If you are going to build a new pool, there are many things that you need to consider to build the perfect pool for your backyard. One aspect that might get overlooked in pool construction is having umbrella holes in your pool, especially on the tanning ledge of your pool.
We made sure to include an umbrella hole in the tanning ledge of our pool (we were a little worried when the pool builder forgot to drill the hole when the gunite was poured, but they came back to drill the hole), and we have used this umbrella holder many times. And, we think any soon-to-be pool owners should consider including an umbrella hole in their new pool.
Continue reading to discover five reasons why you need umbrella holes built directly into your new pool.
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What is a Tanning Ledge in a Pool?
Tanning ledges are becoming increasingly popular in pools because they provide a place to relax and soak up some sun without getting all the way into the pool. From our experience, nearly every new pool we have reviewed has some form of a tanning ledge.
Also called a Baja shelf, sun shelf, or sun deck, a tanning ledge is a shallow area of your pool that may look like an elevated platform on a side of the pool. The water depth for a tanning ledge is usually between 6 to 18 inches deep, and this area can be used for a variety of activities, from sunbathing to sitting and enjoying the view.
Tanning ledges are great places for an in-pool umbrella hole because these large areas are where people will be hanging out and sitting on furniture, kids will be playing, and the water is shallow enough to put in an umbrella.
What Kind of Pools Can Have an Umbrella Hole in the Pool?
There are three common types of pools that are constructed; vinyl, fiberglass, and gunite. All three types of pools can have a tanning ledge installed, but not all three types can have umbrella holes built into the tanning shelf. At this time, only gunite pools, which are made from a mixture of concrete and sand, have the capability of having holes in the Baja shelf for built-in pool umbrellas.
When Can You Add an Umbrella Hole to a Pool?
The best time to consider adding an umbrella hole to your gunite pool tanning ledge is during the design stage. This ensures that the builder can consider umbrella placement carefully and develop a plan for drilling holes into the perfect spot or spots on the ledge during the planning stages. The builder then uses a powerful drill to drill those holes into the pool during the construction process.
If you already have a gunite pool, you may be able to have umbrella holes added when you are having your pool replastered. However, not every existing gunite pool can have holes added, and there is a risk to drilling holes after the pool is constructed. Plumbing, electrical, and support structures can be in the way and prevent holes from being drilled, and there may be a risk of hitting these elements during the drilling process. As such, having the holes drilled during the construction process is the best option.
How Big is an In-Pool Umbrella Hole?
An umbrella hole will typically be 1.5 to 2.5 inches in diameter, which is the diameter of most outdoor umbrellas. The larger the diameter of the hole, the better you will be able to fit a wider variety of patio umbrellas. The actual size depends on the size of the umbrella sleeve (also called umbrella insert) used by your pool builder.
The umbrella hole itself will be about 7 inches deep, but this depends, again, on the umbrella hole insert (or umbrella sleeve) used by your pool builder.
5 Reasons You Need Umbrella Holes in Your Pool
Now that we have covered some of the basics of umbrella holes, below are our reasons why you pool needs umbrella holes, which are the same reasons why chose to put an umbrella hole in our pool.
#1Umbrellas Shade Kids and Others on the Tanning Shelf
The number one reason why you need umbrella holes installed in your pool’s sun ledge is because they provide shade and relief from the hot sun. Tanning ledges are great places for kids to enjoy the pool because of the shallow water. One way to help protect children from the sun is to add shade for them by placing an umbrella. Pool umbrellas help to protect children playing on the tanning ledge from the sun’s ultraviolet rays, helping to minimize their sun exposure, and thus, their risk of getting sunburnt.
Additionally, tanning ledges are not just for kids. They can be used by people of all ages. They are the perfect spot to hang out for someone who wants to cool off a bit but who doesn’t want to actually swim. Even dogs can cool off and sit or lay on a tanning shelf. Pool umbrellas can help provide shade to anyone who is relaxing on the pool shelf. Always do your research to learn which are the best pool umbrellas for your needs.
Common Question: Can You Put Chairs on a Tanning Ledge?
Yes, you can put chairs on the tanning shelf in a pool. The best types of chairs to place on the shelf are plastic chairs. You should avoid using metal or wood chairs, as they can rust, corrode, warp or rot. This can be damaging to your pool and the chair. Placing chairs on a pool’s tanning ledge allows you to sit in the water and relax, while being comfortable.
#2Putting Up the Umbrella Is Easy
The second reason why you should have umbrella holes in your tanning shelf is that it makes putting up the pool umbrella extremely easy. To install umbrellas, you simply remove the hole cover, slide in the umbrella pool, and then raise or lift the umbrella. You do not have to mess with heavy umbrella stands, nor do you have to move the stand around as the sun changes position throughout the day.
Common Question: Can You Put an Umbrella Stand in Your Pool?
Some people may think that they do not need umbrella holes because they can simply place an umbrella stand in their pool. While you can use some umbrella stands in your pool, you have to be careful which type you use. Most regular umbrella stands are not designed to be submerged in pool water. Not only can submerging the stand ruin the stand itself, but it can damage your pool as well. A rusty or damaged stand can tear vinyl liners, scratch fiberglass, or ruin plaster.
It can also be a hassle to place a stand in the pool and then remove it at the end of the day. Having pre-drilled holes that you can simply insert an umbrella pole directly into is the fastest and easiest option for shading the location around your Baja shelf.
Common Question: What Type of Umbrellas Are Best for Use in a Pool?
Selecting the right type of pool umbrellas to use in your pool is also important. There are many different materials that can be used for poles, including aluminum poles, fiberglass poles, and stainless steel poles. A patio umbrella with a powder-coated aluminum pole is one of the best choices to use in a pool. The powder coating helps to coat the aluminum so that it will not corrode. It also helps to protect the pole from pool chemicals, helping to protect against corrosion. A patio umbrella with a fiberglass pole is another good option to use in a pool.
When you are selecting umbrellas to use in a pool, you should always avoid umbrellas that have steel poles and wood poles. Steel poles will rust in a pool, and wood poles will warp in a pool.
#3Permanent Holes Provide Secure Mounting
The third reason why your pool needs holes in the tanning shelf is that the permanent umbrella holes provide secure and stable mounting for your pool umbrellas. This is important because it means you do not have to worry about the umbrella falling over if your child bumps into it or worry about it blowing over during strong wind gusts.
Umbrellas that are placed on pool decks to shield a pool can blow over and fall into the pool, causing damage to the pool.
Common Question: Do I Need an Umbrella Sleeve Stabilizer Adapter for My Umbrella Hole?
The holes that are built into the shelf or ledge are typically standard-sized. However, not every umbrella has the same pole diameter or circumference. As such, you may notice that your umbrella is leaning or has too much wiggle room when you insert it into the pool. Umbrella sleeves, also called umbrella sleeve stabilizers or umbrella sleeve adapters, can be placed in the hole to make the hole smaller. This prevents your pool umbrella from leaning or wiggling. This ensures the hole in your shelf is the right size for your umbrella.
#4Holes Can Be Easily Covered When Not in Use
The fourth reason why your pool needs holes installed on the tanning shelf is that umbrella holes can be easily and quickly covered when not in use. The holes have a cover or a cap that can easily be placed over the hole in a matter of seconds when an umbrella is not being used. Covering this up prevents people from stubbing a toe, and it keeps debris out of the hole.
#5Adding an Umbrella Hole Is Inexpensive
The final reason why your pool needs holes installed in the tanning shelf is because pool umbrella holes are not expensive. As a general rule of thumb, adding a hole to the ledge during the construction process should cost less than $100. This makes it an affordable way to shield people relaxing in the pool from the sun.
Tips for Adding an Umbrella Hole in Your Pool Deck
Assess where the sun will be on your tanning ledge. Figure out if you need an umbrella or not. If the sun does not shine directly over the ledge, you may not need an umbrella in your pool. In some cases, it makes more sense to have the umbrella on the pool deck based on where the sun shines.
Plan out where bubblers or any water features will be. An umbrella is a gathering point in the pool. You do not want a bubbler or other water feature to detract from people gathering. Also, be mindful of where your pool steps are. You do not want the umbrella to block or impede the pool steps.
Plan out where you want your in-pool furniture. As was mentioned above, make sure you have the right amount of space for your furniture and umbrellas.
Figure out how many umbrella holes you need. Some tanning ledges might need more than one. Either the ledge is big, or you expect to move your umbrella around depending on where the sun is.