Car parking on wet grass

Can you lay gravel grids on soil?

Author Ted Bromley-Hall

Laying gravel grids on soil and grass

You can install gravel grids on any surface including soil and grass surfaces. For footpaths and surfaces that are not going to experience much vehicle traffic, cover the the ground with membrane and anchor the grids down with suitable edging.

For driveways and heavy use areas, we recommend you use a 150mm sub base of compacted type 1 MOT. For more info on best installation practices, take a look at our installation guide.

Sub base layers for gravel grids

Why wet ground is bad for parking surfaces

Soil and clay surfaces expand and contract with different seasonal temperatures and rainfall. Whatever surface you're installing, including concrete or tarmac surfaces, the wet ground makes it unstable.

For pathways and low traffic areas, you can install gravel grids directly onto the ground with a permeable membrane beneath.

The cross-shaped (hence "IBRAN-X" mesh at the bottom of the grids is a unique feature of our design which stops grids slipping and moving into the ground.This is what makes IBRAN-X a particularly good, wheelchair friendly surfacing choice.

Avoiding poor advice

There are a number of suppliers which recommend you skip the installation of a sub base for car parking areas. This is setting your surface up to fail. You are investing time and money in a major part of your home or facility, so the surfacing needs to last.

If you're not worried about that movement too much, then at least line the base with a membrane. This helps stabilise the surface beneath the gravel grids and prevent any surface-level movement.

Choosing whether to use a sub base or not

With over 10 years and 94,000+ projects involving gravel grids, the most successful surfaces are those which take our advice. The choice is ultimately yours to make and you can simplify your decision based on this:

  • Footpaths, patios and low traffic areas: use a permeable membrane beneath the grids
  • Heavy traffic areas: install a 150mm sub base according to our installation guide.

Tools for calculating your material requirements. 

Make your preparation easy by using our specially designed materials calculators. All you'll need is your measurements (in metric) and our calculators will tell you exactly what you need.