Whether it's a tropical theme bar or a private paradise, a tiki bar is a great focal point for your entertaining area. Topping the bar with a thatched roof adds instant island style and isn't too difficult to create. If you'd really like to make it easy on yourself, you can even purchase panels of artificial thatch meant specifically for roofing tiki bars. However, this isn't necessary—you can use straw, dried reeds or palm leaves as thatching material, depending on what is locally available. With the right technique, the roof will last for years.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- 2 bamboo poles, 6 feet
- 2 bamboo poles, 7 feet
- Electric drill
- Wood screws
- 1 by 3 lumber
- Measuring tape
- Thatching material
- 14-gauge wire
Screw the bamboo poles to the four corners of the bar. The taller bamboo poles are for the back of the bar and the shorter bamboo poles are for the front, creating a sloped roof. Pre-drill the holes for the screws so as not to crack the bamboo.
Measure the distance from the outside edge of one pole to the outside edge of the other across the front of the bar. Cut two 1 by 3 boards of this length. Measure the distance from the outside edge of the top of one of the taller bamboo poles to the outside edge of the top of the shorter pole along the side of the bar, and cut two 1 by 3 boards to this length. Screw the four boards together to form a rectangle.
Round the length of the shorter boards to the nearest foot and subtract one. Cut that number of boards to the same length as the longer side of the rectangle and space them evenly across the rectangle as cross members. Screw the cross members in place.
Drill two holes about an inch from the top of each bamboo pole. The two holes should be 90 degrees apart and face outward so that the wooden frame can be bolted onto the outside of the four poles. Hold the frame in place and use nuts and bolts to secure.
Gather the thatching material into bundles approximately 6 inches in diameter and twist the tops to hold the bundles together until they can be placed. Starting at one lower front edge of the roof frame, use the wire and pliers to wire the thatching material to the roof one bundle at a time. Continue across the front of the roof frame, leaving a little space between bundles.
Continue this process for each cross member and finally the rear edge of the bar, making sure to overlap about half of each new layer of thatch on top of the lower layer.
Tips and warnings
- For a removable tiki hut roof, stand the bamboo poles in buckets of sand rather than screwing them to the bar.
- Dry thatch is flammable. Keep hot surfaces and open flames away from your tiki bar.
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