"Tiki Bar and Tiki Hut Building Supplies - Also Complete Information on Thatch Roofing & Bamboo Poles"," During most of the early 20th century, American kids actually read books, and grew up on 18th and 19th century adventure stories by the likes of Jules Verne, many of which featured tropical islands as their settings.
So, when those kids grew up, the sight of a drinking establishment with actual props such as you would theoretically find in a real-life ""tropical paradise"" (""tiki masks"" and wall-mounted tropical fish) sparked their imaginations.
Presumably, the Tiki bars were related to actual Polynesian culture and named after the Maori mythological figure of Tiki, although the connection was pretty tenuous.
Post-Modern Tiki Bars
After the 1970's, tiki bars fell out of fashion.
"" What was once alluring because it was new and faintly exotic became hopelessly domestic and outdated.
However, gradually, as the 20th century merged into the 21st, the common opprobrium heaped upon the tiki bar lifted.
It revels in images and ideas that once were fashionable but that now appear ""cheesy"" and ""outdated,"" in part because these conform its thesis that the meaning of all images is subjective and relative to its time period.
Now, everyone wants a tiki bar--not just to go to on vacation, but to have in his or her own rec room, basement, or backyard.
"" Build a tiki bar, and you will convey to all of your friends the message of how free-spirited and fun-loving you are.
Without tiki bar thatch, your ""tiki bar"" is just some bar that serves tropical drinks.
Browse our Tiki Thatch
For an outdoor tiki hut, thatch is even more necessary.
With an outdoor tiki hut, you don't even have that sad excuse.
Straw, heather, and in the Polynesian islands, dried palm leaves, have been layered together and waterproofed to create warm, water-resistant, low-cost, sustainable roofs for thousands of years.
In the context of a tropical tiki bar, it's practical to use thatch to cover a sun umbrella or palapa (a type of roofed structure held up by four or more poles but without any walls, intended for giving shade).
The Aesthetics of Thatch
Aside from its cost-effectiveness and its effectiveness at protection from the sun (possibly not as much of an issue, if you're trying to build a tiki bar at home), thatch has great aesthetic properties that make it indispensable to a tropical-themed place of leisure.
People like the fact that a thatched roof is made out of the same material as things that actually grow in the earth.
"" People often express an urge to ""get away from civilization"" because of its perceived artificiality.
We love nature, but we need civilization.
Even farming is, to some extent, ""artificial.
It is the kind of good, relaxed feeling that makes one want to sit back with a tropical cocktail.
These days, if you want to build a tiki bar, you don't even have to thatch it yourself--you can buy rolls of tiki thatch buy the foot
If you see a Polynesian-inspired grass hut, with its characteristic roof made of layered palm leaves, you will automatically assume think ""tropical vacation.
Only ""real"" bars and themed outdoor restaurants get to have a tropical hut, right? Or the very rich?
Browse our catalogue of supplies for your Grass Hut
""Real"" grass huts are relatively inexpensive to build.
There's something inexpressibly charming about being able to put together such a low-cost, comfortable, distinctive-looking shelter out of inexpensive, readily available materials.
You can get common materials such as pine and directly from your local hardware store.
Alternatively, you can buy tiki ""kits"" from online suppliers, which come pre-made with all of the parts you need.
A Thatch Roof Gives Tiki Structures Their Distinctive Look
Once you have a frame in place, it's time to add that which will give your tropical hut its characteristic appearance: a thatched roof.
It will ensure all who sit beneath it cool under the hot sun, and shelter from rain when it is cold.
A well-made thatched roof can last up to 7 rainy winters.
The one advantage that modern thatch has over its ancient predecessor? For your modern tiki grass hut, you can buy rolls of palm thatch that have been treated with fire-retardant chemicals.
Browse our catalogue for everything you need for your Bamboo Tiki Bar
Resurgence Of Tiki Culture
Tiki bars--that is, drinking establishments with a Polynesian motif that involved palm trees and bamboo and thatch furniture--used to be extremely popular in the United States.
However, the way in which tiki bars are popular today is somewhat different from the way in which they were popular during the years 1947-1970.
These days, although tiki bars and restaurants still enjoy some of their former popularity, tiki has become an even more popular home decoration scheme.
The Home Tiki Bar
Given all of these facts, what is the ultimate home tiki accessory? The ultimate way to show your guests your sense of taste, and a good time, all at once? It is the bamboo tiki bar--not in the sense of a commercial drinking establishment, but in the sense of a little stand with shelves made out of bamboo, with possible space for a mini-refrigerator, from which you can serve exotic, alcoholic, rum-based drinks with names like ""Sex on the Beach"" or ""Death on the Islands"" (that last one does not exist--yet!).
You can either build or buy these semi-portable structures, ranging in length from 3 feet and 4 feet, to 8 feet, and even to as long as 14 feet.
This is especially exciting if you also own a pool (warning: be responsible and avoid going swimming after you've imbibed).
It can still have the thatched roof--an homage to the absurdity and delight of tiki culture.
A tiki bar made of plastic just doesn't have that exciting authentic, festive look of a bamboo tiki bar.
That is because bamboo is perhaps the quintessential construction material of the Pacific islands.
It is relatively light, durable, and--most importantly of all--it grows at a super-fast rate of as much as 3-4 feet per day.
Bamboo is also extremely hardy.
It can grow as far north as Sakhalin (latitude 50 degrees N) or as far south as Chile (latitude 47 degrees S).
Outside of the Pacific Islands covering your walls with bamboo will give your interior that subtle but unmistakable look that is associated with the South Pacific.
Bamboo Wall Covering Options
Bamboo is an extremely versatile building material, and bamboo wall coverings come in several forms.
These can be up to 9 feet in length, and are usually supposed to adhere to your wall with glue.
Covering your wall with bamboo slats is similar to having a brick facade, except, of course, the facade is made out of bamboo.
The insides of these half-sections is filled with foam.
However, all the above options take a long time to install, and may look too ""formal"" for a fun, tiki bar setting.
After the mat is woven, the bamboo strips are treated with a variety of chemicals to make them water and fire-resistant.
They can be ordered in any size, and be made to cover your wall in a matter of hours.
Thus, for tiki bars, woven bamboo mats are the best kind of bamboo wall covering.
The delight you and your guests will feel at finding yourselves in a tiki bar may intangible.
Building a tiki bar is all about applying Gestalt principles: the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.
These are the ""brick and mortar"" of putting together a tiki bar.
Fortunately, that doesn't mean you have to pay contractors to thatch the roof of your bar.
Woven mats go great on floors, as a kind of tropical rug, or on walls.
If you don't live in a tropical climate, don't worry.
The woven mats that you can buy commercially are made with thick-woven strips of bamboo--much like the traditional ones you would see on a Polynesian island, except treated with various substances to make them stronger and more durable.
What could be an aesthetically superior complement to a woven bamboo mat than a sign held up by a bamboo pole? The sign could be simple-looking, perhaps wooden, and hand-painted to fit in with the tiki aesthetic.
But don't stop there! Bamboo poles, in combination with woven bamboo, could also be used to make delightful tiki furniture for your bar.
Is there anything more playful than the combination of rustic and modern found in a bamboo CD holder, containing, perhaps, your collection of marimba music?
Get Fancier: Tiki Masks And More
Once you have established your tiki bar's underlying structure of bamboo and thatch, you can really start the best part of decorating: choosing individual tiki accessories.
According to Maori legend, Tiki is actually the first human being on earth--similar to the Judeo-Christian Adam.
To ""western"" eyes, they tend to look imposing and exotic, and they are an indispensable part of tiki bar decor.
You can use tiki masks creatively: buy a couple, put a board over them (preferably made from the same type of wood), and you've got a tiki bench.