It’s hard to answer exactly how much tarps cost with one set number. While it’s one of the questions we hear from buyers, especially when someone is trying to decide why not to just buy a tarp at a discount store, we can’t give you a single answer. But, we can caution you to consider buying your tarp from someone other than a discount store. There are clear reasons why this can be a bad idea.
Tarps are made from a range of fabrics and materials, and they come in many sizes and colors and all of that impacts a tarp’s price. Discount store tarps are often the cheapest tarp available. They’re less expensive, but that’s because they’re not going to last. You pay less, but you’re paying for a new tarp more often. Our guide to tarp can help you get a better understanding of how much you’re going to pay and why some of the higher priced tarps are worthwhile.
For canvas tarps, you have a lot of options. First, do you want a 16-ounce canvas tarp or 18-ounce tarp? Do you need to purchase it by the yard, by the roll (25, 50, or 100 yards) or in a pre-made size? Does it need to be treated with a fire-retardant chemical for use when camping or near hot stage lighting? Do you want untreated 10-ounce natural or colored canvas tarp that you can paint or use to create tote bags, apparel, or for painting?
Ten-ounce Untreated canvas tarp is the least expensive. This 100% cotton tarp is not good for outside, but it’s a great drop cloth for indoor painting or renovation jobs. It ranges in price from about $33 to $1,385 for the largest (40 x 40’) sheet. Untreated canvas tarps are also available in a range of colors, but those colors do not add to the prices, so expect the same price range.
Treated canvas has a water-resistant coating applied to it, which increases the price. You can purchase it by the yard at prices starting at about $11 per, depending on the width and weight you select. The heaviest treated tarp in a 6-foot width is just under $14 per yard. Pre-sized 16-ounce treated canvas tarp ranges from $25 to $600, while the 18-ounce treated canvas tarp is $33 to $636. If you need multiple tarps, save money with bulk pricing at Chicago Canvas & Supply.
What if you need a tarp that’s treated with a flame retardant chemical? Those are also offered in a range of sizes. The smallest (5 x 7’) is about $35 while the largest is about $865 (30 x 30’).
If you’re looking for a roll of Treated canvas, you have the choice of 5 or 6-foot widths, up to 100 yards, and 16 or 18-ounce weights. If you want a roll that’s 5 feet wide and 25 yards long, you’re looking at just under $225, while a 6-foot width is about $250. For a 100-yard roll of untreated canvas tarp, the pricing goes up to just under $1,040. If you need the 16-ounce fire retardant canvas tarp, it’s a little over $1,110. So, you see how the weight, size, and treatment does impact the overall pricing.
Clear PVC Tarps
For projects where you want to keep out winds, cold air, or rain without limiting natural lighting, a clear PVC tarp is a perfect choice. They’re completely waterproof, resist rips and tears, and don’t get mildewy. They’re also UV treated to help block damaging UV rays.
Clear PVC tarps offer a lot given their cost. The most you’ll pay for one is about $180, and that’s for a 10 x 10’ tarp.
Iron Horse Polyester Tarps
For the most durable tarp, turn to Iron Horse polyester tarps. They’re completely waterproof, lack the plastic odor that many tarps have, and they’re so incredibly strong. These are called Iron Horse tarps because they’re the essential work horse of all tarps that stand up to excessive use.
Their pricing isn’t bad considering how strong they are. The smaller Iron Horse tarps are just under $50, while the largest is about $550. You can also purchase Iron Horse by the yard for just under $17 per yard (60-inch width), making it easy to customize your tarp to the exact size you need.
Poly tarps are usually the most affordable tarp. A lightweight Blue poly tarp is the type of tarp you see in discount stores. It’s not meant for heavy use. If you leave it exposed to sun and wind all year round, it’s going to start ripping and fraying. That’s why you can get these tarps for approximately $8 for a tarp that’s 8 x 10’. From the smallest to the largest sizes, these tarps range in price from around $4 (5 x 7’) to $826 for a massive 100 x 100’ tarp.
A heavy-duty poly tarp is going to be a little more expensive, and that’s because it’s designed to last longer. A Green/Silver poly tarp is around $12 for an 8 x 10’. For around $200, you can have the largest Green/Silver poly tarp. As these are thicker and have a tighter weave, you pay more because they’re far more durable.
There are also Camouflage (Camo) tarps that are ideal for hunters, and they tend to be around the same price as Blue poly tarps. You can also find White, Brown/Green, and Silver UVR tarps. Silver UVR tarps are the most expensive of the poly tarp because they’re designed to reflect UV rays and are double laminated for the utmost in strength and durability for a poly tarp.
Finally, there are Vinyl tarps. They’re a polyester tarp that’s been coated with vinyl to create a fully waterproof tarp that weighs 18 ounces per square yard. It’s thick, never going to let water through, and is very durable. If you’ve ever played on a Slip & Slide, you’ve experienced a Vinyl tarp.
Whether you want a narrower Slip & Slide tarp or a full Vinyl tarp, the thickness and durability make them slightly more expensive than a Poly tarp. You’re looking around $125 to $1,244 for a Slip & Slide tarp ranging from 5 x 20’ to 10 x 100’. For wider thicknesses, the price comes down a bit. You’ll pay around $44 for a 5 x 7’ tarp up to $250 for a 10 x 20’.
Many Factors Go Into a Tarp’s Pricing
To answer exactly how much a tarp costs, all of these factors must be considered.
- How big a tarp do you need? Do you need a sheet, roll, or per yard?
- What weight is necessary?
- Does it need to be treated, untreated, or flame retardant?
There are other factors to consider. Tarps at Chicago Canvas can be prepared to order. If you need a custom size, we make that happen. Before it goes to you, we’re adding hems, grommets, and, possibly, seams. All of this work, including the tarps themselves, happens locally. Our tarps are made in the USA and not imported from another country. We pride ourselves on creating tarps that are built to last.
Right now, all of the tarps available at Chicago Canvas & Supply are on sale. Whether you’re looking for a specific size or want a custom tarp, we have the lowest prices around. Plus, we match prices if a competitor has a lower price on an identical tarp. It’s a win-win situation. Browse our online selection or let us know what you need by sending us a message.