How to Shop for an Outdoor Patio Umbrella

Merely investing in new patio furniture will not suffice unless you make sure that the patio is perfectly shaded. It is not always possible to place your outdoor furniture under shade-giving trees. The only assured way for yourself, your family members and other guests to be shaded from the scorching sun is by installing a patio umbrella. This leads to the common question – what to consider when shopping for outdoor patio umbrellas?

The first step before shopping for patio umbrellas is for you to determine how much shade you actually need and how much space you have to position an umbrella. This information will help you decide what size of patio umbrella you need to buy.

Please know that a 4-foot to 6-foot umbrella will provide shades up to a 30-inch cafe or bistro table set. A 7-foot to 8-foot patio umbrella can provide cover up to a 36-inch cafe or bistro table set. To shade a 48-inch round or square dining table and four chairs, you will have to buy a 9-foot to 10-foot patio umbrella. The 11-foot umbrella is the largest size available in the market and it can offer shade up to a 60-inch round or square table or a 72-inch oval or rectangular table with six chairs.

Next, you need to learn about patio umbrella poles. The height of a standard patio umbrella’s pole is 8 feet – though some taller poles may also be available. People also buy umbrella poles that are curved so that the patio umbrella can be hung over an area without a pole. These types of poles will be useful if you do not want the pole to impede the shaded areas.

You can opt for a tilt patio umbrella and the advantage is the tilt function provides a lot of flexibility. You can tilt the tilting patio umbrella to adjust to the movement of the sun so that you can have shade at all times of the day. Tilts come in a few varieties - buttons at the top of the umbrella or in the frame underneath the rib hub or in conjunction with crank handles.

Umbrella frames are either metal or wood. Most often, metal umbrellas use a crank lift or push button tilt for opening. As for wooden umbrellas, they are usually opened manually by some sort of pulley system. When deciding on which type of umbrella frame you want, think about which style will coordinate best with your decor.

Another choice you can make with regard to patio umbrellas is - a table umbrella or a free-standing umbrella. Table umbrellas and free-standing umbrellas will both require stands for stability. Generally, the-table umbrellas can use a lighter base as the table will provide solid additional support. Free-standing umbrellas will however need a heavy stand to keep it firm and upright. An umbrella stand is in any case recommended to provide more effective protection against gales and stormy weather.

It is important that the fabrics used on patio umbrellas are weather-resistant. Sunbrella patio umbrella fabric comes in many colors and patterns, both bold and sober. The color or design you buy can be one of your personal preferences. Breathable fabrics are a good choice as they stay cool, even under the hot sun. Most umbrella fabrics are colorfast and resist mold and mildew.

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