Artificial Grass Cost Breakdown

Let’s Talk Money

Artificial grass comes with a big upfront cost — $5 to $20 per square foot, depending on the quality of materials and labor costs. Of course this can be more or less depending on your market and your project. Once it’s down, it’s free for the next 15 to 25 years.

Professionally laid sod, on the other hand, costs only 14 to 60 cents per square foot. But that’s where expenditures (and upkeep) begin. You’ve got to water, mow, fertilize — all of which cost money and take time.

Let’s crunch some numbers on a hypothetical 500-square-foot yard.

Average Artificial Grass Installation Prices

Square Feet

Total Cost Installed
$1,226 – $4,140
$3,065 – $10,350
$6,130 – $20,700
$12,260 – $41,400
$30,650 – $103,500
$49,040 – $165,600
$61,300 – $207,000

The amount of artificial grass you need depends on the size of your yard. First, figure the rough square footage of your lawn. It’s easier to divide your lawn into many squares or rectangles if it has curves and obstacles. Figuring the cost of artificial grass per square foot must include some wastage to be accurate. The general rule is to add 15% to the total square footage. Extra allows for cutting around curves and obstacles inside the lawn area.

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Let’s crunch some numbers on a hypothetical 500 sq. ft. yard.

Artificial Grass

Installation ($12.50/sq. ft. average) $6,250

Annual costs:
Watering $0
Fertilizing $0
Maintenance $0
Annual Total: $0

Natural Sod

Installation (37 center/sq. ft. average) $185

Annual costs:
Watering $90 /year
Fertilizing $100 /year
Maintenance $650 /year
Annual Total: $840

So, it would take about seven years for low maintenance artificial grass to recoup its initial cost. If you’re planning on staying put for longer than that, you’ll begin to save money each year.

Here’s a Breakdown of the Initial Cost for Artificial Turf Installation


Turf must be fixed to the ground to keep it in place since there is no root system. The cost for the adhesive is $0.06 per square foot. Each gallon container is $13.90 and covers 25 square yards (225 square feet). Seam Sealer is $48 for one gallon, which will cover 800 LF. If using rolls 15 feet wide, one gallon will cover up to 18,000 square feet.


Bender board or Mow Strip is needed to finish the edges of the fake grass for a polished look. You can purchase edging kits for $21 to $148, or about $0.15 per square foot depending on the size and shape of your yard.


Weed barrier fabric prevents any weeds from growing through your new synthetic lawn. One roll of fabric typically covers 1,500 and costs around $90.


The infill system weighs down the turf and protects the backing material. Sand is relatively inexpensive at $5 per 50 lb. bag. The recommended amount to use is 1.5 – 4.5 lbs. per square foot. The price for enough sand to do an average-size yard can run from $1,207 – $3,622.


Runs about $48 for the average-sized yard.

CLASS II Road Base

Class II road based in composed of crushed rocks which are installed as a base surface to provide stability to the grass above. The least expensive option costs $0.40 per square foot.


Sometimes foam padding is used under fake grass. It makes it more comfortable to walk on. The underlayment costs $2.75 per square foot.

More homeowners are saving time, water — and their backs — by switching from real grass to artificial turf.