Pool Fountains Design Ideas, Inspiration, & Considerations

Written by Michael Dean
June 6, 2023

swimming pool fountain

Fountains can be a beautiful water feature to add to your swimming pool design. They are so diverse – a fountain can be the centerpiece of your backyard environment or an accent to other powerful features around your pool. In this guide, we’ll walk through the main benefits of fountains, what to watch out for, the types of fountains you can build, some design inspiration, and finish up with some installation tips. Okay, let’s dive in!

Main Benefits

Besides the obvious aesthetics, there are a lot of other benefits to having pool fountains. Let’s take a look at some of the big ones.

They Are a Natural Noise Barrier

The stream of water hitting the surface of your pool can act as a great sound barrier from the noise around the neighborhood. Drowning out the sounds of honking horns, loud neighbors, and other distractions helps create a wonderful secluded environment where you can relax.

They Cool Your Pool

Summers get hot, and fountains are a great way to keep your pool water moving and staying cool. Fountains cool your pool down through aeration, adding oxygen to your pool water that helps bring down the temperature. Pair a few fountains with the right size pool pump, and you’ll have a cool pool to chill out in during the day.

They Circulate Your Pool Water

Why is that important? Because keeping good pool circulation helps distribute chemicals, move water through your filter, and prevent nasty algae and other bacteria from growing in your pool. I mentioned pumps earlier – keeping proper pool circulation is the primary function of your pump, and fountains can help support it.

Beautiful Designs

Fountains come in all shapes and sizes and are important to many creative pool designs (just look at some of my examples below). Make sure to really think about your surrounding landscaping, your home design, and how the fountain can fit in naturally to the overall environment.

Watch Outs

To be honest, there aren’t too many functional downsides to installing a pool fountain. The primary consideration to watch out for is cost – ensure you factor in features like fountains, waterfalls, etc., into your overall budget for the pool. The total price for these additional water features can add up quickly, especially if you want an extravagant design or a specific material.

Types of Swimming Pool Fountains

Designs aside for a second, you can consider a few different types of pool fountains, and it all depends on location. Do you want these water features around the edge of your pool or as the centerpiece? Let’s dive into each one.

Poolside Fountain

Poolside fountains are exactly what they sound like. They are on the edge of your pool and can be as small as a spicket or as large as a stone statue – it just depends on your design preferences. They work by attaching an adapter to the return jet, which is the normal mechanism for recirculating water into your pool. You then attach a pipe to the adapter so that you can start flowing water through your fountain instead of the traditional return jet. Everything is set after that, and water should start flowing through your fountain!


Some pool designs warrant a centerpiece in the middle of the pool, which often is a natural stone or concrete fountain of some variety. These centerpieces are obviously a bit harder to install than a simple poolside fountain and should be incorporated into your pool’s original design or remodel.

Floating Fountain

Floating fountains are similar to poolside fountains, but instead of a pipe, you attach the adapter to a hose that connects to a fountain that can float in the middle of your pool. I’m not the biggest fan of this option because you always have a hose floating around in your pool, but it can be a good low-cost option for some summer fun for the kids.

Pool Fountain Design Ideas

Okay, now let’s get into some design inspiration for your fountain. Here are some creative ideas for different fountain designs that can hopefully spark your own creativity.

freeform pool with fountain in spa

Here is a small fountain I built inside the spa area of a customer’s pool.

A simple fountain centerpiece in the middle of a spa area. The coping around the top of the spa is a nice touch.

Photo credit: HGTV.com

The fountain is a great aesthetic addition to the pool that serves as a balancing bookend to the spa at the other end of the structure.

These are deck jets, which are a type of fountain. We’ll get into these features more in a separate article.

Photo credit: Artisan Pools LLC

These features are called scuppers, which are another type of pool fountain that I will go into depth on in another post.

Photo credit: GardenLoversClub.com

A classic garden-style fountain reminiscent of old Italy. The pebble around the pool fits the surrounding landscaping well too.

Photo credit: Lucas Firmin Pools

If you have a high wall around your pool, fountains can be a perfect addition to drown out the noise from any close neighbors. This design does that well with some scuppers in plunge pool design.

Photo credit: Stoneworks International

I love the simplicity and centrality of this fountain. It is small, but the focal point and source of life for the pool. The natural stonework around it is very well done too.

Here is a different type of pool fountain in the middle of the swimming pool, similar to something you might find in a spray park.

Installing a Fountain In Your Pool

Pool fountains are tough to DIY unless you know exactly what you’re doing with the coping on your pool deck or just want a simple floating or poolside spicket fountain. In most cases, you’ll want to call a professional pool builder who can help you sketch the designs and bring your ideas to life.

Need Help Building Your Pool?

I offer design consulting services to help you build your ideal pool. I'll work with your contractor, create build-ready designs and specs, and much more.

And that’s it on pool fountains. Have questions? Shoot me a note.

Scroll to Top