What size outdoor umbrella do I need?

commercial-grade outdoor umbrella

Commercial Umbrella Sizes

Commercial-grade outdoor umbrellas are one the most economical choices for outdoor shade. Unlike a traditional patio umbrella, these umbrella shades become a permanent fixture within your space. What’s more, they can cover up to 575 square feet of space with the use of a single unit – that’s almost the size of an average 3-car garage! Determining the size of umbrella you’ll need is an important part of the buying process – but thanks to our network of certified partners you won’t have to do it alone. Choosing the size of umbrella for your space is dependent on three factors: what you’re trying to accomplish, what type of umbrella style you envisioned for your space, and your budget. Read on to determine what size commercial umbrella you should consider for your space. We’ll walk you through the steps we take and questions we ask in the umbrella buying process.

What are you trying to accomplish?

The first item to consider when purchasing a commercial umbrella is determining what you are trying to accomplish. You’ll want to ask yourself questions like:

  • What is the size of the space I want to shade?
  • Why am I purchasing an umbrella? For UV protection, all-weather protection, to create a comfortable space for my guests, to provide a break from the sun?

After you’ve answered these questions, you’ll be able to determine the type of commercial canopy umbrella that is best suited for your needs.

What type of umbrella is best for my space?

There are many commercial umbrella styles to choose from – Superior Shade has 5 styles and that doesn’t even include the different shapes that are available! Based on where you are installing the umbrella and what it is being used for, there are go-to umbrella types for those locations. For example, if you are wanting to shade guests lounging by the pool opt for a cantilever umbrella that allows for unobstructed views of the water. If you are wanting to shade a bench or one table, we’d suggest opting for a dual-column umbrella. Likewise, if you’re looking for splash pad umbrella, a single post or tilt and swivel umbrella may be best. Here’s a quick overview of the types of umbrellas that are offered:

Center Post Umbrella

single post shadeOne of our most popular commercial umbrellas, center post umbrellas are like traditional patio umbrellas in that the post is in the center of the shade canopy.





Cantilever Umbrella

cantilever umbrella shadeCantilever umbrellas feature an offset post, allowing you to place site furnishings or equipment directly underneath without the interference of a column. This type of umbrella is the ideal swimming pool shade.





Dual-Column Umbrella

dual-column umbrella shadeDual-column umbrellas feature two columns, making it a great solution for bench or table shading.





Tilt and Swivel Umbrella

tilt and swivel shadeOften installed at splash pads, tilt umbrellas may be tilted and rotated during installation to provide the best sun protection for your space. Once installed, the umbrella will not continue to move.





Waterproof Umbrella

waterproof umbrella shade Waterproof umbrellas feature a waterproof fabric canopy and are most often used in coastal regions and hospitality settings.





Retractable Umbrella

retractable umbrella shade Retractable umbrellas can be opened and closed as needed and are the ideal choice for cafes, pools, and restaurants.





Pivot Umbrellas

pivot shade umbrellaPivot umbrellas can rotate 360 degrees, allowing you to move the shade canopy as needed. These make great restaurant patio umbrellas as you can rotate them to shade your guests as needed.





Portable Retractable Umbrellas

commercial-grade portable shade umbrellaPortable umbrellas may be moved and stored away as needed, making these ideal for country clubs and pool environments.




How much should I budget for a commercial umbrella?

After you’ve calculated what size area you’re trying to shade and what style of umbrella you want, determine your budget. Once you know your budget, you’ll be able to identify the largest shade structure you can purchase in your umbrella style while still remaining within your budget. Want an insider tip? Both the overall dimensions and the height of your umbrella structure are taken into account when they are priced for your space. If you want the best bang for your buck, opt for the lowest height (like our 8’ height) while still maintaining proper clearances for the furnishings or equipment you’re shading underneath. If your shade umbrella will be used in a public space that is not monitored like a public park, we suggest opting for a taller height to prevent vandalism to the shade’s fabric canopy. Our umbrella prices begin at around $2,000.

Popular Commercial-Grade Umbrellas

So, what size outdoor umbrella should I buy?

What are you looking to shade? Is it picnic tables, pool lounge chairs, or playground equipment? Umbrellas are available in sizes ranging from 10’ to 27’ – that ranges from 100 square feet of space to around 600 square feet. Commercial-grade umbrellas come in a variety of heights – like our standard 8’, 10’, or 12’ – and custom heights are also available. With the wide range of sizes available, you’ll most likely be able to purchase an umbrella in a size that matches the square footage of the space you’re looking to cover. The simple answer to this question, you should buy the size of umbrella that matches or is slightly larger than the area you wish to provide shade – budget allowing, of course!

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