37 Swimming Pool Water Features (Waterfall Design Ideas)

Swimming pool with waterfall water features

Welcome to our gallery of swimming pool features. These pictures feature a variety of water features designed specifically for pools to enhance their beauty. There are a wide variety of water features available. Some of the most popular types of features are waterfalls, fountains, cascades, sheetfalls, walls and spillways.

In the picture above is a contemporary sheetfall feature using stainless steel spouts attached to concrete walls gives a simple yet elegant effect to this modern pool area. A long wood deck frames the pool and continues to the spa with its impressive hillside view.

Swimming pools can greatly enhance the atmosphere of one’s home. Aside from primarily providing fun and recreation for family members, swimming pools also increase the aesthetic appeal of your home and at the same time, boost its value. Since it is considered to be a large part of the yard and a main attraction for most houses, enhancing its beauty should also be given attention to. If you want to elevate the overall interest of your natatorium and transform it into a stunning work of art, adding a feature is one of the solutions you can take.

Water features are an integral part of swimming pool design because it can instantly transform an existing pool into a more attractive part of your property. It adds the “wow factor” to a swimming pool – whether it may be used to create a striking focal point or create a cozy ambiance. It can also give a different character to your swimming pool, from a refreshing oasis, to a serene retreat, a tropical resort, a romantic escape or a kid friendly zone.

Aside from the visual impact, pool features also add a bit more fun in terms of use. The addition of a vertical element of water also makes your swimming pool come to life while elevating the level of experience by using flowing water which runs over your body from beautifully cascading waterfalls. Shooting splash jets can also feel like small hydro massages which make you feel relaxed while taking your dip in the pool. [toc]

Factors to Consider in Choosing the Right Water Feature for Your Pool

With the primary purpose of beautifying a poolscape, aesthetics play a big part in choosing the right feature for your swimming pool. Whether it may be a simple one or a towering six foot tall waterfall that has a grotto, a stunning feature improves the look of your backyard and gives your guests a sight to enjoy. However, aesthetics and visual impact aren’t the only factors that you have to consider to create a feature that will leave you and your guests in awe.

Here are some other factors that are equally important in choosing the right feature for your lagoon:

Sound – Most homeowners opt for an added feature for their home not only because of the visual aesthetics but also because of the sound it produces. It is equally significant to establish the mood that your water feature will create. A well designed lagoon feature must not only be visually appealing but is equally enticing to other senses. Ambient noises like the sound of flowing waters are said to produce a relaxing vibe and a calm atmosphere. While opting for a quiet environment, go for features that do not produce sound.

Flow of the water – Dynamics is also a significant part of accent design for pools. The flow of a bubbling brook design, including its direction and how it enters the pool can cause corresponding effects to the overall look of the water feature. Fluidity in motion is one the factors which makes such features visually satisfying. While some may opt to go with dynamic aquatic enhancements, others may choose to go with the stillness of water. Some features produce a stunning mirror like surface that emanates tranquility.

Effects – This includes adjustable to different settings, providing different effects. These can be activated depending on the current mood of the user or the personal preference of the homeowner.

Lighting – Mood and accent lighting can be added to the pool to enhance its ambiance and appearance. Warm lights or colored lights add visual interest and also make any feature stand out especially at night. Natural lighting is also another important factor as the way the water feature reflects and refracts sunlight causes an effect on the color.

Budget – Budget also plays an important part in choosing the right enhancement for your swimming baths. Some may consider it to be the biggest constraint because it dictates the features which you can include to your water feature. You can know more about aquatic display features as you read on our article.

Pool with cascading waterfall feature

This massive Mediterranean-style swimming bath area gives it a touch of contemporary element by adding a cascading water feature which falls high from balcony/ceiling area. The twin sheetfalls gives it a high waterfalls effect, creating a curtain of water.

Choosing the Right Water Feature for a Pool

Aquatic display features are available in different styles, type and materials. Each type produces a different effect to the ambiance of your swimming pool. With the endless options to choose from, the task of selecting the right feature for for pools may be a bit confusing. To help you decide which one is the best for you, here is a key guideline which you can follow to eliminate the guesswork.

The first thing that you have to consider in choosing the right feature is the existing style of the swimming area. As in any case of home design, determining the style is integral because this will dictate all the other design elements of your area -from the smallest of the details to the most dominant component.

If your swimming pool is more on the rustic side, opt for a natural looking feature like a rock waterfall. For modern or contemporary inspired pools like lagoon pools, streamlined sheet falls, wave effects, and laminar jets complement a formal and minimalist look. Mediterranean-inspired swimming pools can be enhanced with sconces that are ornamented with motif likes lion heads.

Aside from the prevailing style of the wading retreat, the surrounding environment should also be taken into consideration. The feature must blend with the topography of the property. Take advantage of high elevations, especially if your house is situated in a tall hill. Create water features with varying steps and allow water to fall with a “step ripple effect” or water that spills over several layers.

Pool with torii arch feature

This rainfall curtain feature was placed on a Japanese-inspired wooden arc or torii, adding a soft and natural effect to the pool,and complementing the overall design of the surrounding space.

Cost to Install a Water Feature for Pools

On the average, water features take up about 10 to 15 percent of the total cost of construction. Naturally, those that are more elaborate cost more because they require more material to finish and an additional pump to be installed. An add-on pump, especially if it’s large, consequently increases utility costs of running your swimming areato a minimum of five percent or $30 to $40.

Generally, waterfalls are the most expensive because they require a separate pump and are more elaborate in terms of design, thus incurring more labor costs and material expenses. On the other hand, small enhancements such as scones or scuppers are considered to be the most affordable because they can run on the primary pump for natatorium. They also incur low operating costs. Operating costs for swimming pool water features are typically $10 per day, if run for 8 hours on a small pump.

Additional design elements such as ambient lighting also cause material costs to increase. Labor costs are also added because they require installation services from professionals and specialists. Typically, underwater incandescent lights costs $300 per piece, LED lighting costs $700 to $1000 per feature, while spotlights can amount to approximately $500.

On the average, a waterfall feature for pools costs $7000 to $10,000, but high end designs can reach up to $30,000 per project These reflected costs are based on estimates and may vary according to the location, size and nature of the project:

Water Feature Ideas for Pools

There are many types of water features which one can explore and each type has its own character and complexity of design. It adds drama and a sense of luxury to the area. Below we explore some of the top enhancements for pools that are sought after by homeowners today:

Waterfalls or rock waterfalls – This type of enhancement is commonly used for lagoon style or tropical themed swimming pools. Its design varies depending on the homeowners taste and can range from simple rock structures to more complex ones.  Rock waterfalls are constructed to look like natural rock formations, custom rock waterfalls can be expensive to install and usually run off of their own pump system separate from your pool’s system.

Sheer waterfalls – This is appropriate if you want to achieve the waterfall effect but go with a more modern vibe. Compared to the rock waterfall, this has a more subdued and simpler design that is perfect for contemporary and minimalist pool designs.

Fountains – Fountains are very elegant and can make any pool look luxurious. This design can vary from the simple to complex. Simple fountains may be small openings found at the edge of the pool, splashing water. While the complex ones can use more elaborate design motifs that are incorporated into the poolscape.

Spillover Spas – This feature is used for connecting your main natatorium to a hot tub through the use of spill overs. This is highly suitable if your swimming pool is at a raised level than your hot tub, because you can create an effect where the water is transferred gracefully from one area to another.

Sconces – Sconces are inexpensive types of mounted embellishments for pools. This feature is decorative and has a small opening where a narrow stream of water flows.

Jets and Bubblers– Fountain bubbler, foam jet and sun jet are some of the most common types of jets and bubblers. Resembling a “mini geyser”, this feature shoots up water off the pool floor. You’ve probably seen one of these enhancements in the shallow end of an in-pool bar. They generally shoot a thin spray of water directly up in the air. They come in a wide range of models and can run from inexpensive on up to pricey custom jobs.

Deck Jet , Fountain Spitter and Sheetfalls – This feature shoots a narrow stream of water from the deck into the swimming area. This is considered to be one of the most inexpensive options for in-pool features. Going for a more contemporary approach, sheetfalls flow in an arc orientation. They are usually easy to operate when run off your pool’s pump system.

Laminar Jet – The laminar jet produces an illusion of a glass tube by producing a steady and forceful arc of bubble free water. This is typically more expensive than a deck jet.

Scupper – Scuppers are another type of small design element that is characterized by small opening or slots that channel water back to the pool. Usually made up of a small ledge, which allows water to fall down to the wading area. Popular in hot tubs, a scupper can be as simple as a hole that allows water to flow into the swimming bath and recirculates back around. Scuppers are a great choice for those who want an easy to maintain feature that will provide the soothing sound of flowing water.

Rainfall Curtain – A rainfall curtain, as the name suggests, creates a curtain of water. A series of pencil like streams of waters run down from an elevated beam, thus creating the curtain like effect. The water from rain curtains falls straight down creating a tropical lagoon effect that is eye catching and appealing.

Waterwall – A waterwall feature that cascades from above, down to the walls.

Pool Fire Bowl – Not really a water feature, but more of adesign enhancement, a fire bowl is similar to a fire pit that creates a wonderful night time ambiance. Fire bowls can create a warm alluring glow that helps give your backyard a resort atmosphere. When paired with waterfalls the night views can be dramatic.

Wonderfall – This simple feature contributes an exciting experience to the users through its spraying feature. Basically, it is made up of a piece of plumbing that connects to the pool’s return, creating a spritz of water. This is popular for kid friendly pools and is often used to cool off.

Hot tub water fountains

Rather than go with the traditional scupper found in many hot tubs this design opts for creative fountains to recirculate water back into the water recreation area

Lagoon pool with rock waterfall design

Lagoon style pools with a rock waterfall feature are designed to enhance its look and give it a more natural feel. Topped with a fountain and slide, this custom water feature really reinforces the look of a tropical oasis.

Natural pond design pool with rock waterfalls

Lagoon style pools which uses rock waterfalls as added feature, but this one uses a lower and more random arrangement, giving it a more natural feel with rippling wave effects.

Tropical designed pool with orange sandstone boulders

This tropical style poolside retreat  uses rock waterfall feature, created using large orange-toned sandstone boulders to give it a natural look. Rock waterfalls are a great place for bathers to stand or swim and let the water cascade over them, creating a relaxing environment.

Pool with decorative elephant feature

Decorative elephants make an attractive fountain feature that creates a playful environment.

Pool with rock slide feature

Apart from the pool’s modern design, the rock waterfall also gives it a natural-looking aesthetic. It also functions as a slide, making the addition functional and aesthetically pleasing.

Pool with pergola and concrete walkway

This is a different angle of the pool from above. Here, you can see the concrete walkway, large wood pergola and surrounding landscaping with cacti and a desert environment.

Pool with sheetfall feature and natural stone tiling

A sheet fall can definitely add an exotic element to your design. Not only does the flow create a soothing sound, but it is a favorite place to relax for kids and adults alike.

Stacked type stone waterfall in pool

This rock waterfall lacks the natural look of the previous examples, as it goes for a more architectural look, using stone cladding on concrete.

Infinity pool with outdoor furniture and ocean view

This luxury infinity pool with a seating area makes a big impression and is an ideal way to enjoy a cocktail and conversation. Not only does the outdoor living area have comfortable couches, it offers sweeping views of the ocean from its hillside locations.

Pool with small sheetfall and plant box

Another very simple design feature, using a small sheetfall feature placed right below the plant box at the side of the swim area.

Splash pool with concrete tiles and wooden fence

The very small size of the recreation area limits what you are able to place in the space, and therefore, a minimalist design was used. A sheet fall was used to add a wide, thin stream of water flowing from the plant box at the end of the pool.

Pool with corner waterfall

Another sheet fall feature placed on a plant box with wood effect tiles at the corner of the pool area.

L-shaped pool at Mediterranean home courtyard

Due to the limited space, this contemporary Mediterranean-inspired pool uses a simple deck jet feature. The large rectangular part of the pool is ideal for swimming laps while the other side is perfect for soaking.

Pool with glass fence and scupper feature

This modern pool design combines scupper feature which allows the water from the jacuzzi to flow down the main swimming space and a couple of sheetfalls placed on plant box side of the deck.

Pool Fountains

Pool with LED illuminated acrylic sheetfall

Another modern pool which uses a blue LED-illuminated acrylic sheetfall feature, which sends water flowing from the column. An elevated spa with a spillway creates another place where it can cascade in to the pool for added effect.

Illuminated pool with cabana and hot tub

This LED-illuminated acrylic sheetfall feature was placed around certain elevated areas around the pool, giving the water flowing down a stunning glowing effect. An elevated hot tub overlooking the pool allows bathers to enjoy the well designed scenery.

Pool with elevated wood deck and gazebo

From this angle, one can see the elevated wood deck with its lounge chairs and tropical plants. Another wood deck with gazebo sits in the opposite corner with stylish dark color modern furniture.

Decorative stone with three water curtains

Sheetfall water feature helps add a simple yet elegant element to your pool design. This example uses three water curtains at the corner area of the small pool.

Pool with water spout in faux slate wall

This is another sheetfall water feature which sends water sprouting from a built-up low wall clad in faux slate at the side of the pool area.

Pool with neon lights

The LED lights in this sheefall water feature gives a bold and futuristic effect to this modern pool area.

Pool with two waterfalls on built-up wall

Limited space means only a small and simple water feature can be added. This example uses 2 sheefall features on a built-up wall placed against the fence.

elevated pool with faux black slate tiles and cascading water design

A cascading curtain water feature placed at the end of the pool area where there is a built-up plant box clad with faux black slate, giving it a modern appeal.

Pool with mosaic tile spillway and wooden deck surround

This luxurious swimming pool with mosaic tile spillway provides a dramatic flow of water from above. The cascading curtain of water creates an alluring backdrop that heightens the ambiance of the pool area. With its gorgeous pool, wood deck surround, tropical potted plants and illuminated stone wall this is an ideal backyard retreat.

Pool with beadboard fence, stacked stone wall with dark stone inlay

This small waterwall water feature adds a simple yet elegant element in this modern Mediterranean pool. The dark stacked stone of this water feature against the lighter stone adds contrast and depth to the space.

Lap pool with relief sculpture

What’s unique about this waterwall feature is that right above the flowing water, is a very large relief sculpture which helps add emphasis to the pool area.

Pool with elevated spa and built-up ledge

Another modern cascading sheetfall feature placed on a built-up ledge, and lit with LED to give it a glowing effect at night. Outdoor furniture with comfortable cushions beacons visitors to enjoy this inviting pool area.

Pool with neon lighting and jacuzzi

This modern pool area uses 2 sheetfall features placed on the side plant boxes and scupper which directs overflow of Jacuzzi to the main pool. Dramatic neon lighting adds a resort like feel and enhances the feel of night time swimming.

Swimming Pool Rock Features

Jacuzzi with riverstone cladding and palm trees

Another rock waterfall feature, but instead of using constantly flowing water from the elevated area, this one relies on the flow or movement of the water from the raised jacuzzi/pool area. The river stones clad around this elevated area help give a more natural-looking flow.

Gazebo with limestone blocks and pool

This massive modern pool adapts a rock aquatic display feature to match its Mediterranean style gazebo, using large blocks of limestone. This can also pass as a scupper feature, as it uses the limestone blocks as ledge in which the water flows down.

Lagoon type pool with soft flow waterfalls

Swimming pool features that incorporate natural looking stone give the illusion that one is swimming in a natural pond. The soft flow of the rock waterfalls adds a very ethereal over-all effect in this lagoon style pool.

Pool with brick walls and plant boxes

This pool has a very simple wall feature, placed on the plant box at the corner of the pool area.

Pool Fire Bowls

Pool with fire bowl feature, water jets and cut stone pavers

This swimming pool features two dramatic fire bowl features on both sides of the rock hot tub to create an amazing night time ambiance. Aqeous jets and numerous waterfalls offer plenty of luxury elements to this creative pool design.

Pool with fire ball peninsula and trees

This lagoon style swimming pool showcases a modern fire bowl peninsula. A fire bowl feature can be a great draw for swimming or socializing around the pool at night.

Attribution:[expand]This gallery features images from “Water features Add A Splash Pool” (https://vimeo.com/95100354) by Show & Tell Marketing which is licensed under CC by: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/[/expand]

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