How Much Does Artificial Grass Cost?

Interested in saving time, money, energy, and effort on lawn maintenance? Realistic-looking artificial grass cost ranges from $2,800 to $7,000, with many homeowners spending about $4,846.

By Katie Flannery | Updated Aug 3, 2022 2:57 PM

Artificial Grass Cost

Photo: istockphoto.com

  • Typical Range: $2,800 to $7,000
  • National Average: $4,846

Artificial grass is a growing trend among homeowners. The lure of artificial turf includes reduced water costs; better drainage; minimized maintenance; a stunning appearance in both sunny and shaded areas; and not exposing family and pets to pesticides, fertilizers, and chemicals. Today’s artificial grass looks more realistic than ever, but incorrect installation can make it look fake and unnatural. A professional artificial grass installer has the experience, skill, and specialized tools to make the fake grass look more realistic.

How much does artificial grass cost? According to Angi and HomeAdvisor, the cost of artificial grass ranges from $2,800 to $7,000, with the national average at $4,846 for materials and installation. The overall artificial grass cost depends on how much artificial turf is needed and the type of artificial grass. Installed correctly, artificial grass can last 20 years or more. It’s child- and pet-friendly, and high-quality artificial grasses resist warping and stretching and are comparable to the temperature of natural grass in hot conditions. Today’s artificial grass is composed of a range of green hues to provide a more natural appearance. Some types of faux grass even have a thatch layer to make them look more true to life.

With a price between $2 and $8 per square foot, the cost to install artificial grass is higher than the cost to install sod, which runs between $0.90 and $2 per square foot. Despite the up-front costs of artificial grass, homeowners can save time, energy, and money on water, fertilizer, chemicals, and pesticides that traditional lawns need. A professional landscaper typically charges between $3 and $12 per square foot for labor to install artificial grass, depending on the difficulty of the job and the size of the yard. Here, we’ll examine the additional costs and considerations that impact artificial turf cost, the different types of artificial grass, the benefits of installing fake grass, and important questions to ask an artificial grass installation company.

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Factors in Calculating Artificial Grass Cost

Artificial Grass Cost

Photo: istockphoto.com

How much is artificial grass? That depends on several factors. Prices can differ from the national average due to yard size and shape, turf material, turf brand, labor prices, installation location, grass blade shape, base material, weed barrier, irrigation, site preparation, cleanup, and geographic location. Some websites have a helpful artificial grass cost calculator to estimate the installation costs in your area. Keep reading to get a better idea regarding what affects artificial turf grass cost.

Yard Size and Shape

Synthetic grass runs between $2 and $8 per square foot, depending on the type and brand. Some stores sell artificial grass by the roll or by the linear foot, and some places may custom cut the turf to size. Rolls of artificial grass typically come in widths between 7 and 15 feet. Larger areas will require more material, which will increase the overall cost of the project.

Cutting the artificial grass to fit an unusually shaped area can add to the overall cost. Curved designs or cutting the grass for areas that are not square or rectangular can increase the labor costs by $1 to $3 or more.

Turf Material

Artificial grass is made from nylon, polypropylene, or polyethylene. Each material has unique features and qualities that may work better for specific locations or needs. Each type of turf material is discussed in more detail in a section below.

Turf Brand

The best artificial grass lets homeowners, their family, and their friends enjoy the backyard, and they won’t have to worry about lawn care and maintenance. When deciding on artificial turf, there are several brands to choose from at varying quality and pricing levels. Here are some of the most common artificial grass brands and their average prices per square foot.

Labor

Labor prices can run from $3 to $12 per square foot, depending on the type of synthetic turf, the size of the area, and the amount of prep work. Keep in mind that labor costs are usually more expensive in densely populated urban areas than in more rural locations.

Installation Location

Before artificial grass can be installed, the area needs to be prepped. This involves removing rocks and tree stumps, excavating, and resurfacing the area. If the location is difficult to access or if the space needs extensive clearing, it will result in higher labor costs. Sometimes homeowners will choose to have fake grass installed in unusual areas, such as on stairways, rooftops, decks, patios, concrete surfaces, walls, indoors, or in child or pet play areas. These locations can affect the fake grass cost since they require special adhesive and additional treatment to prevent mold and mildew growth.

Blade Shape

Artificial grass comes with a variety of blade shapes to make the turf look more realistic. In the early days of synthetic grass manufacturing, the grass had a more carpet-like look instead of resembling a real lawn. Today’s artificial grass blades come in varying lengths of 2 or 4 inches to add to a more natural look. Here are the different blade shapes and their characteristics.

  • C-shaped grass blades. C-shaped blades are long lasting, durable, and have an upright shape.
  • M-shaped grass blades. These are possibly the most realistic-looking artificial grass blades.
  • S-shaped grass blades. S-shaped blades are also realistic looking and are soft underfoot, but they are not as durable or heat-resistant.
  • U-shaped grass blades. These synthetic blades are long lasting, durable, and soft.
  • V-shaped grass blades. V-shaped blades are well suited for high-traffic areas, and they have a fast recovery time.
  • W-shaped grass blades. Natural-looking W-shaped blades are the most heat-resistant, durable, and long lasting of the artificial grass blades.

Base Material

For easy-draining artificial grass, the base material needs to be laid down before the turf. The base material consists of crushed rock or decomposed granite and landscaping fabric to prevent weed growth. The crushed rock and decomposed granite costs from $0.30 to $0.70 per square foot, and the landscaping fabric runs from $0.40 to $0.80 per square foot.

Infill is an important part of artificial grass installation. Applied after the artificial turf, infill consists of sand or rubber that supports the faux grass blades, keeps them upright, weighs down the artificial grass, and extends the life of the artificial lawn. Some types of infill are treated with an antimicrobial coating that helps prevent bacteria growth and eliminate pet waste odors. Infill also supplies a soft layer underfoot so the artificial grass feels more natural and lifelike. Infill is commonly applied with a spreader on top of the artificial grass to ensure even application. A push broom is used to spread the infill and make sure it drops down to the base of the artificial lawn. Without infill, the artificial lawn will lack the natural feel and look of a conventional lawn.

Weed Barrier

A weed barrier prevents weed growth in the artificial grass. A roll of weed barrier fabric usually covers about 1,500 feet and costs approximately $90. While it is possible for weeds to grow in artificial grass, there is significantly less growth than with a conventional lawn.

Irrigation

To ensure proper water runoff, limestone chips or decomposed granite should be installed. Decomposed granite costs between $0.30 and $0.70 per square foot.

Preparation and Cleanup

Before the artificial grass can be installed, the area needs to be prepared. Most areas need to be excavated and smoothed out before the synthetic grass can be laid down. The prep work involves the removal of tree stumps, rocks, sticks, leaves, and debris. The existing grass is removed and the entire area is excavated to a depth of 2 inches, which runs from $50 to $200 per cubic yard. A weed barrier is installed, crushed rocks are added and tamped down to create an even surface, and then sand is poured over the rocks to remove any bumps.

Sod and dirt removal can cost between $8 and $25 per cubic yard, and relocation of dirt to another part of the property can range from $1 to $15 per cubic yard. Dirt recycling is another option that costs from $30 to $120 per ton.

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Geographic Location

Material and labor costs vary according to geographic location. Installing artificial grass in a densely populated urban area is typically more expensive than in suburban or rural locations.

Additional Costs and Considerations

When answering the question of “How much does turf cost?” it’s important to know about any additional costs and considerations that can add to the overall price. These can include debris removal, additional landscaping, and maintenance.

Debris Removal

After excavation, the dirt, grass, landscaping, rocks, tree stumps, and any concrete needs to be removed. Some pros may include the price of removal with their labor costs, but others will add a separate charge to their estimate for debris removal. Be sure to check with the artificial grass installation company regarding their removal policies and pricing.

Additional Landscaping

The landscaping around the newly installed artificial grass may need some changes. If a homeowner wants new flower beds, trees, mulch, or shrubs installed, it will add a significant amount to the overall price of the installation project.

Maintenance

While an artificial grass yard requires significantly less maintenance than a conventional lawn, it still needs some upkeep. If pets use the artificial turf, it will need regular rinsing, cleaning, and deodorizing to keep unpleasant odors at bay. If weeds make their way through a weed barrier, pulling weeds or spraying to prevent growth should be done about twice a year. Removal of dirt and debris can be done by using a power washer or rinsing with a hose and using a stiff-bristled broom. A broom can also be used to correct artificial grass blades that are matted down. Raking to remove leaves, twigs, and debris is recommended to keep the artificial grass looking its best.

Types of Artificial Grass

How much is turf? That depends on the type of artificial turf that’s installed. There are three main types of artificial grass, and each one has its own unique characteristics, benefits, and price ranges.

Artificial grass is made of synthetic fibers that mimic the look and feel of natural grass. The nonabrasive and nontoxic materials are made into green blades, called yarns, that resemble the flexible and soft blades of real grass. The artificial grass fibers are treated with UV inhibitors to resist fading from the sun to look green and lush, even during the worst drought conditions. The artificial grass yarns are stabilized to prevent the fake grass from collapsing and compacting under the weight of foot traffic.

Nylon

Nylon artificial grass is extremely durable and will keep its shape even under heavy foot traffic and weight. It has a stiff pile that holds up in blistering temperatures and has a natural look. Some homeowners opt for this type of artificial turf if they live in a hot climate or want to use part of their lawn for a putting green. The cost of nylon artificial grass ranges from $5 to $6 or more per square foot.

Polypropylene

Polypropylene grass has a soft, natural texture, and high-end options can be very durable. The lower-end options are typically not well suited for heavy foot traffic or hot temperatures. This type of artificial grass works well in low-traffic, shady areas and costs about $2 to $6 per square foot.

Polyethylene

The least durable of the three artificial grass options, polyethylene grass is also the least expensive at $2 to $4 per square foot. This is an excellent option for budget-conscious homeowners who are interested in an artificial grass lawn. Keep in mind that this type of artificial turf is not well suited to high foot traffic or extended periods of high temperatures.

Artificial Grass Cost

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Benefits of Artificial Grass

For homeowners who love the look of a natural lawn but want to save time and money on maintenance, an artificial lawn has many benefits.

Pest, Weed, and Disease Resistance

With the use of a weed barrier, an artificial lawn doesn’t need fertilizer, insecticides, or chemical treatments for diseases. Homeowners can save money when they don’t need to purchase additional treatments for their lawn. Natural grass also provides a comfortable home to insects, snakes, gophers, and more. Pets are safer on an artificial lawn since fleas and ticks are not attracted to the faux grass.

Since natural lawns are prone to diseases, they require a lot of time, money, and effort to treat the grass and prevent problems. Depending on geographic location and climate, some lawns are more susceptible to certain types of diseases than others. They may require fungicides to maintain the health of the lawn, which results in additional costs over the years. Not to mention, fungicides can be harmful to bees. An artificial grass lawn will continue to look great with minimal maintenance.

Drought Resistance

Homeowners in areas that are prone to drought conditions often opt for artificial grass. They can avoid water restriction fines from watering a lawn to keep it green and healthy. Maintaining a natural lawn requires copious amounts of water. Since a synthetic lawn doesn’t require watering, homeowners can save money on their water bill, enjoy less water usage, and avoid potential water restriction fines.

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Sustainability

Many types of artificial grass are made from recycled materials and are themselves recyclable. Along with the time saved from not mowing a lawn, eco-conscious homeowners also benefit from reduced emissions from not running a lawn mower. There is also no need for pesticides, fertilizer, or other chemicals that can harm the environment. Gas-powered lawn equipment produces a significant amount of pollution. By eliminating the use of mowers, blowers, trimmers, and edgers, homeowners can reduce pollution.

Reduced Maintenance

Artificial grass can save time, money, energy, and effort with reduced maintenance. Homeowners with synthetic turf don’t have to buy lawn equipment, pay for treatments to keep a lawn looking healthy and green, or hire the best lawn care services. Having an artificial lawn can allow homeowners more time to enjoy their back yard for hosting parties, barbecues, and get-togethers rather than spending their time maintaining a natural lawn.

Improved Drainage

Artificial grass often provides superior drainage compared to a conventional lawn. Water is allowed to drain through the turf and into the ground below. For homeowners who live in an arid location, it’s common for lawns to develop puddles and mud after rainfall or after the homeowner waters the grass. Flooding is also a risk, and too much water can destroy a natural lawn. The proper drainage of an artificial lawn can help prevent flooding, puddles, and mud that can be tracked into a house.

Cost-Effectiveness

The comprehensive cost to install fake grass is higher than the cost to install sod, but homeowners can save money over time. The cost-effectiveness is apparent with the savings that come from not having to purchase a lawn mower, other lawn equipment, fertilizer, and pesticides. Additional savings come from reduced water use and dramatic savings on the water bill. Some drought-prone areas offer payment assistance to install artificial grass to save on water costs. The initial cost of a new lawn is only the beginning when it comes to real grass, but with artificial grass the costs typically end there.

Child-Friendly

Artificial grass is kid-friendly, unlike weed killer or fertilizer. Children can play on artificial turf without getting grass stains or mud on their clothing and shoes. Some brands of artificial grass even have an antibacterial coating that reduces the spread of bacteria and germs. Kids can play on faux grass without coming into contact with fertilizers, harmful chemicals, or toxic pesticides that are often used on a conventional, natural lawn.

Improved Curb Appeal

A lawn that stays green year-round can improve the curb appeal of your home. With artificial grass, homeowners can enjoy a healthy-looking lawn without worrying about brown patches from drought conditions or extreme temperatures. This home improvement investment can increase the value of a home and will pay for itself over the next several years.

Artificial Grass: DIY vs. Hiring a Professional

Unless you have experience with installing artificial grass, it’s recommended to leave it to the pros. Incorrect installation can lead to mold and mildew growth from improper drainage. An installation professional has the experience and skills to measure correctly, ensure proper drainage, and make the faux grass look realistic. A professional can also recommend the best artificial grass for your area and provide additional landscaping if needed.

Another consideration is the time it takes to install. What might take a professional team a few days to install could take an inexperienced homeowner weeks of trial and error. Keep in mind that some artificial grass manufactures only warrant their product if it’s installed by a pro.

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How to Save Money on Artificial Grass Cost

Budgeting for artificial grass cost can be daunting, especially when using an artificial turf cost calculator and being aware of all the additional costs that are associated with the project. Here are a few ways to save money on artificial grass installation without compromising on quality.

  • Get multiple quotes. Get at least three price quotes from reputable artificial grass installers in your area.
  • Buy wholesale. Buying fake grass from a wholesale artificial turf supplier can save on product markup from landscapers.
  • Do some of the prep yourself. Removing rocks, tree stumps, sticks, leaves, and other debris can save money on labor costs.
  • Buy scrap pieces. Artificial grass remnants are typically available at a discounted rate. They are perfect for a small area or project.
  • Lower maintenance costs. Installing an artificial lawn will lower the overall maintenance costs since the artificial grass requires significantly less maintenance than a natural lawn.
  • Improve lawn durability. Using artificial grass increases the durability of the lawn area and reduces the time and money spent to maintain, reseed, and water a conventional, natural lawn.
Artificial Grass Cost

Photo: istockphoto.com

Questions to Ask About Artificial Grass

It’s helpful to have all the important information regarding artificial grass costs and considerations before deciding on installing a faux lawn. Asking the best sod installation companies the right questions about artificial grass installation can help avoid miscommunication and find the right artificial grass for your space. Here are some questions to ask before deciding on the right pro for the job.

  • How much experience do you have with installing artificial grass?
  • Will you provide references?
  • Do you offer on-site consultations?
  • How many artificial grass installations have you done?
  • Where can I find examples of your installations?
  • How much is fake grass?
  • What kinds of artificial grass do you offer?
  • What are the different types and sizes of infills that you use?
  • How does the artificial turf you provide differ from other artificial lawn products?
  • What kind of fake grass do you recommend for my space?
  • What is the best type of artificial grass if I have a dog?
  • Who will install the artificial grass?
  • Do you use your own employees, or do you outsource and use subcontractors?
  • What do I need to do to properly maintain my new artificial grass?
  • What type of warranties do you offer?
  • How can I leave a review at the conclusion of the project?

FAQs

It’s common for homeowners to have a lot of questions when deciding on artificial grass. Here are some common frequently asked questions regarding artificial grass cost to help homeowners find the best professional for the job.

Q. What is the cheapest way to install artificial grass?

Typically, artificial grass installation is done by using seaming glue, seaming tape, and nails. This is the most secure and dependable way of installing an artificial lawn, although it’s also the most expensive way. A cheaper alternative is to just use nails. Artificial grass that’s installed with only nails isn’t as secure since the nails can come loose over time. If the area will not experience heavy foot traffic, using nails to install artificial grass is a money-saving option.

Q. Can dogs pee and poop on artificial grass?

Yes, dogs can pee and poop on an artificial lawn the same way they can on a conventional, natural lawn. Liquids drain through the artificial grass into the ground, although dog owners will need to remove solid waste from the faux grass. Using a hose to remove any waste remnants is highly recommended. Choosing the best artificial grass for dogs comes down to material, density, fade resistance, and drainage.

Q. Is artificial grass worth the cost?

Many homeowners agree that the money they spend on the installation of artificial grass is worth it. Over the long run, they cut their spending on fertilizer, pesticides, water, and maintenance. Having artificial grass reduces puddles, flooding, and mud; decreases water usage; eliminates air pollution; and provides a safe environment for children and pets. Homeowners in wet climates may experience extensive drainage issues, and the installation of artificial grass may not be as beneficial an investment.

Q. What should you put under artificial grass?

To prevent the artificial grass from sinking and to promote proper drainage, a base needs to be installed. The base can consist of crushed rock, gravel, type 1 stone, or decomposed granite. In mild climates, about 3 to 4 inches of a base is needed for proper drainage.

Q. Can you lay artificial grass yourself?

It’s not recommended to install artificial grass on your own if you have no experience with the material. Incorrect measurements and installation can lead to improper drainage, mold and mildew growth, and invalid warranties. An industry professional has the skills, knowledge, and experience to correctly install artificial grass. Hiring a synthetic lawn professional can ensure the material is installed correctly. They can also recommend the best type of artificial grass for your home and provide additional landscaping if needed.

Q. Can I pressure-wash artificial grass?

Pressure-washing is an effective way to clean a synthetic lawn that does not have infill. Typically, a quick rinse with a hose after raking is all that’s needed to clean artificial grass, but if it needs a deeper clean, a pressure-washer can be used. Keep in mind that most artificial lawns have infill to maintain a soft feel underfoot and to prevent wrinkles. For artificial lawns that have infill, using a pressure-washer can remove or move the infill. If your artificial grass does not have infill, use a pressure-washer carefully. Use a wide-angle tip and keep the tip at least 1 foot from the surface of the faux grass. Always spray at an angle and avoid pointing the tip directly at the ground.

Sources: Angi, HomeAdvisor, HomeGuide

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