How Heavy Should a Patio Umbrella Base be?

You can hear a homeowner complaining, “I have an umbrella base but still the umbrella falls over.” When you hear such a statement, just know the weight of the umbrella base is not enough to support the size of the patio umbrella. From this, we can deduct that the size of the patio umbrella is what determines the weight of the umbrella base. 

The umbrella base alone without the help of the umbrella table cannot firmly anchor a patio umbrella. A big umbrella anchored in a lightweight base is very dangerous and can lead to a lot of loss. If the umbrella falls over, the umbrella table can also fall down leading to a lot of breakages on your patio. 

Ideal Base Weight for a Patio Umbrella 

You can choose to construct your own umbrella base or buy one from a hardware store. In either case, the base weight must match with the umbrella size. To get the appropriate base weight for your patio umbrella, you multiply the diameter of the umbrella canopy by ten. 

For example, if the diameter of your patio umbrella is 8 feet then the appropriate base weight should be 80 pounds.

The table below will also help you to choose the appropriate base weight for your patio umbrella. 

Size of the patio umbrella (diameter of the canopy in feet)Appropriate weight of the base in pounds (lbs)
5 feet and below 50 lbs
5.1 feet to 8.0 feet 80 lbs 
8.1 feet to 10.0 feet 100 lbs
10.1 feet to 13.0 feet130 lbs

Factors to Consider Before Constructing or Buying a Patio Umbrella Base 

There are several things that should be in mind before you purchase or construct a base for your patio umbrella. 

  1. Portability of the base 
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If you like changing positions on your patio then a small and portable umbrella base is the best for you. In recent years, many manufacturers are making umbrella bases that have wheels to aid the user to move around with it. It is hard to construct at home an umbrella base that is portable. 

Most portable bases are lightweight, so they cannot support larger patio umbrellas. It is hard to get a base that can support a large patio umbrella. Semi-portable bases are available for large patio umbrellas. A semi-portable base is a base that can be installed temporarily then uninstalled after a few weeks or days to be installed again in another position. 

  1. Diameter of the umbrella pole 

You must know the diameter of your patio umbrella pole so that you can buy or construct a base that fits with the pole. Most umbrella bases accept poles between one inch and two inches thick. 

Nowadays some bases come with tightening knobs that allow the base to accept a pole of any size. The base diameter must be a half an inch bigger than the pole diameter. 

  1. Durability 

Choose an umbrella base that will be with you for many years. Metallic bases are the most durable but they are vulnerable to rust which weakens the metal. Resin bases have a strong plastic that does not rust. Granite bases are durable but vulnerable to breaking. 

Cover your metallic base with a plastic paper to prevent water that causes rust. Regular cleaning and painting your umbrella base increases its useful life. Do not hit your granite base with a heavy object and it will stay for many years. 

  1. Physical size, shape, color, and design of the umbrella base 
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Choose a base that has a color and design that makes your patio look elegant. Also choose a base that does not occupy a lot of space on your patio. You can mix and match the color of the umbrella base with other patio furniture. 

Choose a base with a traditional design if you have patio furniture with traditional designs. Use the umbrella base to create uniformity on your patio. 

  1. Size of the patio umbrella 

The size of the patio umbrella determines the weight of the base. As discussed earlier, multiply the diameter of the umbrella canopy by ten to get the appropriate base weight. You can also use the table above to determine the appropriate base weight for your patio umbrella. The larger the umbrella the heavier the umbrella base. 

Protecting your Patio Umbrella from Falling over 

Here are tips that will prevent your patio umbrella from falling over. 

  1. Make the base heavier 

The wind will not overturn an umbrella that has a heavy base. Your base might be adequate for calm weather, but when the rough weather sets in, the umbrella falls over. You can use sand bags and water bags to add weight on your base. 

Buy a good sand bag that goes around your base. Fill it with enough sand and your base will be too heavy for a strong wind or storm. 

Another way of making the base heavy is putting gravel or sand in a bucket and placing it on top of the umbrella base. This is the cheapest way to add weight on your umbrella base. 

  1. Make the base permanent 
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A temporary base can easily fall over when a strong wind comes. Use bolts and nuts to firmly mount the base on the patio floor. Or you can bury the base in the ground leaving the pole-hole open. 

Homemade concrete bases are the best permanent bases because they combine with the floor slab to create reinforcement. 

  1. Use a strong patio table 

A patio table aids the umbrella base to create stability. So if you have a strong table, it will provide extra support that will prevent the patio umbrella from falling over. Use a table that has a hole in the middle because it is more stable than one that has a hole on the side. 

A table with four legs is more stable than one with two or three legs. 

  1. Get patio umbrellas with air vents 

Get a patio umbrella that has small holes on the canopy called air vents. Air vents allow the strong force of wind to pass through it. A fully enclosed umbrella canopy traps wind hence making the umbrella to fall over. These air vents also keep you cool when you are sitting under the umbrella. Instead of radiating heat on you, it allows cool air to pass.

Conclusion 

The weight of the patio umbrella base depends on the size of the umbrella canopy. The larger the canopy the heavier the base. To get the appropriate weight of the base, multiply the diameter of the umbrella canopy by ten. Even if it is a homemade base, try and make it heavy enough to support the size of your patio umbrella.