Pool Spillovers Design Ideas, Inspiration & Considerations

Written by Michael Dean
June 6, 2023

pool spillover

Swimming pool spillovers are a wonderful water feature that connects a small spa or hot tub to the larger pool. With many homeowners and pool builders getting creative with their spa designs these days, a spillover can take on several different designs, which you’ll see more of below. In this guide, I’ll walk through the main benefits of spillovers, potential concerns to look out for, design inspiration, and how to get one in your pool. Ready? Let’s go!

Main Benefits

Why would you want to include a spillover in your pool design? Let’s go through some of the main advantages.

Bringing Your Pool Environment Together

As I mentioned, a spillover connects your spa area to the main pool. The result is a U-shaped spa that creates a super open feel to your entire pool environment. Without the spillover, there would be a 4th wall closing the spa off, which could feel isolating and separating. For some, that may be a good thing. But, a spillover is a good idea if you want a more open feel.


The rush of the water spilling from the hot tub to the main pool helps drown out the other noises and distractions of life, making you feel like you’re in a hotel spa or resort.

Pool Circulation & Water Temperature

Not only is the rush of the water therapeutic, but it also helps keep your pool clean! The constantly moving water introduces oxygen to your main pool, which cools down the temperature and keeps the water moving. Good water circulation will help your chemicals spread evenly around the pool and keep water flowing through your filtration system, which helps keep your water crystal clear.

Watch Outs

The only noteworthy watch-outs for spillovers are potential mold and cost. Especially if you’re using natural stone around your spa, mold can accumulate in the cracks and crevices, so just make sure to clean them regularly. It will typically cost extra to install a spillover in the pool, so make sure you get a quote from your pool builder.

Okay, enough of that. Let’s get into the fun part: design inspiration.

Pool Spillovers Design Ideas

This is a pool I built a few years ago. The spillover actually falls behind the main pool wall, creating a much more modern look.

Here is another pool I built with a more natural feel, lots of greenery, and large boulders. The spillover rushes into the main pool.

swimming pool spa area with overflow

You can also create a spillover effect around the entire spa area, like this swimming pool I built for a customer. Sorry about the exposure at the top of the photo; not sure what happened there!

freeform pool with fountain in spa

Here’s a spillover I built for a client that trickles down from the spa area surrounded by natural stone.

swimming pool with spa and spillover

I combined a lot of stone sizes and colors to build the spillover and spa walls of this pool.

You can also elongate the spillover if you have a bigger spa, like this one.

Here is an example of two separate small pools with spillovers into the main area. Image from autumnleaflandscape.com.

This builder got creative and has spillovers from the main spa and the seating areas at the right edge of the pool. Image from carnahanlandscaping.com.

Installing Spillovers In Your Pool

Want a spillover in your swimming pool? Ask your pool builder about it during the design process! Spillovers are near impossible to install DIY after the fact; it really needs to be incorporated into the initial design of the pool. As you can tell from the designs above, there are many ways to approach this water feature, so provide your pool builder with some inspiration and let them unleash their creativity during the design phase.

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.

Good luck with your new pool! As always, let me know if you have any questions. Always happy to help.

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