How Do I select a Patio Umbrella? A Patio Umbrella Buyer's Guide

Check out our handy guide for the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about patio umbrellas. 

How are outdoor umbrellas measured?

All of our patio umbrella sizes refer to the diameter of the canopy - not the umbrella’s height. An umbrella with a single dimension like this 11” Umbrella by Treasure Garden refers to an octagonal umbrella with a diameter of 11 feet. This 8’ x 10’ teak crank lift umbrella by Treasure Garden refers to a rectangular umbrella with dimensions of 8 feet by 10 feet.

To find out the height of an umbrella, visit the specifications area on the product details page. Should you need to extend the height of your umbrella - our Treasure Garden line can be fitted with a 45” bottom pole to increase your umbrella’s height and bring the mechanism above the hole on a bar height table.

How big of an umbrella do I need?

When choosing an umbrella for an outdoor dining area the rule of thumb is to have the umbrella extend 2 feet beyond the table’s edge. So, a 4-foot round table would require a round or octagonal umbrella with a diameter of 8 feet, and a rectangular table with a length of 85” would require a rectangular umbrella with dimensions of 8’ feet by 10 feet.

For an outdoor deep seating area, select the largest umbrella that fits your space and your budget. A patio umbrella can decrease the perceived air temperature beneath it and makes socializing outdoors more comfortable. Your guests will thank you.



FRAME MATERIALS

At AuthenTEAK we sell patio umbrellas in a variety of materials all selected for their durability and weather resistance. See the list below for the varieties available and their benefits:

Metal

Metal frame umbrellas are among the most affordable and popular. An aluminum frame is lightweight and weather resistant and comes in a variety of finishes including bronze, black and champagne to match your outdoor décor. Shop Metal frame umbrellas.

Wood & Bamboo

We offer wood & bamboo umbrellas in a variety of different species including teakeucalyptus and bamboo. These materials are chosen for both their durability and strength to last in an outdoor setting as well as the natural warmth and beauty they project allowing them to become a part of your outdoor décor. Shop wood & bamboo umbrellas.

Hybrid Materials

For the look of wood with the durability of aluminum, Tuuci has created two proprietary materials for their luxury umbrella lines which are ideal for high-use hospitality and commercial settings. Dura-Teak and Aluma-Teak umbrellas have the strength of aluminum with an exterior finish which mimics wood for a natural, luxurious feel perfect for a resort-like setting. Call our design experts today for more on Tuuci umbrellas - 1-866-350-8325.



CANTILEVER vs MARKET STYLE UMBRELLAS

Affordable, versatile market style umbrellas are commonly used within the umbrella hole in your outdoor dining table. This is a great way to keep your guests shaded and comfortable while dining outside. Market style umbrellas can also stand alone to shade an outdoor seating area on your patio or pool deck. A common scenario is to place a round or octagonal market umbrella in between chaise lounges or lounge chairs on your pool deck to provide shade. Depending on your usage, you’ll need to pick an adequate base to keep your umbrella stable in windy weather conditions. More on that in Choosing an Umbrella Base below.

Cantilever umbrellas, while somewhat more expensive, offer a versatile solution which can cover outdoor dining or deep seating areas. The benefit of using a cantilever umbrella over a dining table is the ability to shade your guests without the distraction of the center pole. Another benefit is the ability to rotate a cantilever umbrella 360-degrees making it easy to expose the table to full sunlight when desired as well as to shade an adjacent seating area with just one umbrella.

If you're looking to avoid the pole entirely, check out some more innovative applications by Treasure Garden including their wall mount and beam mount umbrella.



UMBRELLA OPERATING MECHANISMS

Our umbrella collections include several opening and operating mechanisms. Here’s a brief description of each:

Pulley

A pulley umbrella system uses a rope attached to a pulley and a lift pin to secure the umbrella in the open position. Ideal for residential or commercial use, you will need to make sure anyone operating the umbrella is tall enough to insert the pin into the frame in order to hold the umbrella in the open position.

Crank

A crank umbrella is just what it sounds like - a crank is utilized to bring the umbrella to the open position and again to close it. A bit more time consuming than a pulley, the crank is ideal when the person operating the umbrella does not have the height or strength needed to operate a pulley.

Tilt Mechanisms

Picking an umbrella with a tilt mechanism will allow you to adjust your umbrella’s position to better block the sun in its varying positions throughout the day. There are types of tilt mechanisms. When you are replacing your current umbrellas bottom pole it is important to know which type of tilt mechanism your umbrella uses in order to select the correct pole.

Push Button Tilt: An umbrella with this tilt mechanism has a button at the top of the pole. When pushed, you may adjust your umbrella to perfectly block the sun’s rays.

Auto Tilt: An auto-tilt mechanism is part of many crank umbrellas. After cranking your umbrella to the open position, continue operating the crank for the full range of available tilt positions.

Collar Tilt: A collar tilt umbrella uses a ring or collar near the crank to adjust the tilt angle of the umbrella. The benefit to this over an auto-tilt is that the umbrella does not need to be in the fully opened position before you can tilt it.

CHOOSING AN UMBRELLA BASE

Always make sure you are using an adequate weight base for your umbrella. Using the proper base will ensure that your umbrella remains fixed in place in inclement weather and prevent any motion which could damage your umbrella.

An umbrella base of 50 lbs. or less is only appropriate for umbrellas which will be anchored in a dining table. For all freestanding umbrellas – market and cantilever styles – use this rule:

Multiply the umbrellas canopy size by 10 to get the minimum base weight appropriate for that umbrella. A 9’ octagonal umbrella needs a minimum base weight of 90 lbs. A 10’x13’ rectangular umbrella should use the larger of the two dimensions and pick a base of 130 lbs. or more.

REPLACEMENT CANOPIES

What size replacement canopy do I need?

You don’t need to purchase an entirely new umbrella to refresh or change the look of your outdoor space. At AuthenTEAK we carry replacement canopies for umbrellas by Treasure Garden, Galtech, Kingsley Bate and Gloster.  When measuring for a replacement canopy here are the steps you should follow:

For Round or Octagonal Canopies

1) Make sure your umbrella canopy is fully extended in the open position.

2) Using a tape measure, measure from the top of a single rib at the center pole down to the outer edge of the umbrella. This is your radius measurement.

3) Multiply your radius by 2 to come up with the diameter of your canopy.

For Square or Rectangular Canopies

1) Make sure your umbrella canopy is fully extended in the open position.

2) Using a tape measure, measure the long side for length and the short side for width.

Once you’ve determined the size needed for your replacement canopy, also consider some upgrades you may want to select:

Double and Single Wind Vent Canopies

Double Wind Vent 

Most umbrella canopies are equipped with a single wind vent which allows air to pass through the canopy. Many of our umbrellas are available for purchase with a double wind vent option. There are two main benefits of the double wind vent. In extremely windy conditions the second vent allows more air to pass through the umbrella improving stability. In extremely hot environments, the double vent allows more hot air beneath the umbrella to escape creating a more comfortable air temperature beneath the canopy. Consider upgrading to this option if either of those situations apply to your outdoor setting.

Valance  

A valance is an additional piece of canopy material which hangs down over the edge of the umbrella. Typically seen on beach and patio umbrellas, it is purely a decorative touch and has no impact on your umbrellas performance.

Still have questions? Reach out to our patio experts for help with all of your umbrella questions via the chat function on our website, or by calling the showroom during business hours.