The national average cost for professional installation of artificial grass is $2,000, with typical project costs ranging anywhere from $200 to $9,000. The cost to install artificial grass will depend on how many square feet you want, the prep work required, and the type of turf you select.
Whether you want to have a low-maintenance yard, to use less water in your landscaping, or to simply have a lawn that is always green, artificial turf is an attractive option that’s affordable over the long term. Today’s artificial turfs look more natural than ever and are more drought-friendly than grass lawns, requiring less water and no pesticides. That said, they’re hard work to install and look unnatural if not installed correctly.
What’s in This Cost Guide?
- What’s in This Cost Guide?
- Sod and Artificial Turf
- Cost of Artificial Grass per Square Foot
- Cost of Artificial Grass by Turf Type
- Prep Work
- Why Hire an Artificial Grass Installation Professional?
- How to Hire an Artificial Grass Installation Pro
- What Are the Benefits of Artificial Grass?
Sod and Artificial Turf
In general, artificial turf costs $5-$20 per square foot, while professionally laid natural grass sod costs less than $1 per square foot. For a 500-square-foot yard, assuming an average installation cost for turf of $12.50 per square foot, installing artificial grass would cost $6,250; grass would cost about $185. But artificial turf has zero annual costs, while maintaining the sod costs anywhere from $100 to $300 a year, depending on local water fees and professional landscaping services. Here’s a deeper dive into the costs of professional installation.
Cost of Artificial Grass per Square Foot
Expect to pay on average $7 – $15 per square foot for artificial grass installation projects under 1,500 square feet nationwide. As with many home improvement projects, the larger the scope, the smaller the cost per square foot for the goods and services. That’s why a major hotel in Las Vegas installing 780,000 square feet of turf will pay far less per square foot than a homeowner who wants 500 square feet installed in their side yard.
Cost of Artificial Grass by Turf Type
Artificial turf, also known as artificial grass, is made from nylon (super durable), polyethylene (great for sports), or polypropylene (most economical) to mimic various grass species, such as Bermuda grass, fescue, or zoysia. Some have a thatch layer to make it appear even more realistic. Some of the more expensive options have non-directional “blades” of grass, which make them very soft to the touch and more realistic. The higher quality of turf, the more your cost per square foot will be. One pro says the the cost per square foot of the different turfs he provides ranges from $6 to $10, depending on quality. Those prices do not include labor costs.
Before synthetic grass can be installed, your artificial lawn needs a relatively smooth surface and the appropriate sub-floor (typically gravel) that will allow for drainage. If you want old turf or natural grass removed, rubbish cleared, or (especially) concrete removed, your costs per square foot will increase. The pros may quote you a separate price for prep work or roll it into the square footage cost.
Why Hire an Artificial Grass Installation Professional?
Unlike sod, artificial turf is best installed by a professional, such as Install Turf AZ in Phoenix, Landscape Doctors in Glendale, Arizona, or Tru Turf in San Jose, California, due to the skill and expertise required for it to look natural. If you’re tempted to take on this home improvement project yourself, know that it’s time-consuming and very physically demanding work that requires specialized tools for installation. You must remove existing grass or other landscaping and install an aggregate base, such as crushed rock, to allow proper water drainage through the turf. The turf must then be trimmed to the size of the site, making sure the grain of the turf is all facing in the same direction. Seams need to be carefully connected, and then the turf must be secured in place with long nails or landscape anchor pins. Like indoor carpeting, if this isn’t done precisely, the turf may buckle or wrinkle and seams may show, ruining the natural effect you want the artificial lawn to have.
How to Hire an Artificial Grass Installation Pro
- Read online reviews: Look for pros who have earned good feedback from their customers.
- Get a free estimate: Ask 2-3 pros for quotes for your project, and compare not just the costs but what goes into them.
- Take reviews and company reputation into account: Make sure you’re choosing the best pro for your project, not just the lowest bid.
- Sign a contract: Make sure your contract clearly outlines details of the job, including prep work to be done, square footage, type and brand of turf, and project costs.
What Are the Benefits of Artificial Grass?
If you love a lush lawn but don’t love lawn maintenance, there are a lot of benefits to installing artificial grass.
- No pooling water when it rains: Synthetic lawns are designed to drain well.
- No mowing required: Artificial grass saves you time, effort, gas, and the cost of mowing equipment.
- No watering required: Your artificial lawn is drought-tolerant and dramatically reduces your water bill.
- Fewer mosquitos: With less standing water in an artificial lawn, pests can’t reproduce and bite you and your family.
- No fertilization required: You save money and avoid putting chemicals into your ground.
- Consistent color year-round: In a heat wave or heavy rain, your artificial lawn is always beautiful.
- Recycling for less waste: Many types of turf are recyclable and/or made from recycled materials.