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Staying Cool By the Pool: Tips for Choosing the Best Pool Shade

19th October 2021

Hot days by the pool can prove exhilarating, but the heat can also make them exhausting. Fortunately, the right type of pool shade can help you solve this dilemma.

It can prove tricky to choose the best shade for your swimming pool. There are many factors to consider—such as the type of material, shape and size—before you decide on one that’s right for you.

With our helpful tips, however, you’ll make easy work of the task.

With so many options to shade your pool, it’s important to make sure you’re picking the best one for your needs. Whether you’re looking for a simple outdoor umbrella to sit by the pool or full-sized shade sail to cover the entire pool, we’ve got you covered.

Keep reading to learn more about staying cool by the pool by choosing the best pool shade.

Pool Shade Sails & Structures

If you’re looking to cover a large part of an entire pool, then you’ll want to go with a shade sail. These large structures are available in a variety of shapes and sizes, meaning they can be the perfect solution for just about every pool.

Shade sails come with their own benefits that suit many different needs. Depending on the type of material, shade sails can be used all year round.

Nevertheless, shade sails are very versatile and work well in a variety of situations. They’re also flexible in terms of installation and can be installed in a variety of ways.

Still, the posts will remain as these need to be permanently installed. You can order one in a standard size or have one made to your custom specifications.

Colorful Shade sails

More About Shade Sails

Usually, manufacturers make shade sails using shade cloth. However, you’ll sometimes see one made of PVC coated polyester.

Typically, the “sail” attaches to posts. However, in some instances, you may find that you’re able to attach it to a structure such as your home.

You can install a shade sail over your pool relatively easily. Still, it’s important to choose a high-quality shade cloth that won’t fade, stretch or sag.

It’s also important to remember that your pool shade is only as good as the installer. Accordingly, you’ll want to choose a trusted supplier. Also, a great pool shade supplier will gladly stand behind their products and work.

There are many different kinds of shade sail designs. You can customise the size, colour and shape of the shade sail.

For example, you might want a square or triangle shade. You can also customise the type of shade cloth and the number of attachment points.

You can even get unique designs such as a hyperbolic shade sail which use differing attachment elevations to form a three-dimensional canopy profile.

A shade sail allows you to cover a large amount of your pool. However, they’re not adjustable. You can’t change the amount of shade once you’ve placed it in position.

Shade Structures

A shade structure is similar to a shade sail. However, it’s an even more heavy-duty and permanent structure. In addition, unless you have a background in construction, shade structure installation is likely not something you’ll want to take on as a DIY project.

Usually, manufacturers make shade structures using tensioned PVC fabric. For example, four-post Flexshade shade structures are great for full shade.

They’re a resilient alternative to standard shade sails. Also, they’re engineered to withstand the test of time.

Shade structures are extremely low maintenance and durable. However, they cost a bit more than shade sails. Also, you cannot adjust a shade structure once you’ve had one installed.

Flexshade structures

Retractable Shade

Another alternative sometimes used to shade a pool would be some sort of retractable shade. The benefit of this kind of shade is that it’s adjustable. You can enjoy the sun when you want or play it safe and opt for shade.

However, a retractable shade is a bit more expensive compared to a shade sail or structure. It’s also not as sturdy as shade sails or structures.

It’s also not a common option among homeowners. Still, you can have an elegant retractable shade made to your exacting specifications, such as the Wave Shade.

Waveshade in backyard

Classic (Market) Umbrellas

Another option for shading a pool or around a pool is an outdoor umbrella. These come in lots of styles, shapes and sizes.

The classic umbrella is a lightweight centre post umbrella. Most classic umbrellas feature a portable base and are easy to move around. An excellent selection in this category is the Classic Timber Umbrella by Made in the Shade.

It’s a popular choice for poolside lounges and chairs. You’ll often see these umbrellas keeping visitors cool while they relax at a resort.

The classic umbrella is one of the most affordable pool shade options. However, they don’t cover much area, so they are usually best kept for shading around the pool—not over the pool. The centre pole design of a classic umbrella prevents it from providing coverage over the pool.

Still, a classic umbrella is ideal for limited budgets and spaces. In addition, our line of classic umbrellas is of premium quality. With a classic umbrella, you can create a comfortable and welcoming spot to stay out of range of the Australian sun.

The Made in the Shade line of classic umbrellas feature handmade material sourced from Australian suppliers. Also, Made in the Shade constructs their entire line using Victorian Ash Timber.

With a Made in the Shade classic umbrella, you can create a warm and inviting space. They have a unique look, making them popular among both consumers and businesses.

Classic pool umbrella in resort

Cantilever Umbrellas

A cantilever umbrella is another desirable pool umbrella option for cover from the elements. You may also hear this kind of shade umbrella called a side post or offset umbrella. The support posts for a cantilever umbrella are situated to the side rather than the centre, allowing you to create a seemingly floating shade.

Also, many cantilever umbrellas rotate. You can reposition the umbrella throughout the day to provide the most protection from the sun.

For example, our Shadowspec Serenity line is an excellent choice for providing full coverage from the sun all day long. It’s one of our most popular options for pool shade.

Because of its side post design, you can cover your pool without placing posts in the pool. With most cantilever umbrellas, you can close them if you want to enjoy the full benefit of the sun. However, they don’t cover as much area as shade sails and structures.

Still, you can expand your outdoor experience with an exceptional cantilever umbrella such as the Shadowspec Serenity model. It rotates 360° and features multiple locking positions.

Cantilever Umbrella in backyard

Commercial Umbrellas

If you’re looking for a longer-lasting commercial grade umbrella, then consider a heavy-duty umbrella. Commercial centre pole umbrellas are ideal for providing a large amount of shade.

They may have either a centre or side post configuration. Also, a heavy-duty umbrella is more likely permanently fixed to the ground. However, there are some models that have portable bases.

Heavy-duty umbrellas typically last longer than other umbrellas. Many also have tamper-proof features.

As expected, a heavy-duty umbrella usually costs more than other models. Also, they’re less versatile compared to other options. They’re heavier and less portable.

Nevertheless, a heavy-duty umbrella can last decades with little to no maintenance. Some models of heavy-duty umbrellas, for instance, can withstand winds of up to 160 km/h. They’re more than capable of withstanding the tough conditions of the Australian climate.

Heavy Duty SU10 umbrella in cafe

Benefits of Shading Your Pool

Alternatively, you can install an attractive sail shade to cover your entire pool. You could even add several pool umbrellas to make sure that your backyard entertaining areas stay cool and comfortable.

Even within these choices, you have more choices. For instance, you can pick from a range of colours.

As we’ve shown you, you can also pick from a range of pool shades. You can mix and match these offerings as you please. No matter what you decide, you have numerous options to find the perfect solution for your tastes and your existing décor.

The Best Pool Shade for Your Home

Again, there are many options when it comes to pool shade. However, how do you know which one is right for your needs?

When it comes to choosing a pool shade, the right choice for your home depends on your needs. For instance, sale shades or structures work best for covering most or all of a pool.

Meanwhile, a cantilever umbrella works best as a versatile shade that you can reposition as the sun moves throughout the day. The classic market umbrella works best for shading around a pool, such as for providing coverage over lounge chairs. Finally, a heavy-duty umbrella works best for covering around the pool at a commercial venue, such as an aquatic centre.

In most instances, we recommend a cantilever umbrella. However, a classic umbrella is also a great standard option that you can use for many purposes.

In addition, a heavy-duty umbrella is an excellent choice. However, it could prove too much for a residential application.

Positioning a Cantilever Umbrella

In our experience, we’ve found that a cantilever umbrella is the perfect middle ground of available options. You can position it once and leave it stationary. Alternatively, you can reposition it if you want to change things up or follow the sun’s trajectory.

Before you place your umbrella, however, you’ll want to think about where you need shade. Here, you want to position your cantilever in the area that needs shade from the most abundant amount of sun.

With this in mind, it helps to know how the sun travels in your area. You also need to know how the sun travels as the seasons change if you want to get the most out of your umbrella.

Taking Care of Your Shade umbrella

It’s also important to clean your umbrella regularly.

If you fail to care for your umbrella, the first thing you’ll most likely notice is the discolouration of the canopy or sail. Typically, you’ll also see that the canopy will become brittle over time if you don’t maintain it.

You also want to pay attention to the wooden poles and frames. They can succumb to water damage and pests.

Finally, mould and mildew can build up on your umbrella, pool shade or structure. Ideally, you’ll want to clean it once or twice a month.

Regular cleaning is relatively straightforward and easy. If there’s mould build-up, however, you can use a soft bristle brush to remove it. The trick is to catch the mould as soon as possible—or clean your shade covering regularly to prevent it in the first place.

The Best Source for Pool Shade in Australia

If you’re looking for the best shading for your pool in Australia, you need to look no further than Project Shade. We’re an independent outdoor umbrella and shade retailer.

What’s more, we represent a large number of manufacturers. We’re also always on the lookout to find the best solution for your shading needs.

We proudly bring a wide variety of experience to the shading industry from many other fields, from construction to property development. Our combined expertise gives us a phenomenal understanding of what it takes to ensure that you have the safest and most usable outdoor space possible.

Don’t Wait! Stay Safe and Comfortable by the Pool

Now you know more about staying cool by the pool by choosing the best pool shade. If you’re looking for a way to beat the heat, Project Shade has what you need.

We’re a one-stop-shop for all your outdoor shade needs. We only source products that use the highest quality materials that last season after season.

Stop sweating in the sun. Contact Project Shade today at 1300 846 009 or visit our online showroom to view our selection of best shade options for your pool to help you beat the heat.

Please note the contents of this post is information only and general in nature.
If you require advice it is best to contact one of our shade specialists who can review your particular circumstances and then provide tailored advice according to your needs.