Artificial Grass Cost – 2022 Installation Price Guide
One of the most frequently asked questions when considering artificial grass for your home is “How much does artificial grass cost to install?” On average, artificial grass costs anywhere from $5 to $20 per square foot, including the cost for materials and labor. The total cost for a job tends to start around $5,000 and go up from there. However, these numbers vary greatly based on a variety of factors including the total square footage of the space, the type of turf you choose, materials, labor and crew experience. Here’s a quick look at the average low-end and high-end artificial grass costs by square footage:
To give you a better idea of what kind of costs go into the pricing of an artificial turf installation, we have put together this guide. We cover the different materials, fees, labor and company costs that will go into the pricing of your next fake grass project.
For the guide below, the numbers will reflect an area of 1,000 square feet (25 feet wide by 40 feet long) to be replaced with new artificial turf. We will also assume there is a concrete garden wall on one of the 25-foot sides. (Please note: All figures discussed in this example are based on Southern California pricing and may need to be adjusted based on your geographical location.)
When planning to install artificial turf, you’ll need to consider the costs of materials, operation fees, labor, company overhead, and company profit to find your total cost. Let’s begin.
Materials for Installing Artificial Turf
There are a number of materials that go into a synthetic turf installation. The following are the items to expect for any project:
- Fake grass
- Class II road base
- Weed barrier fabric
- Bender board or mow strip (paver mow-strip is a good option, especially if you have pavers elsewhere on your property)
- Glue, nails, seaming tape, and stakes
- Artificial grass infill
- Miscellaneous: drainage membrane, flag set, lawn padding, turf deodorizer, etc.
There are many different styles of synthetic lawn to choose from — whether that is pet turf, a putting green, athletic turf or the most popular choice, landscaping turf. Landscaping turf can have thick blades, thin blades, tall blades, short blades, brown thatching (to resemble dead grass) or green thatching and more.
Our pricing guide represents a medium- to high-grade synthetic turf. Since you are investing in a synthetic product, we recommend choosing the best quality turf for the best return on investment. There is a noticeable difference between low-end turf and high-end turf, with the latter resembling real grass lawns. There are three common artificial grass types: polypropylene, polyethylene and nylon. Each varies in quality and price.
Typically, medium- to high-grade artificial grass material is priced from $2 to $6 per square foot, plus tax. This price depends on the manufacturer and style you choose. There are three common artificial grass types: polypropylene, polyethylene and nylon. Each varies in quality and price.
- Polypropylene is the cheapest and lowest-quality, ranging from $2 to $6 per square foot.
- Polyethylene turf has a more natural appearance and is softer to the touch and ranges from $2.50 to $4 per square foot.
- Nylon is the most durable of synthetic turf materials, ranging from $5 to $6 per square foot.
Keep in mind that you will have to account for waste when ordering the material, due to the different sizes or shapes of projects. There is usually about 10%-20% wasted artificial grass material on turf projects. Irregular-shaped yards will have more waste than a standard square or rectangular yard, so you’ll need to factor in a higher waste percentage.
The price guide below uses the medians for both artificial grass material and waste, $2.80/sq ft and 15%.
Artificial Grass Material Costs
|Total artificial grass material (including waste)||1,000 sq ft
+ 15% waste
|1,150 square feet of fake turf|
|Artificial grass material cost (before taxes)||1,150 sq ft
x $2.80/sq ft
|Artificial grass material cost after taxes (Southern California)||$3,220.00
subtotal + 8% tax
|Artificial grass material cost per square foot||$3,477.60
÷ 1,000 sq ft
Class II Road Base
Class II road base is a material made of crushed rocks in different sizes. This is installed as a base surface to provide stability for the artificial grass above. Pricing of class II road base will vary depending on your specific location. For the purposes of this price guide, we will use one of the least expensive options, priced at $0.32/sq ft. The class II road base for a 1,000-square-foot space would cost $320.
Weed Barrier Fabric
To prevent any sort of weeds from growing through your newly installed artificial grass lawn, weed barrier fabric should be included. Weed barrier fabric is usually sold in a roll of about 1,500 square feet and is priced at about $68.00.
Bender Board or Mow Strip
Bender board is important since it will separate your lawn from other areas of your landscape. Bender board or poly board is used to separate the artificial lawn from other softscape areas. Brown poly board measuring 20 feet long by 4 inches tall costs about $15.80 per roll. There are cheaper alternatives; however, we have found this board to stand the test of time (saving you money in the long run).
Determining the perimeter of your project to softscape edges will help you find out how many rolls to order. For this price guide, since our lawn is 25 sq ft by 40 sq ft with a concrete garden wall (mentioned above), we would need bender board for two 40-foot sides and one 25-foot side. At $15.80 per roll, bender board material costs would run around $94.80.
If you are interested in separating the synthetic turf lawn from real grass or any hardscape areas, consider a mow strip. For this price guide, we will not be covering the costs of mow strips.
Glue, Nails, Seaming Tape, and Stakes
Based on several factors, such as the number of seams, perimeter length and more, these materials will vary. For a 1,000-square-foot project, the minimum quantity of these materials will cost about $190.
Artificial Grass Infill
Infill comes in a number of different types. The options consist of rubber, flex sand, silica sand or acrylic-coated sand. This material is oftentimes the one that many people cut corners on due to the high variance in pricing. Choose the highest-quality infill so you don’t have to reapply the infill, saving you in the long run. Other benefits of high-quality infill include durability, eco-friendliness and non-absorption of animal urine and other external elements.
For this price guide, we will go with the most popular choice, the antimicrobial acrylic-coated sand, priced at $11 per 55-pound bag. The typical artificial grass project uses 1-2 pounds of infill per square foot. Grass infill costs for a 1,000-square-foot project would cost around $308.
|Artificial grass infill pounds per square foot||55 pounds ÷ 1.5 pounds||36.66 pounds per square foot|
|Artificial grass infill bags||1,000 sq ft ÷ 36.66||28 bags (rounded up)|
|Artificial grass infill cost||$11 x 28 bags||$308.00|
Miscellaneous items include turf urine odor remover, drainage membrane, lawn padding, flag sets, golf cups, and more. For this guide, we are going to assume there are no extras involved.
|Artificial grass material cost after taxes (Southern California)||$3,477.60|
|Class II road base cost (taxes included)||$320.00|
|Weed barrier fabric cost (taxes included)||$68.00|
|Bender board material cost||$94.80|
|Glue, nails, seaming tape, and stakes||$190.00|
|Artificial grass infill cost||$308.00|
That just about covers the “very basic standard material costs ” for 1,000 square feet of artificial turf.
Operation fees include any sort of actions that allow the materials to be transported. This covers dump fees, fueling costs, and delivery fees.
For a 1,000-square-foot lawn, we would have roughly two trips to the dump of grass and dirt. The approximate cost per load would come out to $248.
Fueling costs are a little too difficult to estimate, as it all depends on the proximity to the dump and the exact materials that we are hauling away. To be on the safe side, let’s say it costs $370 in fueling fees throughout the course of the project.
The last item is the cost of delivery, which will range from $370 to $660 per trip, depending on the manufacturer and distance to the project. For this guide, we will use $370, so it will cost us $370 to deliver 1,150 square feet of synthetic grass.
Operation Fees Total
|Operation Fees Total||$1,236.00|
When it comes to labor, you get what you pay for in terms of the long-term durability and integrity of your project. There are installers who have been installing artificial grass for six to 12 months and there are installers who have been installing turf for more than 15 years. While a team with over 15+ years of experience might cost more, it’s well worth the investment.
For a solid crew who has the experience that you should want for your installation, labor will generally cost you $3.13-$5.06 per square foot for the labor.
|Labor cost (outstanding crew with 15+ years of experience)||1,000 sq ft
x $5.06/ sq ft
|Labor cost (outstanding crew)||1,000 sq ft
x $3.80/ sq ft
|Labor cost (good crew)||1,000 sq ft
x $3.13/ sq ft
For this guide, we will use the cost of an outstanding crew at $3.80 per square foot. This would roughly be a team of four to five people and take two to three days to complete.
You can always go cheap here; however, the last thing you want is to be regretting that decision later down the road when your project is falling apart and the company is out of business or day laborers are nowhere to be found.
If you are looking to get your installation done right the first time and never have to think about it again, then you will want to pay the extra money to get a solid installation crew to install your project. This is definitely not an area to shave off a few dollars.
Listed below are some of the overhead costs for a legitimate synthetic grass company:
- Workers compensation insurance
- General liability insurance
- CA licensing fees
- Contractors bond
- Corporation fees
- CSLB home improvement sales(his) license fees
- Payroll expenses
- Accounting fees
- Business taxes
- Lawyer fees
- Advertising/marketing expenses
- Administrative staffing fees
- Auto/truck expenses
- Certifications (BBB, ICPI, etc.)
- Office expenses (business cards, contracts/diagrams, company shirts, company phones, website, computers, credit card processing system, etc.)
The overhead costs are not limited to what is described above, and it is too difficult to attach an “overhead number” to each installation; however, we want to showcase that there are quite a few costs that do add up when analyzing the breakdown of a synthetic turf deal aside from the material and labor costs. For this guide, we will use a low overhead figure of 10%.
The overhead costs are not limited to what is described above and it is too difficult to attach an “overhead number” to each installation; however, the point is to showcase that there are quite a few costs that do add up when analyzing the anatomy of a synthetic turf deal, aside from the material and labor costs. For this guide, we will use a low overhead figure of 10%. Keep in mind that we have been erring on the low side in this entire exercise.
|Company overhead cost||$9,494.40 (cost so far) x 10%||$949.44|
Again, there are a lot of companies out there that do not intend on using the best crews, and do not intend on operating legally, so they can and will, offer you a much more enticing “cheaper price”.
Note:Because Install-It-Direct is the largest turf installer in Southern California, we receive volume pricing on our production, which is less than distributor and contractor pricing and less than any other turf company gets their artificial grass materials. With that said, the prices we are mentioning in this guide are going to be the lowest possible prices on the market, and if you are using another installer, you will need to account for this and adjust prices accordingly.
|Company Overhead Total (10%)||$949.44|
Company Overhead + Materials, Operations, and Labor
|Company Overhead + Materials, Operations, and Labor||$10,443.84|
|Company Overhead + Materials, Operations, and Labor (per square foot)||$10.44/sq ft|
Now, anything less than $10.3/sq ft, should be “red flagged” immediately ONLY IF you are interested in getting your installation completed right the first time, which would include the highest quality materials manufactured in the USA, a highly skilled turf installation team who have been installing for years (not months), a professional synthetic turf designer, a dedicated construction manager supervising your install, and a robust company that will be around to assist you in the future should you need help.
Once all of the materials, operating expenses, labor, and company overhead is paid, then what is left over, if anything, is the company profit.
Artificial turf companies factor in a percentage for company profit share, which can range anywhere from 10% to 40%.
Company profit share is to pay for the field supervisor, the design consultant who assisted you with your project and the company as a whole so they can continue to grow and thrive as a robust business. Company profits also factor in a repair contingency fund for each project to make sure each customer is completely satisfied with their project. Below are various company profit scenarios:
|10% Margin||$10,443.84 + 10%||$11,488.22|
|20% Margin||$10,443.84 + 20%||$12,532.61|
|30% Margin||$10,443.84 + 30%||$13,576.99|
|40% Margin||$10,443.84 + 40%||$14.621.38|
|Company Profit Total||$949.44|
Total Cost of Artificial Grass Installation
In this guide, we have been assuming the middle to least expensive scenarios for all components involved in determining your turf installation price, with the exception of the crew. We went with a more experienced crew — and we know a more experienced crew is always going to cost you more. We believe this is not the area to skimp on and you should always consider using the most experienced crew possible. This will be money well spent, guaranteed! Here is the breakdown of the total cost of a 1,000 square foot artificial turf installation:
|Company overhead (10%)||$949.44|
|Company profit (10%)||$949.44|
Pros and Cons of Artificial Grass
The Bottom Line:
The purpose of this guide is to really shed some light on what a typical artificial turf project might cost. By opening the curtain and allowing you to have a sneak peek to how the numbers break down, we hope to provide you with the confidence you need to make the right decision on which contractor to hire for your synthetic lawn.
As you can see from the breakdown above, the only way a company could possibly offer you a lower price than what we have mapped out for you in this example is if they are:
- Using a less experienced crew and paying them less than the industry standard we have outlined
- Using sub-par materials — whether it be the grass or the accessories, it is vital to make sure you are investing in the highest-quality materials from a very reputable manufacturer who stands behind their products
- Not running a healthy company and neglecting to pay the overhead items listed above, which are essential for operating a legal and healthy business
- Not paying themselves what they should to remain in business
The company that falls into any of these four criteria will not be in business very long. A business based solely on price — or cutting corners to reduce the price — is simply not sustainable and oftentimes results in a lose-lose scenario for all parties involved in the transaction.We hope this synthetic turf installation breakdown helps with your decision-making process.
If you are interested in learning about the cost of artificial grass for your specific project, use our artificial grass cost calculator. For information about pavers to accentuate your artificial grass, learn about the cost of installing pavers.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Medium to low end? What do you mean?
There are so many factors that can raise the price of your project (e.g., the location and accessibility of your install, the type of turf you choose, drainage issues, excessive roots, how many square feet you have and whether you want turf deodorizer, a putting green, mow strips, extra labor costs, etc.).
What is the cheapest way to install artificial grass?
The cheapest way to install artificial grass is to DIY the project and install it yourself. However, we don’t recommend this, as there’s a lot that can go wrong during an installation process that can end up costing you more money in the long run. We recommend using a professional installation company with solid experience.
What are the benefits of DIY vs. professional installation?
DIY installation can be a cost- saver, as you’re cutting out operation, overhead and fueling costs. Additionally, you may be able to go the cheaper route on some materials like subbase. However, professional installation with experience is guaranteed to give you top results and a better return on your investment because you know it’s being done correctly. Additionally, most professional installation companies factor in repairs as part of their overhead costs, so if you end up needing repairs on your lawn, this is often included in what you pay for in the installation.