What must my wooden deck be like?

sonnenanker products are suitable for any deck made of wooden planks or planks of other material, provided the gaps between the planks are at least 4 mm, better 5 mm wide. The deck should be at least 2 m² in size. Make sure that the wooden planks are sufficiently screwed to the substructure and are not rotten.

There must be a free space of at least 2 cm under the boards. With the usual substructures, the space under the boards is 4 cm high and thus more than sufficient.

Our products are generally not suitable for wooden tiles that are laid without joints or only with weak joints.

The highest load-bearing capacity is for decking where the screw heads are visible from above. The planks are held in their full strength by screws into the substructure.

If the planks are also hardwood, such as bangkira, cumaru, ipé, teak or similar, you do not have to worry about the load-bearing capacity. Provided you adhere to the recommended size limits of Ø 4.0 m for centre pole parasols and Ø 3.5 m for cantilever parasols. Native woods such as larch, Douglas fir, oak and thermo-ash are also almost as resilient.

More important than the material of the planks is the type of fastening: Often, a concealed fastening without visible screws is desired.  Composite materials such as WPC are usually only offered in this way. There are many different systems here, but with few exceptions they have one thing in common: They do not give any information on pull-out strength.

According to our experience, centre pole parasols up to Ø 2.5 m can still be set up with our system on decking boards fastened in this way. It is best to choose parasols with an aluminium pole. These are elastic and do not pass on the full wind load to your deck.

Most of our parasol bases couple to two planks with one central anchor. This is usually enough. If you want to set up larger cantilever parasols or very heavy parasols on well-bolted decks, it is best to use our parasol base for cantilever parasols. This couples to five planks with a total of four anchors. It is also suitable for attaching medium-sized parasols to more weakly fastened decking boards.

However, you can simply order your parasol base for testing according to the motto “the proof of the pudding is in the eating”. Where better than at your home, where it will stand for a long time? If you don’t like it, send it back to us. We will promptly refund the purchase price and the return shipping costs.

What board thickness should my deck have?

Our parasol bases are supplied as standard for 25 mm to 28 mm thick boards. The anchor can be adjusted by 5 mm by hand if the board thickness changes due to weather conditions.

If you have thinner or thicker planks, please indicate this when ordering. Anchors for 20 mm to 50 mm thick planks are always in stock. They cost no more than the standard anchor.

Anchors for even thicker planks or planks are possible. Please contact us.

How wide do the gaps have to be?

Our products with anchors need gaps at least 4 mm, better 5 mm wide. Professionals usually keep a minimum joint width of 4 mm when installing decking boards. The gaps usually widen to over 6 mm in summer when the boards dry and the wood contracts.

If the joint width is only less than 5 mm in individual places, simply place our products in adjacent gaps.

If the gaps are only too narrow after it has rained and the planks have swollen, the anchors can usually still be pushed into the gaps and pulled out again relatively easily because wet wood is softer. The anchors do not jam as much.

If the gaps of your deck are only about 4 mm wide when dry, the anchor can only be pushed in or pulled out with a lot of force. With planks made of very hard wood, this is also not possible. For such cases you can get a narrower anchor from us.

We do not offer narrow anchors for heavy-duty parasol bases (parasol bases for heavy umbrellas and for cantilever parasols). If you want to mount them despite narrow gaps, you have to widen your gaps a little. This is possible without visibly changing the width of the joint. You only sand the lower area of the gap in a V-shape. You can get narrow sanding files from us for this. Or you can tolerate the joint widening being visible. In this case, you can selectively widen the gap with a round file. You can also borrow the round file from us. Please contact us if you need it.

If the gaps in your wooden deck are predominantly wider than 15 mm, please state this when ordering. You will then receive an anchor with a wider base.

If you have special requirements, please contact us. Special designs are often possible.

What do I have to specify when ordering?

The shop describes exactly what the different parasol bases are suitable for. You simply choose the one that best suits the size of your umbrella and the diameter of its parasol pole. Further specifications are usually not necessary.

The parasol bases come with a standard anchor for 25 – 28 mm thick planks. If your planks are thinner or thicker, please specify this in the message field in the last step of the order process. We always have anchors for 20 – 50 mm thick planks in stock. We can make other lengths for you.

The hammock stands and the attach ancors fit 20 – 40 mm thick planks.

Each parasol base is supplied with inserts to securely attach parasol poles that are thinner than the specified diameter of the pole sleeves. These inserts are sufficient for parasol poles up to 10 mm thinner. For even thinner parasol poles, please specify their diameter. You will receive further inserts.

I am afraid my wooden deck could be damaged!

We have been testing our parasol base in practice since 2003 without any damage ever occurring to wooden decks, extreme tests excepted. When used as intended, only such forces occur that do not damage the wood and cannot loosen the screw connection of the boards.

Our parasol bases even protect your wooden deck: Our parasol bases are made of stainless steel. Unlike many iron stands, they do not cause discolouration to the wood. In addition, their undersides are smooth and the edges rounded. So there is no need to worry about marks on the wood. For cantilever parasols that place a load on one side of the parasol base, we supply a silicone mat that prevents marks in the wood.

The suppliers of systems for concealed fastening of planks rarely state how load-bearing their components are. In these cases, we recommend that you only set up centre-pole parasols and no cantilever parasols with our parasol bases. You should also choose umbrellas that are as light as possible. However, you can also try a different combination. You have 14 days to do so.

Which parasols are suitable?

The parasol bases from sonnenanker are suitable for parasols with a centre pole up to a parasol diameter of 4.0 m and for cantilever or free-arm parasols up to a parasol diameter of 3.5 m. These sizes can be easily mounted on professional parasol bases. These sizes can easily be placed on planks that are professionally screwed through from above.

Our parasol bases can also hold larger parasols, but possibly not your terrace construction. Therefore, we recommend checking carefully whether the screw connection of the boards as well as the hardness and condition of the wood are sufficient to hold larger umbrellas safely. Remember that large stretched umbrellas act like sails. Umbrellas with a wind outlet (permeable covering in the middle) have a higher load-bearing capacity.

The poles of the parasols may have a diameter of up to 68 mm. You can determine the diameter of your umbrella mast by wrapping a piece of paper around it once. The circumference must not exceed 13 cm for 42 mm diameter, 16 cm for 52 mm diameter and 21 cm for 68 mm diameter.

Each sonnenanker parasol stand is supplied with inserts to securely attach umbrella poles up to 10 mm thinner. If your parasol pole is even thinner, choose the next smaller sleeve holder or state this when ordering. You will then receive additional inserts.

You can find a complete overview of the specifications here.

What do I have to consider with a cantilever parasol?

Cantilever parasols put much more strain on your parasol base and planks than centre pole parasols. This is all the more true when the wind comes up. This is why conventional stands for cantilever parasols are so monstrous.

We recommend our parasol base for cantilever parasols. This parasol stand couples with four anchors to a total of five planks. This more than doubles the load capacity compared to a central anchor and greatly increases safety.

Modern cantilever parasols often have swivel plates or other screw-on options. Thanks to four slotted holes, they can be easily and securely attached to our parasol base for traffic light parasols.

How stable is the anchor?

The parasol bases from sonnenanker achieve their stability by coupling to your decking boards. Each anchor is tested for tensile loads of 500 kg (5 kN). Its theoretical load capacity even corresponds to more than double that.

These are forces that only act on a medium-sized centre mast parasol in strong winds. Under normal circumstances, the umbrella would rather be destroyed by the wind than the anchor would come loose. However, in agreement with the parasol manufacturers, we advise closing most umbrellas at the latest when large branches start to move (wind force 5).

When do I need the particularly corrosion-resistant parasol base?

All components of our parasol bases are made of stainless steel in A2 quality. This is by far the most commonly used stainless steel. Under normal conditions it does not rust because the special composition forms an invisible passive layer.

However, this passive layer can be so severely disturbed by aggressive environmental influences such as the chlorinated atmosphere in swimming pools or the salt content in the sea air, and also by improper maintenance, that more corrosion-resistant alloys are necessary. That is why we also offer the version in A4 quality.

What do I have to consider with the hammock stand?

You can use the hammock stands lengthwise or crosswise, but not diagonally to your planks. The planks may be 20 mm to 40 mm thick.

The hammock holder puts a lot of stress on the screwed joints of your planks. Therefore, planks screwed through from above are particularly suitable. Concealed fixings – i.e. when you cannot see any screws – have very different holding forces. Very likely, in this case, you will have to reinforce the fastening of your planks with the four screws supplied.

Both holders have the same load-bearing capacity. The one with the smaller foot (Ø 15 cm) is supported on a much smaller surface. This can bend under higher loads. Therefore, this version should only be loaded up to 100 kg. The hammock stand with the larger foot (Ø 29 cm) is also heavier. It keeps its alignment more easily and is therefore more suitable for children.

How is the parasol stand stored?

Our parasol bases are weatherproof and can be left outside all year round. If you still want to dismantle and store your parasol stand, the sturdy cardboard box in which we deliver it is best suited.

Before packing your umbrella stand, please clean it according to the enclosed care instructions. This way it will keep its good looks for a long time.

Can I exchange components?

You can easily disassemble our parasol bases and replace components. (Instructions can be found here.) This allows you to adjust your parasol base exactly to your wooden deck at any time.

If you get a new deck with thicker or thinner planks, we will exchange your old anchor for a suitable new one free of charge.

If you replace your centre pole parasol with a heavier one, you can order the silicone mat and special spanner at a later date. The anchor will be exchanged for a special anchor.

You do not have to buy a completely new parasol base even for a new parasol with a thicker pole. We will exchange your smaller pole sleeves for a suitable larger one. We will only charge you the difference and a small reconditioning fee.

We are also happy to help you find solutions for special requirements. Let us advise you.

Are there alternative mounting methods?

A special ground sleeve, which is anchored in concrete floors with a hole of only 10 mm, holds our parasol bases reliably.

We will be happy to advise you on this and other options.

What guarantee do I get?

We give a 10-year guarantee on all components.

We hereby guarantee replacement in the event that components no longer function as intended. Optical impairments are excluded from this, because these depend heavily on careful handling.

Is the invention patented?

The principle of sonnenanker was protected in Germany as a utility model and is protected as a European design patent. The hammock stand is registered as a utility model.

Where can I buy sonnenanker products?

You can order products from sonnenanker exclusively and risk-free on this site!

You can order sonnenanker products exclusively and without risk here in our shop.

You have two weeks to test our products at home. If you don’t like them, simply send them back. You will be refunded the purchase price and the return shipping costs immediately.