Umbrella Stand: Weighted vs Fixed Base
Have you ever pondered the difference between a weighted vs fixed base for your umbrella? Perhaps you haven’t given it much thought seeing as Florida is one of the overall least windy states in the nation (despite being the most hurricane vulnerable). April is the windiest month, with an average wind speed of 8 knots (9.2 mph) which meteorologists consider “a gentle breeze”. That said, nothing ruins the vibe of an event more suddenly than a wayward umbrella!
Fixed Base Umbrella StandFixed base umbrella stands are either in-ground or bolt down, both of which leave a clean finish and are excellent as the starting point of a project. In-ground bases are placed directly into a hole in the ground. A concrete footing is poured around a special in-ground fitting that connects to a spigot – creating a secure mount for your umbrella. A hinge on the side allows for easy removal of the umbrella. When the umbrella is removed, an optional walk-over cap covers and protects the adapter plate. Bolt down bases can be fixed to concrete slabs with a minimum depth of 4′ and a minimum screw fixing of 3′. If you want to install a bolt down base on a timber deck, there are ways to increase its stability and ensure structural integrity:
- Reinforce the decking with additional timber joists to brace its structure.
- Run bolts through the joists.
- Use washers beneath the surface plate so that water can escape rather than pool and damage your deck.
Weighted Base Umbrella StandA weighted base umbrella stand is non-permanent, letting you move it around. It is a suitable option when:
- Your patio or outdoor seating area comprises several settings that you want to shade with one, movable umbrella.
- You need to relocate the umbrella as the sun moves during the day.
- A temporary solution is needed before you install a fixed base.
- You do not have permission to do a fixed installation, at a rental property, for example. Or at cafés and other al fresco eateries where organizing council permission may be costly and time-consuming.
- An in-ground base cannot be installed because of a sub-surface membrane. Waterproofing issues may be caused by umbrella installations on balconies or rooftop terraces.