Freaky Tiki
March 17, 2011 10:19 PM   Subscribe

Where can I find good suppliers for bamboo and other tiki-compatible materials?

After my recent trip to Hawaii, I'd like to renovate the half-assed tiki patio and make it more like the real deal. I've got ideas galore, but I'm coming up short finding good suppliers. Where can I find a reasonably priced source for bamboo materials, specifically split bamboo logs for edging, bamboo matting (the woven stuff) or panels for covering things, and bamboo fencing for edging? I think I have a handle on tiki carvings, but any tips would be appreciated too. A source for those glass balls that fishermen use would be great too, I saw them used nicely as lamps at one particularly great tiki bar.

posted by TungstenChef to Home & Garden (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Alas, the best place in the US for all of that is a few states away from you. Oceanic Arts in Whittier, CA is amazing. Carvings, thatch, Japanese buoys, blowfish and everything.

However, if you wander through the threads at Tiki Central, I'm sure you'll find some other suppliers.
posted by Gucky at 10:35 PM on March 17, 2011 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Hmmm, Southern CA is an entirely reasonable drive from Phronix (especially if the quality/price is right), I'm not prepared at all to rule out a road trip at all.
posted by TungstenChef at 10:53 PM on March 17, 2011

Searching bamboo fencing on the google leads to a number of online resources that carry fencing, thatch, poles, split poles, and even tiki huts.
posted by Kronur at 11:17 PM on March 17, 2011

Response by poster: Kronur - thanks, I've done that. I guess what I'm looking for in particular is help cutting through the thicket of results in order to find sources with particularly low prices or high quality. It's difficult to tell from the google results if this is a true commodity item, or if some sources offer particularly high quality or low prices. Alternatively, as Gucky provided, sources with a reputation or sources of info that are more specialized than AskMe are great too.
posted by TungstenChef at 11:28 PM on March 17, 2011

Best answer: As you're looking for reputation recs, I can say that we've been pleased with products from Cali Bamboo. They've been helpful on the phone with questions about particular products we're considering specifying for our projects (we're on the East Coast). Their company seems to be ethically minded, and they're members of the USGBC (how our company became aware of them).

That said, bamboo is a basically a weed. I would be highly skeptical of any major up charges (or value-added for making long trips). You can generally get samples from any distributor to see what you're buying.
posted by Kronur at 12:35 AM on March 18, 2011

Response by poster: So as a follow up, I called Oceanic Arts and ordered their catalog. They were super helpful and said they'd be glad to give advice about how to deck out my patio in tiki. Looks like a road trip to Tiki central may be in the stars.
posted by TungstenChef at 1:02 PM on March 19, 2011

Bamboo Ranch in Tucson deals with plants, but it may not hurt to ask. They may know closer sources
posted by JABof72 at 9:18 AM on March 20, 2011

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