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What is the Best Foundation for Artificial Grass?

When it comes to installing artificial grass, choosing the right foundation is essential for ensuring a long-lasting, attractive, and functional lawn. In this article, we’ll explore the various foundations suitable for artificial grass, as well as tips for proper installation and maintenance. Let’s get started!


Discovering the Best Foundation for Artificial Grass

The foundation for your artificial grass plays a critical role in the overall success of your project. It provides stability, promotes drainage, and contributes to the longevity of your lawn. Selecting the best foundation depends on your existing ground conditions, your specific needs, and the type of artificial grass you plan to use.

Understanding the different foundation options and their benefits will help you make an informed decision, ensuring a successful installation and a beautiful, long-lasting lawn.


Assessing Your Existing Ground Conditions

Soil Type and Drainage

Before choosing a foundation, it’s important to assess your existing ground conditions. This includes evaluating the type of soil you have and determining its drainage capabilities. Poorly draining soils, such as clay, may require additional steps, like installing a drainage system, to prevent waterlogging and ensure the longevity of your artificial grass.

Surface Level and Stability

In addition to assessing your soil type, you’ll also need to check the level and stability of your existing ground. This will help you determine if any excavation, levelling, or additional foundation layers are necessary to create a stable, even surface for your artificial grass.


On Soil: How to Prepare and Lay Artificial Grass

Excavating and Levelling

When laying artificial grass on soil, the first step is to excavate the area to a depth of approximately 75-100mm. This allows for the installation of a sub-base layer, which provides stability and drainage. After excavating, level the ground to create a smooth, even surface.

Installing a Sub-Base

For artificial grass installations on soil, a sub-base of compacted MOT Type 1 is typically used. This crushed stone mixture provides a stable and well-draining foundation for your lawn. Compact the sub-base using a vibrating plate compactor, ensuring it’s level and smooth before proceeding with your artificial grass installation.


On Sand: Creating a Stable and Well-Drained Base

Preparing the Sand Base

Installing artificial grass on a sand base requires additional preparation to ensure stability and proper drainage. Start by excavating the area to a depth of approximately 100-150mm. Fill the area with a layer of sharp sand, levelling and compacting it to create a firm, stable surface.

Adding a Geotextile Layer

To prevent the sand from shifting and causing unevenness in your artificial grass, it’s important to add a geotextile layer on top of the compacted sand base. This layer will help distribute weight and provide additional stability, ensuring a long-lasting and even lawn.


On Concrete: Transforming Hard Surfaces into Lush Spaces

Assessing the Concrete Surface

When laying artificial grass on concrete, it’s crucial to first assess the condition of the concrete surface. Check for any cracks, uneven areas, or drainage issues that may need to be addressed before installation. If the concrete is in good condition, simply clean the surface to remove any dirt or debris.

Installing a Foam Underlay

To create a comfortable and safe surface, consider installing a foam underlay on top of the concrete before laying your artificial grass. This shock-absorbent layer will provide cushioning and help protect against injuries, making it an ideal solution for play areas, sports surfaces, or general use.


What to Put Under Artificial Grass: Choosing the Right Materials

Selecting a Sub-Base Material

The choice of sub-base material will depend on your specific needs and existing ground conditions. As mentioned earlier, MOT Type 1 is a popular choice for installations on soil, while sharp sand is suitable for sand-based foundations. In some cases, you may also consider using a combination of materials to achieve the desired stability and drainage.

Considering Drainage and Stability

When choosing your sub-base material, it’s important to consider both drainage and stability. A well-draining sub-base will help prevent waterlogging, while a stable foundation will ensure a smooth, even surface for your artificial grass. Be sure to research the specific properties of your chosen material to ensure it meets your requirements.


Installing a Weed Membrane: Keeping Unwanted Growth at Bay

The Importance of a Weed Membrane

A weed membrane is an essential component of any artificial grass installation, as it helps to prevent unwanted weed growth beneath your lawn. The membrane is a porous fabric that allows water to drain through while blocking sunlight and inhibiting weed growth.

Installing the Membrane

To install the weed membrane, simply lay it over your prepared sub-base, ensuring it covers the entire area. Overlap any seams by at least 100mm and secure the membrane to the ground using landscape staples or ground pins. This will help to keep the membrane in place during the installation of your artificial grass.


Creating a Shock-Absorbent Layer: Ensuring Comfort and Safety

The Benefits of a Shock-Absorbent Layer

A shock-absorbent layer, such as a foam underlay, can provide added comfort and safety to your artificial grass installation. This layer offers cushioning and can help to reduce the risk of injuries, making it especially important for play areas or sports surfaces.

Installing the Shock-Absorbent Layer

To install a shock-absorbent layer, simply lay the foam underlay or other cushioning material directly on top of your sub-base or weed membrane. Trim the material to fit your space and secure it in place using adhesive or landscape staples. Once the shock-absorbent layer is in place, you can proceed with laying your artificial grass.


Tips for Achieving Proper Drainage and Longevity

Addressing Drainage Issues

Proper drainage is essential for the longevity of your artificial grass. Ensure that your chosen sub-base material promotes good drainage, and consider installing additional drainage systems if your existing ground conditions are prone to waterlogging. A slight slope in the base can also encourage water runoff.

Compacting the Sub-Base

Compacting your sub-base is a crucial step in ensuring the longevity and stability of your artificial grass. Use a vibrating plate compactor to compact the sub-base material evenly, creating a firm, stable surface for your lawn.


Making the Most of Your Artificial Grass: Maintenance and Care

Regular Cleaning

To keep your artificial grass looking its best, clean it regularly using a broom, rake, or leaf blower to remove debris. Hose down your lawn periodically to wash away dirt and prevent the buildup of bacteria.

Addressing Wear and Tear

Over time, your artificial grass may show signs of wear and tear. Regularly brushing the fibres can help to keep them upright and looking fresh, while prompt repair of any damaged areas will prolong the life of your lawn.



Choosing the best foundation for your artificial grass is a crucial step in creating a beautiful, long-lasting, and functional lawn. By carefully considering your existing ground conditions, the specific needs of your project, and the properties of your chosen materials, you can create a stable and well-draining foundation that will stand the test of time. With the right foundation in place, you can enjoy all the benefits of artificial grass, from low maintenance to year-round greenery.

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