Pros and Cons of Artificial Grass: Cost, Installation, and More

Posted by Joe Mouad on Jan 23, 2020 1:30:00 PM

Imagine a green expanse of beautiful lawn that never needs mowing, fertilizing, or watering, and always stays green.

All you have to do is enjoy it.

It’s artificial turf. Grass, but not grass. 

Is artificial turf right for you? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of artificial grass, how much it costs, and how to install it.

What is Artificial Turf? 

Artificial turf, also known as artificial grass, is a surface of synthetic fibers made to look like natural grass.

It’s most often used in sports arenas but is great for playgrounds; dog runs; golf courses; putting greens; driving ranges; athletic fields; areas with high traffic; or where cost concerns prevent natural grass from being used.

Now artificial grass is being installed in backyards — an increasingly popular choice for homeowners ready to hang up the mower, retire their sprinklers, and put away the fertilizer for good. 

Artificial grass around pool in backyard

It’s great for commercial properties, too, where owners or property managers want a great-looking lawn with curb appeal — and no maintenance worries.

Many homeowners are curious about installing artificial turf. Here is a list of pros and cons to artificial grass. 

Pros of Artificial Turf:

  • It looks like real grass and it's customizable. Artificial grass even comes in different blade lengths and widths, colors and textures, so you can choose the look you like.
  • It’s low maintenance. Practically no maintenance, really. Just rake the leaves off it and occasionally sweep off any debris. No more weekends spent working on your lawn. No weeds!
  • It’s environmentally friendly. All that mowing, irrigating, blowing, and trimming real grass creates some air and noise pollution. Artificial turf puts a stop to that. 
  •  It’s always green. Your lawn always looks great.
  •  No more grass clippings blowing into your pool.

Cons of Artificial Turf

  • It gets hot. Artificial grass absorbs heat and feels hot to the touch in direct sun. Some homeowners opt to leave their irrigation system in place, so they can turn it on occasionally to cool off the turf. 
  • If you have dogs be prepared for messier cleanup, and odor. Artificial turf doesn’t absorb animal waste like natural grass lawns, but it is permeable, so liquids pass through to the ground underneath.
  • It doesn’t last forever. Most brands offer a five-year warranty.
  • It doesn’t drain like real grass. You'll likely need a drainage system built in if you have artificial grass installed.
  • It doesn’t produce oxygen as natural grass does.

artificial turf drain next to patio

Artificial Grass Installation Steps

Now that you know the pros and cons of artificial turf, are you interested in installing it in your backyard? It definitely isn't like sod installation

Here are the basic steps to installing artificial grass:

  • Excavate the area, removing several inches of sod and dirt.
  • Create an appropriate slope for proper drainage.
  • Compact the surface.
  • Add 6-8 inches of gravel base and compact it.
  • Cut the turf to fit the area.
  • Fasten turf with nails, spaced three to four inches apart.
  • Stretch the turf with a carpet stretcher, fastening along the way and nailing it to nailer boards.
  • Use seam tape on the bottom side of the turf to firmly attach the seams.
  • Add sand on top to finish it, using a broom to wiggle the sand down between each blade of artificial turf.
  • Artificial turf installation usually takes 2-3 days. 

How Much Does Artificial Grass Cost?

Wondering how much artificial grass costs? A lawn that might cost $1,000 in natural sod will cost about $8,000 in artificial turf.

The average price of artificial turf is $8-$12 per square foot. While it’s significantly more expensive upfront, you could save money over time on maintenance. 

Why Hire a Pro for Artificial Turf Installation?

While the steps for artificial grass installation are pretty straightforward, things can go wrong if you haven’t done this before.

Stretching the turf, matching the seams, and cutting around trees and other objects is tricky.

Any lumps, bumps, mismatched seams, or ragged edges will make it obvious that it’s not real turf.

Hire a reputable, experienced installer, and they’ll stand behind their work and be available if you experience any problems.

Looking for Artificial Turf Installation in Orlando? Trust Ground Source

Skeptical about artificial grass? We can show you samples of artificial turf for you to touch and see up close.

Pool surrounded by artificial turf

Still have questions? Let us help you figure it out. 

We’re sod experts, but our skills don’t stop there. We’re with you every step of the way as you plan your perfect outdoor space.

Sodirrigationlandscape design (including artificial grass if you’d like): Let us transform your yard from an embarrassing eyesore to a place you spend every spare minute.

Are you ready to enjoy the vibrant, impressive Central Florida yard you've always wanted? Request a quote today! We’ll help you review your options and then transform your property.

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