Artificial Grass Cost & Installation Guide

When people hear about artificial grass and the benefits of using this type of ground covering, they often think of professional football fields or sports stadia and believe that it is too expensive and way out of their league.

In fact, for the average domestic lawn or concreted area, the cost of artificial grass can be very affordable. The method of application is simple even if you have some basic gardening or DIY skills, but if this type of work is beyond your capabilities there are many professionals who will be able to provide you with a luxurious artificial lawn.

Firstly let’s get the jargon correct. A layer of artificial grass is known in the trade as “carpet”. Moving on from that, just like any other carpet, there are cheap versions and plush, expensive versions.  So the answer to the question “how much will an artificial grass installation cost”, will depend on whether:

  • The grass carpet is cheap or expensive.
  • You lay it yourself or find a contractor to do the job for you.

How much does artificial grass cost?

Don’t get conned into buying the cheapest artificial grass. Only buy it if it is the type you require. Not only is cheap grass scratchy on the skin, but a cheap grass carpet also comes backed with latex, which deteriorates after being exposed to seasonal temperature changes and heavy rain. There are many types of grass carpet designed for use in a multitude of applications depending on wear and appearance. If you want an overview of the different qualities then have a look at the three typical types selected here.

Comparison Table

Artificial turf type Turf description Pile Length Cost /m2 (incl VAT) Labour

/m2 (approx)

Luxury (top of the range) Very realistic. Four different colours interwoven together 40mm £25 £60
Mid Range Pleasing to look at. Two-tone pile. Feels real 30mm £23 £45
Low Quality Three tone colour mix 25mm £16 £30

You can see that artificial grass cost per metre installed by a contractor would be about £35 to £85 plus extras depending on the quality of the turf and the skill of the contractor. Other factors that can alter the overall cost include:

  • Location. Where you are in the country. London will always command a premium.
  • Make sure that the contractor has easy access to the area being covered and has space for a skip if needed.
  • Try to wait for a relatively dry period before having your artificial grass installed.

Labour & material prices of artificial grass

There are other costs outside the expected ones of buying the grass carpet. The following gives you an idea of the extra purchases involved:

  • If you are laying artificial grass on soil, you will need to hire a waste skip in which to put the existing real turf and any rocks found underneath the grass.
  • You will need to import topsoil to level off the existing ground
  • Unless you are laying artificial grass yourself you will need to hire outside labour. It is best to hire a professional grass carpet installation contractor.
  • There may be special tools you can hire to make it easier to lay
  • Jointing Tape (each roll is 3m long). Calculate how many rolls you will need based on the lengths of joints.
  • Jointing adhesive. One tube covers 3m. Calculate how many tubes you need before you buy them and make sure you have enough.
  • Geotextile Weed Membrane Sheet. Good as an underlayer as well as controlling weeds. Comes in 4m width.
  • Kiln Dried Sand. Use this to infill the lawn after laying.

This table summarises the approximate costs of extras needed.

Extras Cost Notes
Skip Hire £220 each
Topsoil £30 Per tonne
Labour £300 to £600 for 10m2 lawn 1-day labour by specialist installer. £30 to £60/m2
Jointing Tape £1.00 Each 3m roll.
Joint Adhesive £6.00 Each tube (covers 3m)
Geotextile Weed Membrane £1.00 Per m2
Kiln Dried Sand £5 20kg

The method of laying artificial grass carpet is relatively simple but needs some attention to detail. Depending on the surface on which you intend laying the carpet choose the appropriate method in the FAQ section. Once the ground is prepared, follow the manufacturer’s instructions or use the following guidance notes for laying artificial turf:

  • Paying attention to the joints and the direction of the blades, unroll the turf rolls. Depending on the effect you want to achieve either have the blades all facing the same way or reverse the direction in alternate rows. Let the turf settle overnight so that the edges and corners don’t wrinkle or curl.
  • When you come back to your artificial turf, you need to fix the carpet in place. Raise the edges of two adjacent rows and lay the joining tape to straddle the two edges.
  • Apply adhesive to the tape and press the edges firmly onto the tape ensuring the blades don’t get caught in the glue and that the joints are tight together without overlapping.
  • Use a rake to ruffle the blades to disguise the joint.
  • Trim the edges with a utility knife or fabric scissors and use landscaping pins to fix the turf to the ground. Use as many pins as needed to ensure the turf doesn’t curl or move.
  • Finally, sprinkle the kiln dried sand over the surface and use a brush to work the sand down inside the pile.

Advtanges of installing artifical grass

Surprisingly, if you buy a good quality grass carpet, you won’t have many maintenance tasks to do each year. You will only have to occasionally brush the grass and wash it. You will also have to occasionally sprinkle sand over the pile and brush it in. Apart from these few maintenance tasks the following are definite benefits:

  • Less time maintaining.
  • You won’t need a lawn mower or a long grass trimmer.
  • No need to get rid of grass cuttings.
  • A good looking lawn all year round and in all weathers.
  • Won’t need to water the lawn so water charges saved.
  • Children will find it safer to play on. The grass carpet is padded on the underside, the ground will not dry hard in the summer or freeze in the winter.
  • More pet-friendly. Reduced allergies from grass and parasitic insects. If you have pets, choose the correct backing to ensure the grass carpet won’t deteriorate in contact with urine (choose polyurethane rather than latex)
  • Prevents grass and mud from walking into the house.

FAQs

How do you lay artificial grass on soil?

  • Remove all trace of grass, weeds or other vegetation.
  • Level the ground with a plank of wood or a lawn roller.
  • Prepare the sub-base by installing geo-textile membrane.
  • Over the membrane lay about 8cm of fine gravel to aid drainage.
  • Lay about 2cm sand and level it with a plank, sand spreader or a shovel.
  • Install a layer of weed membrane to prevent unwanted weeds taking hold.
  • Unroll the artificial grass carpet, following the manufacturer’s instructions for joining and finishing the edges,

Can you lay artifical grass on concrete?

This is easier than laying artificial grass onto the soil as you already have a firm and reasonably level surface.

  • You can either lay the grass carpet directly onto the concrete or lay a cushioning underfelt layer first for added comfort.
  • Unroll the artificial grass carpet as before, following the manufacturer’s instructions.

How to lay artificial grass on uneven concrete?

Sometimes concrete may be textured or be uneven, in which case the surface will need to be levelled. This includes laying grass carpet onto paving slabs

  • If the concrete needs levelling, it will need to be swept and washed before using a self-levelling compound. Wait until the self-levelling compound has dried and fully cured before proceeding.
  • If required install an underfelt padded layer for added comfort.

To Conclude

In the long term, fitting artificial grass is not as expensive as you might think. You will enjoy the many low maintenance benefits mentioned earlier and have a soft and padded surface that looks really good. In fact, it will look just as healthy in the middle of winter or during a drought as it would if you had been feeding and watering real grass regularly for years. Although the cheaper artificial grass carpets may feel synthetic, it is very difficult to distinguish between the expensive and high-quality ones and the real thing. Choose the grass type you require depending on your needs and your budget and look forward to many years of a hassle-free lawn.

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