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Outdoor Water Fountains Buyer's Guide

Outdoor Water Fountains Buyer's Guide

Outdoor Fountain Ideas & Tips from the Experts

Water fountains are a great way to accentuate your boring outdoor area and transform it into a garden oasis.  They can provide a centerpiece or that one piece you've been missing in your outdoor design.  Fortunately for you, there are many styles, colors, materials, and price points to fit your needs.  Unfortunately with all these choices, it can be hard to choose just the right outdoor fountain for you.  We've compiled this guide to help you decide which water feature you'd like in your yard and give you some new ideas for decor.

Fountain Styles

As you know, style is the single most important thing when choosing any kind of decor.  The most beautiful piece can look terrible if you don't put it in the right setting.  Make sure to choose a fountain that fits the style that you're going for. 

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Rock Waterfall Fountain

Traditional style water fountain - Features water cascading from rock to rock forming a waterfall like look and sound.

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Garden Water Fountain

Variety of shapes and sizes but all usually include an interesting ensemble of things such as buckets, pots, wells, urns, rocks, animals etc...

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Birdbath Fountain

Variety of styles - The bubbling water provides a place for birds to play and keeps the water fresh.

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Disappearing Water Feature

Use landscaping to install in a flowerbed or garden.  Water seemingly "disappears" as it falls into a hidden underground basin.

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Tiered Water Fountain

This style is the most Classic Water Feature available with many designed after the fountains of ancient Greek and Roman times.

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Rustic Fountain

The Rustic or Natural Fountains provide that connection with nature that every human needs.  Designers use logs, rocks and animals as inspiration.

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Pond Fountain

Often touted with other Prestigious Decor, pond pump fountains are a very classic and energetic option.

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Wall Hanging Fountain

If limited space is a problem, wall hanging water features could be the Mediterranean Decor you need. 


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Outdoor Fountain Materials

Considered almost as important as the style are the materials used to construct the outdoor water feature.  The design elements that make up a great exterior fountain start with the supplies and equipment used to fabricate it.  These components determine the durability, weight, texture & customizable options of the fountain.

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Cast Stone Fountains

Use of cast stone for building and decoration has been very popular for ages because of its fantastic durability and design possibilities.  Cast stone structures are constructed with a Portland cement mixture that includes high quality fine and course aggregates.  The increased amounts of fine aggregates result in a smooth surface resembling that of natural cut stone.  Pigments can be added to the mixture to change the base color.  A final "antiquing" process can also be done to add a two-tone aspect to the piece.  NOTE: Because of the nature of this process, getting two pieces to match colors perfectly isn't always possible, therefore it is recommended that you order all pieces at once to ensure the same batch of cast stone mixture is used.

Click to browse our cast stone fountains>>

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Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete (GFRC) Fountains

This material is comprised of high strength glass fiber embedded in a cement mixture making it the most durable of all the outdoor fountain materials.  In fact, when manufactured correctly, GFRC can have a higher tensile strength than steel.  The obvious advantages of this material make it valuable to building and decor.

Click here to view our GFRC water fountain collection>>

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Polystone Fountains

One of the most versatile materials available, polystone can be made to mimic virtually any material including concrete, rock, wood or ceramic.  Polystone was developed to weigh only 20% of cast stone structures while keeping the same durability ratings.  It is also a much cheaper material than cast stone, making it very desirable for decorative garden structures.  The making of the polystone compound involves mainly a polyurethane resin mixed with a powdered stone additive, creating an almost stone-like look and feel. 

Click to see our selection of polystone fountains>>

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Fiberglass (GFRP - Glass Fiber Reinforced Plastic) Fountains

The lightest of all the materials, weighing in at about 15% of cast stone structures, makes the fiberglass fountains the easiest to manage and assemble.  However, in windy areas where the fountain may get blown over, durability could be a concern.  As the name suggests, fiberglass is made from tiny glass fibers and an epoxy material, which is mixed and molded into practically any size and shape desired.  As you can see, detailed molds are possible with fiberglass.

Click to see our fiberglass fountain selection>>

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Stainless Steel Outdoor Water Fountains

As you probably already know, stainless steel is one of the best building materials ever discovered.  Because of the anti-oxidation and stain-free properties, fountains made of stainless steel never discolor or rust.  The strength of stainless allows for thin sheets to be used to lessen the weight and cost while maintaining the durability of the structure. 

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Copper Fountains

Copper fountains are the epitome of class and elegance.  The various patinas and finishes that occur to this beautiful natural resource are phenomenal.  Many of the patinas develop over time and continue to add to the beauty of the structure.  Unfortunately, due to the cost, copper fountain designs are uncommon but you could choose to get one custom made by a copper artisan or choose from the few stock options we have.

Click to choose one of our copper patina fountains>>

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Granite & Natural Stone Fountains

Fountains cut from natural stone tend to be simple in design but for obvious reasons, are one of the most natural looking of all fountains.  The minerals typically used for stone fountains include granite, slate & marble because of their beautiful color combinations and abundance.  Some artists do carve some magnificent works of art from these natural stones but the typical person wouldn't be able to afford one, therefore, we have a small selection of medium-sized stock fountains for you to check out.

Click to check out our natural stone fountain selection>>

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Homemade Water Fountains

With the right creative mind, any object can be turned into a unique handmade fountain.  These ideas above are only a minute sample of homemade fountains that have been created using a simple water pump, some hose, and an outer structure of some kind.  Many people choose to use pots or urns as the main basin for their fountain, but you can also do some simple landscaping and install an underground basin that lets the water seemingly disappear into the ground.  So go out and find an old planter, pot, bamboo shoot, bucket, hand pump, or rock and start getting CREATIVE!

Click to find a water pump that will work for your project>>

 


Brands

To some, brand name products are the only way to ensure trust and reliability in a product.  Brand name water fountains are no different.  There are some advantages of buying the name brands including the great warranties they offer and the unique styles.  Below are a few of the biggest brands in the outdoor water feature industry.

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Sunnydaze Decor is the premium brand of lightweight outdoor fountains in the United States.  They are constantly developing new designs that cater to all customers.  They also back their products completely for one year with a manufacturer's warranty.  Both the low cost and the ease of use make Sunnydaze fountains one of the most popular brands in outdoor decor.

Click to see the Sunnydaze catalog>>

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Gist Decor is an American manufacturer of numerous decor types with their specialty lying in glass fiber reinforced concrete sculptures.  They design many abstract pieces for businesses and homes and always put the quality of the art before anything else.

Click to see what Gist Decor has to offer>>

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For almost 60 years, the artisans at Henri Studios have provided amazing cast stone works of art to the homes and businesses of thousands.  The vast experience and creativity of Henri shows in every piece they produce without exception.  Henri's art can now be found worldwide in many high end areas.

Click to view Henri Studios catalog here>>

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Campania International has been designing and distributing fine garden accents since the early 80's.  Consistency and old world traditions combine to create products that last long through the years.  They distribute exclusively to United States and Canada garden centers with only a few online retailers allowed to offer their products.  They believe in customer satisfaction and will always stand behind their products.

Click for a full look at Campania's fountain line>>

 

Author: Amber Liddell

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