The appropriate height for your umbrella sleeve depends on what kind of mount you will use for the stand. Table-top umbrella bases usually have smaller sleeve heights, typically somewhere around 9 inches long for normal patio umbrellas. Free-standing umbrella bases usually exhibit longer sleeves of 12 to 21 inches to elevate the umbrella higher. Longer sleeves tend to correlate with larger sleeve diameters. Giant umbrellas, which usually have commercial application, may require more complex sleeve systems consisting of both in-ground and above ground sleeves. The largest of giant umbrellas require an in-ground sleeve that may extend 18 inches into the ground.
It's essential to use an umbrella base with a sleeve slightly wider than the diameter of the umbrella's pole. Umbrella bases manufactured for residential patio umbrellas often exhibit diameters of 1 1/2 inches, 1 3/4 inches or 2 1/4 inches, the common range of diameters for patio umbrellas. Giant umbrellas can have much larger poles and require much thicker sleeve systems. These umbrellas are often 3 to 4 inches in diameter and require sleeves with at least that capacity.
Types of Bases
You can select from a variety of umbrella bases and find the one that fits your shading needs adequately. Table-top mounts are often made of stainless steel and sometimes exhibit a narrow flange that allows the mount to sit flush on a table. Free-standing umbrellas require more secure mounting mechanisms. Some sleeves are welded to a stainless-steel base that you can bolt into wood or concrete for permanent installation. Giant umbrellas require solid in-ground sleeves and specialized mounting units.
When selecting an umbrella stand or sleeve, ensure the product is compatible with your umbrella. Some umbrella sleeves set limitations for the height of umbrellas they can support. Many designs incorporate screws that hold the umbrella pole in place. For this reason, you can often use any sized pole in a sleeve, as long as the pole is smaller than the sleeve. Use shorter mounts for installing umbrellas on outdoor barbecues, counters and tables. A taller base is necessary for supporting extra-wide or tall umbrella types.