When shopping for a patio umbrella, you’ll soon discover that there’s more to decide on than just a color that will go nicely with your patio furniture. You’ll have to decide whether you want a market, cantilever, or Shanghai umbrella, along with a suitable base to hold it up.
Not to worry, though, because choosing the right patio umbrella will be much easier when you understand the difference between the different types and narrow in on the one that best meets your needs.
Market umbrellas are generally heavier than standard patio umbrellas and have a wooden center pole and a pulley system for opening and closing the umbrella. They’re heavy-duty, which is why you often see them on the patios of restaurants and cafes.
Cantilever or Off-Set Umbrellas are supported by a pole and base on the side of the umbrella canopy rather than in the center. An arm that pivots from the base extends outward to the place where you need shade, where it holds up the canopy. There are a couple of nice things about a cantilever umbrella:
- It allows you to control what area is shaded.
- It doesn’t obstruct the middle of the table or the view.
A Shanghai umbrella is modeled after traditional Asian parasols with a distinct round shape and lots of ribs. It’s got an aluminum pole, and opens and closes via a crank mechanism. There’s usually a “tilt” feature to better control morning or afternoon sun.
Don’t make the mistake of assuming that any base works with all outdoor umbrellas. Most — but not all — umbrella poles are 1.5 inches in diameter. Some can be larger. And if you’re using your umbrella with a table, make sure hole in the table is the right diameter for the umbrella’s pole, and that the base itself is going to fit under the table. Also, consider the weight of your umbrella and make sure the base is 2-3 times as heavy so that it won’t topple over in a gust of wind!
Put some thought and planning behind your purchase as outlined above, and then you’re free to choose the color (or pattern) you like best! You’ll find a fabulous selection and honest pricing at Today’s Patio. Visit one of our beautiful showrooms in Arizona and Southern California, or shop online!
Loaded with important information about the different types of patio furniture materials and styles as well as great style tips from our team of designers, you’ll find everything you’ll need to help you create your own backyard escape. As an added bonus, we’ve also included a useful checklist that you can complete and take with you when you go shopping for patio furniture.