We're replacing the periwinkle and weeds (the weeds won) with fescue sod. We have bushes around two fence sides and want to replace the mulch. What mulch do you recommend for the best looking and easiest to maintain/keep clean? Also, is there a minimum height for the topsoil going in prior to the sod? Lastly, if we planted the sod now, and kept it watered daily, would it be okay or should we wait until mid-Sept.?
You shouldn't try laying sod until temperatures are under 90 degrees. It's just too hot.
All of the information you need to ensure success are within the following linked lawn publication. Click here : https://www.extension.umd.edu/sites/default/files/_images/programs/hgic/Publications/HG102%20Lawn%20...
As far as mulch goes, it's up to you what kind you use. Most find shredded hardwood the most useful, as it looks nice, keeps in moisture around plant roots, and slowly decomposes and improves the soil. It should not be overused though... only a 2-3 inch layer, and it should not come in contact with the trunk of trees/shrubs or the crown of plants.
Here is a list of frequently asked questions on mulch: