As a business owner, have you ever found the perfect commercial umbrella to properly shade your outdoor space from the sun but then couldn’t find a proper structure to keep it upright? To make matters worse, you find a base to put your umbrella in but then the commercial café umbrella keeps flipping over time and time again. It doesn’t only put your effort and money to waste but also bring a bad reputation to your business.
The key then is to find a sturdy base that will secure your umbrella so that it doesn’t keep falling over. However, with multiple base options available online, you might tend to get a bit confused about how to choose the best commercial umbrella in Australia with the right base. Luckily, we are here to help you. Here are a few things to consider on finding the right base for your commercial outdoor umbrella:
Pole diameter: The diameter of a pole varies from umbrella to umbrella. Essentially, not all umbrellas will have the same diameter pole. So you should check this before you look for a base. In fact, this might save you from the embarrassment of coming home with what you believed to be the perfect base and now your umbrella won’t fit.
Tables with umbrellas: If you are going to use your commercial umbrella with a table, you will definitely like to take measurements of the table so that it fits in aptly. You should also check the hole in the table so that it fits the diameter of your umbrella. You must also keep in mind that a heavier base will put less strain on your table and reduce the chances of having your table flipped by your umbrella.
Weight: The idea of having a base is to weigh down your commercial outdoor umbrella. Hence, you’ll need a strong and sturdy base to stabilise your umbrella. Ideally, two to three times the weight of your umbrella is recommended for a good base. However, we must tell you that if the wind speed is high, chances are that your umbrella might be blown away. So it is a good practice to fold and pack your umbrella when the wind speed increases.
Type of frame: There are several types of frames that can hold your commercial cafe umbrella. But you should opt for materials like aluminium and fiberglass that are corrosion-resistant and rust-resistant. Wooden frames also look good aesthetically but they tend to snap easily under wind pressure. Essentially then, frames made of aluminium and fiberglass are long-lasting and durable.
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Portable base vs fixed installation
While we hope that the above-mentioned points will help you buy a strong base for commercial umbrellas in Australia, you can also opt for a portable or a fixed base.
The advantage of a portable base is that it offers the flexibility of being able to move the umbrella that fixed installation obviously doesn’t provide. On the other hand, fixed installation gives you greater wind resistance.
Portable base: A portable base allows you to move the umbrella around your café or restaurant’s outdoor dining space. This could be a good option if you want to move the umbrella as the sun moves throughout the day.
Movable bases are also a great idea if you have a rental property and can’t get permission to do a fixed installation. At times, you might find it difficult to install an umbrella in outdoor areas due to various issues. So portable bases are usually a good choice for those settings.
When it comes to cafés, portable bases are the quickest and cheapest options. However, your bases will require lots of weight like additional sandbags, water weights, etc. for safety purposes.
Fixed Installation: Fixed installations are the best option for maximum stability and safety of your umbrella, especially for larger umbrellas and cantilever umbrellas. Fixed installation reduces the risk of your umbrella from flying away due to a gust of wind.
Installation is not difficult and a number of fittings are available to make the process easier depending on the sort of surface you are fixing your umbrella on — whether you are using it on a concrete slab, timber decking, or in your garden.
However, we must take this opportunity to warn you that if an umbrella is installed, it is still not a permanent structure. So you should close your umbrella when it’s not in use, or when you feel that the wind speed might increase.
Types of fixed installation
Umbrellas can be installed on any surface, but the installation process will vary and you might require different installation fittings. For example:
- Concrete patio/slab: Use a base plate on the concrete to fix your umbrella
- Timber decking: You can use a base plate on the decking and reinforce the decking with additional timber underneath (known as a “nog” or a “noggin”) to install your outdoor café umbrella
- Garden or lawn: One way of fixing your umbrella is to dig a hole and fill it with a concrete footing with an in-ground fitting in it for the umbrella to attach to
These days, you can also use wheels to move the base of your commercial umbrella. However, you must consider that a heavy base with wheels might not still be easy to move, especially if the ground is uneven. It will also make the umbrella a bit taller and, therefore, more vulnerable to the wind.
Futhermore, we must add one more point. You must always opt for an umbrella that is durable and long-lasting so that you get value for your money. So, with the above-mentioned tips, we hope that you will be able to choose an umbrella base that matches your needs and taste.