I had an enquiry recently to fit some cosmetic thatching (their words) to a small summerhouse with a 30 degree pitch. I assume that by cosmetic they meant a thin layer of thatch should be applied. This can be done but the lifespan of the thatch will not be great and because the thatch will not be compacted as can be achieved with a 12-14” coat and fitting a waterproof membrane beneath the thatch is essential in-case water penetrates through the thatch.
The best thatch roofs work well by having a steep pitch and being able to put the fixings well below the surface – which in turn means creating a good thickness of thatch (see my blog piece on fixings of January 2nd 2013).
To use an analogy it would be like someone asking a builder to build a house but to save on materials to construct cosmetic walls only 1 brick thick or 100mm.
There are of course other products on the market which are either plastic manufactured tiles or tiles which are made by having real thatch reeds secured to them which better suit the desire to create the look of Thatch. On request we can supply details of these products.
Here is a picture of some manufactured material – made to look like real Thatch which we fitted to a roof at Alton Towers; despite its appearance this material is only about 25-35mm in thickness measured from above the roof timbers.