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How to Build a Water Feature Wall

Water feature walls are a versatile, low-profile, and safe option to bring the beauty and serenity of a water feature into your home or yard. Although buying a pre-made water feature wall or hiring a professional, like Fontana Landscapes, to build it will help to ensure the wall’s quality and save you time and headache, attempting the build yourself can be a fun way to spend a couple of afternoons. If you are a DIY fanatic, knowing how to build a water feature wall and practicing until you perfect your technique can ensure that you are prepared to tackle this kind of project.

What is a Water Feature Wall?

A water feature wall is a wall made of rock, tile, slate, marble, or any other material stacked vertically that allows water to flow over it to collect in a basin at the bottom of the structure. They can be standalone, portable decorations or they can be built into the surrounding landscape or structure as a larger, more permanent feature.

Building a Water Feature Wall

Once you have settled on the design of your water feature wall and what materials to use, it is time to begin building it. The building process of a water feature wall will vary depending on the material used for the wall. If you are planning on using slate or tile to build your water feature wall, follow the steps outlined below:

1.     Build the Wall Frame

To get started, measure, cut, and build the water wall’s structural frame out of wood. Most water walls should have a slight tilt so that the water flows smoothly over the face of the wall.

2.     Add the Face of the Water Wall

Depending on what materials are going to be used for the surface of the wall, you can use either pond liner wrapped around a sheet of thick plywood or tile backer board. Secure the wall material to the frame.

3.     Build the Base for the Water Wall

Build the base for the water feature around a premade basin. Make sure that the basin used is at least as large as the wall itself. Use wood or other materials to create an attractive frame and façade around the basin, as well as to secure the wall to the basin.

4.     Tile the Water Feature Wall

Beginning at the bottom of the wall, begin adding your surface material of choice to the face of the water wall. The method of attaching it to the wall will vary depending on the type of tile, slate, or other material used. Some materials will need to be glued and grouted to the wall while others can be drilled and screwed in place. The tiles should overlap to prevent water from getting beneath the surface.

5.     Add the Water Feature Plumbing

Cut a length of copper pipe to the height of the water wall. Add a T-fitting to the top and run copper piping from the fitting across the top of the wall. Drill small holes along the length of the “T,” so that the water can flow from multiple points, and cap the ends of the pipe. Install the water pump and plumb the copper piping into the pump so that it can run up the back of the water feature.

6.     Complete the Water Wall’s Aesthetic

Install any framing or covers needed to hide the water feature’s plumbing and the edges of the wall. Add any necessary touches, such as paint or natural accents, to make the water wall more aesthetically pleasing.

If you would like to find out more about how to build a water feature wall, or to learn more about any of the landscape or water feature services that we offer, please contact Fontana Landscapes at 778-990-9773 or fill out a contact form on our website.


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