Our patio umbrella just keeps falling over, so can I get a new base from Lowe’s?
You can buy your patio umbrella base at Lowe’s, both in-store and online. Prices range from $25 for a budget model, all the way up to $300 for a top-of-the-range, top-quality base. The larger your budget, the more sturdy and well-made your patio umbrella base is likely to be.
Let’s dive down into this topic in more detail, and discover what sort of patio bases you can find at Lowe’s, what features they have, and how much they cost…
Can I Buy My Umbrella Base at Lowe’s?
You can buy patio umbrella bases at Lowe’s, and the popular home store has a great range to choose from, both online and in the stores themselves.
From heavy-duty bases that you fill with water or sand through to minimalist designs that look sleek and elegant, there’s a great choice of umbrella stands at Lowe’s. Prices start at around $25 to $30, but you can go as high as $300 plus for a super-sturdy, top-quality base. With this range, there’s a base to suit most budgets.
Are Patio Umbrella Bases Universal?
Most umbrellas have a pole diameter of 1.5”, but don’t assume that yours is this convenient size, as large umbrellas can be as wide as 3”. Smaller shades also have narrower poles, so if you have a compact umbrella, make sure you measure the pole diameter before choosing your base.
There’s a greater choice of bases to suit 1.5-inch poles; however, you can still buy stands to suit other diameters. Naturally, the “sleeve” of the base will be slightly larger than the pole itself.
One more thing to think about: the table opening. If you want your umbrella to go through the hole in the center of your patio dining table and from there into the base, you’ll have three diameters to match up. Many of us have made this error at some point, and picked an umbrella that won’t fit through the table…
What Size & Weight Base Do I Need For My Patio Umbrella?
In general, the bigger and heavier the umbrella, the larger and weightier the stand will have to be. We’ve heard of a good rule to work from, which is to choose a base that’s ten times the weight of the extended umbrella’s diameter.
So, if your umbrella canopy measures five feet across, multiply five by ten, and you’ll need a 50-pound base. (5 feet x 10 = 50 pounds.) You can search for patio bases by weight on Lowe’s website, making your search even easier.
If your patio is exposed to the wind, we’d suggest making this calculation your minimum requirement. You don’t want a sudden gust sending both umbrella and base flying across the patio.
What about choosing the right size? The most important measurements are the size of the sleeve for the pole, and the weight of the base. The actual diameter of the base is less important. Think about the available floor space, and don’t choose a large and elaborate base if it’s just going to get in your way.
What Kind of Umbrella Base Do I Need?
So you’ve chosen a base that’s the right weight for your umbrella. What else do you need to take into consideration? You need something that looks good on your patio and works with your decor.
If the umbrella is going under a table, you don’t need to worry too much about its looks (but you will need to think about legroom). A simple black plastic base should suffice. However, if your stand is on show, you might want a more aesthetic option. Choose from finishes such as decorative wrought iron and bronze for a fashionable look.
Square designs give you a modern feel, while round stands with curling and floral patterns are more traditional. These decorative stands have the advantage of being lighter and easier to move around, as well as looking pleasing.
If you need both weight and an attractive appearance, try something like concrete with a metallic finish. Bronze-colored stands are popular choices at the moment.
On a budget? You can try making your own umbrella base. Take a look at this short film about how to make an umbrella base yourself.
How Do You Fill An Umbrella Base?
Some umbrella bases are basically heavy-duty plastic tanks that need to be filled with sand or water to provide the necessary weight.
Water is the easiest method, as you can simply fill it from the garden hosepipe, and no other purchase is necessary! It’s also easier to empty water from a base than it is to empty sand. So when it’s time to winterize the umbrella, or if you simply want to move it to a different location, you can (with help) pour out the water.
Sand is a great option for a really strong and stable base. Any sand will do the job; however fine grain sand, like the play sand you get for kids’ sandpits, is the best option.
Pour the sand into the base using a funnel (or if you don’t have one large enough, a plastic bottle cut into a funnel shape), and there you have it: a strong base. Rookie tip: make sure the base is in the right place before you add the filling…
What’s The Difference Between a Market & Patio Umbrella?
A market umbrella is a type of patio umbrella. It’s the classic umbrella design, really: a straight pole with the umbrella on top. It’s designed to fit through outside tables and is popular in cafes and bars, hence its commercial-sounding name.
Market umbrellas don’t have to be used with tables, and can be used as a stand-alone parasol to create a nice patch of shade on your patio.
However, if this is the type of umbrella you want, you may be better off with a cantilevered design. With these, the pole is curved, so the shade reaches your chair or couch without the base getting in the way. This provides the maximum shade for the floor space, without anyone stubbing their toes.
You’ll still need a base of course, but it can be positioned off to one side. Semi-circular and square bases are good with this setup, as they can be placed up against a wall if necessary.
How Do You Move a Heavy Umbrella Base?
If you think you’ll be moving your heavy umbrella base around, go for an easy to empty water-filled option, or choose one that comes on wheels. However, if you have a heavy concrete base that suddenly needs moving, you’ll just have to find a safe way to shift it.
Firstly, do not try to move it yourself. This thing is designed to withstand strong winds, so it will certainly stand up to a human. Use a dolly truck, along with a second person to help you maneuver it into position.
However, we think you’ll agree that the best option if you need to move your stand, is to choose one that’s designed to be moved easily.
Our patio umbrella nearly fell on our eldest son when he was a baby in his pram – so I’d always advise spending a bit more to get a heavy, sturdy, and well-made base.
It might relieve you of a few more greenbacks, but it’s well worth it especially if you live in a particularly windy area.
We’ve always found the sand or water-filled ones are never heavy or durable enough to do the job – so it’s a case of buy cheap, buy twice with this one! 🙂