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Artificial Grass Installation Cost

Artificial Grass Installation Cost

National average
$15,600
(8-ounce face weight artificial grass installed over 1,200 square feet)
Low: $9,600

(5-ounce face weight artificial grass)

High: $24,000

(10-ounce, variegated-color artificial grass)

Cost to install artificial grass varies greatly by region (and even by zip code).
Get free estimates from landscapers in your city.

The average cost of installing artificial grass is $250.

In this guide

Pros and cons
Best uses
Materials
Pile height
Colors
Installation
Labor
Maintenance
Artificial grass vs sod
Enhancement and improvement costs
Additional considerations and costs
FAQ

How much does it cost to install artificial grass?

Artificial turf has been around for decades. It was first introduced as a way to provide grass surfaces for urban areas. Today, it is often recommended as a means to get the look of grass without the need for water, pesticides, and maintenance.

Several styles and types of artificial grass are on the market today, all of which have different price points that impact your final costs. The average homeowner installing 1,200 square feet of artificial grass will pay around $15,600 for the installation.

Pros and cons

Like any material, artificial grass has advantages and disadvantages, which you need to weigh to determine if it is right for you.

Artificial grass can be placed in areas that cannot currently accept grass seed. This includes over concrete as well as in areas that are affected by drought. Because the material does not need to be watered, it can be a useful way to get the look of grass without needing to use water or irrigation systems 1.

The material also does not require the use of pesticides and can hold up well to dogs. Because it can be perforated for drainage, it can also be used in areas that see rainfall.

However, artificial turf is plastic. It does not breathe like grass or cool the area, so installing artificial grass will make your yard hotter. It also needs to be raked yearly to maintain its appearance. And while in theory it could be recycled at the end of its lifespan, which is 8 to 20 years, it can be hard to find a recycling center that will take it, meaning that it will end up in a landfill.

Best uses

Many people use artificial grass in a variety of areas. It can completely cover your yard or create a lawn that is lower maintenance than grass. It can also be used in smaller areas, such as around hardscaping, in areas where pets play, and near saltwater pools, which can kill real grass.

It can also be used to create play areas in the yard, such as areas for golfing or children’s play spaces. Because it can be installed on anything, you can also use it on rooftops, walkways, and even indoors.

Materials

Laying down artificial grass is not as simple as putting down a mat of turf. It is actually a process that layers different materials on top of one another. The first layer, or base layer, is made up of gravel to help with drainage. This is followed by the weed retardant, which is a layer of fabric that will block weeds from growing up through your turf. Then, the turf is installed, followed by a layer of infill. This is usually sand but may be crushed rubber, and it fills in the areas around the individual yarns to make the grass stand up.

When choosing the grass, you have a few options. The first is the material. Older grass is made of plain nylon. It is not readily available anymore, but you can still find it in small rolls. It has a stiffer feel and often a shorter yarn.

Newer grasses are made from a type of nylon called polyethylene 2. This is softer to the touch and comes in many different grass blade shapes. The shapes give your lawn a variety of looks, reminiscent of different grass seeds.

The yarn itself has two designations that determine its quality. The first is the denier, which is the density of each yarn fiber. A higher denier means a heavier, thicker yarn. The second is face weight, which refers to how much the yarn itself weighs without its backing. The heavier the weight of the grass, the more densely packed it is and the better the quality. It is not unusual to pay as much as twice the cost of a low face weight grass as for one of high-quality. For example, 40 or 50 ounces is considered a bargain price, costing around $3 to $4 per square foot, while 90 ounces will cost $8 to $10 per square foot for the material.

Pile height

The height of your artificial grass varies just like the height of a lawn. For example, an artificial grass putting green needs to be much shorter in pile than the height of a lawn. Pile heights vary and can be trimmed after installation.

Twenty millimeters of free pile height, or pile that extends above the infill, is considered standard. However, a lot of the pile height depends on the base you use. The harder the base, the higher the pile needs to be to create a cushion. Some bases are made of rough crushed stone, while others are made of more finely crushed material. Rough material is harder to walk on, so a softer, higher pile of 60 millimeters makes more sense.

In terms of cost, higher piles typically cost about $1 per square foot more on average than those with lower piles. The biggest driving cost, however, is still density and face weight rather than height.

Colors

Like natural grass, artificial grass comes in many shades. It also comes in some artificial colors as well that you would not necessarily see with natural grass. This includes pink, purple, blue, chocolate brown, and gray.

Some colors are used for special reasons, such as around children’s playgrounds. Others like blue may be used to complement specific areas like a pool.

The quality of colored grass is not usually as high as that of grass designed to look like natural grass covering. The pile is shorter, and the face weight is not as high. It tends to cost about the same as a mid-quality green grass, around $5 per square foot.

Installation

Installation of artificial turf requires several steps. First, the ground is completely cleared and prepped, followed by the application of the base material, which can be a mixture of sand or crushed stone.

The base material may be tightly or loosely compacted, depending on what the material and application are. For example, a putting green will be tightly compacted.

Once compacted, a layer of weed block fabric is laid down, followed by the turf, which is nailed into place. The turf will be cut and edged on any exposed sides to give it a natural-looking appearance.

The blades of grass will then be pulled upward, and the infill spread between them to keep them upright and looking their best. Once the infill is in place, the grass is raked to settle the infill and give the blades their final presentation.

Labor

The material costs make up more than half the cost, including the infill, base, and grass, and labor makes up the rest. In the installation of a 1,200 square foot artificial turf lawn, labor makes up about $6,000 of the total $15,600 cost.

Maintenance

Artificial grass does not require nearly as much maintenance as a natural grass lawn. It does not need to be watered, cut, or fertilized. It needs some maintenance, however, to keep the grass upright. It can be rinsed with water from a hose to remove dust and debris. After that, a stiff-bristled broom is used to brush the grass back into an upright position. The key is to work against the grain of the grass in even strokes.

You may want to have the company return yearly for more intensive maintenance for a fee of around $175.

Artificial grass vs sod

If you currently have a bare yard, you have two choices for how to instantly cover it and get a lawn. One is artificial grass, and the other is sod.

Sod is naturally growing grass that is laid over a coating of loam, which eventually takes root in your lawn. It is more costly than grass seed but produces an instant lawn, much like artificial turf.

It is much less expensive than artificial grass, costing only $1,750 for a 1,200-square-foot lawn as opposed to $15,600. Sod is treated like other grasses, which means that it requires more maintenance than artificial grass. It must be watered, mowed, and cared for like other grass, but it also gives the cooling properties and softness of real grass.

Enhancement and improvement costs

Urethane coat

Some artificial grass can have a urethane coat on the backing. This keeps the backing strong and the grass lasting longer. Expect costs for products with this coating to start around $10 per square foot.

Non-absorbent fibers

If you intend to use your artificial grass for dogs or other animals, it may be worth choosing grass with non-absorbent fibers. This can prevent the smell of urine and other fluids from being absorbed into the grass. Costs vary for this material, starting at $5 per square foot.

Varied color blades

Some artificial grass types vary the color of the blades. This provides a more natural look since real grasses have some variation in color. Varied color blades tend to cost more, starting at around $10 per square foot.

Additional considerations and costs

  • Make sure that the artificial grass you purchase has been UV-stabilized to prevent the color from fading and for it to last longer.
  • Extreme highs and lows in temperature can damage artificial grass. This is why it is important to opt for higher-quality products if you live in areas with extreme temperatures.
  • Artificial grass can burn or melt. When grilling or installing a fire pit on the grass, clear a large enough area to prevent fires. Do this by covering the grass with gravel or another substance that will not burn, or use hardscaping in the area.
  • Choose a grass that has been perforated to drain quickly if you live in areas with heavy rainfall.
  • Most artificial grass manufacturers have a minimum of a 5-year warranty on their products. With proper care, however, this grass can last 8 to 20 years.
  • If you have dogs, choose an artificial grass designed for use with them to prevent odors.
  • There are lower-maintenance natural grasses available that need less watering and grow slowly, so they need less mowing. They can be an alternative to artificial grasses for those who want less work while still using a natural product.

FAQ

  • How long does artificial grass last?

Properly maintained, artificial grass can last up to 20 years, with most lasting around 10.

  • What do I put under artificial grass?

Artificial grass needs a base of some kind, usually sand or crushed stone, topped with weed-block fabric.​

  • What is the best height for artificial grass?

This is largely dependant on the use and what your base is. Twenty millimeters is standard, but higher grass is available. ​

  • Can you lay artificial grass on concrete?

You can, but you may want to opt for taller grass, around 60 millimeters, to soften it because the concrete will be felt below.​

  • Can dogs dig through artificial grass?

This depends on the quality of the mat. Some mats are meant for use with dogs and are less likely to be dug through. ​

  • What is the best artificial grass for dogs?

Choose a non-absorbent grass with a tough, high-quality mat that is designed for dog owners. ​

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Remodeling Terms Cheat Sheet

Definitions in laymen's terms, cost considerations, pictures and things you need to know.
See full cheat sheet.
glossary term picture Sprinkler System 1 Irrigation systems: Set of equipment used to irrigate lawns
2 Polyethylene: A resilient, pliable, synthetic resin made by polymerizing ethylene and primarily used for containers, packaging, corrosion-resistant piping, and insulation

Cost to install artificial grass varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

Artificial grass in a garden

Labor cost by city and zip code

Compared to national average
Albuquerque, NM
-14%
Arlington, TX
+6%
Athens, GA
-9%
Aurora, CO
+10%
Austin, TX
+13%
Avon Lake, OH
-21%
Bakersfield, CA
-6%
Bronx, NY
+32%
Charlotte, NC
+6%
Chula Vista, CA
+8%
Cincinnati, OH
+6%
Cleveland, OH
+7%
Cleveland, TN
-20%
Colorado Springs, CO
-3%
Dahlonega, GA
-31%
Dallas, TX
+10%
El Paso, TX
-28%
Fort Lauderdale, FL
+2%
Fort Worth, TX
+6%
Fullerton, CA
+22%
Grand Prairie, TX
+6%
Hayward, CA
+31%
Honolulu, HI
+35%
Houston, TX
+24%
Lincoln, NE
-13%
Long Beach, CA
+16%
Los Angeles, CA
+11%
Louisville, KY
-7%
Menifee, CA
-6%
Mesa, AZ
-2%
Miami, FL
+1%
Minneapolis, MN
+25%
Modesto, CA
-12%
New Orleans, LA
+35%
New York, NY
+77%
Oakland, CA
+36%
Oklahoma City, OK
-12%
Orlando, FL
+2%
Philadelphia, PA
+40%
Phoenix, AZ
0%
Portland, OR
+11%
Sacramento, CA
+8%
San Antonio, TX
-4%
San Diego, CA
+11%
San Francisco, CA
+53%
San Jose, CA
+33%
Santa Clarita, CA
+24%
Smyrna, GA
+10%
Stockton, CA
+4%
Tracy, CA
+4%
Labor cost in your zip code
Last modified:   
Methodology and sources