Thinking about investing in artificial grass, but aren’t sure if it can be installed on decking?

Perhaps you’re looking to replace your old, slippy decking for a more natural look. Or maybe you’re just sick of all the maintenance it required to keep it looking good.

The main issue with decking is that it tends to attract moss and has started to rot, or look very weathered. And especially if you’ve painted your decking, it will require a lot of upkeep to stop it from discolouring and the paint peeling.

But can artificial grass be installed on decking, or will it all have to be ripped out first?

The good news is that yes! Artificial grass can absolutely be installed on top of decking – with a few conditions.

As an artificial grass specialist, this is something I get asked about a lot. That’s why I’m going to take a moment to explain everything you need to know when getting artificial grass installed on top of your decking.

How is artificial grass installed on decking?

If your decking boards are in good condition, level, and without any rot, it’s likely artificial grass can be installed on top. However, this is something an artificial grass specialist will be able to advise on during a site visit.

A typical installation would involve applying a weed barrier, followed by a shock pad layer, and then the grass. No dig-out is required, but the area would need to be brushed and power blown to eliminate any moss or debris before the weed barrier is applied.

When installing artificial grass on decking, your installer should also tac or staple down the perimeter to ensure the installation is secure and won’t move.

Not sure your decking is in a great condition? If any remedial works did need carried out on your decking, this is something your installer may also be able to help you with before installation – for an extra charge.

An extra soft surface for children to play on

We would advise considering installing a shock pad layer with your artificial grass, as decking is quite a hard surface. However, it isn’t essential, and we especially wouldn’t advise this if your pets are going to use it often, as this layer can soak up urine and can smell.

However, a shock pad layer can offer extra peace of mind if children will be playing on the surface, as it comes in thicknesses of 10mm, 18mm or 25mm and can achieve a critical fall height of 2.6m.

If you’re looking to install your grass for pets and children, but don’t want to keep your pets from urinating on it (which can be tricky), we’d advise going for a normal garden installation instead. This would require removal of your decking, so that we can install the appropriate sub-base and then the grass over the top.

No shock pad layer is required, and allows pets to play as they please without any worry.

Advice from an artificial grass specialist

Most installers should be happy to install artificial grass on decking, assuming it’s in good condition. Even if your decking isn’t exactly looking great, there’s a chance it can remedied so that installation can take place. An artificial grass specialist should also be able to check this, along with whether you have appropriate drainage for your decking.

TIP: Drainage usually isn’t a problem, as most high-quality artificial grass is fully permeable.

We carry out many decking installations. It can take a drab decking area and transform it into a gorgeous green space that is much more aesthetically pleasing. We recently installed decking for one of our customers who wanted it for their kids to play on. Their decking wasn’t in bad condition, but they were just sick of the upkeep.

They were also worried one of their children might have an accident, as they were constantly getting told off for running on the decking when it was wet. Artificial grass, with a shock pad layer, turned out to be a great solution and created a much safer surface, which drained quickly after rain. No more telling off!


So, there we have it! Artificial grass CAN be installed on decking. As long as your decking is in good condition, you should be able to install artificial grass on top. However, this is something an artificial grass specialist can help advise on, and the area will still need to be brushed and power blown to get rid of any debris or moss.

Do you have any specific questions about installing artificial grass on decking? Let me know in the comments’ section. I’d be more than happy to help!


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