Best Sub Base for Artificial Grass

Artificial grass has become increasingly popular in recent years as a low-maintenance alternative to natural grass. This type of landscaping not only looks great but also saves time, water, and effort. However, the key to a successful artificial grass installation lies in the proper preparation and choice of the sub-base. In this article, we will discuss the best sub-base for artificial grass, how deep it should be, and address other frequently asked questions.

What is the best base to put under artificial grass?

The best base for artificial grass typically consists of a compacted sub-base made up of crushed stone or gravel. This is then topped with a layer of sharp sand or other fine-grained aggregate to create a smooth, even surface. This combination provides excellent drainage, stability, and a solid foundation for your artificial turf.

Some popular sub-base options include

  • Crushed stone or gravel: These materials offer excellent drainage and provide a sturdy base. A layer of geotextile fabric may be used between the crushed stone and sand layers to prevent mixing and maintain separation.
  • Type 1 MOT (Ministry of Transport): This is a well-graded granular material that is commonly used as a sub-base for artificial grass installations. It compacts well and provides good drainage.
  • Decomposed granite: This is a popular option in areas where it is readily available. It compacts well and provides good drainage, making it a suitable choice for artificial grass installations.


How deep should sub-base be for artificial grass?

The depth of your sub-base will depend on the specific requirements of your project, such as the type of artificial grass, the intended use, and the existing soil conditions. Generally, a sub-base for artificial grass should be between 3 to 6 inches deep. For residential applications, a depth of 3 to 4 inches is usually sufficient. However, for commercial or high-traffic areas, a depth of 4 to 6 inches may be necessary to ensure adequate stability and durability.

What is the best sand sub-base for artificial grass?

Sharp sand, also known as coarse or washed sand, is the best type of sand to use as a sub-base for artificial grass. This sand has larger, irregular particles that provide excellent drainage and help create a stable surface for the artificial grass to be laid upon. Avoid using fine or play sand, as these types of sand can become compacted and impede drainage.

How do you install a sub-base for artificial grass?

Installing a sub-base for artificial grass involves several steps:

  1. Excavation: Remove the existing turf, soil, and any debris from the area where the artificial grass will be installed. The depth of excavation will depend on the required depth of the sub-base, as well as any additional layers such as a weed membrane or geotextile fabric.
  2. Grading: Level the excavated area to create a smooth, even surface. Make sure to account for any necessary slopes to ensure proper drainage.
  3. Weed membrane: Install a weed membrane to prevent weed growth beneath the artificial grass. This layer should cover the entire excavated area.
  4. Sub-base installation: Add the chosen sub-base material in layers, compacting each layer with a vibrating plate compactor or a roller. Ensure that the final layer is smooth, even, and properly compacted.
  5. Sand layer: Spread a layer of sharp sand over the compacted sub-base, leveling it to the desired height. Compact the sand layer using a vibrating plate compactor.
  6. Geotextile fabric (optional): If using geotextile fabric to separate the sub-base and sand layers, lay it down before adding the sand layer.
  7. Final grading: Check the entire area to ensure it is smooth, level, and properly compacted. Make any necessary adjustments before proceeding with the artificial grass installation.
  8. Artificial grass installation: Roll out the artificial grass, carefully following the manufacturer’s instructions for cutting, seaming, and securing the turf. Ensure that the grass fibers are standing upright and that seams are properly aligned and hidden.
  9. Infill: Apply an infill material, such as silica sand or rubber crumb, to help the artificial grass fibers stand upright and provide additional stability. Brush the infill into the grass fibers using a stiff-bristle broom or power broom.
  10. Final grooming: Once the infill has been applied, brush the artificial grass again to ensure the fibers are standing upright and the infill is evenly distributed.

Do you put sand under artificial grass?

Yes, a layer of sand is typically placed under artificial grass to provide a smooth and even surface for the turf to be laid upon. Sharp sand is the best type of sand to use for this purpose, as its coarse and irregular particles help with drainage and stability

Can you put too much sand under artificial grass?

Yes, it is possible to put too much sand under artificial grass. If the sand layer is too thick, it can cause drainage issues and potentially lead to an uneven or unstable surface. Generally, a sand layer between 1 to 1.5 inches is sufficient for most artificial grass installations. Always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for the specific type of artificial grass being installed.

Do you have to put concrete under artificial grass?

No, concrete is not typically required under artificial grass. In fact, using concrete as a base can lead to drainage problems and may result in a less comfortable surface underfoot. A properly compacted sub-base of crushed stone or gravel, topped with a layer of sharp sand, provides a more suitable foundation for artificial grass.

What is the best soil base for turf?

The best soil base for natural turf is a well-draining, loamy soil with a mix of sand, silt, and clay particles. This type of soil provides the right balance of drainage, nutrient retention, and aeration for healthy grass growth. Additionally, a pH level between 6.0 and 7.0 is ideal for most types of turfgrass.

Can I lay artificial grass on soil?

Laying artificial grass directly on soil is not recommended, as it can lead to an unstable and uneven surface, as well as drainage problems. Instead, it is best to install a proper sub-base made up of crushed stone or gravel, topped with a layer of sharp sand, to provide a stable, well-draining foundation for the artificial grass.


The success and longevity of an artificial grass installation largely depend on the quality of the sub-base. Choosing the right materials, ensuring proper depth, and following the recommended installation steps will help you achieve a beautiful, long-lasting, and low-maintenance artificial lawn. By using a combination of crushed stone or gravel and sharp sand, you can create a sturdy, well-draining sub-base that will support your artificial grass and provide a comfortable surface for years to come.






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