Artificial Grass Cost Guide: Turf vs. Grass
Artificial Grass Cost Guide: Turf vs. Grass
The cost of artificial grass is probably the most important factor that goes into choosing which turf you want to buy. If you’ve been stumped on deciding if artificial grass is worth the cost, check out our cost guide!
It’s no secret that artificial grass has a steep up-front cost. We’re not going to lie: It’s the cost that deters people from investing in a maintenance-free lawn. Here’s the thing, the initial cost isn’t the full story.
In reality, your natural grass lawn is costing you money every year. From buying fertilizers, paying for extra water, a new lawn mower every few years and an array of weed and bug killers – your lawn maintenance costs a lot.
With this guide, you’ll learn a bit more about what it costs to install artificial grass and it’ll put you on the right track for making your own budget.
Artificial Grass Vs. Real Grass
If you haven’t quite made up your mind about artificial grass, here are a few need-to-know positives about artificial grass:
Pros of Artificial Grass
- Maintenance: No more time spent mowing the lawn, setting up sprinklers or staying home for your irrigation; turf requires practically nothing of you as the owner other than the occasional hose down. Seriously, so easy.
- Looks: High-quality turf really does look like the real thing. Nobody will know the difference. Plus it stays green all year around.
- Pet-Friendly: Turf is totally friendly for your four-legged friends. The best part? Turf discourages digging, so don’t even worry about finding holes in your yard.
- Soft: Most outdoor flooring options are hard. You have to sit in a chair in order to be comfortable. With turf, you can have a picnic, or just lay down right in the turf, especially since it doesn’t attract bugs the same way traditional grass does.
- You can keep it cool: One of the cons of turf has always been the heat – under heat, it does get warm and stops feeling soft and, well, grassy. Now, you can easily add some snazzy Hydrochill to keep it cool and natural-feeling all summer long.
- Cost: While it’s true that it is initially more expensive to purchase turf than grass, just take a look at the cost over the long run!
**Notes about cost:
Information is courtesy of Synthetic Grass Warehouse. Yearly estimates for grass maintenance come in at $2,268, which includes fertilizers, chemicals, irrigation and trimming.
Turf installation price estimates all labor, gravel removal, possible irrigation movement, etc.
How Much Does Artificial Grass Cost?
The average cost is $2.84 a sqft or about $2,840 for 1000 sqft. There are a lot of different types of artificial grass and so many more are being added every day! These choices can be a bit overwhelming at first, but it’s actually a good thing. More choices mean there’s a better chance you’ll find the turf that’s right for you!
With that being said, I’ve pulled artificial grass types by category and face weight to help you better estimate your artificial grass cost. I’m estimating the artificial grass cost based on 1000 square feet.
Artificial Grass Cost by Category
|Category||Average Cost by Sq/ft||Low||Average||High|
|Pet Friendly Turf||$2.77||$2,390||$2,770||$3,790|
|Putting Green Turf||$2.79||$2,590||$2,790||$2,990|
** Note: Pre-Cut turf rolls are available, which may be a more inexpensive option.
Artificial Grass Cost By Face Weight:
|Face Weight||Average Cost by Sq/ft||Low||Average||High|
**Note: To learn a little more about face weights, check out our Artificial Grass Guide!
How Much Does it Cost to Install Artificial Turf?
We estimate the average cost of installation to be $7,560 for 1000 sqft. This is where things can get a bit tricky. The cost of installing artificial grass really depends on a number of factors: the current condition of your landscape, local estimates, disposal fees and if any rerouting of irrigation may need to be done.
Of course, there could be other factors that add to the cost of your installation as well – like the need for gravel and what type of infill you plan on purchasing.
However, for the sake of simplicity, I’ve researched the average cost of installing artificial grass and included the labor cost estimations. I’ve also estimated the cost of prep, such as infill purchase, to give a little more of a comprehensive estimate.
** Note: Additionally, these costs can be wildly different if you’re installing turf indoors: like for sports, gym turf or on a balcony. Often times, these types of installations can be very DIY. Since the majority of turf is landscape artificial grass, please use this estimation for that specific type of artificial grass.
|Cost of 1000 sq/ft of Artificial Grass||Low||Average||High|
|Cost of Material||$1,350||$2,250||$3,120|
|Cost of Installation (labor)||$3,700||$4,510||$6,000|
|Cost of Extras: Infill, tape, nails, etc. (estimate)||$600.00 (all silica sand infill)||$800.00 (½ sand, ½ hydrochill infill)||$1,000.00 (all hydrochill infill)|
What Affects Artificial Grass Cost?
There are several factors that go into pricing artificial grass. For example, the quality of material being used as well as the density: aka the face weight. Things like the type of infill you choose, how much seaming tape and nails you need and whether or not your yard needs to be filled in and supported will all factor into the cost of installation.
To give you a little more information on what affects artificial grass installation cost, let’s take a look at a couple of important factors.
Rolls, Tiles or Mats?
There are a ton of different types of artificial grass. Landscaping turf tends to be distributed in rolls, but other types like tiles or mats are also great for specific purposes and tend to be more inexpensive since you don’t have to pay for installation.
Turf tiles are great for small putting areas, gyms and on balconies or porches. Often these are glued down or simply locked together.
Artificial turf mats tend to be putting green mats for some practice swings. These can be rolled out and often don’t need any additional material. They’re great for practicing your short game.
Artificial Grass Face Weight
For the most part, the higher the face weight, the more expensive the artificial grass is. That’s because turf with a higher face weight tends to be a higher density with better durability. It’s thicker, softer and more realistic looking than other types of grass.
If it’s in your budget to spring for a higher face weight, it’s well worth it!
Additional Artificial Turf Installation Costs
You’re probably wondering what all those “extras” are when it comes to the cost of prep. Here are a few extra things you may need to purchase in order to install artificial turf.
- Weed Fabric: You don’t want weeds and grass poking through your perfect lawn. You’ll need to lay this down first.
- Fill: Fill helps hold your turf down and keeps the blades standing up for a natural look.
- Staples and Nails: Nails are used to hold the edges of the turf down, while staples are great for holding seams together. You’ll need both.
- Seam Tape and Adhesive: If you really don’t want staples, you can always use seam tape to stick turf together. Easy as pie.
- Wonder Edge: Edging can help make your turf look its best.
- Polyboard: If you want to get a finished look after your artificial grass is laid, polyboard is an alternative to natural wood edging.
- Lawn Pads: For some extra cushion under your feet, lay down a lawn pad. If you have some kiddos running around, these are fall height rated for safety.
In addition to the accessories, labor costs might also include some initial lawn prep. Lawn prep includes the removal of the original lawn, a base of sand or gravel and disposal fees. Be sure to check with your installer about the extra costs of lawn preparation to make sure your budget isn’t busted!
Artificial Grass Cost FAQs
How long will artificial grass last?
Artificial grass will last approximately 20 years. How much traffic the area gets as well as the environment it’s in will affect this number.
Is artificial grass safe?
According to the Synthetic Turf Council, more than 50 independent studies have confirmed that artificial grass is safe. This is an extremely common question, and a smart one too! It’s important to keep your family safe. To learn more, visit the Synthetic Turf Council.
Is artificial grass safe for pets?
Artificial grass is also safe for pets. In fact, many doggy daycares and homeowners install artificial turf for their furry friends!
Artificial grass discourages dogs from digging holes and is super soft. In fact, special pet turf is even softer for sensitive paws. Learn more about pet turf using our buying guide.
How do I maintain my artificial lawn?
Artificial grass is very easy to maintain. Use a leaf blower to blow off any debris that may have settled on the lawn. You can also use a hose with a sprayer to clean off your artificial grass as needed, or to cool it down during the summer.
Will artificial grass get hot in the summer?
Artificial grass will heat up in the summer. Many use an infill called hydrochill, which can help artificial turf feel up to 50% cooler in the summer. Cooling down turf may mean that you need to hose it down from time to time to keep the temperature down.