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Outdoor Fountain Buyer's Guide

Easy to read guide to the most common things to know when buying your next garden fountain.

Nothing makes a powerful statement quite like an outdoor fountain. Whether you're ready to buy, or simply starting to browse, this guide contains everything you need to know about outdoor fountains.

View the complete guide
The Ultimate Guide to Water Fountains

Part 1: The Anatomy of an Outdoor Fountain

The most common parts found on a typical outdoor fountain. Parts of a garden fountain will vary based on model and brand.


Part 2: Choosing Your Fountain Placement

Outdoor water fountains can be placed in almost any location. Use these tips to help you find the best place for yours.

  • High Visibility

    Choose an area with high visibility that will allow both you and your customers to enjoy its tranquil beauty.
  • Safety

    If you want to prevent people from touching/playing in the fountain, place it out of easy reach..
  • Water Source

    Make sure your fountain is near a water source so that you can easily refill it once it evaporates.
  • Sound Level

    Place the fountain an appropriate distance from people. Putting the fountain too close can make the noise overbearing.
  • Focal Point

    Choose an area where the fountain won't be overshadowed by other objects.
  • Power Supply

    Select a spot that has a power supply within a few feet of the fountain's location.

Part 3: Choosing the Type and Styles

Garden fountains come in all shapes and sizes so you should have no problem finding the perfect one for your setting.

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    TieredTiered Fountains have multiple levels of water cascading from them. Two or three tiers are most common. Shop: 2 Tiered and 3 Tiered


    WallWall fountains can physically hang or lean against a wall. Great for saving valuable space.Shop: Outdoor Wall Fountains

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    SolarSolar fountains require direct sunlight because they rely on the sun's energy to run the pump. Shop: Solar Fountains


    Pool SurroundThis type of fountain has a fountain reservoir on the ground. Usually holds a larger amount of water.Shop: Pool Surround Fountains

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    PedestalThese fountains have the water reservoir off the ground making it harder for pets to access. Great for bird watching.Shop: Pedestal Fountains


    AnimalsStandard animals on outdoor fountains include lions, fish, sea horses, and frogs.Shop: Animal Fountains

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    PeopleFrom angels to babies, there are a variety of fountain styles that feature people. Shop: People Fountains


    SphereWith sphere fountains, the water hugs the surface as it flows down. Popular fountain as a garden decoration.Shop: Sphere Fountains

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    Urn, Vase and BowlThese fountains feature an urn or vase situated within a bowl. Ideal for garden fountain settings. Shop: Urn, Vase and Bowl Fountains


    WaterfallsWaterfall fountains are designed to replicate a natural waterfall. They are usually lightweight and made of fiberglass.Shop: Waterfall Fountains

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    DissapearingA below-ground fountain installation requires more labor because the water reservoir must be buried underground.Shop: Dissapearing Fountains


    BambooNot just the material but the style of fountain, which is usually seen in smaller outdoor tabletop fountains.Shop: Bamboo Fountains

Part 4: Understanding Material Types

Use this section to help you determine the best materials for your outdoor fountain.

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    Cast StoneCast stone fountains area available in a variety of designs. They offer durability and quality that will last for generations to come.


    CopperCopper is the most popular fountain material and is known for its elegance and versatility.

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    GFRCGFRC fountains are composite stone fountains. This material is versatile, durable and lightweight.


    FiberglassFiberglass fountains are lightweight and can be finished to look like a variety of materials from copper to brushed lead or iron.

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    Stainless SteelStainless steel is modern, sleek and provides a naturally clean appearance. While dramatic in presence, these fountains are also durable and long lasting.


    BambooBamboo is a natural material that is versatile and durable, while also adding an exotic touch to any garden or design.

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    Polystone/ResinPolystone/resin fountains are handcrafted with great detail and provided in a variety of styles. They are lightweight, but also suitable for outdoor use.


    GraniteGranite fountains are long lasting and durable, while also providing the beauty of natural stone in a variety of colors.

Part 5: Installing an Outdoor Fountain

For a fast, easy setup, follow the general guidelines listed below.

  • Read Instructions - Take the time to read the installation instructions. Trust us; it makes the installation process much smoother.
  • Basic Tools & Skills Needed - As long as you have some basic DIY skills, you'll be fine. Tools will vary depending on the fountain type and size. A level is almost always needed, but the rest are basic tools that you probably have around the house.
  • Level Surface - This is the most important tip. Since outdoor fountains can have a large ground surface area, even a slightly uneven surface can result in uneven water flow.
  • Solid Surface - Large outdoor fountains are heavy and can sink into the ground over time if they are not installed on a solid surface.
  • Get Help If Needed - Larger cast stone fountains can be very heavy. Throw a picnic and ask your guests to help you move the fountain.
  • Power Outlet - We recommend running the power cord underground through a piece of PVC pipe. This keeps it out of the way and unseen.
  • Water Source - If you are not installing a dedicated water auto-fill system, keep your water hose nearby for frequent refills.

Part 6: Maintaining your Outdoor Fountain

Keep your fountain running for years with these maintenance tips.

  • Maintenance Instructions - Read the manufacturer's maintenance instructions for the proper care of your brand and model fountain.
  • Water Levels - Always maintain proper water levels. If your fountain runs out of water, it will damage your fountain pump, and that will not be covered under warranty.
  • Preventing Algae & White Scale - Regularly use a water treatment to prevent algae and white scale build-up.
  • Regular Cleaning - Over time, your fountain will collect leaves, dust, and dirt and will need to be cleaned out. This usually involves removing the water, wiping out the water reservoir, and cleaning the pump.
  • Winterizing & Covering - Before the first freeze, you should drain all of the water from your fountain, remove the pump, and cover the fountain with a fountain cover. The expansion of the water freezing in your fountain can crack your fountain.

Part 7: Find the Right Outdoor Fountain

Now, it is time to go and search for your next outdoor fountain.


Now that you've learned the basics, it's time for us to help you figure out which fountain is the best one for your unique needs. We're just a phone call or mouse click away; contact one of our fountain specialists or browse our large selection of Outdoor Fountains today!

You can take a look at our large selection of Outdoor Fountains. Or, if you'd like to receive personalized help from one of our outdoor fountain specialists, (did we mention we're really nice - and knowledgeable?) you can contact us now.