Water walls (also called infinity walls) are a very popular and attractive addition to any swimming pool. They work by having a wall of the pool that is the same height as the water level, creating an “endless edge” effect. In this article, I’ll go over the main pros and cons of infinity walls, the different types of water walls, share some design inspiration, and then finish with some notes on installing a water wall in your pool. Ready? Let’s dive in.
Aesthetically, infinity walls are one of the most desirable features of a swimming pool. Let’s walk through some of the main benefits.
There’s something about a water wall and the calming effects it has. The sound of the water slowly falling over the edge with each ripple…it just sounds good and puts you at ease. Mentally, I think the infinity edge also makes you feel less “contained” within your pool structure – the edge is endless.
Enjoying a View
If you have a beautiful view over a lake, mountain range, or some other landscape, an infinity edge is pretty much a non-negotiable. If your pool builder designs it effectively, they should put a ledge near the infinity wall where you can sit and take in the view.
Whether it’s flowing into a lower pool or another area of your pool, the moving water helps keep your pool well-circulated. The additional water flow helps ensure chemicals are being evenly distributed throughout the pool and introduces more oxygen to the water, which helps cool it down.
The only big watch out with water walls is the additional cost. If the water wall leads into a lower pool that you’re also adding to your design, it could add upwards of $10,000 to your total project cost. However, if you don’t add too much square footage to the total project, it shouldn’t be too expensive to add.
Types of Swimming Pool Water Walls
There are only two types of water walls – one that leads into a lower pool and one with a double edge for collecting overflowing water.
The infinity wall that drains into a lower pool is by far the more popular version (just see some of the examples below). Personally, I like this option better because it gives you so many spacial options. The lower pool could serve as your “getaway” from the kids splashing in the main part of the pool.
The double edge is popular for larger pools with depth limitations (see the booking.com example below). The water simply needs a place to drain and filter back into the main system, so the space between the infinity wall and the outer edge serves that purpose.
Ready to get into some design ideas? Let’s do it. If you’re itching for more inspiration, be sure to read my pool design guide as well.
Pool Water Walls Design Ideas
This is an infinity pool I built a few years ago in Georgia. They have an incredible lake view, so the infinity edge was a no-brainer for me when designing the initial concept.
Infinity edges don’t have to be huge. This is a residential pool I built with a small infinity edge overlooking their backyard. Simple, but elegant.
I’m completely in love with this mountain view for one of my customers. Once again, the infinity wall was a no-brainer for this design.
The natural stone color of this water wall matches the house really well and cascades nicely as water drips over the edge. I built this one for a customer several years ago.
Here’s an infinity-edge pool I built that overlooks a golf course. I love the direction of the spa, too.
Here’s a cool half-moon pool project I did with an infinity wall around the entire outer edge.
Here’s an infinity edge pool I created overlooking an incredible country field.
Here’s the double-edge pool I was talking about earlier. In the top right corner of the photo, you can get a good look at the setup that helps create the infinity feel without draining into a lower pool. Image from booking.com.
An infinity edge is a must-have if you are a big hotel looking to build a tiered pool like this one. Image from usnews.com.
One of the many benefits of infinity edges is that they blend into the surrounding landscape. If you’re overlooking a body of water, the pool water blends right in. Image from popsugar.com.
A lavish tiered pool in the jungle. I love the freeform edges. Image from afar.com.
Similar to the photo above, with some slight differences. The decking on the second level here adds a great hangout spot for guests. Image from metro.co.uk.
Installing an Infinity Wall In Your Pool
Infinity edges can’t be “bolted on” to an existing pool, so make sure to ask your pool builder about incorporating this design concept from the very beginning. Just remember, it may add some square footage and additional cost to your final project estimate.
Here’s an example of one of my drawings for an infinity edge. As you can see, it is very integrated into the entire pool’s design.
In terms of materials, the most popular (and preferred method) is concrete. You can also design this feature for fiberglass and vinyl pools, though. Be sure to read my complete infinity pool design guide for more on this wonderful type of pool.
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That’s it! Have questions about water walls? Send me a note, and I’ll be happy to help.