Artificial grass costs $12.50 per square foot, with most homeowners paying anywhere from $5 to $13 to install an artificial grass lawn. For a 1,000-square-foot area, the total average synthetic grass cost is $12,500, typically ranging from $5,000 to $13,000.
When You Should Install Artificial Grass
Artificial grass technology has advanced since it first appeared in the 1960s, and it’s becoming more popular as environmentally conscious people look for alternatives to traditional lawns.
Seasonal considerations for installation
The best time to install artificial grass depends on your climate, but generally, you want to choose a time of year when temperatures are warm enough so the material is easy to work with.
You also want to avoid periods of heavy rainfall, as muddy ground makes artificial grass installation difficult. For many regions, fall is the best time of year.
Signs it’s time to switch to synthetic turf
Most people love their grass lawns, but there are plenty of good reasons to switch to artificial turf. The rising cost of growing a lawn is the top reason a growing number of people switch.
High Water Bills
Constant Lawn Maintenance
Whether you do it yourself or hire a professional, the time and money spent on constant lawn maintenance averages about $900 to $4,000 per year for a quarter-acre lot.
Brown or Patchy Grass
Many lawns suffer from brown or patchy spots due to fungal infections, pet urine, and weed infestations. Bald spots appear out of nowhere, making it a never-ending battle.
Allergies or Sensitivities
Many people have allergies to grass, pollen, or bees. Switching to synthetic grass can make it possible for family members with allergies to spend more time outside.
Soil or Drainage Issues
Lawns are heavy feeders, and growing a lush green lawn isn’t realistic unless you have rich, healthy soil. On the other hand, an artificial lawn looks good even if there’s too much shade or compacted soil.
It’s not just the pet urine that makes it challenging for dog owners to grow a lawn. Dogs pacing back and forth or digging up your grass can wreak havoc on a traditional lawn.
Desire for a Green Space in Harsh Climates
Artificial turf is gaining popularity everywhere, but it’s especially desirable in harsh climates where natural grass faces significant challenges such as the southwestern United States.
It may seem counterintuitive, but using synthetic turf is much more environmentally friendly than dumping thousands of gallons of water and chemicals onto the ground every year so that the grass will grow.
Synthetic turf offers a consistent aesthetic all year, maintaining a vibrant and manicured look. You never have to worry about it going dormant, getting a disease, or dying while you’re on vacation.
The Benefits of Using Synthetic Grass
Using synthetic grass has several benefits to homeowners, businesses, and municipalities. Take a look at these important advantages of artificial lawns.
Many people are becoming more aware of the environmental impact of grass lawns on ecosystems. Artificial lawns use a fraction of the water that traditional lawns do, and they also reduce greenhouse emissions and erosion issues.
Because artificial lawns don’t require fertilizers, pesticides, or other chemicals, they have a lower impact on nearby water sources and insect populations.
Low maintenance and long-term savings
When you add up the cost of lawn maintenance, including lawn equipment, water bills, fertilizer, and grass seed, it’s easy to see how you can save money with an artificial lawn. You’ll also enjoy Saturday mornings doing something other than mowing your grass.
Health and safety benefits
Artificial grass presents fewer safety hazards than natural grass. You can avoid using the lawn mower, one of the most dangerous home tools, and artificial lawns lead to fewer slip-and-fall related injuries. You can also practically eliminate pesticides, fungicides, and insecticides.
Factors in Calculating Costs of Artificial Grass
Artificial turf costs vary depending on several factors, including the quality and type of turf, the size of your lawn, and how much preparation is required to install it.
Quality and type of artificial grass
The three main types of artificial grass are polypropylene, polyethylene, and nylon.
|Quality and type
|Average cost per square foot
|Basic quality polypropylene
|Best for putting greens, rooftops, balconies, and patios
|$2 to $3
|Mid-range quality polyethylene
|Best for playgrounds and dog runs
|$2.50 to $4
|Best for large play areas
|$3 to $5
|Best for high-traffic areas and regions with intense UV radiation
|$5 to $6
|Best for long-term applications
|$5 to $7
Size and complexity of the installation area
The larger the area, the more materials and time it takes to install artificial grass. Complex installations with many curves, seams, and obstacles may require more materials and labor, raising the installation cost.
Proper preparation is essential for a durable and attractive artificial lawn installation. Site preparation involves removing your existing lawn, excavation, leveling, and compaction.
You’ll also need to add a base layer of crushed rock, which costs about $0.30 to $0.70 per square foot. Additionally, landscape fabric is needed to prevent weed growth, costing $0.40 to $0.80 per square foot.
Quality and Type of Infill
The infill is another important factor to consider when calculating the cost of artificial grass. Several infill types are used as a substrate material on artificial turf. Infill is put down after the synthetic grass is installed. It keeps the blades upright and provides a cushiony feel similar to regular grass.
Complex installations may also include extra steps to ensure the proper slope for drainage, whether that requires French drains or grading your yard. Bender board edging is also essential for a flawless installation. It costs about $3 to $9 per linear foot, and you’ll need enough for the entire perimeter of your lawn.
Additional Artificial Grass Costs and Considerations
The following costs and considerations should be factored into artificial grass prices.
Installation labor costs
Installing artificial grass is labor-intensive. Labor costs vary depending on the size and complexity of the installation. Labor costs depend on other factors, like how much site preparation is required and how easy it is to access.
Regional labor markets and local cost of living also affect labor costs. On average, labor for artificial grass installation is about $3 to $10 per square foot.
Artificial lawns are low-maintenance. It may require repairs occasionally, but you’ll save money on maintenance expenses compared to a traditional lawn.
Most synthetic turf maintenance can be done with a broom, rake, or leaf blower. You’ll also need to hose it down about once a week to keep it clean and fresh, and you may need to top off the infill due to settling. Other than that, pulling an occasional weed that poked through a seam is about all it takes to keep it looking good.
Warranty and durability
Many artificial grass products come with a 15-year warranty, often lasting up to 20 years. Astroturf is designed to be UV resistant, but you may need higher-quality materials and infill for high-traffic areas.
Hidden costs to be aware of
Here are some hidden costs to watch out for:
- Permit fees
- Access challenges
- Removal and disposal of old artificial turf
- Disposal of yard waste
Types of Artificial Grasses and Their Cost
A few different types of artificial grass are available, and choosing the right type for your intended purpose and budget is essential. Take a look at the price differences of various types.
Standard vs. premium artificial grass
In addition to finding the right type of artificial grass for your purpose, you must also choose one that fits your budget. While premium artificial grass installation costs more upfront, it is manufactured with a higher-quality backing material, so it lasts longer.
Price ranges for different turf qualities
The standard artificial grass price per square foot falls between $2 and $4, while premium products cost up to $7.
Specialized artificial grass options
Some types of artificial grass are better suited to various activities. When shopping for the best synthetic grass, consider the following specialty applications:
- Putting green lawns
- Playground areas
- Sports fields
- Roof and balcony areas
- Commercial landscaping
- Custom colors and designs
When shopping for synthetic grass, compare prices based on square footage. However, don’t forget to factor in other costs associated with synthetic turf, such as preparation, infill, base materials, and edging.
|Artificial lawn area (square feet)
|$2,500 to $6,500
|$5,000 to $13,000
|$7,500 to $19,500
|$10,000 to $26,000
|$12,500 to $32,500
Calculating costs based on area dimensions
Assuming an average cost of $12.50 per square foot, here are some prices based on common lawn dimensions.
|Lawn area dimensions (feet)
|Total square feet
|15 x 20
|20 x 30
|30 x 40
|40 x 50
DIY Backyard Turfing vs. Hiring a Professional
DIY installations of artificial lawns are labor intensive and technically challenging, but if you have a strong back and do your research, it’s a great way to save money versus hiring a professional.
Pros and cons of DIY installation
Installing artificial grass isn’t as easy as laying out an exterior carpet. It requires specialized knowledge, and it’s physically demanding work. It also requires a significant time investment.
However, if you’re determined, DIY installation is a good way to save some money. You can work at your own pace, and you have the flexibility to make design adjustments as you go.
Benefits of professional installation
On the other hand, professional installation may be the better choice for you. Professional turf installers have the experience and expertise to install a flawless artificial grass lawn in a few days.
You also won’t have to worry about issues like warranty coverage, and you’ll have post-installation support available while you get used to having a new synthetic lawn.
How to Save on Artificial Grass Cost
Use these money-saving tips to lower your costs on an artificial lawn installation.
Getting multiple quotes and negotiating
Obtain at least three quotes and compare them so you can negotiate on prices and scope of work.
Choose standard options
Ask for standard options when you get an estimate. When you opt for premium materials, you’ll pay more.
Timing and seasonal discounts
Planning and scheduling your installation can help you take advantage of deals. Try to purchase materials and schedule service during the off-season to take advantage of seasonal discounts.
5 FAQs About the Costs of Artificial Grass
What is the average cost of artificial grass?
The average cost of artificial grass is $12.50 per square foot, depending on the materials, installation costs, and infill. Some homeowners pay as little as $5 per square foot, while others pay as much as $19.
How does the type of infill affect pricing?
Infill is the material spread between artificial grass fibers to provide stability and cushioning. There are several types of infill available at different price points. Sand is one of the most economical choices.
Can I install artificial grass on my own?
DIY installation of artificial grass is labor intensive, but it’s something that many homeowners can do themselves. You can achieve a durable installation with proper planning and surface preparation.
Are there ongoing maintenance costs?
Artificial turf is much less expensive to maintain than natural grass lawns. However, some ongoing maintenance costs are associated with weeding and cleaning your synthetic lawn.