What You Need to Know About Palapa Thatch

Most people know what Palapas are, but many know them by other names, such as Tiki huts. Their tropical look makes them ideal for any beach theme project. Whether you’re interested in building a Palapa for your business or residential property, a Palapa thatch structure will conjure resort vibes ideal for relaxing on sunny days.

The simple design of Palapas means you don’t need any bamboo wall panels when you assemble materials, and you’ll only need enough thatch to cover the roof. Another convenient aspect of building a Palapa is that you don’t necessarily need special Palapa thatch to create the traditional thatched roof — attractive artificial materials mimic authentic ones and still provide a strong barrier from the elements.

What Is Palapa Thatch?

Palapas are structures with roofs, no walls and anywhere from one to four supporting posts. Palapa thatch refers to the dried palm leaves used for its roof. The supporting posts are typically made from wood or bamboo, at around 8 to 12 feet tall for maximum comfort. The posts support a roof base made of wood or bamboo, held together to support the thatch.

Where Are Palapas Traditionally Found?

Palapas bring the tropics to mind, though these huts originated in Mexico rather than Hawaii. You’ll typically find Palapa thatch structures on Mexican beaches and deserts since the roof provides substantial protection from direct sunlight, wind and rain.

Tips for Building a Palapa Thatch Tiki Hut

Constructing a full-sized Palapa in your backyard, creating a much smaller one in a family room or bar area, or adding one to a commercial space creates a relaxing tropical atmosphere. Follow our tips to build and install a Palapa thatch Tiki hut for your interior or exterior space:

1. Source Your Foundational Materials

Most Palapa structures use bamboo supporting poles, so you’ll want to use authentic bamboo for your project. Authenticity enhances that south-of-the-border vibe, so if you’re hoping for that aesthetic, you’ll also want to use authentic thatch for your Palapa.

A genuine Mexican Palapa will have a shaggy look because the Mexican palm is typically used more to keep tropical rains and intense sunlight from penetrating the roof than for aesthetics. Still, you will get a realistic look to your Palapa and weather protection by using Mexican palm thatch for your DIY project.

2. Measure Your Space

To determine the amount of Tiki thatching roll you’ll need for your Palapa cover, measure the area of your roof base and add on square yardage for the overhang. Ensure your base is wide enough to fit a table and chairs for entertaining guests and that your supporting posts are tall enough to accommodate everyone.

3. Gather the Right Tools

You’ll want a few basic tools to craft your Palapa. We recommend bolts, staples or nails to secure the plywood and keep the roof base in place. The thatch requires staples, nails or zip ties to attach it to the roof frame. And lastly, a permanent Palapa requires post holes, so you’ll want to use a shovel, cement and a funnel to fill the holes after you have your poles in place.

4. Use a Sealer

Using bamboo sealant or stain will increase your structures’ lifespan while giving it a polished hue you can customize to your liking. Choose from warm and vivid dark oak, dark black walnut, a classic cedartone or light cedar.

The Benefits of Palapa Thatch

Whether you design your own Palapa Tiki hut or you opt for a Palapa umbrella on your patio, you’ll enjoy your thatch for many reasons:

  • Stylish: A Palapa thatch makes any space feel like a resort, which is why you’ll find Palapas poolside, on beaches and at waterparks. You’ll get that traditional tropical feel when you install Palapa thatch on your residential property or business space.
  • Cool and comfortable: Unlike traditional canvas, Palapa umbrellas shade you from the sun while allowing hot air to escape through the thatch. Whether you opt for a Palapa thatch umbrella or design your own Palapa thatch structure, you’ll find your outdoor dining area or patio will be much more comfortable on even the warmest days.
  • Highly durable: When you maintain thatch well, it will last for years depending on your climate. It’s a hardy material that will effectively protect you from the sun, rain and wind while still looking great for years to come.

Design Your Tropical Resort With Forever Bamboo

Design your Palapa thatch structure with Forever Bamboo. As the Nation’s #1 Supplier for Tropical Decor, we have all the foundational materials for your Palapa project. When you shop with Forever Bamboo to stock up on materials for a Palapa, you’ll choose from authentic-looking thatches, including Mexican palm thatch and Tahitian palm thatch.

You can even find eco-friendly, durable artificial thatch that lasts longer than natural thatch products. Any of these selections are terrific choices for Palapa thatch, and they are as straightforward to install as they are attractive. Many of our thatch products ship for free.

Discuss your project with our knowledgeable staff at Forever Bamboo, and we can even help you estimate how much thatch you’ll need to complete your Palapa. For help on your Tiki hut project, contact us today!

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