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How Much Does it Cost to Install Pet Turf: 2024 Price Guide

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 1,000 sq. ft. Also, learn how contractors may cut corners to save money and hear the consequences. Updated on 04/12/24.

Uncover the key elements influencing the cost of installing pet-friendly turf in your yard. This comprehensive guide breaks down the expenses associated with installing pet turf per 1,000 sq. ft. Additionally, gain insights into how contractors might compromise quality to cut costs and the resulting implications. Last updated on 04/12/24.

Cost of pet turf installation, 2023

Recent Updates:

  • In these challenging times, turf installers have seen a significant decline in demand, leading them to offer enticing discounts to attract customers.

  • This has also resulted in a troubling trend of underbidding and abandoned projects, leaving homeowners dissatisfied.

  • Companies are facing financial hardship due to the Revenue Service imposing tax bills on their revenue and subsidies granted during the COVID years.

  • The soaring prices of nails and polymer boards, along with the increased costs of vehicle-related expenses such as insurance, gas, and service, have further added to the challenges faced by installers.

  • The rising minimum wages make it difficult to retain skilled professionals in the industry.

Given these circumstances, it is crucial for homeowners to exercise caution when selecting a turf installer. It is important to verify the installer's current insurance and carefully evaluate whether the price being offered is reasonable. An abandoned job can be a nightmare for homeowners, so it is essential to choose a reliable and trustworthy installer.

Dogs tend to damage natural grass when they're let outside to play and brown spots are unavoidable after consistent pet use. K9-friendly artificial grass has become a realistic solution to this problem. Synthetic turf offers many benefits that natural grass doesn't, such as providing a more durable and sanitary surface. Bonus - after installation fleas and other pests will no longer be attracted to your lawn.  

When considering this option, know that installing a pet-friendly turf system will be pricier than a regular installation. The price increase stems from advanced material requirements, drainage needs, and safety measures. You are looking at at least $11-$16 per sq. ft. for a quality pet turf installation. Remember: you're paying for not only materials but also labor, hauling and delivery, and company overhead. 

In our guide below, we'll dive into all the costs that affect the final bill. For the purposes of this demonstration, we'll use a sample yard that's 1000 sq. ft. with a concrete border on two of the edges.

yard example pet turf*Please Note: Costs may differ depending on geographical location - These numbers reflect California pricing.

 Materials Labor Operations Overhead Profit

The above-mentioned are the key factors considered when assigning a price. Click on each to discover what they entail, and the consequences of cutting corners in that area during a k9-friendly installation. 


There are a number of supplies needed when beginning a backyard turf installation. You'll see that even more materials are needed for pet turf systems than typical projects.  Below we'll walk through common materials used, and how much they typically cost. 

Artificial Grass

You can choose almost any grass and install a pet turf system underneath it. For the easiest cleaning, the best artificial grass for pets will have a shorter pile height. The grass you choose will also need to perform well in terms of drainage and traffic resistance to provide a longer lifespan. In commercial areas, we'd recommend choosing grass specifically designed for pet use

Typically, medium to high-quality artificial grass material is priced from $1.97 to $4.30 per square foot. We'll assume we're installing pet turf in a residential backyard for our sample lawn and use these numbers. However, grasses specifically made for pet use are available upon request! 

Installers Cut Corners By:

  • Using Old Recycled Grass Materials - Causes visible seams, dogs may be able to dig at the grass causing damage to the surface.
  • Using Low-Quality Materials - It's important to use only non-toxic lead-free materials in pet turf systems. 

In our table below, we'll average the price of artificial turf at $3.13/sq. ft. and figure in taxes. 

Artificial Grass Cost $3.13 x 1,000 sq. ft. $3,130
Cost After Taxes $3,130 + 8% California Tax $3,380.40
Total Cost Per sq. ft. $3,024 1,000 sq. ft. $3.38/sq. ft.


Class II Road Base 

Road base is a material that is made of crushed rocks of various sizes. This is installed as a base surface in artificial grass lawns to provide stability for the installation. Once at least 2 in. of soil has been excavated from the area, road base can be applied. Pricing of road base will be different based on your location. If you're installing pet turf on a hard surface, such as concrete, road base is not necessary. 

Installers Cut Corners By:

  • Removing Less Soil - Weeds will grow back and poke through the turf.
  • Poorly Grading - Uneven surfaces affect drainage performance and cause liquid to pool underneath the turf. This leads to the growth of mold.  

On the low end, class II road base costs around $0.38/sq. ft. (including taxes). 

Cost of Class II Road Base $0.38 x 1,000 sq. ft.  $380

Weed Preventer

While many install a weed barrier, this is not something we recommend. Weed barrier is a cloth-like fabric that lays under the surface and it's used to prevent seeds from penetrating the ground beneath. In our experience, weed barriers soak up liquids and cause a build-up of bacteria over time - especially in pet turf systems where dogs are using the bathroom.

Instead, we'd recommend applying an herbicide to the base after soil removal. This attacks over 60 types of common weeds. Weed preventer costs about $0.38/sq. ft. 

Weed Preventer Cost $0.38 x 1,000 sq. ft.  $380

Bender Boards

Bender boards are an important component of artificial turf because it helps separate turf from other types of landscaping like trees and shrubs. The brown board is a 20-foot-long roll of polypropylene. The thick board can be obtained for about $35 apiece. This border is durable and what we install most often, however in some cases treated wood boards must be substituted. 

If there's a concrete or stone border around the perimeter of the space, bender boards aren't necessary. However, 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 rolls we'll need to order. 

Installers Cut Corners By: 

  • Not Using Bender Boards - The base will expand as temperatures change and the turf will detach around the edges causing nails to loosen. 
  • Using Wooden Stakes to Install - They'll dissolve within a year resulting in bender boards falling apart.

In our sample yard, we have a concrete border on two of the sides so bender boards won't be needed there. However, the other two edges will require bender board installation. Let's plug it in below:

Perimeter 25ft. + 25ft. 50 ft.
Bender Board Rolls 50 20 2.5 Rolls (Round To 3)
Bender Board Cost 3 Rolls x $35/Roll $105

Drain Core 

A drainage layer is very important when it comes to dog-friendly turf systems. With consistent pet relief, there must be adequate drainage to accelerate liquid movement after cleaning the surface. Remember: to prevent the build-up of bacteria underneath the surface, you must clean pet turf with a sanitizer regularly. Drain core is a 1/2" drainage grid that elevates the turf allowing water movement below. This drainage layer can also help keep the surface cooler for your pets.

Installers Cut Corners By:

  • Not Using Drainage - Efficient drainage is critical in pet-friendly systems for an odor and bacteria-free installation.

One sheet of drain core covers a 50x4 area and runs around $280 before taxes. Let's do the math below!

Drainage Sheets Needed 1,000 sq. ft. 200 sq. ft.  5 Sheets
Cost of Drain Core 5 Sheets x $280/Sheet $1,400
Cost After Taxes $1,400 + 8% California Tax $1,512




Turf Deodorizer

Turf deodorizer is used to eliminate odors left over from pet relief. It can be applied both underneath and on the surface of the turf for the best results. After taxes, a bag of turf deodorizer runs about $28. One bag of turf deodorizer will provide coverage for 100 sq. ft. of turf. We'll plug these numbers into our pricing table below.  

Bags of Turf Deodorizer Needed 1,000 sq. ft. 100 sq. ft.    10 Bags
Cost of Turf Deodorizer 10 Bags x $28/Bag  $280



Securing and Adhesive

There are many small materials that customers don't remember to factor into the price of their project. Nails, glue, seaming tape, and stakes are just some of the additional materials needed for a secure installation. The price of these extra materials will fluctuate depending on the length of the perimeter. 

For a 1,000 sq. ft. project, we estimate additional materials like nails, glue, seaming tape, and stakes will add up to be around $220. These extra materials are crucial for ensuring a smooth and durable finish. Nails provide structural support, while glue helps with adhesion and seam tape ensures seamless joins. Stakes are necessary for securing the materials in place during the installation process.

Taking into account the size of the project, we have carefully calculated the estimated cost of these materials, factoring in their quantity and quality, to ensure a successful outcome. The approximate cost of $220 allows for a comprehensive selection of the necessary additional materials, assuring a high-quality result for your 1,000 sq. ft. project.

Installers Cut Corners By: 

  • Using Fewer Nails - Turf will begin to lift and detach over time - this creates a safety hazard for pets 
  • Sloppy Quick Seaming - Causes visible seams that may rupture. Seams that are not correctly secured together will be easily damaged by your dog.


Extra Materials $220 (Ballpark Estimate) $220

Antibacterial Sand Infill

A high-quality infill will provide your artificial grass with durability, wrinkle prevention, and a long life span. For pet owners, we recommend antibacterial sand infill to prevent bacteria and odor build-up. Because this sand features a plastic-like coating, it will also keep the surface cool and comfortable for your dogs! 

In addition to its antibacterial benefits, the high-quality infill also contributes to the overall hygiene and cleanliness of your artificial grass. By preventing the absorption of animal urine and other external elements, it helps to maintain a fresh and odor-free environment. This is particularly important for pet owners who want to ensure a healthy and pleasant outdoor space for their beloved companions.

Moreover, it is worth noting that this infill is not only beneficial for pets but also for the environment. Its eco-friendly nature aligns with the growing concern for sustainability and responsible choices. By opting for this high-quality infill, you not only provide a safe and comfortable space for your pets but also contribute to a greener future.

Installers Cut Corners By: 

  • Using Cheap Infills - Provides less durability and won't withstand elements over time. 




pet turf cost calculator

Per recommendation, we'll use antibacterial sand in our pricing table below. The cost for this is about $32 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.

Sq. Footage Covered Per Bag 50 1.5 lb. 33.33 sq. ft.
Infill Bags Needed 1,000 sq. ft. 33.33 30 Bags
Cost of Infill  30 Bags x $32/Bag $960

Cost of Combined Materials 

This thorough breakdown provides a comprehensive understanding of the specific materials required for pet-friendly artificial grass installation, along with their respective costs. It offers a detailed overview of the financial aspects involved in the process, ensuring that all material expenses are accounted for.

Artificial Grass $3,380.40
Class II Road Base $380
Weed Preventer $380
Bender Board $105
Drain Core $1,512
Turf Deodorizer $280
Securing & Adhesive $220
Antibacterial Sand Infill $960


When it comes to the cost of labor you absolutely get what you pay for, and many forget to factor this into their budget. Since there are more steps involved with pet-friendly turf installs, it's best to leave it up to the professionals. The labor it takes to provide you with a quality lawn will affect the cost of your installation. The bigger the project, the more labor costs you'll see. 


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 to the longevity of the turf's life. 

Installers Cut Corners By: 

  • Installing Quickly and Sloppy - Mistakes are made when compacting, cutting, and seaming carelessly to save on labor costs.

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 between $3.13-5.06 per square foot for labor costs. You can always cut costs here, but your quality of work will suffer. For a top-notch installation, a skilled crew will charge a minimum of $3.80 per square foot for labor expenses. In our pricing table below, we will consider the lower end of this range and factor in $3.80 per sq. ft. Please note that our crew cost calculations are based on our payroll data and do not include expenses for vacations, hiring, training, and supervision.

Crew Costs 1,000 sq. ft. x $3.80/sq. ft. $3,800

pet turf cost calculator

"Free" Estimates

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" just know that they're not free to the clients actually 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.

Cost of "Free" Estimates $75 (Ballpark Estimate) $75

Combined Labor Costs

Crew Costs $3,800
Cost of "Free" Estimates $75


Operational fees are another hidden cost that they don't tell you about. This refers 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 proposal. Keep reading to learn what operational costs entail, and how much it affects the overall pricing of your artificial grass installation.

Delivery Fees

Delivery fees are another important consideration. It is essential to remember that delivery of materials is not free and should be factored into the final bill. The actual cost of delivery can vary depending on your location and the manufacturer you choose. During the installation process, the necessary artificial grass materials and road base will be delivered to your residence. In addition to the delivery cost, the crew will handle the heavy lifting and unloading. 

This typically ranges from $360-$650 per trip, depending on the above-mentioned factors. For our example, we'll use the low end of those fees at $360.

Delivery Fees $360 (Ballpark Estimate) $360

Hauling Costs

Hauling costs are also a component of operational fees. When the crew removes 2 inches of soil from the surface, it needs to be hauled away and taken to the dump. The cost of hauling depends on the amount of removed grass and soil, usually measured in truckloads. On average, hauling a container of grass and dirt can cost around $350. For a 1,000 sq. ft. lawn, approximately two truckloads will typically be required.

Hauling Costs $350 x 2 Truckloads $700

Cost of Combined Operational Fees

To summarize, the operational fees associated with a pet turf installation can be broken down into delivery fees and hauling costs. While the exact figures may vary depending on your specific circumstances, an estimated breakdown of these costs can help you understand the potential impact on the overall pricing.

Delivery Fees $360
Hauling Costs $700

Company Overhead

Any reliable company will have a boatload of overhead costs. While it may be challenging to determine the exact amount that is added to the prices due to overhead costs, it is important to recognize the value they bring. For instance, if the installation company does not provide its own insurance, the homeowner may be responsible for any injuries that occur on the job site. This demonstrates the importance of overhead costs in ensuring the safety and well-being of both parties involved. 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

When it comes to any reliable company, it's important to consider the overhead costs. These are the necessary expenses that a company incurs to operate and maintain its business operations. Overhead costs may not be directly visible to customers, but they play a crucial role in ensuring a smooth and successful installation process. 

At the minimum, a turf company's overhead can contribute an additional 10% to the overall cost of your project. However, based on our expertise, we have determined that for projects up to 1,500 sq. ft., a modest amount of office support is required, amounting to at least $530. This ensures that all necessary administrative tasks are efficiently handled, allowing for a smooth and successful installation process.

TOTAL OVERHEAD COSTS Average Fixed Rate $530


For turf companies to thrive, profitability is crucial. On average, a crew that fails to generate a gross profit of at least $800 per working day will face the risk of bankruptcy within a few months.

Typically, turf companies operate with a profit margin of around 30%, which means their net profit could potentially reach 15% by the end of the year.

While homeowners may believe that a 10% profit margin is sufficient and represents the industry average, it's important to consider the practicality of undertaking projects with expenses amounting to $5000, but with a potential outcome of only $500. Various factors can go wrong, such as receiving defective turf, encountering burst pipes, or facing challenges due to inclement weather conditions that make soil removal and area cleanup difficult. In just four hours of crew labor, 10% of the project's budget can easily be consumed. It's unlikely that many installers would willingly take on the laborious task of hauling tons of dirt and then have to pay the client for the opportunity. If you've negotiated a favorable deal and expect top-quality work, be prepared for the challenges that may arise along the way.

In our price guide below, we'll consider a 20% profit margin. However, this would leave us almost $400 short, and my wife would definitely disagree with that.

TOTAL PROFIT $12,682.40 + 20% Margin $2,536.48

Wrap Up

During the entirety of this pricing guide we've used low to median averages, so keep that in mind when assessing overall price. This is just a starting point, there may be other needs that are specific to your project such as rewiring irrigation lines, or extra work during base preparation.

Below we'll wrap up our findings, and discover the median cost of a simple 1,000 sq. ft. backyard pet-friendly turf installation!

Material Costs $7.217.40
Labor Costs $3,875
Operational Fees $1,060
Overhead Costs (10%) $530
Profit (10% Margin) $2,536.48

If you're seeing cheap prices, there's no magic happening. They're skimping on either materials or expertise. In pet turf systems, the materials used and proper installation practices are even more vital to keep your lawn free of odor and bacteria. Before opting for the cheap 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. As always, give us a call for any questions related to your specific project or request an estimate below to get started! 

Frequently Asked Questions About Pet Turf Installation 

How can I learn more about pet turf offerings and get assistance in finding the best artificial grass for dogs?

To discover more about our pet turf offerings and receive personalized assistance in finding the ideal artificial grass for dogs, there are two convenient options available to you. The first is to request a custom quote, where our friendly and knowledgeable team at InstallArtificial is always ready to provide information and guidance. Whether you prefer a phone conversation or online communication, our dedicated staff is eager to assist you in creating the perfect pet-friendly outdoor space. With our expertise and enthusiasm, we are excited to help you embark on your journey towards finding the best artificial grass for your adorable four-legged friends.

What are the potential risks of choosing a cheaper installation option?

Choosing a cheaper installation option for pet turf systems can come with potential risks that should be taken into careful consideration. While the appeal of low prices may be tempting, it is important to be aware of the potential drawbacks that may accompany such choices.

One of the main risks associated with cheaper installation options is the compromised quality of materials used. When opting for lower-priced options, there is a higher chance that inferior materials will be used in the pet turf system. These subpar materials may not have the necessary durability and resistance to wear and tear, resulting in a shorter lifespan for your lawn. Moreover, low-quality materials may not effectively drain water or prevent odors, which can negatively impact the overall cleanliness and hygiene of your pet's outdoor environment.

Another risk of choosing a cheaper installation option is the potential compromise in the installation process itself. Professional installation methods are crucial in ensuring a clean and odor-free lawn. However, when costs are cut, it is likely that shortcuts will be taken during the installation process. This can lead to improper installation techniques, which may result in uneven surfaces, poor drainage, or even damage to the turf system. Additionally, an inadequately installed pet turf system may be more prone to issues such as shifting, bunching, or even tearing, which can further reduce its lifespan and functionality.

When opting for a cheaper installation option, it is important to consider the qualifications and insurance of the installation crew. Lower prices may sometimes indicate a lack of proper training and expertise. Working with unqualified individuals increases the risk of improper installation, which can have long-term consequences for the appearance, usability, and durability of your pet turf system. Moreover, if the installation crew is not insured, you may bear the financial burden and responsibility for any potential accidents or damages that occur during the installation process.

What is the total profit on the project in this guide with a profit margin of 25%?

The total profit on the project in this guide, when considering a profit margin of 25%, amounts to $3,170.60.

What is the profit margin that turf companies aim for in order to stay in business?

Turf companies typically aim to maintain a profit margin between 10% and 30% in order to sustain their business operations. For the purpose of this exercise, we will consider the midpoint of this range, setting the profit margin at 20%. By determining a profit margin of 20%, the total profit for the specific project in this guide would amount to $2,536.48. This indicates that turf companies strive to achieve a profitable margin within this range to ensure their economic viability and continued success.

What factors affect the cost of installing pet turf?

Several factors influence the cost of installing pet turf. Firstly, the size of the area that needs to be covered plays a significant role. Larger areas will generally require more materials and labor, which can increase the overall expense.

Another factor to consider is the type of turf chosen. Different types of pet turf have varying costs, depending on their quality, durability, and features. Higher-end turfs may come at a higher price, while more budget-friendly options may be available. The materials used in the installation process also contribute to the overall cost. This includes items such as infill, edging, base materials, and any other components required for a proper and long-lasting installation.

The experience of the installation crew is another factor to consider. Hiring experienced professionals who specialize in pet turf installation may come at a higher cost, but it guarantees a better outcome and minimizes the potential for issues down the line.

Additionally, it's important to take into account the costs associated with the company itself. This includes operation fees, labor costs, company overhead, and the desire for company profit. These factors vary from company to company and can affect the overall cost of the pet turf installation project. 

How much does artificial grass for dogs cost to install?

The cost of installing artificial grass for dogs can vary depending on several factors. On average, the total expense typically starts at around $5,000, including both materials and labor. However, the final cost can range from $11 to $20 per square foot.

There are various factors that can influence the cost of installation. Firstly, the size of the area you want to cover with artificial grass will play a significant role. Larger areas will generally require more materials and labor, leading to higher costs. Secondly, the type of turf you choose will affect the price. There are three common types of artificial grass: polypropylene, polyethylene, and nylon. The quality and price of each type can vary. Polypropylene is the most affordable option, ranging from $2 to $4 per square foot. Polyethylene offers a more natural appearance and a softer touch, with a price range of $2 to $6 per square foot. Nylon, on the other hand, is the most durable material, but it comes at a higher price, ranging from $5 to $6 per square foot.

Another aspect to consider is the experience of the installation crew. Hiring a well-experienced team may increase the overall cost, but it is often worth the investment to ensure a high-quality installation.

When budgeting for the project, it's important to account for potential waste. Depending on the size and shape of the area, there is usually around 10% to 20% waste of artificial grass material. It is recommended to factor in approximately $3 per square foot for both the artificial grass and waste, assuming a waste percentage of 10%. 

What are some miscellaneous items that may be included in the cost of a project?

When planning a project, it's important to consider all the small materials that often go unnoticed but are essential for a successful installation. These additional materials, such as nails, glue, seaming tape, and stakes, play a crucial role in ensuring the durability and stability of your project. They may seem insignificant at first, but overlooking their importance can lead to subpar results. However, it's not just these basic materials that you need to factor into the cost. There are other miscellaneous items that may be required depending on the specifics of your project. Pet turf odor remover, for instance, is an item that might be necessary if you have pets using the turf area. This specialized product helps eliminate any unpleasant smells and keeps your turf fresh and clean.

Depending on the nature of your project, other miscellaneous items could come into play. Items like weed barrier, drainage membrane, rubber padding, golf cups, and flagsticks may be relevant for certain projects. While they may not be essential to every installation, they add functionality and aesthetic appeal in specific scenarios. It's worth noting that the inclusion of these miscellaneous items will vary based on the project's requirements.

The cost of these additional materials will fluctuate depending on the length of the perimeter, the size of the area, and other factors specific to your project. So, when calculating the overall cost of your project, don't overlook these often forgotten miscellaneous items. Considering the importance of nails, glue, seaming tape, and stakes, as well as the potential need for pet turf odor remover and other specific items, will help ensure a comprehensive and accurate estimate.

What materials are needed for pet turf installation?

Installing pet-friendly artificial grass requires careful consideration of various materials to ensure a secure and functional turf that can effectively drain water and pet urine. In addition to the pet-friendly artificial grass itself, there are several other essential materials needed for a successful installation.

To securely fasten the turf, you will need nails, glue, seaming tape, and stakes. These materials work together to hold the artificial grass in place, ensuring it remains stable and resistant to shifting or movement. The quantity of these materials will depend on the length of the perimeter, as the longer the perimeter, the more materials will be required.

There are also other components that contribute to the durability and functionality of the pet turf. Class II Road Base is a crucial material that provides a stable foundation for the artificial grass, ensuring it remains level and resistant to sinking or unevenness. Edging or bender board is used to create a clean and defined border, preventing the turf from spreading or shifting at the edges.

To enhance the performance and longevity of the pet turf, infill is another vital material. Infill helps to support the grass blades, maintain proper drainage, and prevent matting or flattening of the turf. The specific type and quantity of infill required will depend on the size and purpose of the installation.