Palmex Thatch vs Natural Thatch


20 Years Warranty

Generally non-existent

Life Expectancy

50 years

Replaced every 2 to 5 years


Made of high-density polyethylene (HDPE)

Industrial strength

UV protection

Same polymer used to manufacture fuel cans, paddleboats, kayaks, sleds, slides, etc.

Often suffers damage from climate conditions, insects, moss, rot, as well as exposure to sun, wind and sea air

These days, traditional thatch preparation (proper harvesting, saltwater treatment, drying sequence, weaving, etc.) is often neglected or compromised


Maintenance free self cleaning design

No accumulation of residue

Regular maintenance required; repairs, insecticides, fumigation, fire-resistance treatments, cleaning of underlying floors and furniture, etc.

Recurring labour costs

wind resistance

Certified for winds of 260 km/h (162 mph)

Wind clips available for additional resistance

No existing standards – generally low wind resistance

Ensuing repairs and maintenance involved

water resistance

Guaranteed 100% watertight for roofs sloped at 30 degrees or greater

Palmex patented installation systems provide the structure with great waterproof qualities

Requires very thick layering (high leaf volume) to attain water-tightness

Heavy roof structure

Negatively affected by humidity

fire resistance

HDPE is naturally a low-flammable material

Certified “fire-retardant” models also available (FR)

Highly flammable and may cause fires

High risk of fire propagation

Costly insurance coverage and high risk of refusal

fade resistance

Guaranteed fade resistant (under warranty)

Fast, progressive fading

Visible colour discrepancies after repairs

bug resistance

Material does not attract insects, rodents, birds, etc.

Susceptible to infestations and nesting


Layered installation method (allowing air pockets), makes for much cooler under-roof temperatures

Weak insulation capabilities means a high volume of leaves are required (very thick layering)

added value

Undeniable return on investment

Adds value to the building structures

No added value

insurance savings

Lower insurance costs

Palmex products are deemed entirely safe

High risk factor

Costly insurance or insurance refusal

environmental factors


100% recyclable

No toxic products required (cleaning, etc.)

Rain water harvesting possible

Damage to the natural environment (harvesting leaves)

Roof maintenance often leads to pollution via toxic products such as insecticides, pesticides, fire prevention sprays, etc.


Instructions provided by Palmex (quick and easy)

Minimal skills required

Requires skilled labourers

Longer, complicated and costly installation process

transport & storability

Optimized transport and storage: high coverage, low shipping/ storage volume, thin leaves, compressed packaging.


  • 20’ container = up to 3,500 m2 / 37,700 sq.ft
  • 40’ container = up to 8,000 m2 / 86,100 sq.ft

To cover an equal surface per m2 or sq.ft, natural thatch roofing requires approximately 11 times the volume of

Palmex products (transport and storage)

1 container of Palmex leaves= 11 containers of natural leaves

  • “I am in the hospitality business, with our flagship property in one of the most beautiful locations at The Andamans. We are blessed with crystal clear waters, endless sands and unspoiled beaches that lure luxury travelers from different parts of the world. At Bigtree Hospitality, we are committed to showcasing this natural beauty by using the right materials, so the overall organic, earthy, green look and feel is kept intact. We want to provide our guests an opportunity to commune with nature, and feel connected without compromising on luxury, so they feel pampered.

    While building a resort in Chidiya Tapu, we planned on a bamboo-themed restaurant by using bamboo rafters. We were particular that the property has an intimate, natural aesthetic inspired by tropical Balinese architecture. This is why we chose Palmex, for its earthy, vernacular look. Palmex mimics the woven appeal of natural thatch but eliminates all the pain points of using palm or coconut leaves. We were a little concerned if Palmex would hold up well during the heavy monsoons, in the Andamans. But we are happy to report that not a single drop of water has gotten through the roof, since installation, even with heavy rainfall.

    I would recommend Palmex as a vendor to other hospitality businesses. Procurement of the material and installation, even to a remote location like Chidiya Tapu was a breeze. If you want to recreate the magical appeal of natural thatched roofs, with a high-quality, durable artificial eco-friendly material and want professional, courteous, timely service – don’t look beyond Palmex!” Sumer Verma, Managing Director, Bigtree Hospitality”

  • “Palmex leaves give a natural look to the treehouse, with its original colour and design. Our guests look forward to a stay in a treehouse with modern amenities, but with the charm of a thatched roof. ” Sachin K Jose, General Manager, Greenberg Resorts

  • “The product looked better than I expected… People who live around are dropping in just to see the roof! The Palmex team oversaw the installation with a lot of commitment and this was very impressive.” Yashwant Bhelke, Architect

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