Artificial Grass vs Real Grass: A Price Comparison

Artificial Grass vs Real Grass: A Price Comparison


A key aspect of any garden, large or small, is its lawn.

Not only do lawns look terrific, but they are perfect for dogs and pets to run around on, great for kids to play a variety of games on, ideal for entertaining family and friends, and perfect for a bit of quiet relaxation.

Since artificial grass was invented back in the 1960s, homeowners have had a choice as to whether to have a real or a fake lawn.

Artificial grass offers many advantages over real grass, but the truth is, there are pros and cons to both types of lawn.

Artificial grass is low maintenance, free from mud and mess, doesn’t require watering, lasts over 20 years and can’t be destroyed by dogs and pets.

Of course, given the correct maintenance and growing conditions, a real lawn can look equally stunning.

In today’s article, we’re comparing the costs of artificial grass vs real grass. Before we get to that, however, let’s take a look at two of the main issues people face when it comes to maintaining a real lawn, those being time and circumstances.



Issue 1: Time.

Do You Have the Time Needed to Properly Maintain Your Lawn?


stripey lawn

There’s little doubt about it, a real grass lawn, complete with stripes, looks amazing.

But the reality is, achieving an immaculate-looking real lawn is a pipe dream for most of us.

In today’s world, free time is at a premium and we have busier lifestyles than ever before.

When you’re juggling long work hours, the demands of family life and a whole host of other household jobs that are constantly crying out for your attention, it’s extremely difficult to find the time to maintain your garden and its lawn.



Issue 2: Circumstances.

Do You Have the Correct Growing Conditions to Ensure a Lush, Healthy Lawn?


If you’re a pet owner or a parent to lively children with boundless energy, you’ll be aware of the strain that can be placed upon a real lawn.

keep off the grass

Having small feet or big paws running up and down your lawn can quickly kill off the grass, causing bald, dry patches of lawn that quickly become an eyesore.

Urine from pets can also scorch real turf, again creating patchy grass.

Artificial Grass Transformation 1

Many people also have gardens that are less than ideal; it may be that certain areas rarely receive sunlight, as it’s blocked by a fence or a wall, and nearby trees may be sucking the moisture out of your soil, leaving your lawn looking dry and malnourished.

Without the correct growing conditions, you may be fighting a losing battle trying to maintain the patchy, weed-infested grass that you call a lawn.

Let’s move on to consider the difference between a real and a fake lawn in terms of cost.


What are the Cost Differences of Installing A Real or Fake Lawn?


cost of real and fake grass

If your garden is looking a little the worse for wear, you may currently be considering your options.

Should you re-turf it? Or should you maybe take the plunge and have artificial grass installed?

The many benefits of artificial grass may certainly appeal to you, but you could be wondering what the price difference between the two might be.

In order to make a fair comparison, we need to break down exactly what is involved with installing each type of garden lawn.

So, let’s take a look at exactly what is required to install an artificial lawn.


How Much Does an Artificial Lawn Installation Cost?


Artificial Grass Transformation 7

Assuming we’re installing an artificial lawn to replace an existing real lawn, the first step is to excavate the existing lawn to 75mm below the finished height.

The cost involved with this would likely be the cost of a skip large enough to hold the excavations and, potentially, the cost of hiring a turf cutter, which would speed the process up considerably.

Then, you’ll need to install an edging, which could be made from either timber, metal, plastic or brick.

Of course, the cost of this varies, but you may be looking at somewhere around £1.50 per metre for timber or perhaps £6 per metre for a metal edge.

Next, it’s time to install the first layer of weed preventing membrane.

This is followed by a sub-base of either type 1 or granite chippings, and a laying course comprising granite dust.

You can use our artificial grass calculators to calculate the amount of sub-base material required to install your fake lawn.

Depending on where you’re located in the country, a bulk bag of type 1 may cost around £45, inc. VAT, per bag.

Granite or limestone dust (depending on what is locally available) may cost around £60 per bag.

We then recommend a further layer of weed membrane be placed on top of the laying course and secured using U-pins.

Finally, your chosen artificial grass will need to be laid, cut, and the perimeter secured using galvanised nails or Aquabond adhesive.

Using a 4m x 10m lawn (40m2) as an example, here’s what the material costs* may look like for an artificial lawn:


Item Quantity  Approximate Cost
Turf Cutter (1-day rental) 1 £50.00
6yd Skip Hire 1 £180 .00
Weed Membrane 40m2 £40.00
Timber Edging 28m @ £1.50 per m £42.00
Type 1 5 bulk bags £225.00
Granite Dust 3 bulk bags £180.00
Additional Weed Membrane 40m2 £40.00
Artificial Grass (Inverness) 4m x 10m £1,239.60
Galvanised Nails 1 bag £4.00
  Total £2,000.60

*All costs are intended as an approximate guide price. Prices and availability can vary widely, depending on where in the UK you are located. To conduct a proper cost comparison, contact your local builders’ merchant, tool hire shop and skip hire company for prices.



How Much Does a Real Lawn Installation Cost?



The first steps when installing a real lawn are actually very similar to those taken when installing a fake lawn.

The first step will be to excavate the existing turf. The depth you’ll need to dig to really depends on the condition of the sub-grade. If the quality of soil isn’t great, it’s certainly worth excavating more earth and replacing with new topsoil.

Again, as when installing a fake lawn, hiring a turf cutter will speed up the excavation process and, of course, a skip will be required to dispose of the waste.

Once the old turf has been removed, it’s time to import fresh topsoil, spread and level it to create a flat lawn.

If you are installing a metal edging to your lawn, now would be the time to install it.

Once this step is complete, the rolls of turf will need to be laid, cut and watered in.

Using the same example as above of a 4m x 10m lawn (40m2), here’s what the material costs* may look like for a real grass lawn:


Item Quantity  Approximate Cost
Turf Cutter (1-day rental) 1 £50.00
6yd Skip Hire 1 £180.00
Topsoil (50mm depth) 3 bulk bags £180.00
Lawn Edging (metal) 28m @ £5 per metre £140.00
Turf £4 per square metre £160.00
  Total £710.00

*All costs are intended as an approximate guide price. Prices and availability can vary widely, depending on where in the UK you are located. To conduct a proper cost comparison, contact your local builders’ merchant, tool hire shop and skip hire company for prices.


It may not come as a surprise that installing an artificial lawn is more expensive than installing real grass.

But to accurately compare cost, we also need to consider ongoing maintenance costs.



Maintenance Cost Comparison


To maintain a real lawn you’ll need a variety of tools, including a lawnmower, a strimmer, hose or sprinkler system, blower, sprayer, and possibly a scarifier or aerator.

Then there are other costs, such as oil and fuel, needed to maintain your equipment.

And weedkiller, fertiliser, pesticides and water costs to keep your lawn in good condition.

Putting a figure to these costs is difficult, but it will certainly be a significant financial outlay, perhaps somewhere between £300-£500.

When maintaining artificial grass, the tools you may require are a stiff broom or garden blower, and a plastic rake.

These tools may cost around £100.

Of course, it’s not just financial savings we need to consider, but time savings, too.

Maintaining artificial grass takes a fraction of the time it takes to keep on top of real turf.

Your time certainly has a financial value and it’s absolutely worth considering the time savings having an artificial lawn will bring to your life.





artificial grass

Artificial grass has a whole host of benefits that you just don’t get with real grass.

It’s low maintenance, pet and child resistant, there’s no mud or mess, and it will look immaculate all year round, come rain or shine.

When deciding whether to install artificial turf or real turf, you’ll need to look at the long-term costs just as closely as you look at the initial installation costs.

Yes, artificial grass costs more to install, but the ongoing maintenance costs of real grass are much higher.

And, of course, there’s no guarantee that real grass will grow adequately in your garden.

Artificial grass, on the other hand, will last upwards of 20 years, whilst demanding very little of your time or money to keep it maintained to a high standard. And during that time, you may need to re-turf your real lawn more than once.

This, coupled with the hard-wearing nature of artificial grass, mean it’s capable of standing up to the demands of family life, making it a fantastic long-term investment for the vast majority of homeowners.

If you are considering investing in artificial grass, why not check out the NeoGrass range of artificial turf?

You can also request your free samples to see just how realistic our fake turf really is.

If you have any questions regarding the cost comparisons between real and fake grass, please leave us a comment below.





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