Helping you plan your home improvement project, from start to finish

Lawn Turf Prices

A beautiful lawn can contribute to a rise in property value and home aesthetics. Whether used as a front lawn, a back yard space or a designated sports area, the benefits of a quality turf are numerous and include soil restoration and stabilization, air and environmental cleaning and groundwater absorption. There are a variety of grasses available depending on temperature, shade level and soil quality. Each type has its own distinct advantages in addition to those listed above as well as disadvantages, so homeowners considering sod should understand the basics of each type before making an informed decision.

The Costs

  • Minimum cost of lawn turf: $5 per square foot
  • Maximum cost of lawn turf: $14 per square foot

Warm-Season Grass Advantages and Disadvantages

Zoysia grass is a warm-season turf that offers a winter-hardy option. It is considered transitional and the most common of all warm-season grasses.

Pros: Zoysia is resilient to many pests and insects as well as several types of weeds. Many users also find that mowing season is reduced and the roots are sturdy.

Cons: Zoysia does not handle shade as well as other grasses. It develops best under strong sunlight and warmth. It is also only green under temperatures above 70 degrees Fahrenheit, which is common with most warm-season grasses. Zoysia is highly prone to spreading, which means the grass may creep into other areas of the yard.

Bermuda grass grows best in Southern climates and in some transitional climates towards the Midwest that have less harsh winters.

Pros: Although cold climate can be harsh on grasses, Bermuda grass can tolerate shade very well and will grow a dense carpet of rough grass for hiding imperfections. This makes it an excellent choice near trees and shrubs that produce shade.

Cons: Bermuda grass will turn brown quicker than other grasses and requires additional mowing for fast growing varieties.

Cool-Season Grass Advantages and Disadvantages

Cool-season grass is typically reserved for northern climates and transitional zones in the upper Midwest. Cool-season grass has unique characteristics that offer a variety of dormant to active seasons throughout the lawn's life cycle.

One type of cool-season turf, fescue grass, comes in many varieties including tall, creeping red, chewings and hard. Tall fescue grass is the most common of all cool-season turfs. Tall fescue has a dense blade and is often lower in price compared to other turf blends. Chewings fescue has a finer texture than the tall variety, and creeping fescue is often used in more northern climates.

Pros: Fescue grasses are widely available in a variety of places. They tolerate shade and drought very well, and they have the capacity to stay green throughout the year.

Cons: Fescue grass is a cool-season variety so may not thrive in very sunny places. It is also highly susceptible to browning during lower transition zones in the South.

Kentucky bluegrass is a slow-growing turf compared to other cool-season grasses. Kentucky bluegrass will grow and spread through rhizomes in practically any kind of groundwater environment. The spread of rhizome growth causes stems to grow to the side.

Pros: Kentucky bluegrass really shines in the ability to adapt to a variety of soil conditions. Many newer homes will often start out with Kentucky bluegrass for quick germination in colder climates.

Cons: Kentucky bluegrass may require additional maintenance. While it is drought tolerant, it's mild nature requires additional watering. It will also have a longer dormant period during the colder season as well as during extreme heat. It has a lower shade tolerance than other grasses.

Ryegrass is a fast-growing cool-season variety that tends to hold the soil underneath with stability. Competing weeds are usually overtaken by this grass, which can grow in most areas of the country.

Pros: Deeper roots develop stronger turf. Ryegrass grows very deep roots for solid hold into the soil. It is also fairly drought tolerant and make a very attractive lawn in well-drained soils.

Cons: Ryegrass can be difficult to mow with less powerful equipment due to the growth pattern of the turf. Rygrass may need a nitrogen fertilizer or additional fertilizers to achieve a solid look.

Installing Sod

When a homeowner purchases turf as a lawn covering, each square foot will generally include the following:

  • Turf, which is the base grass or sod to be placed on the soil for growth. Turf makes up 50 percent of the cost of the finished product.
  • Landscape fabric, which is required to reduce the amount of weeds and other material coming up through the sod.
  • Base material and infill, which provide a level base for the sod to grow roots evenly. They also provide material to prevent loss of moisture. The early phase of sod planning will require watering to prevent an early dormant phase.

Professionals can be called in to install an area of sod, or a homeowner may choose to do the job him or herself. Regardless of who does the initial labor, regular maintenance including watering and mowing can help any sod lawn look green and amazing.

Last updated on May 16, 2016

Top Articles on Lawn Turf

View All Articles

Looking for accurate quotes on your project?

  • Get multiple quotes for any home improvement project
  • See pro's rating, reviews, projects and more
  • 100% free, no obligations
  • Only takes a few minutes

Find pros in your area.

Close ×