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Installing the Sub Base

Getting your sub base correct is arguably, the most important part of an artificial grass installation. It is a very labour intensive part of the process, as by its nature, it involves heavy lifting and small-scale earthworks.

Laying on Existing Hard Surfaces

It’s very common to lay artificial grass, over existing concrete, tarmac or patio. In these circumstances, a minimal amount of groundworks is required as the surface is already flat. Sometimes minor repairs might need to be made to a concrete area if it has cracks and holes in it. these will need to be filled in. All that would be needed in this situation is one layer of our 10mm shockpad underlay. This will provide cushioning and leveling.

Removal of the existing surface

If your artificial grass is going over a grassy or muddy area, the top layer will need to be removed. If organic matter is not removed at this stage, it will rot later and this will cause an uneven surface. You will need to remove 35mm of the existing soil layer, for a typical domestic installation.


Sub Base Materials

Sharp Sand

If you’re conducting a small-scale domestic DIY install, Sharp Sand will suffice. Sharp Sand is slightly better at holding it’s shape than normal sand (silica sand or Kiln Dried Sand), and it can be purchased from all good builders merchants.

Simply spread out the Sharp Sand over your area and level. You will need to compact it as much as possible, either using a heavy flat weight or you can hire a whacker plate.

Granno (6mm to dust)

Granno or crushed limestone is harder to come by and is often only sourced via quarries. It can be easier to use and create better results, but it is not necessary for the layman. Landscapers should consider sourcing Granno (6mm to dust). And in order for the sub base to be not too rocky, whilst also being malleable, it needs to be specifically ‘6mm to dust’.

Type 1 MOT

DIY installations will likely not need MOT. If you’re looking to ensure a very hard, flat surface then MOT is appropriate. Football pitches, Tennis courts and Multi Use Games Areas will require an MOT Type 1 sub base layer, with a Granno layer on top. This would require digging a total depth of 135mm (100mm of MOT and 35mm of Granno or Sand). But this is not necessary for most garden installations.


If your artificial grass lawn is going to be used by dogs, we recommend 10Kg/m2 of ZeoZorb below the artificial grass, and 10Kg/m2 above the artificial grass. This means you will need to dig about 40mm into the soil, then a Sub Base of Granno or Sharp Sand, and then spread the ZeoZorb on top. Find out more about ZeoZorb’s special properties here.

Normally, a weed membrane can be placed straight under the artificial grass, but if your sub base includes ZeoZorb and the garden is to be used by dogs, then we recommend that the weed membrane is installed within the sub base. So a small layer of sand, then weed membrane, then the rest of the sand, then ZeoZorb.

Calculating Quantities

  1. For MOT

    Essentially, you need to calculate volume and then convert this to weight. So for the volume, times the square meterage by the depth. If your area is 20 square meters and the depth is 100mm, then you’ll need to times 20m by 0.1m. This would give you a volume of 2m3.

    To convert this into the weight in MOT, simply times this by 2.2. So you would need 4.4 tons.

  2. For Sand

    Work out the volume by multiplying the area in metres by the depth in meters. 35mm in meters would be 0.035m. So a 20m2 area with a depth of 35mm, has a volume of (20 x 0.035) = 0.7m3. Times this by the magic number of 1.5 to get the weight of the sand 0.7 x 1.5 = 1.05 tons.

    If you’re buying this in 25Kg bags, divide the weight (1050Kg) by the weight per bag (25Kg), which is 1050/25=42. So you’ll need 42 bags.

  3. For more information call us direct
    0800 035 3357

AGD Office

If you’re looking for more information why not checkout our DIY Guide and Project Planner. And remember, our friendly staff and ready to talk to you via Email, Live Chat or Phone.

You can Email us at [email protected]

Useful Information


If you love grass but don’t want the mess, mud and maintenance, Artificial Grass Direct has the perfect grass for you.

What our customers say

Delivered quickly. Can’t comment on how they work as edging. My plan is to use them as a non-rotting shed base.

Jon Dance

11th September 2023

Great product, very quick delivery. No fuss, very happy.


7th September 2023

Purchased to put over our decking. Initially felt this 38mm was a bit disappointing. The platform isn’t very dense. B...

Phillip Merrison

3rd September 2023

Great quality artificial grass at affordable price, probably one of the cheapest on the market. Highly recommend them!

Marija Atanasova

27th August 2023

Excellent service from this company and the quality of the grass was as advertised. Delivery was well within the time...

Gareth Hodge

18th August 2023

Great price and the product is of great quality too. Did not make to just send out 1 driver to deliver a 200KG plus r...

Pratik Patel

5th August 2023

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