Patio furniture umbrellas add to the aesthetic value of your outdoor setting and increase your comfort. If you know what you’re looking for and choose the right one, it will give back to you for years to come. Here are a few guidelines to help you sort through your many choices in patio furniture umbrellas.
While wooden poles offer natural beauty, they are subject to rot and warping. Even wooden poles that are treated with sealant (many aren’t) are prone to splintering, creating a ragged look and a dangerous surface. Wooden poled models are generally light to carry, but this makes them vulnerable to the wind. Aluminum and steel poled umbrellas are sturdier, heavier, and better able to withstand windy conditions. Some models fold up quickly, which is helpful if the umbrella must be taken down quickly in harsh weather. It’s common for an aluminum or steel umbrella pole to be painted, which can lend your outdoor environment a modern flair. Another benefit of aluminum patio furniture umbrellas is they don’t get blisteringly hot in the sun. When it comes to canopies, Sunbrella has long been making some of the most durable and beautiful materials in the patio furniture industry. Sunbrella fabrics withstand weather, are fade resistant, and are produced with sustainable practices. The material is water repellent, protected from moisture-loving molds and mildews that could compromise the fabric and create an unhealthy outdoor space.
Push-button tilts are the most traditional mechanisms. When the button is pushed, a lever releases and the umbrella can tilt. It’s a no-frills tilt that usually offers three positions which will keep you comfortable most of the time. Push-buttons are strong, simple, and usually inexpensive. However, they do require that you manually hold onto the top of the umbrella to work it into position. Auto-tilt patio furniture umbrellas generally employ cranks. The crank will open the market umbrella, and if you keep turning it, will tilt the umbrella to any angle you please. There are no limits to your tilt options, and no worries about pinching your fingers in a push-button mechanism. It’s a popular option because of its versatility and strength. When an angle adjustment is needed, simply reach out and turn the crank. Collar tilt mechanisms are usually coupled with cranks. The crank opens the umbrella, and a “collar”, which can be twisted one way or the other, controls the tilt. The separate opening and tilting functions allows you to have the umbrella open to the degree you like, and tilted to the angle you like. However, twisting the collar may not be as simple for everyone as turning a crank.
Sizing Patio Furniture Umbrellas
Patio furniture umbrellas should usually be sized according to the area that will be shaded. First, measure the table (or area). A good rule of thumb is that the umbrella should be about five feet bigger than the table. For instance, if your table is 36 inches (3 feet), the umbrella should be 8 feet wide.