the turf backing edge barely touching the center turf backing or just apart making sure not to fold over any turf fibers in the glue. With your hand, gently comb and fluff the turf fibers to help blend the two seams together. Apply pressure all around the glue area to make sure of good surface contact. Place some weight on the area to help prevent any movement. Rinse and repeat until done. Allow glue to set up for a minimum of 4 hours or even better overnight.
Fold back both left and right side turf strips and get the 3" seam cloth strip ready for the glue.
Lift up the center strip and carefully slide the glue strip underneath and center it.
Place the center turf strip back down and seat into glue making sure it is flat.
Carefully roll down one strip at a time and roll the entire area to seat the glue with the palm of you hand.
Hold the turf fibers out of the way.
Carefully line up the backing to just barely touching or slightly off of each other. Do not overlap.
After firmly pressing down on the entire glue area to make sure of good surface contact. Add some weight while it cures to help keep pressure on the glue area.
After you remove the weight, fluff or comb up the turf.