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How Much Does Sod Cost?

National Average
$260
Low End
$120
High End
$400

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Sod Prices

On average, a homeowner pays $260 per pallet for sod. A pallet can range from $120 on the low end to $400 on the high end. Expect to pay about $0.50 per square foot for decent quality material, though prices range from $0.30 to $.0.80 depending on type and quality. Grass for the average lawn, about 1/5th of an acre, runs between $2,485 and $6,620.

The decision to sod or seed depends on how quickly you want a lawn. Seeding is always cheaper, by far, but it takes time. If soil erosion is an issue, you don't have time to wait. Seed lawns can take one to two years before they grow in fully. In the meantime, they are very susceptible to damage, disease, and pests. If you want to enjoy your new lawn as quickly as possible, sod is the best way to go.

On This Page:

  1. Average Cost Per Pallet or Square Foot
  2. Estimating Costs by Type
  3. Pricing Factors
  4. FAQs
  5. DIY vs. Hiring Contractors

Average Cost of Sod Grass -- Per Pallet & Square Foot

The national average price is around $260, with most homeowners spending between $120 and $400. It grows on farms and sells by the pallet, square foot, square yard, and (less often) roll. It does not sell by the linear foot.

Sod Cost Calculator
Unit of MeasurePrice RangeNotes
Roll$3-$8Covers about 10 square feet
Pallet$120-$400Covers about 450 square feet
Square Foot$0.30-$0.80Most common sales measurement
1,000 Square Feet$300-800Average yard is about 4,800 square feet
Square Yard$2.70-$7.20Multiply square footage price by 9
¼ Acre$3,270-$8,710¼ acre = 10,890 square feet
½ Acre$6,530-$17,420½ acre = 21,870 square feet
Acre$13,070-$34,8501 acre = 43,560 square feet

A 2'x5' roll normally covers about 10 square feet. The amount on a pallet normally covers 450 square feet. When buying, make sure you understand the quantity by price. Some retailers list their prices according to a certain number of pallets. For example, a price might show “$250 dollars/pallet,” but as you read more details, you might see “quantity of 1-2 pallets delivered to customer” in the fine print. The description should tell you the total square footage or yardage that the entire purchase will cover.

If buying by the roll, take note of the dimensions. While it normally sells in 2’x5’ rolls, some suppliers cut them in different dimensions, with some measuring 15’ wide and 30’ to 40’ long. If you go straight to a supplier, you can usually buy it wholesale, but they will probably have a minimum purchase requirement. If you're only doing a small project, you may have to pay retail prices.

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Estimating Costs by Lawn Sod Type

If the “grass is always greener on the other side of the fence,” it probably has to do with the type your neighbor has growing. Different variants have different qualities, from color to blade size and durability.

Though most is sold per 450-square-foot pallet, the average price nationwide is difficult to calculate. Prices depend largely on the type you want as well as what's available in your area. If you order online, be sure they ship that type to your area.

St. Augustine

St. Augustine costs between $0.30 to $0.70 per square foot, or $145 to $320 per pallet. It is native to the US, the Caribbean, and parts of Africa. With its coarse, wide blade, it was in demand early on as pasture grass. As communities spread inland, it quickly became popular for lawns as well. Today, you can find it from the Carolinas to most of Texas, and it has adapted to Central California.

CHART TITLE
PerEconomy Grade*Mid-gradeHigh Grade*
Square Foot$0.30$0.50$0.70
Pallet$145$235$320

*More on differences between high and economy grade grasses below.

St. Augustine Floratam, a variant of St. Augustine, sells by the pallet for $185 to $225. At 450 square feet per pallet, this cost equates to about $0.35 per square foot. Floratam does well in full sunlight and a variety of soil types. It is also resistant to chinch bugs.

  • It adapts well to heat, drought and saltiness. However, during extended hot periods or in hot and windy areas, it may require extra watering. It also does well at overpowering weeds and at resisting pest invasion.
  • It is sensitive to certain herbicides. If weeds do become a problem, be sure to check before buying weed control chemicals.
  • It doesn't handle heavy foot traffic. However, it is fast-growing and will need fairly frequent mowing, but not low cutting. It does well in shade but doesn't tolerate temperatures that get below 10 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Its natural nemesis is the chinch bug. A sign of this pest is yellow spots on your lawn. Gray leaf spot is a disease that a stressed lawn is susceptible to and can have a negative effect on your lawn's aesthetics. The best defense against these is to make sure your lawn stays healthy and stress-free.

Zoysia

Zoysia costs $170-$370 per pallet, or $0.40-$0.60 per square foot. Touted as a “cure-all” for lawn care, zoysia is very tolerant to wide variations of sunlight and water. Experts frequently use it on golf courses for teeing areas and fairways. It has a fine blade and a soft feel, and forms dense mats that can grow over low features. It is also resistant to many destructive insects.

Zoysia Cost
PerEconomy Grade*Mid-gradeHigh Grade*
Square Foot$0.40$0.45$0.60
Pallet$170$270$370

*More on differences between high and economy grade grasses below.

Zoysia Emerald, a variant of zoysia, sells for about $240 per pallet. At 450 square feet per pallet, this cost equates to about $0.55 per square foot. Zenith, a top zoysia brand, sells for approximately $385 per 450-square-foot pallet, which equates to about $0.85 per square foot.

  • It’s best for temperate climates. Some landscapers say that it will turn brown at the first sign of cold weather. Many people buy it in plugs because it is very invasive and will spread quickly. This can be a good or bad thing, because it spreads quickly into flower beds and adjacent yards.
  • It's slow-growing. You won't have to mow it as often. However, the dense mat that it forms means that thatching will be more labor-intensive. Slow-growing has a downside as well; it won't bounce back from damage as quickly as other species.
  • It loves wide-open spaces. If you have shaded areas of your yard, you can still use it, but the shaded areas won't hold up as well to foot traffic. Consider a stone walkway if you anticipate foot traffic in that area. Also remember to cut the shaded area about an inch longer than the part growing in full sunlight.

Zoysia is native to Japan and the Philippines and the Far East in general, so regions that naturally replicate those climates are especially good for it. New breeds of zoysia grow a little further north and now include a region that spans from the southern half of California (where it isn't desert) to the Mid-Atlantic states. As long as it gets 6 to 8 hours of sunlight and consistent watering, this colder region has been friendly to zoysia. In the warmer, more southern regions, zoysia tends to stay green for more than half the year. Top brand Duda Sod grows the species in Florida.

Bermuda

Bermuda grass per square foot costs between $0.35 to $0.85. The per pallet cost comes out to $170 on the low end and $375 on the high end. This very invasive species will quickly crowd out other grasses and can spread into beds if not maintained. Despite its name, it doesn't come from Bermuda. It comes from the Mideast.

Bermuda Cost
PerEconomy Grade*Mid-gradeHigh Grade*
Square Foot$0.35$0.60$0.85
Pallet$170$270$375

* More on differences between high and economy grade grasses below.

  • It's fast-growing and tolerant to hot, dry climates, droughts, and fires. The root system can reach 2 meters (about 6.5 feet) down, with the bulk of the roots around 60 centimeters (about 2 feet) deep. While this helps the grass maintain its drought-resistance, it can also make this very invasive species tough to get rid of if you decide you don't want it.
  • It's popular for heavy foot traffic areas, including football fields. It recovers and repairs itself quickly and can grow in almost any type of soil. If not mowed, seed heads can sprout up to a foot or so in height, which helps it spread.
  • It resists many herbicides. This can make weed control easier than most grasses. It can, however, cause allergy-like symptoms, such as a stuffy nose.

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Fescue

Fescue costs $130 to $300 per pallet or $0.25 to $0.65 per square foot. It’s a cool climate grass that does very well everywhere St. Augustine, zoysia, and Bermuda varieties don't. Fescue contains many sub-types, 400 to 500 at one count. Kentucky 31, is famous for its role in reclaiming devastated land from the Dust Bowl of the 1930s.

Fescue Cost by Grade
PerEconomy Grade*Mid-gradeHigh Grade*
Square Foot$0.25$0.45$0.65
Pallet$130$210$300

*More on differences between high and economy grade grasses below.

  • It’s on every continent except Antarctica. People commonly use it as an ornamental and as turf grass. It can grow to heights of 10 to 200 centimeters (4 to 79 inches) depending on the type and grows on golf courses in the rough. It is also good for soil erosion control.
  • It’s most common for lawns. It germinates quickly but can be slow to establish itself. This makes it an excellent choice for keeping the lawn out of your flower beds. It does very well at high elevations and tolerates poor soil conditions. It is drought resistant but will go dormant in temperatures around 90 degrees Fahrenheit. It handles shade well and cold temperatures very well. However, it doesn't recover well from heavy foot traffic.
  • Tall fescue does tolerate high foot traffic and can stay green all year round. Like fine fescue, it handles shade extremely well and is “low maintenance.” One of its best qualities is that you can leave clippings on the lawn because they will serve as nutrients for it. Finally, fescue in general does well with wildflowers, existing alongside without taking over the bed.

Centipede

Sells for about $430 by the 500-square-foot pallet or about $0.85 per square foot from the local hardware store. Since wholesale pricing from a nursery or farm could be substantially lower, you should call an installation professional for a quote on this species.

Super Sod

This company is a supplier of a variety of high-grade species, including Zeon Zoysia, TifBlair Centipede, Elite Tall Fescue, and Tiftuf Bermuda grasses. You can contact the company directly for a free quote on any of their products.

Bahia

Sells for $65 to $105 by the 400-square-foot pallet or $0.15 to $0.25 per square foot.

Marathon

Sells for about $300 by the 500-square-foot pallet or between $0.60 and $0.65 per square foot. Imitation versions, often of lower quality, will run about 10% less.

Kentucky Bluegrass

Sells for $180 to $210 by the 600-square-foot pallet or $0.30 to $0.35 per square foot.

Bentgrass

Sells for $260 to $340 by the pallet or $0.50 to $0.70 per square foot. People use it for natural grass putting greens because it stands up well to low-mowing and foot traffic.

Ryegrass

When purchased from a farm or wholesale supplier, it is one of the least expensive options at $120 to $250 per pallet or $0.25 to $0.55 per square foot. In mild climates, ryegrass requires minimal maintenance. Contact a professional for a custom quote.

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Sod Pricing Factors

There are multiple factors to consider when buying, from what type of climate you live in to which grade you choose.

Hot-Season vs. Cool-Season Grasses

Certain grasses, like Kentucky bluegrass, grow well in cooler climates with cold winters such as Michigan, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Utah, and Colorado. Cool-season species require ample drainage and regular watering.

On the other hand, hot-season varieties grow well in sub-tropical climates where freezing temperatures are rare like Tampa, Jacksonville, Miami, and Atlanta. St. Augustine is an example of one of these drought-tolerant species. Any price difference in cool- and hot-season grasses is due to quality and grade.

Sod Grade

Price ranges from $0.30 to $0.80 per square foot depending on the grade, or the overall health and strength of the root system. Economy grade is sometimes an inferior variation on mid- and high-grade versions and may not have the same guarantee. It may require a little extra care on the homeowner’s part because it might not do as well in shade or may not be as tolerant to traffic or pests and diseases.

Professional-grade species for golf courses tolerate high traffic better because they are denser than average varieties. Usually made of zoysia, it requires regular watering, good drainage, and frequent mowing.

Buying Wholesale vs. Retail

Buying from a retailer will cost more than buying wholesale directly from a sod far, but they often have minimum purchase requirements. If you don't need that much, buying at the retail price may be your best option. Consult with a local landscaping professional for help finding the best-priced product for your yard.

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Location

Prices on the Eastern Seaboard are cheaper than those in the West. Even in states with multiple climate zones, such as California, the price can vary. Buying as locally as possible is usually your best bet.

Preparation

You can also save money by preparing the yard yourself. Otherwise, the contractor will charge extra. If you DIY, the rental or purchase of tools will add to your cost. Furthermore, if your yard is not a standard shape, this requires special effort on the contractor's part to install and will cost more.

For tips on how to prepare the area for sod, follow the steps on our Sod Installation Cost Guide.

Delivery

Some suppliers charge between $90 and $350 for sod delivery, depending on how far out you are in their delivery zones. Depending on the amount, some suppliers will even offer free delivery. Consult with your landscaping pro prior to beginning the project.

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FAQs

What is Sod?

Sometimes called turf, it consists of 1 to 2 inches of soil and the matured grass growing on it. Natural turf, which is less than the cost of artificial turf but more than the cost of lawn seed, sells most often by the pallet. Homeowners use it where soil erosion would hamper the healthy growth of grass seed, or when they require a mature lawn quickly for foot traffic or simply for aesthetics.

How Do I Calculate How Much Sod I Need?

The first thing you need to do is determine how much you'll need. Look at your yard’s basic shape and apply the proper formula:

  • Rectangle/Square: length x width
  • Circle: radius x radius x 3.14 (that old "pi r squared" formula). To find the radius, measure the diameter (the distance across) and divide by 2.
  • Triangle: base (the long side) x height (from the peak straight to the base) divided by 2.
  • Right Triangle (a triangle with one squared corner): base divided by 2 then multiplied by the height.
  • Freeform: Oddly-shaped lawns are harder to measure. Get their dimensions as close to standard shapes as you can get. You might be able to get a rough square out of one part and a circle out of another. Calculate the area as you would for those shapes and add another 10% to the amount you purchase to account for any special shaping you have to do.

How Much Does a Pallet of Sod Cover?

The amount on the pallet normally covers 450 square feet.

How Much Does a Pallet of Sod Weigh?

Depending on the moisture content of the soil, a pallet can weigh anywhere from 1,500 to 3,000 pounds.

What is the Most Affordable and Most Expensive Type of Sod?

Ryegrass and Kentucky bluegrass are usually the least expensive, while zoysia is the most expensive.

What is the Cheapest Place to Buy Sod?

It is less expensive to purchase from a nearby wholesaler than from a big box store or national hardware chain. Generally, the closer it grows to your location, the less expensive it will be, and the more likely it will thrive.

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Sod vs. Seeded Grass Lawn vs. Hydroseeding – Which is Better?

A seeded lawn has no great advantage over installed sod except for price and the relatively low labor needed. The result, in fact, is often better with a sod installed lawn because the lawn matures in controlled conditions tended by professionals.

Though the cost to seed a lawn is less, a seeded lawn must wait sometimes for a year before it is fully usable. However, you can use an installed lawn in a matter of weeks. Sod establishes itself much faster and is less prone to erosion from rain and other weather effects. This is one case where you can achieve both quality and convenience!

At about $7,850 per acre or about $0.20 per square foot, a hydroseeded lawn costs about half as much per acre as economy-grade sod. Hydroseeding combats erosion by mixing seed with mulch. Like traditional seeding, a lawn planted with this process takes time to grow in.

Which is More Expensive-Sod vs. Artificial Grass Turf?

At $5 to $20 per square foot, the cost to install artificial turf is significantly more up front. However, the advantages of synthetic grass can save you time and money on maintenance once installed. After all, there is no mowing, watering, or fertilizing, which can save a homeowner up to $850 per year.

How Much Does Replacement vs. New Sod Cost?

The only added cost associated with replacement is the labor to remove existing material. A professional can provide a quote for the additional work.

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DIY vs. Hiring Contractors Near You

Installing on your own is possible but, like most DIY landscaping, it is very time consuming. You’ll need to make decisions such as what kind of grass you want. Some species do better in hotter climates while others may put up with shade or foot traffic better. You'll also need to research suppliers to find a good, reputable source.

DIY Costs

Learning how to lay sod requires certain tools that you will have to rent or purchase. Hiring a professional eliminates much of the leg work and brain work. It also reduces costs in some areas since you won't have to buy or rent any tools or equipment. However, after labor and materials, it can cost you twice as much, and you'll still have to research contractors to make sure you're hiring a good one. If you choose to install on your own, you will need the following:

DIY Equipment and Materials
Materials NeededCostPurpose
Spade or shovel$10-$20Grass removal in small areas
Sod-cutter$80 per full-day rental, $150 average depositGrass removal in large areas
Rototiller$130-$350 to buy, $50 per half-day rental, $80 per full-day rental, $125 average depositSoil preparation
Home soil test$12-$15Determine compost needed
Compost/Fertilizer$10 per 1,000 square feetMaintenance
Fertilizer spreaderAbout $50Spreading fertilizer
Hand tamperAbout $35Packing soil
Sod$0.30 to $0.80 per square footInclude a 5% to 10% overage
Garden knife$4-$20Trimming material
Overseed$50Optional
Lawn roller$120-$150Smoothing & eliminating air pockets
Totalabout $2,000

Professional Sod Installation Quotes

Hiring a professional usually includes the following:

  • Labor: $300 to $500, depending on workload, job site, and seasonal labor rates. Includes rototilling, grading, and the other aspects of yard preparation as well as installation.
  • Sod: Depending on grade, type, and quantity, $120 to $400 for 450 square feet. Remember that some contractors can get lower rates for having multiple projects going on, and that most contractors know who the good suppliers are. Higher-priced grass often has certain desirable characteristics such as high resistance to diseases and pests, the ability to handle heavy foot traffic, a denser, more drought-resistant root system, or lower water and maintenance requirements.
  • Delivery of the sod if the contractor supplies it: This price can vary according to many factors, the biggest being your location. Refer to the delivery figures above.

Some suppliers also do preparation and installation. On average, for a 2,000-square-foot yard, you can expect to pay $2,200 to $4,000. Note that some installers do not haul away the old lawn. Be sure to ask about this before agreeing to the job.

Tips for Hiring a Landscaper

Costs of installing sod when you hire a professional can be twice what you'd pay if you did it yourself, but you also get the peace of mind of knowing the job is right as well as the relaxation of not spending a day on the prep work alone. If you're pressed for time or just want a nice lawn quickly, the price is worth it! If you hire a professional, be sure to follow these basic guidelines for screening:

  • Get three to five quotes, making sure they come out to see the job site before giving you a price.
  • Look at work they did one or two years ago. Sod will usually look fantastic when it's fresh. What's key is seeing how well it lasts.
  • Get quotes for both a prepared and an unprepared yard.

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