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Five Factors to Consider When Purchasing a Tarp

We know first hand that when purchasing a tarp, a customer can sometimes feel a bit overwhelmed. 

What seems like a simple purchase can quickly become confusing when you encounter the many different tarp materials, sizes, and tarp terminology. There are numerous details that you need to consider before making a purchase.

We recommend reviewing these five key factors, that will help your purchasing decision easier.

1. Size

Although fairly obvious often times a customer doesn't know the measurements needed to entirely cover their area. While sometimes you can make an estimated size work for your project, it is always better to know the exact measurements needed to ensure your tarp fits when you receive it. However, many people are surprised to learn that tarps are not made to exact size unless specified for custom orders.

  • Cut Size - The hems of the cut size tarp are then folded in and stitched to create a sturdy, reinforced side results tarp size end up slightly smaller than the original size.
  • Finished Size - Tarps that are made to exact size measured.

2. Material

Many people think of plastic (polyethylene) when they think of tarps because they are widely used. But tarps come in various types of materials including poly, vinyl, canvas, mesh, and other specialized fabrics. Each of these materials has different properties. Check out our article "Finding Your Right Tarps to learn more about the difference of each material.


Certain materials are available in set colors, and this can vary widely by the material. For example, heavy duty 18oz vinyl tarp has a wide range of color options included black, white, red, green, blue, gray, yellow, orange, tan and brown. On the other hand, compare to poly tarps might be limited to colors, but still have many color options to choose from.

If you have a set of color in mind, give our tarp expert a call at 630-953-4700 or check the availability of the colors on our website

4. Waterproof vs Water Resistant

Both of poly tarps and vinyl tarps are waterproof, some materials like canvas are only water resistant. Take that into consideration and see if you need tarps that are either waterproof or water-resistant. So, that way it could help you narrow down the right materials for your tarps. But keeps in mind that waterproof is not breathable, compared to canvas tarp that is water resistant, which is breathable.

5. Budget

Tarp Supply has a large variety of products that meet any budget. Starting from 3oz poly of multipurpose up to military-grade of 40oz vinyl. As we serve the variety of industries including construction, transportation, home improvement, military, agricultural, lawn & garden,  landscaping and many more.

With the budget, set how much you willing to spend on your purchase. But please keeps in mind that different materials serve a different purpose. For instance, poly might be lower cost compare to vinyl materials but the longevity of these two materials can be different. The cost could be rage from low to high based on descriptive and materials, but it still got great quality in it. For example, 14 x 14 weaves per square inch; 7 oz per square yard; 12 Mil silver/black or silver/white poly tarps cost less than 18oz vinyl, but it still strong and durable.

So as you can see, if you are willing to spend a little bit more, you can get material that is in industrial strength.

Now you know all the five factors that will help make the right decision on your purchase. Shop now đŸ‘‰ for all your tarp needs

Tarp Supply Inc is the leading manufacturer and distributor of tarps in the market. As a factory direct warehouse distributor, we carry all kinds of grade tarps. We commit to providing superior quality tarps, low prices, and excellent customer service for all customers. Our centralized warehouse in Chicago and multiple locations ships the tarps  across the United States. We have served and supplied tarps to many different industries including government, military, construction, and many more, for over a decade. As we hold our motto, Tarp Supply Inc. "For All Your Tarp Needs"

We offer free consultations regarding all your tarps questions. If you are looking for specific sizes or custom made tarps, contact our tarps expert at 630-953-4700 or email us at

For more information, visit our website at


  1. I was not overwhelmed. I consulted the sizing chart and ordered a standard sized 16 X 20 HD Vinyl Tarp with D-rings. Although there is a note for shipping delays for custom fabricated sizes, this was a standaard size. It still took a month to arrive. Worse still, when it arrived today, it was both 3" short (from the chart above) and had Grommets instead of D-rings. This is NOT what I ordered and will not serve the intended purpose.
    I await a response from Customer Service, which I hope will be better than their production effort or in fact their advertising, which looks like a Bait & Switch deal. Shipping was not cheap either, so a return and another month's wait for the right product is not an outcome I look forward too. Buyers beware.

    1. Well Customer Service now tells me that the size chart is only approximate, not a guarantee. If size matters at all, that makes it a custom product for an extra charge. Nice business they have here; place an order and get approximately what you want, but maybe not quite. I will not be one of their repeat customers they brag about.


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