4 Essential Facts About Installing a Sub-Base Under Your Artificial Turf

Artificial grass is easy to maintain and even easier to enjoy, but it’s not always simple to install. Installing synthetic grass should generally be left to professional artificial turf installers, but if you’re determined to do it yourself — or if you’re an installer new to the synthetic turf industry — it’s important to know all about a turf grass sub-base.

1. What is a sub-base?
An artificial turf sub-base is a layer of mixed materials, or aggregates, installed below your artificial grass. It creates a smooth, compacted surface and, therefore, a solid foundation to support your lawn.

There are two main types of sub-base: crushed miscellaneous base (CMB) and decomposed granite (DG). CMB consists of recycled concrete or asphalt and a sand/gravel mixture. Class II road base is a variation of CMB, which is subjected to more stringent testing and quality checks, making it more expensive. Because of this, it’s most typically used for commercial turf grass applications such as outdoor putting greens. DG is granite rock that has weathered and fractured into small pieces with time. It’s also mixed with gravel, sand, and clay. It provides a smoother finish, but it’s more costly. Of the two, CMB is the most popular and most highly recommended sub-base material since it’s easily compacted, less expensive, and provides better drainage.

2. Why should I install a sub-base?
The sub-base is what gives your artificial turf structural stability. It’s an integral part of any installation because it allows the turf to remain upright despite foot traffic or lawn furniture.

Without the sub-base’s crucial strength, your artificial turf would settle and sink over time with everyday use, significantly shortening the lifespan of your synthetic turf and causing it to look uneven shortly after installation. If you have a solid, well-compacted sub-base, your turf should be able to hold up to everyday wear and tear for over a decade.

3. Do you always need to install a sub-base?
Whether or not you need a sub-base depends upon the surface on which you’re installing your turf. If you’re replacing your natural grass with artificial turf, then it’s imperative that you install a sub-base for adequate structural support. You can never lay artificial grass directly onto soil, or the expansion and contraction over time will create an uneven surface.

If you’re installing your synthetic turf onto an existing surface with structural support, such as concrete or decking, then installing a sub-base is not necessary. The existing surface would have enough structure to support the turf and allow it to stand up to foot traffic and other impact pressure.

4. Do I need to install a weed membrane?
A weed membrane is highly recommended for all synthetic turf installations. Not only does a weed membrane prevent weed growth, but it also separates the aggregate from the earth below. If the sub-base doesn’t have a barrier in place, the aggregates can mix with the soil beneath and result in sinking once the synthetic turf installation is finished.

If you need guidance in choosing the right artificial turf installation accessories, speak to your installer or contact your local Synthetic Grass Warehouse location. We can help you find the perfect synthetic grass products for your home or business. Synthetic Grass Warehouse has been an industry leader for more than 20 years, helping distributors, installers, and homeowners alike with all of their artificial grass installation needs. To find out more about artificial grass wholesale or to receive guidance with your next turf grass installation, contact your local Synthetic Grass Warehouse facility today.