About Thatch Palapas
Welcome to the tropical world of palapas! Palapas are authentic rustic tropical palm thatch structures. The Palm leaf thatch, also known as Rain cape thatch, is made in Mexico. Thatch palapas were first designed for shade cover, but today thatch palapas add tropical flavor to any backyard or garden.
Palapas are rustic by nature and have slight imperfections in color and texture. Sizing and measurements may vary and wood will have some cracks and imperfections. All of these details add to the aesthetic, character and authenticity of your palapa.
What supports a palapa?
The palapa is supported by a six-inch diameter pine lodge pole that has been pre-drilled and pressure-treated. The cover framework is constructed of two-inch stake poles which also have been predrilled and pressure treated. The cover (top) itself is made of palm thatch which has been tightly woven by hand.
What are the dimensions of a palapa?
A completed 9-ft palapa will stand approximately 8 ft 6 inches at its highest point, the center pole. The outer rim of the top sits at 7 ft high and with the top in place there is approximately 6 inches of overhang giving a head clearance height of approximately 6 ft 6 inches. The overall diameter of the palapa is approximately 8 ft 6 inches. Keep these measurements in mind when finding your perfect spot for this beautiful and functional conversation piece.
Are there other uses for thatch?
Yes. We have thatch panels that can be used to cover fences, tables, barbeques or tiki bars. Thatch will give your home, garden, yard, business or social event an instant tropical look and feel. Each panel can be cut to fit your own unique application. We suggest double layering the thatch to achieve a plush authentic look. The individual panels are approximately 3' x 4. This is an easy do-it-yourself project. First, install the panels in horizontal rows beginning at the bottom and staple to the subsurface. For subsequent vertical rows, overlap the panels to overhang the panels below.
How much do I buy?
Mexican Raincape Panels: Take the total square footage to be covered and add 15%, multiply that amount by 2 (for a double layer of thatch), then divide by 12. This formula enables some overlapping and overhang of the thatch. Remember each panel is approximately 48" x 36".
South African Reed Thatch: Divide the roof area by 2.5 to get the number of panels needed. Each panel gives 2.5 square feet of coverage and measures approximately 31" x 17".
How long does the thatch last?
In dry climates our hand-woven thatching usually lasts about 3-5 years, and less in more humid climates.
How well does the thatch hold up in wind?
The hand woven thatch, if properly installed on the palapa, will withstand winds up to 50-60 miles per hour. Unlike, a metal or canvas umbrellas, the thatching is hand-woven and allows air to flow thru it.
When do I replace the thatch?
We of course recommend a double layer of hand-woven mexican rain-cape thatch for any project. In that case, your top layer of thatch will last from 3-5 years in dryer climates, and less in damp, humid, and cooler climates. You will need to replace, the top layer only, when it begins to deteriorate and the bottom layer becomes exposed to the elements
Does my palapa/thatch require a great deal of maintenance?
No. When thatch is new and first exposed to the rain, the thatch sometimes leaches a natural runoff that can spot the ground, but washes right off. To avoid unnecessary cleanup, the thatch should be thoroughly hosed down a couple of times a year. In colder climates, with longer exposure to damp weather, mold may slightly build up on your palapa/thatching-simply spray the palapa/thatching with a bleach/water solution or a mild mold-a-cide.
How do I install a palapa?
Our palapa kit is a simple do-it-yourself project. Installation is a breeze, dig a hole or core a hole, construct the frame, and place the pre-woven thatch tops on the frame and enjoy.
If you are thinking about attaching a table, it is necessary to decide in advance because it is best when installed by slipping it over the center pole before the framework is built. The 36 inch table is the most popular size and comes with brackets, mounting hardware and accent rope. Almost any table (picnic tables for example) can be used with your palapa by simply cutting a 6 inch hole in the top and inserting the center post.
Can I install a palapa in an existing concrete patio or pool deck?
Yes. This is a simple process; an 8" diameter core is drilled out of the existing slab (usually 4-5"). Then an 18" deep hole is dug with a posthole digger and the pole can be inserted.
Can I install a palapa on a wood deck?
Yes. If you want to secure a single pole palapa to a wood deck we offer an iron stand that will secure it to your wood decking.
Do you offer fire retardant on the palapas?
No. We do not offer fire retardant in our thatch products. We can recommend what you'll need to make your thatch fire retardant.
Do I need fire retardant on my palapa?
If the palapas' or thatch materials are to be used in a commercial setting, i.e. Restaurant, bar, etc. Then it is required by code. If the palapas' or thatch materials are for residential use, they do not need fire retardant applied. All residential customers have the option of choosing which they prefer.
Check out our selection of thatch products including: thatch roofing, thatch umbrellas, and thatch panels.