Seaming synthetic turf may appear to be a straightforward process, but those of us in the industry know that it is an art form that requires precision, expertise, and a deep understanding of various techniques. Proper artificial turf seaming is pivotal in ensuring the longevity and aesthetics of a synthetic turf installation, whether it's a football field, a residential lawn, or an artificial golf green.
In this blog post, we'll explore the three primary seaming techniques: Straight Turf Seams, S-Shaped Artificial Seams, and Puzzle Seams. Each comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages.
Straight Seams - Creating Less Turf Waste
- Simplicity: Straight turf seams are the easiest to install, which is beneficial for DIY projects or smaller installations.
- Low Material Wastage: This method generally results in minimal waste of turf material which is a big upside. When you need to maximize the synthetic turf you have this might be the way to go. Straight turf seaming usually results in the loss of a couple of inches off of each 15' roll.
- Cost-Effective: Because of the ease and speed of installation, straight seams are often the most economical choice.
- Strong Bond: When installed correctly, straight seams form a strong bond that can withstand high levels of foot traffic.
- Visibility: Straight seams can be more visible, particularly if not installed correctly. Straight turf seams can create a "mohawk" effect where the turf fibers press against each other become obvious. Visibility in straight turf seams is the biggest disadvantage especially when dealing with a shorter pile height synthetic turf.
- Directional Issues: All fibers must be oriented in the same direction, which can be challenging in irregularly shaped areas.
- Limited Flexibility: Straight seams don't curve naturally, so they're not ideal for installations requiring intricate design layouts.
S-Shaped Seams - Nearly Invisible Turf Seams
- Aesthetic Appeal: S-Shaped seams blend more naturally, making the seam almost invisible. S-shaped turf seams trick the eye and make it difficult to notice the pattern.
- Versatility: These seams offer greater flexibility in design, especially in irregularly shaped areas.
- Enhanced Strength: The curvy nature of the seam provides an added layer of strength, making it ideal for areas with heavy foot traffic.
- Installation Complexity: Installing S-Shaped seams is a bit more challenging, requiring experienced installers and special tools.
- Time-Consuming: This method takes longer to install compared to straight seams.
- Material Wastage: S-Shaped seams can lead to more material being wasted, making it somewhat less cost-effective. When we install S-shaped artificial grass seams we must factor about 8 inches of material waste off of each 15 foot turf roll.
Puzzle Seams - Artificial Turf Seams By Hand
- Custom Cut: Puzzle seams offer a unique interlocking system that can be visually appealing.
- Durability: The interlocking design makes these seams extremely durable, capable of withstanding heavy usage.
- Reduced Seam Visibility: The complex nature of the interlocking makes the seam less visible.
- Time and Cost: Puzzle seams are similar in complexity and time/ material waste as S-shaped seams.
- More room for error: Puzzle seams often must be cut by hand which can cause more potential miscuts.
Each artificial grass seaming technique has its own set of pros and cons, and the best choice often depends on the specific requirements of your project—be it budget constraints, aesthetic desires or material available. While straight seams may be perfect for a simple residential lawn, S-Shaped or Puzzle seams might be more appropriate for commercial installations with unique design requirements or residential backyard and front yard synthetic grass installations where hiding the turf seam is paramount. Our team at Synthetic Turf of Puget Sound is well-versed in every seaming method available and utilizes each depending on the overall goals of the synthetic grass project.
We recommend using Turf Claw glue or similar for proper turf adhesion. Staples or nails or nails to bind seams together is not recommended and can cause turf seam rupture. Using a high quality glue and artificial turf seam tape is the best way to get longevity out of your grass installation project. We always consider the weather when using glue, if temperatures drop to below freezing we will heat up the turf glue in order to ensure curing. Adding temporary weight to your turf seams while the glue cures is also important to make sure the glue grabs to the backing, this can be achieved with the infill sand that is on hand carefully placed onto the top of the seam.
Proper artificial grass seaming can make or break the overall success and longevity of your synthetic turf installation. Therefore, understanding these techniques and choosing wisely is of utmost importance. If you'd like more information about our synthetic turf installation services and live the Seattle/ Tacoma area please fill out our contact form. Thanks for reading!