DIY Turf Blog

15 Important Tools You’ll Need for DIY Artificial Grass Installation in San Jose


What’s a plate compactor? Does artificial grass installation in San Jose require a special kind of adhesive? Will I need a wheelbarrow or can I carry the turf rolls myself?

These are some of the most common questions we get here at Artificial Turf Express and they’re great questions!

As a DIY installer, you naturally don’t have the specialized skills and experience of professionals. However, the best way to make up for that is through research— you can never be too prepared for artificial grass installation. And the more you know about the process, the better you can avoid these top DIY turf installation mistakes.

You need quite a number of tools to pull off a successful installation. Don’t worry though, because a lot of them are common garden equipment. For anything you don’t have, you can simply borrow or rent from your local shops.

Now, it’s okay if you’re not familiar with the purpose of each tool yet. That’s what Artificial Turf Express is for!

In this article, we’re listing the most essential things you need for synthetic turf installation and what each one is for. Let’s get started!

15 Essential Tools for Artificial Grass Installation in San Jose

1. Sod Cutter

Turf cutters can remove several inches of grass and soil with each pass. You can then roll up each section and throw them away. This makes them very useful for removing your existing natural lawn and will save you from hours of manual, back-breaking digging. Many local tool hire shops will allow you to rent them out cheaply.

2. Wheelbarrow

Yes, you absolutely need one, especially during the ground preparation stage (which is the hardest part of the installation, labor-wise, because it’s very physical).

For instance, you’ll need a wheelbarrow to cart out all that grass, soil, stones and other debris you just excavated. It’s also easier to carry heavy aggregates and artificial grass to the site with a wheelbarrow instead of carrying it all yourself.

3. Shovel

You’ll need this to load up objects onto your wheelbarrow and to dig out anything you need such as large rocks during excavation.

4. Pick

Some corners of your lawn may be out of reach of the turf cutter. In that case, a pick will help you easily and quickly scrape out any leftover turf and soil.

5. Hammer

We recommend preparing two types of hammers: a claw hammer and a club hammer/sledgehammer. Claw hammers are great for nails (if your retaining edge is timber) or U-pins around your lawn’s perimeter. They’re also perfect for removing any bent U-pins or nails. On the other hand, the sledgehammer makes it easy to drive stakes into the ground if you’re using timber edge restraints.

6. Tape Measures 

Make sure you have both short and long tape measures. Taking precise measurements, then double- or triple-checking them, is A MUST when you install artificial grass. 

7. Rake

We suggest using a rake to grade aggregates and get a level finish for your new synthetic grass lawn.

8. Vibrating Plate Compactor

This is another crucial tool on our list! Remember— the best artificial turf in San Jose is only as good as the groundwork underneath. The key to a great foundation? Proper compaction of the sub-base.

A vibrating plate compactor will help you compact the sub-base layers thoroughly from different directions. Similar to turf cutters, you can also rent them out from your local tool hire center.

9. Water Hose

Before compacting your sub-base, we advise dampening the site with water. This binds the particles together for better compaction and prevents dust from blowing around. In addition, you’ll also need a hose to help the infill settle down after installing artificial grass.

10. Spray Paint

Optional, but really useful for marking down your installation area. 

11. Knife 

Ideally, a really sharp Stanley knife. A sharp, retractable knife will help you cut joints and synthetic grass quickly and safely. Don’t forget to have spare blades on hand, in case the first ones get blunt from cutting artificial grass in San Jose.

12. Joining Tape

Joining tape, aka seaming tape, is essential for securing pieces of synthetic turf together.

13. Joining Adhesive

Yes, you do need a special kind of adhesive for artificial grass installation. Don’t apply them too thickly or it can spill over to the fibers.

14. Carpet Knee Kicker

We highly recommend renting one for your installation. Carpet knee kickers are excellent for stretching out the artificial turf to get rid of ripples and wrinkles.

15. Broom

You can use either a stiff broom (make sure the bristles are synthetic, not metal, so it doesn’t damage the turf fibers) or a power broom. A broom will help you invigorate the turf fibers, which often lay flat against the backing since they come in rolls. In addition, a broom is also great for brushing the infill into the pile and for cleaning up after the project.

Optional (But Very Useful!) Equipment for Synthetic Turf Installation

  • Carpet Trolley – makes very light and easy work of transporting heavy rolls of synthetic grass products, especially if you’re covering a large area.
  • Drop Spreader – can hold a large amount of infill/silica sand, ensures even distribution and seriously reduces how long you need to apply the infill/sand dressing.
  • Power Brush – useful for fibrillating the artificial grass fibers before applying infill and afterwards, for pushing the infill down to the bottom of the pile.

Artificial Turf Express: Your All-In-One Source for DIY Synthetic Grass!

We hoped this article helped! If you have more questions about how tools work for artificial turf installation in San Jose, send us a message and we’ll get back to you ASAP. Looking for artificial grass landscaping ideas? We’d be happy to share a few!

In the meantime, Artificial Turf Express has everything you need for DIY synthetic turf installation. We carry a wide array of Synthetic Turf Products and Accessories for whatever project you have in mind, such as your backyard, dog run, playground, and artificial putting green in San Jose. On top of that, we can also deliver straight to your door or installation site.

Call us now at 408-317-4730 and let us know how Artificial Turf Express can help with your commercial or residential project!