what to put underneath artificial grass

Garden 101: Uncover What to Put Underneath Artificial Grass

Last Updated on January 31, 2023

When it comes to laying artificial grass, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. What you put underneath your artificial turf can make or break the look and feel of your lawn – but how do you know which material is right for you? Today we’ll be exploring what materials are best to put underneath artificial grass, from gravel and crushed stone to sand and concrete. So if you’re looking for a low-maintenance garden that looks great all year round, read on.

Table of Contents:

Gravel: The Best Base for Artificial Grass

Gravel is the perfect foundation for artificial grass. It provides a stable, level surface that won’t shift or erode over time and helps to improve drainage. This is essential for keeping your artificial grass looking its best all year round.


Installing gravel as a base for your artificial grass couldn’t be easier. All you need to do is lay down a layer of crushed stone or gravel before laying down the turf itself. The thickness of this layer will depend on the type of soil in your garden, but it should generally be around 4-6 inches thick.


Gravel comes in many different sizes and colours, so you can find something that suits any garden design scheme. Smaller stones are better suited to lighter foot traffic areas such as patios, while larger stones are ideal for heavier foot traffic areas like pathways and driveways. You can also choose from natural tones such as grey, white and brown or opt for brighter colours like reds and blues if you want to add some vibrancy to your outdoor space.


Once installed correctly, gravel requires minimal maintenance – just an occasional rake every few months will keep it looking neat and tidy. If there’s heavy rain, then you may need to top up with more gravel occasionally, too – but other than that, it’s pretty much hassle-free.

Cost Effective

One of the great things about using gravel as a base for artificial grass is how cost-effective it is compared with other materials, such as concrete or asphalt, which require specialist installation equipment and labour costs associated with them. Gravel doesn’t require any special tools or skills, so anyone can install it themselves without breaking the bank.

Crushed Stone: An Affordable Alternative

a small garden in the backyard

Crushed stone is an affordable and reliable option for creating a base for artificial grass. It’s easy to install, making it ideal for those on a budget who don’t want to spend too much time or money on their project. Plus, crushed stone helps with drainage, which can be beneficial in areas that receive heavy rainfall.

One of the main advantages of using crushed stone as a base material is its durability. Unlike gravel or sand, it won’t shift over time due to changes in temperature or moisture levels. This makes it perfect for areas where you need your artificial grass to stay put without having to worry about regular maintenance or repairs.

Also, when installing crushed stone as a base layer under artificial grass, it is important to compact the soil before laying down the stones. Otherwise, they may sink into the ground over time, resulting in uneven patches of turf later on. Therefore, take some extra care when preparing your surface area before getting started; this small step could save you from potential headaches further down the road.

Sand: A Budget-Friendly Option

Sand is a great option for those looking to create a base for artificial grass on a budget. It’s easy to install and provides a stable surface that won’t shift or erode over time. Sand also helps with drainage, making it an ideal choice for those who want an inexpensive solution.

For homeowners in the UK, sand can be found at most home improvement stores or garden centres. The cost of sand varies depending on the type and amount you need, but it’s generally quite affordable compared to other materials like gravel or crushed stone.

When installing sand as your base material, make sure you use enough layers to create an even surface when compacted down. This will help prevent any sinking or shifting of the turf once installed. You should also add some weed control fabric before laying down your sand if you don’t want weeds growing through your artificial grass later on.

In terms of maintenance, all you have to do is keep the area free from debris and leaves, which could cause waterlogging and damage to the turf over time if left unchecked. If there are any areas where erosion has occurred due to heavy rain or strong winds, then top up with more sand until everything is level again – this shouldn’t take too long as long as you stay on top of things.

Concrete: The Most Durable Option

a modern backyard with concrete base

Concrete is a great choice for those looking to create a base for artificial grass. It’s easy to install and provides a stable surface that won’t shift or erode over time, making it the most durable option available. Plus, concrete helps with drainage, so you don’t have to worry about water pooling on your lawn.

When installing concrete as the base for your artificial grass, make sure you use high-quality materials and follow all instructions carefully. You’ll also need to level out the area before laying down the concrete – this will ensure an even surface and help prevent any future issues with shifting or erosion.

Once installed correctly, concrete can last up to 20 years without needing repairs or maintenance – making it one of the best investments in creating a long-lasting foundation for your artificial grass lawn. Concrete is also relatively affordable compared to other options like crushed stone or sand, so you can save money while still getting a quality product that will stand up against wear and tear over time.

Another advantage of using concrete as the base material for your artificial grass is its ability to regulate temperature fluctuations throughout different seasons. This means that in winter months, when temperatures drop below freezing point, there’s less chance of frost damage occurring due to insulation provided by the layer of concrete beneath your turf. In summer months too, this same layer helps keep things cool by reflecting heat away from your lawn rather than absorbing it as some other materials might do.

Overall, if you’re looking for something long-lasting and reliable when creating a base for artificial grass, then concrete is the way to go. Its durability and affordability, combined with temperature regulation capabilities, provide an excellent foundation while also ensuring peace of mind knowing that whatever weather conditions come along, you’re covered.

FAQs in Relation to What to Put Underneath Artificial Grass

What can I use as a sub-base for artificial grass?

Sub-base for artificial grass is an important factor in creating a durable and long-lasting lawn. It provides the necessary support to ensure that the turf remains level and stable over time. The most common sub-base materials used are crushed stone, decomposed granite, or road base material such as limestone screenings or quarry processes. These materials should be spread evenly across the area before laying down the turf to provide adequate drainage and stability. For best results, use a minimum of 4 inches of sub-base material when installing artificial grass.

How do I prepare the ground for artificial grass?

Installing artificial grass can be a straightforward process. First, you need to prepare the ground by removing any existing vegetation and debris from the area. Next, level out the surface with a rake or shovel before compacting it down with a roller. Finally, spread an appropriate amount of infill material over the surface for drainage and cushioning before laying your artificial turf. Once complete, brush up the pile direction to create an even finish that looks natural and inviting.

Can you lay artificial grass directly on dirt?

Yes, you can lay artificial grass directly on dirt. However, it is important to ensure that the ground is level and free of any debris or stones before laying the turf. Additionally, a weed membrane should be laid underneath the turf to prevent weeds from growing through. Finally, a layer of sand should be spread over the area to help keep the grass in place and provide drainage for rainwater. With these steps taken care of, your artificial lawn will look great and last for years.


In conclusion, when it comes to putting something underneath artificial grass, there are a few options available. Gravel is the best base for artificial grass as it provides good drainage and stability. Crushed stone is an affordable alternative that offers good drainage but may not be as stable. Sand is a budget-friendly option but does not provide adequate drainage or stability. Finally, concrete is the most durable option but can be expensive and difficult to install correctly. Whichever material you choose to put underneath your artificial grass, make sure you do your research first so that you get the best results.

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