Artificial Grass Installation Costs

Last updated 8th September 2021

Trying to find out how much it costs to install artificial grass? In this article you'll find a breakdown of prices for different grades of fake grass, and a cost calculator making it easy for any homeowner to determine the cost for them.

Artificial grass installation

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How Much to Lay Artificial Grass?

This article details typical costs charged for installing artificial grass and also examines the advantages and disadvantages of having fake/artificial grass installed in your garden. Artificial grass is made from plastic, and its primary advantage is removing all the hassle of maintaining a real grass lawn. It is also popular with homeowners that have a shaded lawn or poor soil that is not suitable for natural grass growth.

The average cost of installing artificial grass is usually around £200 to £4,800 depending on the size of your garden, along with the thickness and quality of the material.

Artificial grass is available in a number of grades and supply only prices start at around £8 per square metre for artificial grass with a thickness of 18 to 25mm. However, these low-quality fake grass types are best suited to exhibitions and other commercial uses rather than on your front lawn. Mid-range fake grass costs around £15 to £25 per square metre and are more acceptable but still obviously detectable as fake. The premium artificial grass products can cost up to £40 per square and mimic the look of natural grass extremely well, plus they are extremely durable and should last around 15 years.

Installing Artificial Grass Prices

Below are some estimated costs of hiring a gardener to install artificial grass:

Garden Size Grass Type & Thickness Avg. Cost
10m² Budget (18mm-25mm) £200-£300
Mid-range (26-30mm) £400-£600
Luxury (31-45mm) £600-£700
25m² Budget (18mm-25mm) £400-£600
Mid-range (26-30mm) £700-£1,000
UpLuxury (31-45mm) £1100-£1400
50m² Budget (18mm-25mm) £700-£1,100
Mid-range (26-30mm) £1,200-£1,700
Luxury (31-45mm) £1,800-£2,500
100m² Budget (18mm-25mm) £1,400-£2,200
Mid-range (26-30mm) £2,200-£3,200
Luxury (31-45mm) £3,300-£4,800


Supply Costs

If you’re planning to take the DIY route for your artificial grass installation, then you will need to consider the below supply costs.

Grass Type Avg. Cost per m²
Budget (18mm - 25mm) £8-£16
Mid-range (26 - 30mm) £15-£25
Luxury (31 - 45mm) £25-£40


Additional Costs

There are various other costs you need to consider before having your artificial grass installation, such as:

Description Avg. Cost
Weed membrane £0.50 to £1 per square metre
New garden gate £180-£400
New garden fencing £700-£1,000
Outside lighting £125-£200 per light


Cost Breakdown Calculator

Individual costs for installing mid-range artificial grass for a 25 sq. metre garden - Total Cost: £1000

65%

Materials
£650

25%

Tradesmen
£250

10%

Waste Removal
£100

Labour costs and Time frames

The average gardener will usually charge around £100 to £150 per day, they don't need to work in pairs but often do. The removal of your old grass, prep work and installation will often take 2 to 3 days depending on the size of the garden, as large gardens measuring 100 square metres can take around 8 days to complete, while a 10 square metre garden may only take one day.

Another factor is the quality and thickness of the grass, as cheap artificial grass with a thickness of 18 – 25mm should only take 1 to 4 days to finish, while a luxury installation with 31 to 40mm grass could take more than a week.

Cost Affecting Factors of Installing Artificial Grass

There are various cost factors you need to consider before you hire someone to install your artificial grass, the first one being the type of grass you choose. Pricing for artificial grass is usually based on the length and thickness of the grass, for example, budget artificial grass with a thickness between 18mm and 25mm tends to cost around £8 to £16 per m², while luxury artificial grass with an average thickness between 31mm and 45mm can cost up to £40 per square metre.

Another important cost factor is the size of your garden, as the larger it is, the more expensive it will be. Fake grass prices can range from £200 for a small 10 square metre garden to £4,800 for a 100 square metre garden.

To keep costs down, you should try to avoid excavation; however, if you have real turf laid down, this will need to be lifted, as artificial grass cannot be installed on top of it. Landscapers will usually charge around £100 to £150 per day, so the price will vary depending on the amount of existing turf you have, along with the size of your garden.

The tradesman you hire may also charge £150 extra for waste disposal, as you will need to clear away an existing turf from your garden to make room for the installation.

Artificial grass in garden

What Does Installing Artificial Grass Entail?

If you’re wondering how to lay artificial grass like a professional, it involves the following steps:

Ground preparation

Before installing your new artificial grass, a professional installer will need to remove the natural turf by lifting it up with a space or turf cutter, making sure they remove it to a depth of 10cm. They will then use a roller to compact the surface, and spray the area with weed killer and install an artificial grass underlay and weed membrane.

If there is no grass to be removed, then the install will make sure the area is clean, smooth and level before laying down your artificial grass. If the floor is not level or smooth, then they will put a layer of sand above the sub-base.

Stone aggregate will then be placed on top of the surface, which should be compacted to the desired level.

Grass installation

Once your basis is prepared, the artificial grass can be laid out, making sure that there is a 5cm gap on each side. This will then be left for around 2 to 3 hours to settle and reduce creasing.

After 3 hours is up, the grass will be turned over and trimmed with a sharp knife for a neat finish. An appropriate adhesive will then be applied to secure it in place.

If you have a large area that you want to cover, then the installer will have to join pieces of grass together using joining tape and adhesive.

Use tape on all joints then sprinkle kiln dried sand over the carpet to weigh it down. Finally, if you have timber edgings, you can nail the edge of the carpet to the edgings for a neat finish. Laying artificial turf makes the lawn look spectacularly neat, so neat in fact, that the rest of your garden will look positively shabby if not up to scratch! Consider upgrading the entire garden to match the stunning artificial grass and take care of fencing, paths, borders and any hard landscaping at the same time.

Man installing artificial grass

DIY Artificial Grass Installation

Trying to do the job yourself and using the cheapest artificial turf never really works out well. We all like a bargain, but in the case of artificial turf, you actually do get what you pay for. The cheapest turf looks awful and is not convincing at all; it looks really fake even from a mile away! Not only that but the cheap, lower quality material will weather faster and need replacing sooner, so in many cases, it's cost-effective to spend a bit more on a higher quality material, which should only need replacing every 10-15 years.

But even the best artificial turf will not look great unless it is fitted correctly. Good quality artificial turf fitted well looks so much like real grass that you really can't tell unless you touch it, the only real giveaway is sometimes artificial lawns look so good they can't be real! But even expensive high-quality artificial turf, if not fitted well to the borders and with perfectly hidden seams, it looks completely artificial. Also, it is highly recommended to use a weed proof mat under the artificial turf to prevent weeds growth coming through. Again, it adds to the expense, as does professional fitting, but you do get a better, longer-lasting job.

If you were considering laying artificial grass on a DIY basis, then you will need some basic tools including:

  • Shovel (£7 to £30)
  • Wheelbarrow (£30 to £60)
  • Rake (£3 to £20)
  • Backing tape (£5 to £10)
  • Knife (£3 to £10)
  • Hammer (£3 to £25)
  • Fixing nails (£2 to £18)

You will also need additional materials such as timber for edge fixings, which costs around £7 to £10 per board, kiln-dried sand with prices around £5 to £25 per bag. You will also need a weed proof mat which tends to cost around £5 to £80 plus the artificial grass of course.

Man laying artificial grass

Types of Artificial Grass

There are various types of artificial grass you can choose from, including:

Nylon Grass Cost

Nylon is a synthetic polymer with elastic qualities that are used in the production of artificial grass. It has a number of advantages and disadvantages, such as:

Pros

✔ Nylon material can withstand sun damage due to its high melting point.

✔ Suitable for gardens with a lot of foot traffic.

✔ Offers a natural aesthetic due to its ability to maintain the 3D look.


Cons

✖ Its high porosity makes it unsuitable for animal contact.

✖ Its stiff material makes it less comfortable underfoot.

✖ The most expensive option for artificial grass costs up to £40 per square metre.


Polypropylene Grass Cost

This material is a thermoplastic polymer that is made from combining propylene monomers together. It is used to manufacture artificial turf and offers a number of benefits and downsides, including:

Pros

✔ One of the cheapest materials costing around £10 per square metre.

✔ Ideal for low footfall areas.

✔ Offers robust qualities due to its stiffness.


Cons

✖ This material is susceptible to sun damage which causes the fibres to weaken.

✖ Not suitable for areas with a high level of foot traffic.

✖ Prone to breakages.


Polyethylene Grass Cost

Polyethylene is one of the most used thermoplastic materials due to its crystalline structure which makes it flexible for a number of applications including artificial grass production. To help you decide if this is the right material for your garden, take a look at the following pros and cons:

Pros

✔ A more flexible material which prevents breakages.

✔ Does not produce mildew or mould.

✔ It attracts less dust and dirt due to its low static charge.


Cons

✖ A slightly more expensive option with prices at £15 per square metre.

✖ Not as resilient as nylon.

✖ Susceptible to UV damage.


Artificial grass and plants

Artificial Grass vs Real Grass

Artificial grass has become more popular than eve; however, some people still prefer the real thing. To help you decide which option is right for you to take a look at the following pros and cons for both artificial turf and real grass.

Artificial Grass

Pros

✔ Requires little to no maintenance.

✔ Maintains its appearance regardless of weather conditions.

✔ Offers complete landscape design flexibility.


Cons

✖ Artificial grass production can be harmful to the environment.

✖ Artificial grass costs around £200 to £4800 for supply and installation.

✖ Artificial grass has a shorter lifespan than real grass, with it lasting an average of 7 to 15 years.


Close up artificial grass

Real Grass

Pros

✔ Offers a natural aesthetic and fresh smell.

✔ Cheap and easy to install, as it costs around £6 per square metre.

✔ A more eco-friendly option.


Cons

✖ Requires regular maintenance, such as mowing, weeding, watering and more.

✖ Susceptible to weed and moss growth.

✖ Not ideal for pets or children.


What Can Artificial Grass be Used for?

There are a variety of uses for artificial grass, with many choosing it for their front or back garden lawns, especially if they have children or pets. It is also ideal for areas where sport is played, such as tennis courts and football pitches which have a heavy footfall. You could also use it inside your home, with one of the most popular applications being indoor gyms.

If you have children, you may want to invest in artificial grass in play areas inside and outside of your home. This will prevent damage to your grass, as artificial grass is more robust than real grass.

You may also want to use it to improve the aesthetic of your home, for instance, you may want to install it on top of decking or balcony flooring, which will brighten it up and create the illusion of more green space.

Fake grass

What’s the Best Time of Year to Lay Artificial Grass?

Artificial grass can be installed at any time during the year; however, spring is the most common period for installation. The reason for this is because the ground is usually soft due to months of rainfall in autumn and winter, which makes installation much easier. However, if your lawn is waterlogged due to excessive rainfall, then it can be difficult to excavate, so you’re best waiting for your lawn to dry out.

The summer season is also a popular choice for artificial turf installation, as the weather tends to be better, and there are more daylight hours, which means your artificial grass can be installed quickly. In addition, the more sunlight there is, the quicker the turf will acclimatise to the ground. However, if you have a lot of plants and shrubs in your garden, they will have grown fully, which may mean overhanging stems or weeds will need to be removed before installation.

Autumn and winter may seem like odd times of the year for installation, as long as the ground is not too dry or waterlogged. During these months, there will be less chance of damage to shrubs and plants, as growth tends to decline. You can also benefit from shorter waiting times for installation, as there is reduced demand during autumn and winter.

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Benefits of Artificial Grass

There are several benefits for having artificial grass installed, including the following:

Low-maintenance

The primary benefit of fake grass is low maintenance, obviously requiring no mowing or trimming whatsoever. Having artificial grass installed will prevent weed growth and patching, as this type of lawn material is not susceptible to diseases.

Lower outgoings

As little to no maintenance is required for artificial grass, you will not have to spend money on products such as fertiliser, pesticides and garden tools. You will also use less water, as artificial grass does not need to be watered regularly.

Enhanced aesthetic

Artificial grass offers an all-year-round aesthetic which does not change, regardless of the weather. This means your garden will look great even during heavy rainfall or snow.

Reduced mess

Having artificial grass installed means you can avoid mud build-up during rainy seasons, which will ensure your garden is pristine. It also reduces the amount of dust and debris that clings onto the grass, as some types of turf have a low static charge.

Weather resistant

Artificial grass is water and weather resistant so should last for a number of years before it needs replacing. This means it will not be affected by waterlogging or sunlight, as most turf installation are robust and have a high melting point.

Artificial turf

Maintenance & Repair Costs

Although artificial grass is low-maintenance, it still needs to be cleaned every now and then. This involves clearing leaves and debris which can be removed using a leaf blower, which costs around £25 to £50 per day to hire.

If your artificial turf is damaged due to poor installation, burns from a barbeque, or exposure to harsh chemical, you may be able to get it fixed by a professional for free, depending on your guarantee. Although the majority of installers will charge around £100 per day for repairs.

To repair damage yourself, you will first need to remove the damaged area using a knife and replacing it with a new piece of the same material.

Before securing the piece of turf, you should check the gauges on the back of the material, as this will indicate the direction that new piece should be facing. You should then remove the infill using a hoover, as this will ensure that the repair is completely flush with the rest of the installation. You should then cut the backing off, making sure you take extra care not to cut any of the fibres off.

Synthetic turf seaming tape should then be placed in the centre of the repair and should then be secured with nails. Adhesive can then be applied to the backing and the new piece secured in place. You should then place a 50-pound weight or bag of sand on top of the replacement, then after a few months of curing it can be removed.

Artificial grass close up

How Long Does Artificial Grass Last?

Artificial turf tends to last anywhere from 15 to 25 years, although the lifespan will depend on the material used and the level of footfall. For instance, nylon turf will last a lot longer, as it can withstand a high level of foot traffic, while polypropylene is better for low footfall areas.

The majority of homeowners tend to replace their artificial grass every 10 to 15 years depending on its condition, as again its aesthetic will depend on the level of footfall. As the more people walk on the grass, the more the colour will start to fade and wear and tear will begin.

Artificial grass and flower beds

Is Artificial Grass Bad for the Environment?

Artificial grass has been criticised for its effect on the environment, as unlike real grass, artificial grass cannot be used as a habitat or source of food for some animals and insects.

While the production of artificial grass may be harmful due to the fact that most materials are non-recyclable, some companies are swapping materials for more eco-friendly alternatives.

Having artificial grass can also benefit the environment, as less maintenance is required, which means there are no harmful emissions being emitted from lawnmowers and strimmers. There Is also no need to use any harsh chemicals that may be toxic to the environment, such as weed killer, pesticides and fertilisers.

Blurred image of two people lying on artificial grass

Removing Old Turf for Artificial Grass

Before laying artificial grass, you will need to have your old turf removed. This preparation work is labour intensive and will be the primary cost of fitting artificial grass. A tradesperson will likely charge around £150 per day for turf removal. This will involve the use of a lawn scarifier to remove the old turf and up to 20cm of soil, before levelling out and preparing the ground for the fake grass. The price of this work will depend almost solely on the size of your garden and your location. The larger the garden, the cheaper the cost per square metre, but the higher the overall price of the job.

You can, of course, remove the turf yourself with a spade and turf cutter which should cost around £40 to £150 to hire for the day. This will lift up the existing grass along with any plant matter in preparation for your artificial grass installation.

Removing Artificial Grass

If you already have artificial grass in place, but it's got a bit worn or damaged and needs replacing then this job is usually fairly simple. You could hire a professional gardener who will charge around £100 to £150 per day to remove the old grass and check the base work is still in good condition and then lay the new fake turf.

If you have a low-budget in mind, you could consider removing the artificial grass yourself. This will involve cutting the edging of the astroturf with a utility knife, then slice it into manageable pieces. After you’ve cut it into sections, you should then remove all the pieces. This may be difficult as artificial grass is normally stuck down with adhesive, but you should try to remove as much turf as possible and put it in a garbage bag and taken to your local tip. To remove the other pieces, you should use hot water to loosen the adhesive, then use a knife to peel away the turf.

Once the turf is gone, you should then start to remove the adhesive with a heat gun, which cost around £20 to £150 to buy. You can then scrape the glue off using a knife.

Person removing turf

FAQs

Artificial grass does require some maintenance, but compared to a real lawn, it is considerably less. An artificial grass lawn just requires an occasional brush off keep leaves, twigs and other organic debris from settling on the surface and compacting into a muddy surface layer of compost. There will also be a requirement to occasionally wash the surface with clean water, just using a hose and brush, not a pressure washer.

The biggest single problem is dirt collecting on the surface, but as long as this is cleared away frequently, this is no big deal. But if left weeds can start to grow and the lawn can quickly begin to look grubby. So an occasional brush and wash is all that is really required to keep the artificial grass looking great.
The latest high-quality artificial grass is resistant to UV rays and should stay colourfast for 15 years, but at some stage, there will be some fading of the colour as with any other type of plastic.

The lifespan will also depend on the quality of the job, so you need to make sure that you hire a professional who knows how to lay astro turf properly.
Yes, modern artificial turf can be laid to sloping ground and will follow the contours and undulations of the garden, just like real grass.
Artificial grass is made of durable and lightweight plastic polymers, usually a combination of polyethylene and/or polypropylene. These materials are extremely resistant to damage and are provide a soft surface, not unlike real grass.
Artificial grass is made of plastic so will melt under extreme heat but will not catch fire. But you can still have a barbecue in your garden as long as you keep the heat source away from the turf, just like you would with real grass.

You should also be careful with cigarettes as if they are left carelessly on the grass they could melt a small patch of turf. So make sure you have plenty of ashtrays or simply do not smoke in the garden.
Artificial grass is a great choice for children as it is soft and lush underfoot, just like real grass. But it is much more durable than real grass when it comes to games and sports plus there will be no muddy patches and trails of muddy footprints everywhere!

Artificial turf is also a great surface to have around children’s climbing equipment as if you would like some extra protection you have the option of installing a shock pad underlay beneath the grass to absorb the force of any falls while still looking lush!
Artificial grass is made up of various synthetic materials, with the most popular applications made of polypropylene, polyethylene and nylon.
Nylon is one of the most resilient artificial grass types and is normally used in high footfall areas. However, if have you any pets, you should avoid this application as nylon is porous. Instead, you should opt for polyethylene which is a more flexible material that has a low static charge that allows it to reduce a build-up of dirt and debris.
The most common widths for artificial grass are 2 metres or 4 metres. If you have a larger garden, you may want to invest in a 5 metres wide application which requires less maintenance.
Yes, installing artificial grass on concrete is much easier than any other application, as you do not have to remove anything before installation. However, you do have to check that your concrete paving has the necessary drainage to support and prevent damage to the grass.
If your decking was installed properly by a professional or an experienced DIYer, then your decking should not rot underneath the grass. You should also check that your decking is in good condition before installing your artificial grass, as any moisture could force it to rot more.

How to Find & Hire an Artificial Grass Installer

To ensure that your artificial grass is long-lasting and improves the aesthetic of your garden, you should hire a professional installer. This will cost around £100 to £150 per day, depending on the size of your garden and the foundations in place.

When hiring an artificial grass installer, you should inquire about their previous experience and ask if they have any examples of previous work to give you an idea of what they can do. You may also want to check if they have any qualifications, while not a necessity, it may be beneficial to hire an installer who has had sufficient training in artificial grass installation.

Another important thing you need to enquire about is insurance, as any tradesmen you hire should have public liability insurance in place to protect them and you in the event of damage or an incident.

Sources

https://www.carpetright.co.uk/guides/installation/how-to-lay-artificial-grass
https://www.idealhome.co.uk/garden/garden-advice/artificial-grass-everything-need-know-202739
https://www.artificialgrassliquidators https://www.lovethegarden.com/uk-en/article/real-grass-lawns-versus-artificial-lawns
https://www.hirestation.co.uk/tool-hire/Landscaping/Turf-Cutter-Hire/140020/
https://www.perfectlygreen.co.uk/faqs-guides/does-water-drain-through-artificial-grass/
https://biofriendlyplanet.com/green-ideas/eco-friendly/just-eco-friendly-artificial-grass/
https://www.perthartificialgrass.com/artificial-grass-repair/
https://syntheticgrasswarehouse.com/making-repairs-to-your-synthetic-turf/
http://www.royalgrass.com/can-artificial-grass-be-repaired
https://neograss.co.uk/what-is-the-cost-of-artificial-grass/

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