Sunshine, blue skies, warm temperatures—this is why we love living in Arizona and spending as much time outdoors as we can. And while lounging in and around the pool on a sunny day is the ultimate Arizona experience, it’s a good idea to have some shade handy to offer protection from the sun’s rays. In that case, an outdoor umbrella or two can make your outdoor time that much more enjoyable.
When you start shopping for umbrellas, you might be overwhelmed by the range and variety. Our friends over at Master Pools Guild gave us this list of some of the biggest considerations, and how to make a selection that suits your needs.
Do you want to cover a dining table? A couple of lounge chairs? Slot into a tanning shelf in your pool?
Think about the location in relationship to your home’s roof, and make sure there will be space between the roof and your umbrella
Don’t put your umbrella close to a grill or open flames
Think about how much shade you want from your umbrella, so you don’t end up with too little or too much coverage
If you’re looking for a table cover, here are suggested sizes:
Table size (diameter): 30 to 36 inches – Umbrella size (diameter): 6 to 8 feet
Table size: 38 to 48 inches – Umbrella size: 9 to 11 feet
Table size: 54 to 60 inches – Umbrella size: 11 feet or larger
Types of Umbrellas
Sunshades: This style resembles a round disc on a pole, intended to shade one person. You’ll often see a group of sunshades at hotels near individual chaise lounges.
Market: These are very popular! Market umbrellas are octagonal and have vented tops. You’ve probably sat under one of these on the patio at a restaurant.
Pagoda: This Asian-inspired, parasol-style umbrella has more of a pointed canopy shape, much like a Japanese pagoda.
Cantilever: Connected to a sturdy base and aluminum pole, this adjustable style is a larger sunshade capable of shading more people and a larger area. The canopy often swings wide off the base.
Commercial-Grade Umbrellas: These are the heavy-duty umbrellas you see at restaurants or other outdoor venues, built to withstand the elements.
Umbrella Fabric & Materials
Look for an umbrella made from UV-resistant fabrics, which offers added protection from the sun’s rays.
The most common material for the base and poles is aluminum. If made correctly with the right finish, it resists all kinds of weather conditions.
Wood frames, especially an outdoor-tolerant wood like teak or eucalyptus, is also a popular material for umbrellas, but is more costly. Also, you’ll want to keep in mind that wood expands when wet, and wooden poles placed in umbrella sleeves that are permanently mounted in swimming pool ledges may be difficult or impossible to remove.
Powder-coated aluminum is lightweight, non-corrosive and holds up well in various weather conditions.
As you can see, there are a lot of things to think about when it comes to buying umbrellas for your pool and patio. If you’re building a new pool, talk to your Arizona pool builder about your umbrella preferences so they can be factored into your plan.