Choosing the Right Grommet

grommet assortment

The small but mighty grommet is a small piece of hardware used to reinforce holes in fabric. Grommets are paired with coinciding washers that engage with each other on either side of the fabric (sold in sets through Trivantage®).

While there is a lot out there to choose from, certain manufacturers make stable metal grommets specially built for heavy-duty uses. There are several types of grommets and washers, depending on application and size demands. They can be used in tarps, industrial covers, boat covers and other marine uses, custom awnings, banners, curtains, drapery, outdoor upholstery, and more.

See below for more information on each style.

 

Grommet Types

plain grommet
Plain grommets are the standard “base model” that work best in general or lighter applications. They pair with plain, tooth, or neck washers.
rolled rim grommet
Rolled rim grommets offer a slightly thicker material for heavy-duty projects. The rolled lip engages with spur washers.
self piercing grommet
Self-piercing grommets feature a sharpened edge. Eliminating the need to pre-punch a hole, they pierce through the fabric while placing the grommet and washer in the same step. Not recommended for multiple layers of fabric or thick fabric.

Washer Types

plain washer
Plain washers work best in general or stationary uses.
tooth washer
Tooth washers feature interlocking teeth that bite down for heavier duty projects. These also come in a small tooth form that pairs with self-piercing grommets.
spur washer
Spur washers offer more teeth than tooth washers for the most robust and secure option. They’re ideal for demanding conditions that experience movement (e.g., marine settings).
neck washer
Neck washers feature a longer flange and are used to reinforce holes in barrel-to-barrel settings. Recommended for thicker fabrics.

Sizing

Grommets and washers are assigned a standard sizing number from #00 to #4. Keep in mind, though, sizing is slightly different between plain/tooth and spur grommets/washers. Take care in selecting the properly sized tools for the types of grommet and washers you’re installing.

For example, a #0 Spur Washer has an approximate inner diameter (ID) of 5/16”, therefore, will pair with a #1 Hole Punch or Cutter (not a #0, which makes a 1/4” hole).

See grommet size chart below for corresponding sizes (in inches).


PLAIN GROMMETS

 
Size ID (inner diameter) OD (outer diameter) Hole Size
#00 0.175 0.425 3/16
#0 0.248 0.545 1/4
#1 0.287 0.682 9/32
#2 0.362 0.815 3/8
#3 0.433 0.970 7/16
#4 0.488 1.050 1/2


ROLLED RIM GROMMETS
 

Size ID (inner diameter) OD (outer diameter) Hole Size
#0 0.270 0.668 9/32
#1 0.380 0.790 3/8
#2 0.430 0.886 7/16
#3 0.430 0.970 15/32
#4 0.565 1.125 9/16


PLAIN WASHERS
 

Size ID (inner diameter) OD (outer diameter)
#0 0.291 0.547
#1 0.355 0.697
#2 0.460 0.838
#3 0.528 0.955
#4 0.590 1.107


TOOTH WASHERS
 

Size ID (inner diameter) OD (outer diameter)
#2 0.468 0.840
#3 0.545 0.945
#4 0.603 1.053


SPUR WASHERS
 

Size ID (inner diameter) OD (outer diameter)
#0 0.340 0.645
#1 0.454 0.790
#2 0.514 0.893
#3 0.528 0.968
#4 0.642 1.118


NECK WASHERS
 

Size ID (inner diameter) OD (outer diameter)
#00 0.220 0.425
#0 0.294 0.531
#1 0.355 0.705
#2 0.429 0.840
#3 0.475 0.945
#4 0.540 1.047


 

Materials

You’ll find grommets and washers in a few different materials, each containing its own benefits. The following are four of the most common choices.

 
  • Brass is a durable, moderately priced material that resists corrosion and can withstand high temperatures. Brass grommets are popular because they can live in just about any environment. Because the material is malleable, it’s easy to work with.
  • Stainless steel is less malleable than brass but very strong, making it best for use in self-piercing grommets.
  • Aluminum is lightweight but durable and corrosion resistant. Since it’s not as strong as brass or steel, it’s generally used for lighter uses.
  • Nickel and black plated options offer different finishes with added abrasion resistance.

Related Tools

Using the right grommet tools help make the installation process go much smoother. We recommend pairing these tools with your preferred grommet style and a distinct fabric for a professional result.
 
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