How Much Does Artificial Grass Cost for a School or Playground?
If you are currently considering having artificial grass installed for your school or playground, then you’re probably wondering how much it is likely to cost.
If you have come to this article looking for an accurate price for your school or playground application, you’re unfortunately going to be disappointed.
Why? Because no two artificial grass installations are the same. Every job is unique.
This makes it impossible for fake grass installers to give their clients a fixed installation cost per square metre.
There are just too many factors that can affect the price and the only way to get an accurate quotation would be to invite three, reputable, local installers to visit your school or playground to assess your job and provide you with a written quotation.
But what if you’re looking for a ballpark figure? Or trying to understand some of the costs involved before inviting installers to your site?
Well, in that case you’ve come to the right place. In this latest blog entry, we’re taking a closer look at some of the costs involved in school and playground artificial grass installations.
How Big is the School or Playground Area?
Typically, the bigger the area, the cheaper the installation will be per square metre.
Labour-wise, it often doesn’t take that much more time to install 150m2 than it does 100m2.
You may even get a better price per square for the artificial grass itself, due to bulk discounts.
When preparing the ground for large areas, say over 150m2, many artificial grass installers will likely choose to excavate the existing earth using a mini excavator, which is quicker than using a turf cutter, and very much quicker than excavating by hand.
Aggregates for the sub-base can also be purchased in large quantities, which again will lead to bigger discounts.
How Good is Access to the School or Playground?
The groundworks stage is an extremely important part of any school or playground application.
A typical school or playground installation will involve excavating the existing area and installing a new sub-base comprising MOT Type 1 or granite/limestone chippings, followed by a laying course comprising granite/limestone dust.
Ideally, your chosen artificial grass installer will be able to access your school or playground via a gate large enough to fit vehicles and machinery such as mini diggers through.
This means that aggregates can be craned or tipped into position without the need for a contractor to have to cart them across the entire site in a wheelbarrow, which, of course, will require more labour.
The majority of schools do have good access to the playground for vehicles and it is certainly good news if your school does as it will mean that you’ll get a better price than you otherwise would.
What Type of Artificial Grass Will You Choose for Your School or Playground?
There are many different types of artificial grass available for use in schools and playgrounds.
Of course, it’s not just a case of having different colours to choose from, there are also varying pile heights, and different types of fibre material and density to choose from.
And each type of artificial grass will, obviously, vary in price.
How Much Foot Traffic Will the School or Playground Receive?
In the majority of cases, the answer to this will be, a lot!
Children absolutely love artificial grass and you can bet that if the choice during break times is between tarmac, muddy real grass areas or artificial grass, kids will pick the artificial grass every time.
This means that your artificial grass will need to withstand heavy, frequent use.
If this is the case, we highly recommend that you choose an artificial grass with Instant Recovery® Technology.
This innovative technology combines polyethylene fibres with highly resilient nylon fibres to create an artificial grass that quickly recovers to an upright position from heavy foot traffic.
It will also make the artificial grass for your school or playground more resilient to heavy use, and over many years will outperform other products without this technology.
Whether or not you choose an artificial grass with Instant Recovery® Technology will have a bearing on the cost, as nylon fibres are a more expensive material to choose than polypropylene or polyethylene. The additional investment is certainly worth it, though, as you can expect a better performing and longer-lasting fake grass.
Will You Choose Feelgood® Technology for Your School or Playground?
Feelgood® Technology helps to keep artificial grass cool from exposure to the sun’s rays.
It will ensure your chosen artificial grass will stay up to 12 degrees cooler than other products without this technology.
Choosing Feelgood® Technology is important when choosing the best artificial grass for school and playground applications as it will prevent your artificial lawn from becoming hot to touch during the summer months, which can be a common problem with inferior fake grass.
Will You Choose Natural Look® Technology for Your School or Playground?
Natural Look® Technology ensures that the artificial grass in a school or playground will look as realistic as possible, by reducing unnatural glare and reflection.
One of the common issues with inferior artificial grass is that it can look different, depending on the angle that it is viewed from. This is caused by light reflecting off the artificial grass. Natural Look® Technology reduces this glare, creating a more natural appearance.
Choosing an artificial grass with Natural Look® Technology will have a bearing on the cost of your chosen fake grass for a school or playground application.
Which Part of the Country is the School or Playground Located In?
Costs and availability of materials will vary, depending upon where in the country your school or playground is located.
Materials are cheaper in some parts of the country than others, as can be labour costs and company overheads.
These variable costs will play their part in the overall cost of your artificial grass installation.
Will the School or Playground Installation Require a Foam Shockpad?
Installing a foam shockpad may be necessary if there is a risk of head injury as a result of falls from play equipment.
Although it’s not always essential in a school or playground environment, a foam underlay will also make an artificial lawn feel soft and springy underfoot and really heighten the experience for children playing on the artificial surface.
A local installer will be able to advise as to what would be required to suit your circumstances and to comply with the Head Impact Criteria, but, of course, installing a foam shockpad does add to costs.
Can the Artificial Grass Be Installed to an Existing Surface?
Artificial grass can also be installed directly on top of many existing surfaces, such as tarmac, asphalt, concrete, paving, or decking, as long as it is structurally sound.
This, of course, dramatically reduces installation costs, as there will be little in the way of ground preparation required.
We highly recommend that a 10mm foam shockpad is installed on top of existing surfaces prior to installing the artificial grass. This will mask any lumps or bumps that might otherwise be visible through the fake turf, and will also provide a softer playing surface. This does, of course, add to cost – but overall, the installation cost will typically be cheaper than when replacing an existing grass area.
How Much Wastage Will There Be?
Artificial grass is supplied in 2m and 4m widths. In an ideal world, you wouldn’t be paying for any wastage.
But the reality is, for the majority of installations there’s likely to be some wastage as most areas will not fit into multiples of 2m.
Offcuts of artificial grass can have many other uses and it’s likely that your school can think of things to do with these but, of course, the more wastage you have, the more expensive your installation will be.
What is a Rough Ballpark Figure for a School or Playground Artificial Grass Installation?
Of course, it’s always useful to have a ballpark figure in mind before contacting local artificial grass installers. That way, you know beforehand roughly what you should be looking at to avoid being ripped off and you also know whether you have enough funds in the budget.
To give you some approximate figures, let’s look at an average school or playground installation.
We’ll assume that the area we’re installing artificial grass in measures 100m2. There is no wastage, the area can be accessed by vehicles, Inverness is the chosen artificial grass, and the fake turf is to be installed to an existing grass area using standard installation procedures, without a foam underlay.
For this installation, you would be looking at somewhere around £6,500–£8,500, including VAT. This, of course, can vary, depending upon the many factors discussed in this article, so please, only take this estimate as a very rough ballpark figure.
We hope that this article has helped you to better understand some of the factors that can affect the cost of your school or playground artificial grass installation.
The best way to get a price for your school or playground installation is to contact your nearest NeoGrass approved installer.
They will be able to conduct a free site visit to discuss your needs, talk you through our range of artificial grass, and explain the installation process to you.
From there, they will be able to provide you with a written quotation based upon your specific needs and requirements.
Do you have any questions regarding artificial grass for schools and playgrounds? Is there something we haven’t answered here or in a previous article? Then let us know by leaving a comment below.