What do you put under artificial turf?

When it comes to landscaping, artificial turf has gained popularity for its numerous benefits. But do we really know what goes under artificial turf during its installation? This is a key aspect that often goes overlooked, yet it’s crucial to the longevity and appearance of your turf. In this article, we will delve into what you need to put under artificial turf and why it’s so important. We’ll also discuss the benefits of artificial turf, how to maintain it, and the different types available on the market. Whether you’re a homeowner looking to revamp your garden or a professional landscaper, this guide will provide you with valuable insights into the world of artificial turf. So, let’s dive in and explore the intricacies of artificial turf.

What is Artificial Turf?

Artificial turf, also known as synthetic grass, is a surface made from synthetic fibers designed to mimic the look and feel of natural grass. It was initially used in sports arenas where maintaining natural grass was challenging, but over time, it has found widespread use in residential and commercial landscapes. From playgrounds and rooftops to backyards and balconies, artificial turf offers a versatile and low-maintenance alternative to traditional lawns.

But what makes artificial turf look so convincingly like natural grass? The secret lies in its construction. High-quality artificial turf is made from a blend of green polyethylene fibers that mimic the blades of grass and brown nylon fibers that resemble the dead grass or thatch layer found in a natural lawn. The turf is typically installed over a base of compacted soil or aggregate, with a layer of sand or rubber crumb infill to keep the fibers upright and provide cushioning.

Understanding the construction of artificial turf is essential because it helps us appreciate the importance of the materials used beneath it. So let’s delve deeper into what goes under artificial turf and why these components are so crucial.

What are the Benefits of Artificial Turf?

Artificial turf has a myriad of benefits that make it an attractive choice for many homeowners and businesses. One of the most significant advantages is its low maintenance. Unlike natural grass, artificial turf doesn’t require watering, mowing, or fertilizing, making it an environmentally friendly option. This not only saves you time but also reduces your water bills and carbon footprint. Imagine the convenience of having a lawn that remains lush and green all year round, regardless of the weather or water restrictions!

Furthermore, artificial turf is highly durable and can withstand heavy traffic, making it a perfect choice for playgrounds, sports fields, and commercial properties. It’s also a great option for areas where natural grass struggles to grow, such as shaded or indoor areas.

Another notable benefit of artificial turf is its versatility. It can be installed in a variety of settings, including rooftops, balconies, and patios, providing a touch of greenery where traditional lawns can’t grow. What’s more, good-quality artificial turf looks and feels just like real grass, giving you the best of both worlds: the beauty of a natural lawn without the upkeep.

Finally, for those with allergies, artificial turf can be a lifesaver. It doesn’t produce pollen, which means you can enjoy spending time in your yard without the sneezing and itching that comes with grass allergies.

With all these benefits, it’s no wonder that more and more people are opting for artificial turf. But to ensure you get the most out of your investment, it’s essential to understand the installation process, including what goes under artificial turf. So, let’s delve into that topic next.

What Do You Need to Install Artificial Turf?

Installing artificial turf is a detailed process that requires careful preparation and the right materials. It involves creating a solid base, securing the turf, and applying infill, among other steps. Each element plays a crucial role in the turf’s performance, durability, and appearance. So, what exactly do you need to install artificial turf? Let’s break it down:

  • Sub-Base: This is the layer that goes directly under the turf. It’s usually made of compacted soil or a layer of aggregate such as crushed stone or sand. The sub-base provides a stable foundation for the turf and ensures proper drainage.
  • Compaction Material: This is used to compact the sub-base and create a flat, firm surface. It can be made of different materials, but it’s usually a type of crushed rock or gravel.
  • Anchoring System: This is used to secure the turf to the ground and prevent it from shifting. It typically involves using stakes or nails to anchor the turf to the sub-base.
  • Imagination System: This refers to the layout and design process. You’ll need to imagine how you want your artificial lawn to look and plan accordingly. This might involve choosing the type of turf, determining the shape and size of your lawn, and deciding where to place certain features such as trees or garden beds.
  • Infill: This is a layer of material that is spread over the top of the turf once it’s been installed. It helps keep the grass blades standing upright and provides cushioning. The type of infill used can vary, but it’s often made of sand or rubber crumb.

Now that we’ve gone over the basics of artificial turf installation, let’s explore each of these components in more detail.

Sub-Base for Artificial Turf

The sub-base is the first layer laid down before installing the artificial turf. It is, in essence, the foundation upon which your faux lawn rests. The sub-base provides stability, ensuring that the turf stays in place even under heavy foot traffic. It also plays a crucial role in drainage, preventing water from pooling on the surface of the turf.

Typically, the sub-base for artificial turf is made from compacted soil or a layer of aggregate such as crushed stone or sand. The choice between these materials often depends on the specific requirements of your area, such as the local climate and the type of soil in your yard.

For instance, in areas with heavy rainfall, a sub-base of crushed stone is often preferred as it provides excellent drainage. On the other hand, in drier climates, a sand sub-base might be sufficient.

The thickness of the sub-base also varies depending on the intended use of the turf. For instance, a playground or a sports field that will see heavy use might require a thicker sub-base than a residential lawn.

It’s important to remember that the quality of your sub-base can significantly impact the longevity and appearance of your artificial turf. Therefore, it’s worth investing in a well-prepared and high-quality sub-base. Remember, a flawless lawn starts from the ground up!

Compaction Materials for Artificial Turf

Once the sub-base is laid, the next step is compacting. This is where compaction materials come into play. These materials, often a type of crushed rock or gravel, are spread over the sub-base then compacted using a plate compactor. The compaction process is essential because it creates a flat, firm, and stable surface for the artificial turf to rest on.

Why is this so important, you might ask? Well, imagine walking on a lawn and feeling uneven surfaces, or worse, sinking spots. It’s not the most pleasant experience, is it? This is what happens when the compaction process is not properly done or skipped altogether.

Proper compaction ensures that the artificial turf will have an even surface, enhancing the overall look and feel of the lawn. It also helps to prevent the turf from shifting or developing wrinkles over time, contributing to a longer lifespan for your artificial turf.

It’s worth noting that the type of compaction material used can vary depending on the specific needs of your project. For instance, if your sub-base is made of crushed stone, you might use a smaller size of the same material for compaction. On the other hand, if your sub-base is made of sand, you might opt for a gravel compaction layer to provide additional stability.

In conclusion, never underestimate the importance of proper compaction when installing artificial turf. It’s one of those behind-the-scenes tasks that, while not immediately visible, can significantly impact the success of your artificial turf installation.

Anchoring System for Artificial Turf

After laying down and compacting the sub-base, the next step in the artificial turf installation process is securing the turf. This is typically achieved using an anchoring system, which is designed to hold the turf in place and prevent it from shifting or moving.

The most common type of anchoring system for artificial turf involves using stakes or nails. These are driven into the sub-base through the backing of the turf, securing it firmly to the ground. The size and type of nails used can vary depending on the specific requirements of your project, but they are typically made from galvanized steel to prevent rusting.

It’s worth noting that the anchoring system is a critical component of your artificial turf installation. A poorly anchored turf can shift, wrinkle, or even become detached, leading to an uneven and unsightly lawn. Additionally, a loose turf can be a tripping hazard, posing a safety risk, especially in high-traffic areas or sports fields.

Therefore, it’s essential to choose the right type of anchoring system for your artificial turf and to ensure it’s properly installed. Remember, a well-anchored artificial turf is not only more aesthetically pleasing but also safer and more durable.

In conclusion, the anchoring system is a key component in the artificial turf installation process. By securing the turf firmly to the sub-base, it ensures a smooth, even, and safe surface for you to enjoy. So, the next time you walk on an artificial lawn, remember that beneath its verdant surface is a sturdy anchoring system holding everything in place!

Imagination System for Artificial Turf

The installation of artificial turf isn’t just a technical process; it also involves a fair bit of imagination and creativity. This is where the ‘Imagination System’ comes into play. Before the physical installation process begins, you need to envision how you want your space to look. This involves choosing the type, color, and pile height of your artificial turf, as well as deciding on the layout of your lawn.

You might want to consider factors such as the shape and size of your lawn, the position of any trees or garden beds, and how you plan to use the space. Are you looking to create a lush, green lawn for children to play on? Or perhaps a low-maintenance yard for your pets? Maybe you’re after a stunning, manicured lawn that enhances your home’s curb appeal? Whatever your vision, it’s important to plan ahead to ensure your artificial turf installation meets your needs and expectations.

Moreover, the imagination system isn’t just about aesthetics; it’s also about practicality. You need to consider how your artificial lawn will function in terms of drainage and durability. For example, areas with heavy foot traffic will require a higher density turf, while areas with poor drainage may require additional preparation during the installation process.

In conclusion, the ‘Imagination System’ is a vital part of the artificial turf installation process. By carefully planning and visualizing your project, you can create a beautiful and functional lawn that meets your specific needs and enhances your outdoor space. Now, with your imagination sparked and your plan in place, let’s move on to the final element of artificial turf installation: the infill.

Infill for Artificial Turf

Lastly, but certainly not least, we come to the infill. This is a material that’s spread over the top of the artificial turf once it’s been laid and secured. The infill plays a crucial role in maintaining the appearance and functionality of the artificial turf.

One of its key functions is to keep the synthetic grass blades standing upright, giving the turf its natural, lush look. Additionally, the infill provides cushioning, making the turf more comfortable to walk or play on. It also adds weight to the turf, helping to keep it in place and prevent it from wrinkling or shifting over time.

The type of infill used can vary, with options ranging from sand and crumb rubber to organic materials like walnut shells or cork. The choice of infill often depends on the specific requirements of your project. For instance, if you’re installing a playground or sports field, you might opt for a shock-absorbing infill like crumb rubber. On the other hand, if you’re installing a residential lawn, a sand infill might suffice.

Regardless of the type of infill you choose, it’s important to remember that this material plays a significant role in the longevity and performance of your artificial turf. Therefore, it’s worth investing in a high-quality infill that meets the specific needs of your project.

In conclusion, the infill is a key ingredient in the artificial turf installation process. By keeping the grass blades upright and providing cushioning and stability, it helps ensure that your artificial lawn looks its best and stands the test of time. So, the next time you admire a beautifully installed artificial lawn, remember that beneath its lush, green surface lies a layer of infill, working hard to keep everything in perfect order.

What Are the Different Types of Artificial Turf?

Just as there are many types of natural grass, so too are there various types of artificial turf. Each type has its unique characteristics, making it suited to specific applications. Some of the most commonly used types of artificial turf include:

  • Nylon Turf: This is the strongest and most resilient type of artificial turf. It can withstand high temperatures and heavy foot traffic without losing its original shape. However, its stiffness makes it less comfortable underfoot, which is why it’s often used as a secondary thatch layer to support softer turf materials.
  • Polyethylene Turf: This is the most common type of artificial turf for residential and commercial landscapes. It has a soft, natural feel and a realistic appearance, making it a popular choice for lawns, gardens, and sports fields.
  • Polypropylene Turf: This is the least expensive and least durable type of artificial turf. It’s suitable for low-traffic areas or decorative installations where durability is not a concern.

When choosing the type of artificial turf for your project, it’s important to consider factors such as the intended use of the turf, the amount of foot traffic it will receive, and your budget. By choosing the right type of turf for your needs, you can ensure a successful installation and a long-lasting, beautiful lawn.

Having explored the different types of artificial turf, let’s now turn our attention to how to maintain your turf to ensure it continues to look its best for years to come.

How to Maintain Artificial Turf?

While artificial turf requires less maintenance than natural grass, it’s not completely maintenance-free. To keep your artificial turf looking its best and extend its lifespan, there are a few simple maintenance tasks that you should perform regularly. Let’s take a look at these.

  • Rinsing: Regularly rinsing your artificial turf can help to keep it clean and free of dust, pollen, and other airborne pollutants. This is especially important if you have pets or if the turf is used frequently by children.
  • Brushing: Over time, the grass blades of your artificial turf may become flat due to foot traffic. Brushing the turf with a stiff, bristled broom can help to keep the grass blades standing upright and maintain the lawn’s natural appearance.
  • Cleaning up Debris: Leaves, twigs, and other debris should be removed from the turf regularly to prevent it from accumulating and blocking drainage.
  • Inspecting: Regularly inspect your artificial turf for any signs of damage or wear and tear. If detected early, small issues can often be fixed easily without needing to replace the entire lawn.

By following these simple maintenance tasks, you can keep your artificial turf looking lush and vibrant for many years. Now, let’s dive into these maintenance tasks in more detail.

Rinsing Artificial Turf

Rinsing artificial turf is a simple but important step in maintaining its cleanliness and aesthetic appeal. Just like you would rinse a car to remove dust or pollen, the same principle applies to your artificial turf.

Regular rinsing helps to wash away airborne pollutants, pet droppings, and other debris that may have accumulated on the turf’s surface. This is especially crucial if you have pets, as their waste can cause unpleasant odors and potential hygiene issues if not cleaned up promptly.

How often you should rinse your artificial turf largely depends on its usage and the local environment. For instance, if your turf sees heavy use, or if you live in a dusty area, you might need to rinse it more frequently. Conversely, if your turf sees less foot traffic and is located in a clean environment, you might get away with less frequent rinsing.

Remember, while rinsing your artificial turf is important, it’s equally essential to ensure it drains properly. Good drainage prevents water from pooling on the surface, which can lead to mold growth and other problems. Therefore, proper rinsing and good drainage go hand in hand in keeping your artificial turf clean and well-maintained.

Brushing Artificial Turf

Just like your hair needs brushing to keep it neat and tangle-free, your artificial turf needs a good brushing too! Over time, foot traffic can cause the grass blades of your turf to flatten. Regular brushing helps to keep these blades standing upright, maintaining that lush and natural look of the lawn.

To brush your artificial turf, you’ll need a stiff-bristled broom or a brush specifically designed for artificial turf. It’s important not to use a wire brush as this can damage the synthetic grass blades. Similarly, avoid using a rotary brush as the high-speed rotation can heat up the synthetic fibers and cause them to melt.

The best way to brush your artificial turf is in a cross pattern, meaning you should brush in multiple directions. This helps to lift the grass blades evenly and prevents them from leaning in one direction. Remember to be gentle as you brush; vigorous brushing can damage the turf and cause the infill to be displaced.

How often you need to brush your artificial turf will depend on the amount of foot traffic it receives. For high-traffic areas, you might need to brush your turf weekly, while for less frequently used areas, a monthly brushing might suffice.

In conclusion, brushing is a simple yet effective way to maintain the appearance of your artificial turf. By keeping the grass blades standing upright, brushing helps to keep your turf looking lush and natural, ensuring it continues to enhance the beauty of your outdoor space.

Inspecting Artificial Turf

Inspection is a crucial part of artificial turf maintenance. Regularly check your turf for any signs of damage or wear and tear. This could include areas where the turf is fraying, seams coming apart, or the infill becoming uneven. Early detection allows for timely remediation, preventing minor issues from escalating into major problems.

Inspect areas that receive heavy foot traffic more frequently, as they are more prone to wear and tear. Also, check the edges and seams of the turf, where damage is most likely to occur. If you spot any issues, it’s best to contact a professional to assess and fix the problem.

While artificial turf is designed to be durable and long-lasting, it’s not invincible. Regular inspection helps extend its lifespan, ensuring that your artificial lawn continues to look its best for years to come. Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!

Key Takeaways

In this comprehensive guide, we’ve covered the ins and outs of artificial turf, from understanding what goes beneath it, to its maintenance. To summarize, here are the key takeaways:

  • Artificial turf is a versatile, low-maintenance alternative to natural grass, offering year-round greenery without the need for watering, mowing, or fertilizing.
  • The installation of artificial turf involves a meticulous process, including the preparation of a sub-base, often composed of compacted soil or aggregate. The sub-base provides stability and ensures proper drainage.
  • Regular maintenance, though less intensive than that of natural grass, is essential to keep your artificial turf looking its best. This includes routine rinsing, brushing, and inspection for any signs of wear and tear.
  • Understanding the type of artificial turf that best suits your needs is crucial. Factors such as intended use, foot traffic, and budget should guide your selection.

With these key insights, you’re now well-equipped to make informed decisions regarding your artificial turf, whether you’re considering installation or seeking to optimize its maintenance. After all, a well-maintained artificial turf not only enhances the aesthetic appeal of your space but also serves as a testament to your commitment to sustainability and efficient resource use.

Remember, the journey to a stunning, evergreen lawn begins with understanding and ends with diligent care. So, are you ready to embrace the convenience and beauty of artificial turf? If so, get ready to say goodbye to the mower and hello to a lush, green lawn all year round!


In conclusion, artificial turf offers a sustainable and low-maintenance alternative to natural grass, making it a popular choice for many homeowners, businesses, and sports facilities. Understanding the installation process, the materials used beneath it, and how to maintain it is crucial to getting the most out of your investment. By doing so, you not only enhance the aesthetic appeal of your outdoor spaces but also contribute to water conservation and reduce your carbon footprint. Whether you’re contemplating installing artificial turf or seeking ways to better maintain your existing artificial lawn, the knowledge and insights shared in this guide will surely come in handy.

So, are you ready to embrace the convenience and beauty of artificial turf? If so, visit Drager Land Management for a wide range of artificial turf options and professional installation services. Here’s to enjoying a lush, green lawn all year round, without the hassles of traditional lawn care!

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