Thatch Panels and Rolls: DIY Tiki Hut Project


thatch panel     How To DIY Tiki Bar with Thatch Roof


How to Build a Tiki Bar with A Thatch Roof

Tools Needed

  • air compressor
  • tape measure
  • hammer, nails or screws (alternative: pneumatic framing nailer.)
  • air compressor hoses
  • screw gun
  • pneumatic finish nailer or stapler if available.
  • safety goggles
  • plastic sheeting

Materials Needed

Determine Size of Structure

The base of the bar will be built in three separate sections and should be assembled in place.

Evaluate the size the Structure Needs to Be

Firstly, know that the bottom of the structure will need to be placed and assembled in three different places.

Step 1: Start Cutting Walls of Tiki Hut Bar (For Frame)

Start with the vertical inner walls of the bar using pressure treated plywood. (later to be refaced with bamboo slats)

You will then measure and cut three pieces for each of the three sections of the bar.  Each (vertical) piece will measure 38-1/2” tall.

Step 2: Cut Inner Shelves (Tiki Frame)

You will cut a shelf for each side of middle vertical supports for the two side sections.
Shelves on the two side sections will be 30 inches long.  This equals to a total length of each side section of the bar at 62-1/4”.
The frontal area (section) of the tiki hut bar is less inches than the two side section; the shelves for the front middle section of the bar will be 19 inches long, equaling the length of the front side section of the bar at 50 inches in length.  Assess where the shelves are to be placed based on needs of storage.
The front section of the bar is shorter than the two sides; the shelves are approximately 19 inches long, making the total length of the front section of our bar 50 inches long. Decide the placement of your shelves according to what you’ll be storing on the shelves.

Step 3: Cutting Bottom & Top Horizontal Pieces.

Assess, measure and cut for both top and bottom pieces of the tiki hut bar.  You will have a total of six pieces cut.

Step 4: Group Bar Sections Together

Start buildings the one side section.  Glue and framing nails will be needed in order to attach the bottom and top pieces with the two outer side walls.  This makes a rectangle figure.  Secure the inner vertical piece to the lower & upper pieces.  Next, attach and place the middle inner horizontal shelves in in between the middle & vertical sides.  Repeat process for the two remaining sections of tiki bar.

Step 5: Fit The Three Sections Together

Three sections then get fit together.

Measure and cut the plywood for the front facing bar side of the hut.  Cut (miter) the adjoining sides. Attach the plywood to the bar sections using glue and framing nails. Move the bar into its permanent place and nail the three sections together.  Note:  Tiki Hut Bar may be too heavy once it has been constructed in the final stages.  Attach sections together using L brackets.

Step 6: Measure then Cut Plywood for Countertops

Assess the number of inches of overhang for both the front and back of the bar.  Ahead of attaching measured & cut countertops to bar sections, be sure to mark the area at the top of the bar base where each corner of the countertop will allow for 4X4 posts for the roof.  Measure, cut four holes in each corner of countertops.  Dry fit countertop with posts in place to confirm the fit.


Step 7: Install Countertops

To the bar sections with glue and nail them on from the bottom.

Step 8: Attach Posts for Roof

Insert and spread glue into the countertop holes where posts will be inserted Insert posts in holes and hold level while another person nails the post into stable position from underneath.  Note:  Plywood piece can provide extra support if installed to the under area of the bar up to the post.

Step 9: Bamboo Slabs to Add Flavor

Cover the plywood in beautiful bamboo slabs.  Note:  Can be found on our website to order.  Fasten bamboo panel slabs and fasten to plywood with hammer & nails or glue.

Step 10: Frame for Roof

Two sets of 8-foot 2X4s get attached together in the shape of a square.  1 4X4 will run through the middle of the square to act as a support beam horizontally.  Piece together with framing nails.  You will have a base piece of the roof of the tiki hut structure complete.

Step 12: Attaching Posts for Roof Height

Roof overhangs usually run about or approximately one foot on all sides.  Evaluate and then determine the height from the middle horizontal support beam to the roof’s peak.  Cut a 4X4 at this height.  At the top of this post, cut notches on all four corner areas of post.  Place and then fasten post vertically to the top of the horizontal support beam – make sure all flat sides are facing corners of roof frame.

Step 13: Secure Posts to Roof Frame

Four 4X4 posts cut the length of the pitch (eg. From the peak to the corners, or past the corners depending on how much of an overhang). At the end of each post peak, cut the posts at angles to evenly match and meet the notch next to the vertical post.  Fasten them together using lag bolts – it would be easier to pre-drill each post before fastening them together.


Step 14: Attach Supporting Posts

This will give extra support, each corner of the frame having a cut 4X4 to fit within them and attaching the pitched posts to the 2X4 frame.  The bottom area of the smaller support post will be sitting flush to the bottom of the square frame and upper top will be angled to converge the angle of the post.  Pieces will be attached together via lag bolts.


Step 15: Plywood Slats to Create Roof

Miter cut and measure plywood to fit and align along all four sides of the roof structure.  Begin from the center area and then down.  The size of the plywood pieces will lengthen as you move down to the bottom of the tiki roof structure

Use hammer & nails to attach the plywood to the posts.  Aim to allow at least four inches between each piece of plywood.

bamboo split poles

Step 16: Covering Final Roof Structure with Plastic

Wrap roofing structure securely with heavy-duty plastic sheeting and staple cleanly into place.

Step 17: Attach Thatch Panels for Tiki Hut Creation

Attach the thatch panels, to the roof structure.  Using heavy-duty staples will keep thatching in place, and any excess can be trimmed as necessary.  There are many type of thatch panels that can be used such as palm thatch rolls, Mexican thatch rolls, natural paneling.  All types will provide the authentic and natural look for your structure.  Both the plastic and thatching materials will be perfect for insulating your outdoor structure.


Step 18: Placing The Roof

Once the roof structure and base has been completed, lift the assembled roof on to the bar structure by using lag bolts to secure at all corner points of project.

thatch panel DIY Tiki Bar With Thatch Roof

Step 19: The Finishing Touch

In order to bring authenticity to your project you will need to wrap the posts in bamboo slats or poles and make sure all of the plywood is covered with bamboo slats.  Adding tropical touches to you project with bamboo slats, bamboo poles, tiki masks, and signs.  Palm thatch rolls, Mexican thatch rolls, or artificial thatch can all be used in covering your roof, adding that special tropical touch to your tiki hut creation.

This project will serve perfectly for the luau themed party and tropical escapes in your own backyard.  Host guests with a beautiful tiki hut creation built on your own!

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Tropical signs