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How Much Does It Cost To Install Fake Grass?

National Average Change Location | View National
$4,559
Typical Range
$2,717 - $6,539
Low End
$1,255
High End
$10,000

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Across the country, homeowners can expect to spend anywhere between $2,717 and $6,539, averaging at $4,559, to install turf. Commonly known as synthetic grass, turf, AstroTurf, and fake grass, artificial lawns have long been used in professional sports. It’s quickly gaining popularity among homeowners who appreciate the low maintenance requirements and everlasting green beauty of this eco-friendly grass alternative.
Innovations in synthetics have produced a product that looks and feels as good as the real thing, without the expensive and work-intensive upkeep of mowing and maintenance. Even so, there are several factors to consider before you start planning its installation at your own home. From cost factors and available types of turf to maintenance requirements, this guide provides the essential details you need to know.

Turf Installation Cost Factors

The average cost per square foot ranges from $5 to $20. Like any other project in or around your home, the final price you’ll pay to depends on a variety of factors, including the square footage of the space you’re covering. The larger the space, the greater your project budget. That price typically includes:
  • Materials (the turf itself, base materials and edging)
  • Labor to excavate the area and apply base gravel, fit the turf, and sure it in place
  • Planning, preparation, and cleanup

Artificial Grass Types & Prices per Square Foot

Synthetic lawns average $2 to $8 per square foot, depending on the brand and type you choose. Some stores sell artificial materials by the linear foot, but in most cases, you can ask to have it cut to order for the size you need. Rolls often come in widths ranging from 7 to 15 feet.

Artificial Turf Blades - $2 - $3/ sq. ft.

In its earliest days, fake grass was woven on a loom, which produced more of a carpet-like product. But modern options are made to look like real grass blades, with variations ranging from 2 to 4 inches in blade length in the same piece to add to the natural look. Typically made from plastic and rubber covered in a thin layer of silicone, these blades typically offer the softest feel under foot and cost anywhere from $2 to $3 per square foot, up to $50 per linear foot.

Major Brands (Astroturf) - $5+/ sq. ft.

What do Field Turf, Superturf and Astroturf have in common? They are among the most popular artificials used for sports fields. Each has its own infill material, which determines the softness of the surface, along with infill depth, which affects how hard or soft the lawn feels underfoot. Major brand names like these typically use nylon or polypropylene for durability and style. While big name brands may cost more than $5 per square foot just for the grass, lesser-known brands offer synthetic lawns for as little as $1 to $3 per square foot.
Consult With A Turf Professional

Common Materials & Costs

No matter the brand, one of the main driving forces that determine the price is the material used to make the product. The chart below offers a general idea of the difference between the three main construction materials: Nylon, polypropylene and polyethylene.
MaterialCost Per Sq. Ft.
Nylon$3 - $4+
Polypropylene$2 - $3
Polyethylene$1 - $2
The type, brand and quality of the grass ultimately determines the price. Synthetic grass comes in a variety of styles designed to look and feel like its natural counterpart. From common brands like Synlawn and K9, to lesser-known manufacturers like PreGra and Everlast, most fall into one of the following types:

Nylon - $3-$4/sq. ft.

When you need superior strength and a stiff pile that maintains its shape even under heavy foot traffic, nylon is the way to go. This synthetic lawn material can hold up under high temperatures and offers a natural look, although it is not as soft as natural grass.

Polypropylene - $2-$3/sq. ft.

When you want a gorgeous green lawn with a soft, natural texture, polyethylene is often the best choice. Higher end options are very durable, making it well suited for homes and athletic fields. Periodic raking is needed to help maintain its look and bounce.

Polyethylene - $1-$2/sq. ft.

In addition to being the least expensive option, polypropylene is also the least durable. For homeowners looking to stay on budget, it could be a good option. However, it’s best suited to spaces that don’t receive much foot traffic and spaces that aren’t exposed to long periods of high heat, which can disfigure the blades.

Synthetic Turf vs. Grass

Wondering which is better? Installing sod may be a tempting alternative. After all, the cost to install sod is significantly lower than turf. But don’t be fooled by sod prices, because there’s a bigger picture at play. The following chart demonstrating the average costs to install and maintain each in a 500-square foot yard:
Artificial GrassSod
Installation$12.50/sq ft
Total:$6,250
$0.40/sq ft
Total:$200
WateringN/A$20/mo. for 6 months
FertilizingN/A$0.20/sq ft
Lawn ServicesN/A$25+/wk for 26 weeks
First Year Total$6,250$1,070
Additional Cost Per Yr$0<$870
Total Spent After 4 Yrs.$6,250$3,680
Total Spent After 7 Yrs.$6,250$6,290
Based on these prices, within about seven years you would recoup your investment in a synthetic lawn. After that point, you’re not only saving time with maintenance-free materials, you’re also saving a considerable amount of money every year.

Preparing for Installation

Homeowners interested in saving money on professional installation could take a few preparatory steps to save on labor costs. Examples include:
  • Clearing and excavating the area by digging the soil to depths of 1.5 to 2.5 inches
  • Laying weed-control membrane
  • Adding a layer of gravel or aggregate and compact it to create an even surface
  • Top with sand to even the area out in preparation for the lawn to be installed
    Hire a Pro to Install Your Artificial Lawn

    Pros and Cons of Artificial Turf

    While your neighbors are out mowing their lawns, you can sit back, relax, and enjoy yours without having to lift a finger or spend the money to hire a lawn care service. Despite the numerous benefits of installing synthetic lawn, it’s not without its potential drawbacks.
    ProCon
    No maintenance means no annual costs for fertilizing, watering and mowing the lawn.Cost: Installation is pricier than sod.
    Year-round greenery adds beauty in every season.Improper planning can cost time and money in extra materials and added labor. For example, failing to choose the right base material may cause poor drainage, which can leave turf soggy, moldy and slimy.
    No need for chemical fertilizers or herbicides.Some homeowner’s associations don’t allow installation of synthetic lawns.

    Common Reasons to Install Fake Grass

    The use of artificial lawns grows at a steady rate of 10% to 15% every year. Homeowners, business owners and sporting facilities are increasingly turning to fake grass to save time, water, and work while enjoying all the beauty of the real thing. Common reasons for making the switch include:
    • Kid and pet-friendly surface that holds up to rough play and pet urine with fewer insect problems
    • No more muddy paws, feet, or grass stains
    • Wanting a perfectly manicured lawn year-round
    • No weeds, no problem!
    • Wanting to create interesting textures and have greenery even in a xeriscape design
    • Saving water without sacrificing greenery
    • Not having to fertilize the lawn or apply weed-control products means less contact with chemicals

    Advantages of Synthetic Grass

    Thousands of homes, businesses, golf courses, municipalities, parks and tourist attractions like Disneyland and Las Vegas resorts have turned to synthetic lawns to provide a lush, attractive landscape solution that requires minimal resources and maintenance while saving millions of gallons of water each year. Including it as a landscaping option in your home is an excellent choice and a proven success all over the country.

    Turf Installation

    Your contractor will first have to remove existing ground cover or landscaping that you are going to replace with your synthetic lawn. Preparation is key - and this is where you will incur most of your cost. There needs to be boards installed to perfect the edge of your new lawn. This edging will also hold your lawn in place. Drainage must be considered and a base of granite, pea gravel or something similar should be laid down in such a way that there is proper water run-off. Additionally, a weed barrier will be laid down so you won't have to worry about weeds popping up through the artificial grass. Cutting it to shape is as easy as cutting a carpet - so your new lawn will fit your space perfectly!

    Children and Pets

    You may wonder how your children and pets will react to the artificial lawn installation. First, know that it is safe for your entire family - including your pets. Pets tend to treat artificial grass like the real deal - and the clean-up is easy to wash away. There are also disinfectants you can spray on your new lawn to kill any bacteria if this is a concern for you. However, this is rarely needed as a quick spray of the hose should alleviate any waste material. Children rarely know the difference because today's synthetics are so realistic and soft.

    How Long Does It Last?

    This depends upon the application of course and how much use the synthetic turf has to withstand. Most products carry at least a 5-year guarantee but with proper care and maintenance artificial turf surfaces have been known to last for up to ten years. The color shouldn't fade much because most are also UV treated to withstand the sun.
    Hire an artificial grass expert

    DIY or Hire?

    In theory, installation is as easy as rolling out a carpet and fitting the pieces together. But in reality, poor planning and lack of proper execution can be more costly than hiring a professional. In addition to potential drainage problems, many homeowners experience problems like:
    • Incorrect measurements or measuring short to save money, which affects the finished look and leaves potential gaps
    • Improperly securing it, which leads to edges coming up or pets being able to pull it up
    • Not buying all the materials needed from the same batch, which leads to color variations
      Unless you have experience working with artificial turf, this isn’t an ideal DIY project. You’re already investing in the look of your new yard. Hiring a professional to install it means fewer worries and headaches. Pros have the necessary skills to ensure precise measurements, stellar installation and proper drainage. Pros can also suggest the best type of turf for your needs, provide landscaping design plans and clean up after themselves once the project is complete.
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