Discover what factors affect the price of your pet-friendly turf installation. Use this guide as a cost breakdown to understand the price to install pet turf per 1000...
How Much Does Artificial Turf Installation Cost: 2023 Price Guide
The cost of an artificial grass installation is the most common question we're asked. The answer isn’t as direct as we wish it could be! However, this article will help you better understand the breakdown of artificial turf installation, and how contractors will cut corners to advertise lower prices.
Artificial Grass Cost Per Square Foot Installed
This is a typical price range for professional installation of fake grass with a natural appearance.
- An average 500 sq. ft. artificial turf project costs $7,350 or $14.7 per sq. ft.
- An average 750 sq. ft. artificial turf project costs $10,000 or $13.4 per sq. ft.
- An average 1,000 sq. ft. artificial turf project costs $12,360 or $12.4 per sq. ft.
- An average 1,250 sq. ft. artificial turf project costs $14,500 or $11.6 per sq. ft.
- An average 1,500 sq. ft. artificial turf project costs $15,750 or $10.5 per sq. ft.
- An average 2,000 sq. ft. artificial turf project costs $19,200 or $9.6 per sq. ft.
- An average 2,500 sq. ft. artificial turf project costs $23,000 or $9.2 per sq. ft.
2023 Cost Breakdown of Artificial Turf Installation
In our guide below, we'll discuss different factors affecting your artificial turf installation cost. We'll cover materials, labor, and any other fees that you may see during the project. For the sake of this demonstration, we'll be plugging in numbers from a sample yard that is 500 sq. ft. with no borders or fences. For a tailored price, use our turf installation cost calculator.
*Please Note: Costs may differ depending on geographical location - These numbers reflect California pricing.
Those mentioned above are the key factors considered when determining the cost of an artificial turf project. Click on each to discover what they entail and the consequences of cutting corners in that area. Want a ballpark price on your specific upcoming project? Receive pricing in just a few clicks with our artificial grass cost calculator below!
Artificial Turf Materials
There are a number of supplies needed when beginning an artificial turf installation. This is where you'll see a large chunk of the cost. Below we'll walk through common polypropylene and polyethylene turfs used and how much they typically cost.
Synthetic grass is a fascinating blend of materials. The turf blades are made to look and feel like real grass. A home or business owner can choose from many different turf brands, styles, lengths, and colors that will complement their style. You can install pet turf, putting greens, and sports turf to name a few. For the sake of this guide, we'll be focusing on median-grade turf materials because they are the most popular.
Installers Cut Corners By:
Typically, medium to high-quality artificial grass materials that look like natural grass lawns are priced from $1.97 to $3.83 per square foot at the stores that sell synthetic turf. Remember this price may vary depending on location, manufacturer, and style of polyethylene grass.
When ordering artificial grass, consider that there will be wasted material. If your yard is rectangular, you won't experience as much waste as turf yards that are curved. While most yards require 10-20% excess material, your project may need a little more or less depending on the size and shape of your backyard.
For this pricing table, we'll figure in a 10% waste at $2.90 per sq. ft.:
|Total Turf Material||
500 sq. ft. +10% Waste
|550 sq. ft.|
|Artificial Grass Cost||
550 sq. ft. x $2.90/sq. ft.
|Cost After Taxes||
$1,595.00 + 8% California Tax
|Turf Cost Per sq. ft.||
$1,722.60 500 sq. ft.
Class II Road Base
Installing turf involves the preparation of the road base. Class II road base is a proper drainage material made of crushed rocks of various sizes. It is installed as a base surface for artificial grass to provide stability to the surface. The pricing of road base will be different based on your location and accessibility. On average, an installer shall bring about 4 cubic yards of base material to prepare the surface. The more road base applied to the installation area, the stronger the surface and the drier the lawn. Also, the base is the best prevention of weeds. You will save money on maintenance and ensure proper drainage with the right amount of base applied.
Installers Cut Corners By:
|Class II Road Base Cost||
500 sq. ft. x $.38/sq. ft.
Bender boards are important components of the professional installation of artificial turf because they help separate turf from other types of landscaping, such as trees and shrubs. The brown board is 20 feet long and made of polypropylene, costing around $35 apiece.
If there's a concrete, wood, or stone border around the perimeter of the space, bender boards aren't necessary. If you have a wooden or chain link fence, bender boards are still needed to provide stability. Often homes with existing landscaping already have bender boards installed separating the grass from their shrubs. It's important to assess your space to know how many linear feet of boards we'll need to order.
Installers Cut Corners By:
In our example, our lawn has no borders so we'll need to install bender boards around the entire space. Refer to the price grid below for more details!
|Perimeter||20ft. + 20ft. + 25ft. + 25ft.||90 ft.|
|Bender Board Rolls||90 20||4.5 Rolls (Round To 5)|
|Bender Board Cost||5 Rolls x $35/Roll||$175|
Weed barrier fabric is used in most installations. It's a cloth-like fabric that lays under the surface of the artificial turf. It prevents seeds from penetrating the ground beneath. In our experience, weed barriers cause the build-up of bacteria under the surface over time and are ineffective against aggressive weeds. For these reasons, we don't include a weed barrier layer by default. Instead, we recommend using a weed-preventer herbicide. However, we're adding weed barrier fabric to our cost list because of how common it is in turf installation. Weed barrier fabric comes in rolls that are 1,500 sq. ft. for around $80.
Because our sample yard is only 500 sq. ft. one roll will be more than enough!
|Weed Barrier Fabric Cost||$80 x 1 Roll||$80|
Artificial Grass Infill
Artificial turf infill comes in a variety of materials. Zeofill, hydrochill, silica sand, and antimicrobial sand are the most common options. The infill is a significant We recommend choosing the best infill that you can afford so you don't have to reapply it often. This will save you money down the road. A high-quality infill will provide your artificial grass with durability, wrinkle prevention, and a long life span. For pet owners and spaces with children playing, we recommend antibacterial sand infill to prevent bacteria build-up.
Installers Cut Corners By:
Per recommendation, we'll use antibacterial sand in our pricing table below. The cost for this is about $23 per bag after taxes, and weighs in at 50 pounds. Typically, you'll want at least 1-2 pounds of turf infill per square foot of space. We'll use the median of that: 1.5 pounds of infill per square foot.
|Square Footage Covered Per Bag||50 1.5 lb.||33.33 sq. ft.|
|Infill Bags Needed||500 sq. ft. 33.33||15 Bags Of Infill|
|Cost of Infill||15 Bags x $23/Bag||$345|
Cost of Combined Materials
|Artificial Grass Materials (After Taxes)||$1,722.60|
|Class II Road Base||$190|
|Bender Board Materials and Stakes||$175|
|Weed Barrier Fabric||$80|
|Artificial Turf Infill||$345|
|Seaming Tape With Glue for Seams or Staples||$120|
|Razors, Gloves, and Misc Items||$60|
|TOTAL COST OF MATERIALS||$2,787.60|
When it comes to the cost of labor, you absolutely get what you pay for. Many forget to factor this into their budget, but the man-hours it takes to provide you with a quality installation will cause the price of artificial grass installation to rise.
The more qualified a team is, the more they'll charge. Choosing a turf installation crew that has experience and knowledge of the process is vital in the longevity of the turf's life.
Installers Cut Corners By:
You can always cut costs here, but your quality of work will suffer. If you don't pay for a good contractor, then you will end up with a subpar job that leaves you with costly repairs. For a solid installation, a qualified crew will charge no less than $3.80 per square foot for labor costs. We'll use the low end of that for our pricing table below and plugin $3.80/sq. ft. Note that we use our payroll data to calculate the cost of the crew. This does not include vacations, hiring, training, and supervising.
|Crew Costs||500 sq. ft. x $3.80/sq. ft.||$1,900|
Most companies advertise free estimates on their website. It's a way to keep them in line with the competition. These proposals are typically detailed presentations outlining materials needed and optional add-ons. While these are free to people just browsing, the time spent working on these estimates doesn't come without a cost.
Preparing an estimate and driving to an appointment will cost around $75 give or take, depending on location and traffic. Before signing larger accounts, it can take up to 5 visits to the worksite to close a deal. This can rack up nearly $400 in additional costs for just one project, and sometimes these projects are never signed. Every time you hear "free estimate," know that they're not free to the clients moving forward with the installation, and they're factoring that time into the overall price.
At InstallArtificial, we don't think it's fair to make our customers pay for other people's appointments. We ensure that the budget is clear and outlined for each customer in our proposals and that they're comfortable with the price range before we make visits to homes or businesses to pass our savings to you.
For our pricing table, we'll stay on the low end and add $75 to account for "free" estimates. In fact, if a company is initiating 15% of visited customers, the cost of a free estimate is approximately $1,000.00. We will not include this amount in the table because most installers consider this as part of the owner's salary.
|Cost of "Free" Estimates||$75 (Ballpark Estimate)||$75|
Combined Labor Costs
|Cost of "Free" Estimates||$75|
|TOTAL LABOR COSTS||$1,975|
Operational fees refer to any costs that are added from transporting materials to and from the worksite. While most companies won't lay these fees out for you, they're built into the final price. Keep reading to learn common operational fees and how much it affects the overall pricing of your artificial grass installation.
Delivery of materials typically isn't free, so it's another thing that's factored into the final bill. Depending on where you live, delivery costs may range greatly. The cost also may vary depending on the manufacturer used. On top of the cost of delivery, the crew must also unload the heavy material.
This typically ranges from $100-$300 per trip, depending on the above-mentioned factors. For our example, we'll use the median of those fees at $200.
|Delivery Fees||$200 (Ballpark Estimate)||$200|
Old turf, soil, and grass must be hauled away when removed from your lawn. The price of hauling will vary depending on how many truckloads of waste is accumulated. Hauling away a container typically costs around $900. For a 500 sq. ft. lawn, we'd only need to haul two trailers instead of calling for a container. Dumping 12,000 lb of turf with soil will cost, on average, $700.00. Here you can see that a container could fit 2.5 the amount of soil. That is why smaller jobs require a similar investment and cost more. This calculation assumes that we use our truck, with our driver, and pay for gas as part of the overhead. When a company hires a driver, they must add at least $500 to compensate for gas and salary. This is a big problem for most gardeners. Their trucks are not designed to haul heavy weights easily. When they hire somebody else, there is nothing left for profit. Instead, most unequipped crews would scratch turf, leaving roots in the ground, saving from $350.00 to $1000.00. Technically, they removed the turf. However, it will not take long until the weeds and turf try to grow back from underneath the fake grass surface.
Installers cut corners by:
|Hauling Costs and Dump Fees||$350 x 2 Truckloads||$700|
Cost of Combined Operational Fees
|TOTAL OPERATIONAL FEES||$900|
Any reliable company will have a boatload of overhead costs. While this may result in the price of your project rising, it's worth the extra money to ensure the installation runs smoothly. If the company you choose doesn't provide its insurance, for example, you, as a homeowner, will be responsible for any injuries on the job site. Overhead costs include but are not limited to:
General Liability Insurance Workers Compensation Programs
Payroll Expenses Accounting Fees
Taxes Licensing Fees
Auto Expenses Admin Staffing Fees
As you can see, there are many behind the scene fees that protect both the installation company and you as a home or business owner. We see many homeowners and even developers neglecting the insurance and license requirements. But we never forget who is paying for the banners screaming at us from every mile of the highway: "Injured? I Will Give Them Hell!"
Installers cut corners by:
On the low end, a turf company's overhead can add 10% to your project total. We'll use a smaller fixed number based on our experience. Projects up to 1,500 sq.ft. require relatively similar office support that is at least $500.
|TOTAL OVERHEAD COSTS||$500|
To stay in business, turf companies must make a profit. On average, a crew that is not bringing $800.00 in gross profit per working day will end up bankrupt within a month or two.
Generally, a turf company's profit margin is around 30%. So that at the end of the year, net profit could reach 15%.
Many homeowners think 10% is more than enough and shall represent the construction average. However, it is common sense that a few companies would engage in a project that is $5000 worth of out-of-pocket expenses for a $500 outcome. Many things could go wrong; for example, a turf could arrive defective, a pipe may burst, or the rain could make it hard to remove soil and clean up the area. 10% of the project could be easily consumed within 4 hours of crew labor. Not too many installers would love to haul a few tons of dirt and then pay the client for the opportunity. If you negotiated a great deal and expect quality work, then brace yourself for a hard run.
When we see an abandoned job, we try to help, but it never ends up well. Because it is incredibly hard to satisfy the abandoned client. The total cost incurred will be double compared to the original quote. The client knows he is overpaying. And there is no room for us. Plus, hidden quality issues may arise (crushed pipes, uncompacted areas).
We'll plug in 20% in our price guide below. Which is almost $400 short and my wife would have definitely disagreed about that.
|TOTAL PROFIT||$6,162.60 + 20% Margin||$1,232.52|
Turf Installation Cost Wrap Up
During this pricing guide, we've used low to median averages, so keep that in mind when assessing the overall price. This is just a starting point. There may be other needs specific to your project, such as rewiring irrigation lines or adding borders to trees throughout the yard. Additional material add-ons will affect pricing as well. Optional installation additions may include: pet-friendly turf materials, putting greens, aluminum bender boards, padding systems, and drainage systems.
Below we'll wrap up our findings and discover the low-median cost of a simple 500 sq. ft. backyard installation!
|Overhead Costs (less than 10%)||$500|
National Average Price of Artificial Grass Installation per square foot.
|Artificial Grass Project Size||Artificial Grass Project Cost (per sq. ft.)|
|<400 sq. ft.||$17-25|
|400-700 sq. ft.||$14-17|
|700-900 sq. ft.||$12-14|
|900-2,000 sq. ft.||$9.5-12|
|2,000+ sq. ft.||$9|
The main variables for the prices above are the speed of the crew, bulk deliveries, and profit.
- The larger the project, the more sq. ft. of turf could be installed per day with the help of equipment.
- Bulk deliveries of road base and dump containers cost just as much as the little ones.
- Companies drop profit on larger projects by up to 50%
If you're seeing cheap prices, there's no magic happening. They're skimping on either materials and expertise or ready to pay you for your project (highly unlikely). Some companies outsource your projects to crews that they don't even supervise. Before opting for the cheaper installation, reference this pricing guide and discuss the specs of your project with the crew to ensure they're qualified and insured. Anyone offering a lower price than this is more than likely cutting corners somewhere. Ready to get an idea of the price for your next turf project? Check out our artificial turf cost calculator below to get an instant quote!
How do artificial turf systems influence the price?
Artificial grass systems combines specific synthetic turf, infills, and installation methods. Usually, an artificial turf system costs about $2 per square foot more than regular artificial grass. The price increase comes from infills, the additional cost of labor, and more advanced fake grass materials.
Why do small artificial turf installation projects cost so much more?
Clients often ask why the cost of turf installation per sq. ft. is always so much higher for smaller jobs than for larger ones. Due to fixed costs that remain the same regardless of project size, small jobs don't receive the same discounts as large projects. Hauling, delivery, dumpsters, road base, and other materials all contribute to the fixed costs that must be covered to remain profitable. Therefore, raising the price per square foot is necessary to complete small synthetic turf projects profitably.
More than that, smaller jobs require more planning efforts and agile logistics to keep the costs moderate. Many artificial turf installers do not know how to calculate a small job and often offer lower bids. Some of them realize their calculation mistakes when they arrive at the job site. We see many poor-quality or abandoned turf projects of less than 500 sq. ft. This is unfortunate.
Remember, a stated price per sq. ft. must change with the amount of space. The price could start at $7.99 per sq. ft. for large projects. But do not fall prey to those shiny ads.
There are no miracles in the artificial grass business. This is hard labor with a lot of sweat. A good artificial grass installer who delivers quality work at competitive prices usually operates modern equipment and compact loaders.
How can I save money on artificial turf installation?
Choose to install during the low season. Winter times are much slower. Even professional turf installers will have more time to focus on your project and offer discounts.
Consider scheduling your project far in advance. Even though it is harder to lock in the price, many installers love to know when the project is far in advance. It helps them plan resources.