underlay for artificial grass, is it needed

We thought this worth a mention as it’s something we’re increasingly being asked when quoting for residential work.

In short – for most people the answer is no.

‘Shock pad’ is an underlay installed underneath artificial grass and it is designed for use in play areas – more specifically for underneath play equipment where children may be able to fall from a height onto a surface.  It’s over-spec for the average residential garden.  Some people may like the feel of it but for everyday use we think you’d be hard pushed to beat the functionality of a compacted stone-dust base which drains freely, has enough ‘give’ in it to absorb the shock of a trip or surface fall and can be shaped as desired.

Also if you’ve got pets then avoid shock pad where possible.  It will hold urine and bacteria within the shock pad rather than draining freely into a stone base which increases the chance and duration of opportunity for bacterial transfer and will smell in warm weather.

If there is any chance of a child falling from height then we would recommend shock-pad.   If it’s being recommended to you for general use then you are probably being upsold something you don’t need…

If you have any question about artificial grass then please don’t hesitate to get in touch – we’re always happy to help!

Shockpad is increasingly being used as an up-selling tool by installers to add extra margin to a job.  In the majority of residential installations it simply isn’t needed and is often being used as part of a quick-fit installation method at the expense of proper groundwork.


We recommend artificial grass is loose-laid over fixed down as it is better for the grass and in most every day applications there is simply no reason to fix it.  Fixing artificial grass to timber frames should be avoided as this will build obsolescence into the lawn and is not a professional recommendation method unless special use or circumstance dictates i.e. indoor or short-term use.

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About Turf King

Turf King is a Bristol based supplier and installer of artificial grass across the domestic, sports and education markets.  We are an independent family business dedicated to excellence in artificial grass.  Through our blog we aim to give buyers of artificial grass all the tools they need to make good purchasing decisions when buying artificial grass product and services. Follow the Turf King blog for regular updates.

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