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The Importance of Adequate Compaction When Installing an Artificial Lawn

Installing artificial grass is a relatively straightforward process.


Planning your project is the most important step. You will need to work out how much artificial grass you’ll need and which accessories you’ll need.

Artificial grass comes in either 2m or 4m widths, and lengths of up to 25m. The grass has a directional pile (which means all the blades lean to one side). When you roll out a piece of grass, the blades will either lean away from you or towards you, never left to right. For the optimum look, try to make sure the blades are leaning towards the house or seating area.

So to plan this, you’ll need to draw out a scale diagram of your garden. Use our helpful Project Planner. Think about the layout of each roll of grass and draw rectangles for where they will go, onto your diagram.

But, of course, to ensure success, it’s vitally important to ensure that each step of the installation process is completed correctly.

We have published several articles over the years to help both DIYers and professional installers to get the best results from their artificial lawn installations.

In our latest installation article, we’re taking a closer look at some of the reasons why it’s important to ensure that both the laying course and sub-base of your artificial lawn are adequately compacted.

Compaction is a key step and one that, if you don’t get it right, may fail your artificial lawn.

The groundworks are vital in any successful installation and we always say that you can have the best quality artificial grass money can buy, but if the installation isn’t completed correctly then you’re likely to have issues with your fake lawn in the years to come.

Experienced DIYers are certainly capable of carrying out their artificial grass installation, but we do normally recommend using an experienced professional.

If this is the route you’re going to take, then you may find it useful to search for your nearest SayGrass-approved installer.

They’ll be able to take care of everything from start to finish, so you don’t have to lift a finger. Of course, it’s likely to cost you more than a DIY installation, but it’s also likely that your artificial grass will prove to be a much better long-term investment, as a professional installation should perform better than a DIY installation.

Laying Artificial Lawn on Uneven Ground

If you have uneven ground, you risk water pooling in certain areas which can reduce the lifespan of your fake lawn. You also risk the joins not lining up which will not only look unsightly but can also be a trip hazard. If the seams do line up but the centre of the ground is not even, someone could fall over a dip and hurt themselves. There’s also the added risk of weeds coming through if no weed membrane has been installed.

But even if you’re considering using a professional, it’s still useful to know about the installation process, and the information in this article will give you good background knowledge about a key aspect of artificial grass installation.

But even if you’re considering using a professional, it’s still useful to know about the installation process, and the information in this article will give you good background knowledge about a key aspect of artificial grass installation.

Sub-Base Aggregates

When it comes to choosing the aggregates for your sub-base installation, you have two options available to you.

You can either choose MOT Type 1 or granite/limestone chippings.

In most circumstances, we recommend that you use Type 1, compacted to a layer between 50–100mm deep.

For the majority of garden installations, 50mm of Type 1 will create an adequate sub-base.

For heavy use, in public areas, using a layer compacted to 100mm deep is recommended as it will have the capability of withstanding frequent heavy use.

Under some circumstances, choosing a sub-base comprising granite or limestone chippings is recommended.

The great thing about these chippings is that they are a ‘washed aggregate’. This means that they do not contain any fines. An aggregate diameter of between 10mm and 20mm works best.
If you are a pet owner, then we highly recommend that you choose this type of aggregate. This is because it is a permeable sub-base that will allow liquids, in this case, urine, to drain through the turf and then through the sub-base without leaving behind any nasty odours.
Another example of when we would recommend this permeable sub-base is if your garden has drainage issues. If there are areas of your lawn that are boggy for a large part of the year, then use granite or limestone chippings.
Likewise, if your artificial grass will be receiving large amounts of surface water run-off, from a large patio, for example, then again, go with a permeable sub-base.
However, if you have neither a pet nor drainage issues in your garden, using Type 1 is the best way to go.

Laying Course Aggregates

For the laying course, we highly recommend 25mm of granite or limestone dust.

Whether you use granite or limestone doesn’t matter, just use whatever is locally available. In some parts of the country, you’ll find it easier to obtain one type of aggregate over the other. In the early days of artificial grass installation, many contractors would put down a layer of compacted sharp sand before laying the fake turf. This works fine for block paving, but it’s not quite the same with artificial grass. The major difference is that artificial grass allows up to 52 litres of water to drain through its perforated backing per square metre, per minute.

Always Use a Vibrating Plate Compactor, Where Possible

Both the sub-base and the laying course require adequate compaction to prevent dips and undulations from appearing in your artificial lawn.

To do this, you’ll need a vibrating plate compactor. Every professional contractor should own one of these, but for DIYers, they can easily be obtained from your local tool hire shop.

Never Compact in Layers of More Than 50mm

We recommend that your sub-base material is compacted to a minimum of 80% of its compaction capacity.

A typical vibrating plate compactor will only achieve 80% compaction when the sub-base material is no more than 50mm thick. Therefore, you should only ever compact 50mm of aggregate at a time. So, in the case of a 100mm sub-base layer, you’ll want to compact this into two separate layers to achieve the desired result.

Compact Laying Course Material When Wet

Water also has an important role to play in the compaction of the sub-base material.

After importing and levelling your sub-base material, be it type 1, chippings, or the granite/limestone dust laying course, we recommended saturating the aggregate.

By doing so, you’ll further aid the compaction of the material.

Of course, there is a fine line between not enough water and too much.

You’ll want to ensure that the water penetrates the entire depth of the sub-base material from top to bottom, but you’ll want to avoid flooding the surface.

Don’t Attempt to Compact Your Sub-Base on Waterlogged Earth

Of course, the first step in a typical artificial grass installation is to excavate the existing turf to expose the subgrade, or soil, ready for the sub-base installation.

Before you begin importing sub-base material, the subgrade, or earth, should not be saturated or waterlogged. If it is, it will severely hamper the compaction of the aggregate.

If you are faced with a saturated subgrade, you should allow it to dry out before spreading the sub-base material. Failure to do so could mean inadequate compaction and issues will include an uneven sub-base further down the line.

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Georgiana Caraiman
Georgiana Caraiman

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Georgiana Caraiman
19 November 2023


So happy with our new lawn, From the quote to the finished lawn, these guys are professional throughout. Great time keeping, friendly and know what they are doing. They explained what they was doing all the way through the installation of the artificial grass. Nitii was very patient when we kept asking for additions or changing our minds throughout the project. They really do go the extra mile !!! It looks perfect and the children can’t wait to get outside. It’s been a pleasure working with Saygrass and I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending them for any job. Thanks Nitii we love it !!!!

13 November 2023

The best workers and the best…

The best workers and the best company!!! They did the amazing grass in my garden, very quick and tidy.

Mr Rafael Chaves
10 November 2023

Genuinely I cannot make one single…

Genuinely I cannot make one single complain about this company. Genuine, honest, and professional people from start to the end. The quality of the grass is just outstanding, and the customer service went far and beyond to ensure I got what I asked for, I cannot recommend you enough. Amazing work, thank you so much Neeru for your hospitality throughout. Very helpful !

Mark Christmas
9 October 2023

Survey with a smile

Elly from saygrass was a complete delight. Very professional & knowledgeable. A great service and all done with a smile.

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7 October 2023

Really good service

Really good service, nit was a true proffessional I've recommended them to all friends and family. Ellee was also really helpful too. Thanks again Say grass

Ron Dorey
5 October 2023


The two gentlemen who carried out the work required and the Surveyor, excellent team.Also for the management team for allowing it. Saygrass does what it says on the box.If you want artificial grass laid properly contact

Manuela Angelini
30 September 2023

I had my decking replace in the garden

I had my decking replace in the garden, the team worked really hard ,and they did a great job. They were on time, all what was communicate was done. I did not like my colour paint of the decking as was too light eventhough was a dark oak,however they offer to repaint again with a darker colour. I will choose them again if need it.

30 August 2023

Excellent service very professional and…

Excellent service very professional and tidy I’m very happy with my new garden thank you I would recommend

Ada Alexandra A
25 August 2023

Excellent services

From the very first consultation to the final touches, my experience with SayGrass Artificial Grass Company has been nothing short of remarkable. The grass they've installed feels incredibly natural, almost indistinguishable from real grass. It's lush, vibrant, and soft underfoot. My children and pets have taken an instant liking to it, and I've noticed they spend much more time outdoors now. The team was professional, knowledgeable, and genuinely passionate about their work. They listened to my vision, made valuable suggestions, and executed the project flawlessly.

30 July 2023

Very happy with my grass cleaning…

Very happy with my grass cleaning service, staff was very courteous, they took their time in ensuring it was a perfect job, my grass looks great and I will definitely be using you guys again! Thanks again for a great service

Richard Byrne
26 July 2023

Saygrass delivered high standards and great work

The work is top quality, cannot fault a thing, extremely happy with the work and outcome. 100% recommend for others to you their service from start to finish the work and service they deliver is excellent great price and time frames.

15 July 2023

Very good job in my garden

Very good job in my garden

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21 June 2023

Great company

Great company, very clean and efficient. Would highly recommend

tracy keown
4 June 2023

After getting many quotes this company…

After getting many quotes this company came up with the best price. From quotation to final job they have been fantastic! The actual work has been exceptional and I cannot stop staring at my new garden!!

saiyma begum
15 May 2023

The customer service is brilliant from…

The customer service is brilliant from start to finish. The work is top quality, cannot fault a thing, extremely happy with the work and outcome. 100% recommend for others to you their service. I promise you will be very happy!

nqobile mafohla Oby
14 May 2023

Outstanding maintenance clean

Outstanding maintenance clean. Cleared all weeds, and washed the grass till new. Will definitely use them again.

Julian Lochrane
18 April 2023

Relaid my terrace

Relaid my terrace They turned up when they said they would. Stayed until the job was finished and did a good job. So professional and reliable.

Mrs Huggett
15 April 2023

Very pleased with our grass it looks so…

Very pleased with our grass it looks so real.The men were very professional worked hard in very wet weather & cleaned up everywhere.

View Grass
4 April 2023

Excellent service

Excellent service. Very reasonable pricing, phenomenal precise work. Highly recommend

Aaron Shohet
22 March 2023

Konstantin installed Artificial Lawn…

Konstantin installed Artificial Lawn onto my balcony back in August. The job was carried out to the highest order, done with professionalism and the grass was of exceptional quality. I would not hesitate in using Konstantin service again, thank you so much

Cimpoi Bogdan
15 February 2023

I had my garden totally revamped and…

I had my garden totally revamped and added decking. I contacted the owner of saygrass and has gratefully came and helped me by laying a perfect artificial grass in a very quick and timely manner. Very impressed with the work done and the quality of the grass. would definetely recommend.

Georgiana Caraiman
4 February 2023
Eva D.
23 January 2023

Definitely to recommend

The guys have done an amazing job! Quick and efficient, the pricing was very fair! They also gave us some great advice regarding to the work being done. They were very polite and cleaned everything up after themselves and we didn’t have to worry about a thing! Plus the end result is stunning and we love our new patio and it’s a great quality job!

Kashman Harris
13 January 2023

At a little loss for words, spoke with a lovely person call Neeru. The initial conversation was positive, great phone etiquette. Was given an immediate price point as a reference. Upon searching around, they were the cheaper deal by at least 1k! I needed a quick turnaround too, Neeru was able to organise and get everything sorted within a week! Honestly shocked at the incredible speed of service, the people who came to complete the job were cordial, laid floor covers down to protect my floors and even swept up after they were done. Some things are expected, but this whole process has shown me that there are just some bits of class and customer service you can’t put a price on. Will be using them for every bit of Garden work from here on out!

8 January 2023

Do recommend

SayGrass has excellent focus on what customers needs and require. Team is incredibly tidy and do try to finish work ASAP, no messing around what is very important these days. Happy they make my garden look this good. I would definitely recommend 👌

Prisacaru Andrei
5 January 2023

SayGrass is turning your old boring messy garden in a clean and quality looking garden.

Saygrass has given a bit of life and style to my garden.Price is really good and reflects well in quality.Hardworking team, fast, good communication and leaves your place clean and your garden looking like your own small paradise.Thank you

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9 December 2022

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5 December 2022

Very professional service, completed driveway on time and to a good standard. Will definitely use their services again.

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1 December 2022

Saygrass provided me with garden fencing and clearance. I was told that it would take two days and they kept their word. I am pleased and happy with the outcome and would gladly use them again as well as recommend them to family and friends.

Sami Birnbaum
3 October 2022

These guys were incredible! They did the whole job in a day, were very communicative and reliable. They have got to be the go-to company for artificial turf. With over 7 years in the industry they know what they are doing.

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1 October 2022
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30 September 2022

I would really recommend this service. Friendly staff .Very helpful. I will definitely use this company again :)

Dana Georgiana Caraiman
30 September 2022

Extremely grateful for the service we have had from you has been impeccable from receiving the free samples right through to your help and advice with installation.Excellent customer service, we couldn't be more pleased with the results. Will most definitely recommend you.Thanks ones again for all your help.

Neeru Kumar
24 September 2022

Very professional service all round. The installation team arrived on time and worked non stop. They really paid attention to detail which left an immaculate finish. Normally workmen don't clean after themselves but I was impressed that the team left everything very clean and tidy. Very competitive prices for an excellent service. Have already recommended to friends and family!

Liverpool YNWA
22 September 2022

The team were attentive to detail, friendly, and efficient. The installation was completed by day 2 and the team was very proficient. I am very pleased with the end outcome, and the soft grass that was chosen looks excellent. I would like to thank Saygrass for transforming the garden and to give them the highest recommendation. Overall, it was a great experience with top service and installation.

Andrei Pintilie
22 September 2022
17 September 2022

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