How to Make a Fake Rock Waterfall for a swimming pool?

What is a fake rock waterfall?

A fake rock waterfall is an artificially made waterfall that mimics the appearance of a natural waterfall. It can be small or large depending on the space available.

A fake rock waterfall can be installed in any backyard pool or garden setting. Keep on reading to learn more.

Why consider making a fake rock waterfall?

If you have a swimming pool in the backyard, why not consider making your very own waterfall? It can serve two purposes: to create an aesthetic appeal or beautify your garden.

When you decide on making a fake rock waterfall, there are some things that you will need to consider. You will need to purchase some of the materials for this project, some of which may require you to go out and search for them.

For example, if you live in an area where there is a lot of rocks, then you may want to use these as opposed to purchasing fake ones. However, if your property does not have any real stones or boulders laying around on it, then you will probably have no choice but to purchase the fake ones that are actually made out of concrete or resin rather than natural stone.

The expectation that most people have while making a rock waterfall, is that it allows people who are visiting your home to see how beautiful it would be to have a waterfall in their own yard. It would be the selling point. Just imagine, your fake rock waterfall with real water flowing down the rocks into a pool below it, making it something out of a rich mansion dream!

Materials and tools needed are :

In order to make a fake rock waterfall for a swimming pool, you will need:

  • A sturdy table or work surface (A sturdy surface is needed in order to reinforce the rocks.)
  • 2 bags of type 40 concrete mix (Type 40 concrete is stronger and more durable than regular concrete.)
  • 1 bag of type N masonry sand (which is very fine sand. Type N masonry sand is finer than regular sand and has a higher percentage of cement.)
  • 1 bag of type M masonry sand (which is regular sand, Type M masonry sand is more coarse than type N. Masonry sand is used so that the rocks do not crumble or fall apart after being wet.)
  • 3–5 plastic mixing containers (one for each mixing step) How many depends on how big your planned waterfall is going to be.

These are needed for mixing the different stages of the fake rock waterfall.

  • 1 bag of 1/2″ to 5/8″ pea gravel (These are smooth stones that are used for the waterfall.)
  • 1 bag of pool filter sand How much depends on the size of your fake rock waterfall. (This is used to cover up any layer that may show through if there were gaps in between your layers. How much you use depends on how big you plan on making it.)
  • 1 bag of 4″ plastic decorative rocks. (These are used to dress up the sides. How many you use depends on how big you plan on making it.)
  • 2 bags sand for mold. (This is sand that is used to mold your fake rock waterfall. How much you use depends on how big you plan on making it.)
  • 1 bag of large river rocks. (These are larger rocks that are used for the base.)
  • A bucket {How big or small depends on how large your planned waterfall is going to be. It would also depend on what you will be using it for afterward (if anything).}

Steps on how to make a fake rock waterfall for a swimming pool.

  • Place the fake rocks around your garden or backyard to give a more natural look. You can also place them in the corners of your swimming pool alongside the walls. Make sure you leave an opening so that it will look like water is falling from the rocks.
  • Pour a layer of sand on top of your fake rock waterfall if there are gaps that show through. Make sure that you cover up all the layers at least a few inches above the level of the ground.
  • Apply a thin coat of masonry glue onto your fake rocks with a brush and let them dry completely. This will ensure that they won’t move around when people walk on them, or when it rains or snows.
  • Cover up any part you don’t want to be seen with several layers of concrete mix, making sure they’re evenly spread out and applied thoroughly with a trowel
  • After these steps are completed, cover up all your fake rocks with large pea gravel.
  • You can then add smaller decorative stones around the edges if you’d like.
  • Finally, pour masonry sand into the bottom of your fake rock waterfall. This will ensure that no moisture will seep through as well as smooth out any rough edges.
  • Using natural stones, river rocks, or concrete boulders cover up any part you don’t want to be seen with several layers of concrete mix.
  • Finally , add your water dispenser to complete the waterfall look.

For more information, check out the YouTube video mentioned below:

How big should I plan on making it?

The size will depend on what you want it for and how big you want your artificial waterfall to be. People who wanted it as a decoration for their backyard might make it smaller than someone looking at making a small waterfall in their garden.

Waterproofing a swimming pool

Waterproofing a swimming pool takes a lot of work. Clean up all debris around the area. Fill in any holes or cracks with the concrete mix to make it even and smooth. Let the concrete dry completely before continuing with your project.

Apply several layers of waterproof paint to ensure that moisture won’t seep through over the course of the summer.

How long does this take? How many days is enough to make sure it’s completely dried?

It takes about 2 weeks for concrete to dry completely after mixing, and roughly 1 week for the paint to dry completely after application (depending on the thickness).

How many rocks will I need?

You’ll need about 10 boulders and then around 50 river rocks or sandstone stones that aren’t too big.

How long will take to make a fake rock waterfall for a swimming pool?

It might take a few days for the layers of fake rock to dry. It takes about two days for all the layers of concrete to dry.

What are the safety concerns?

Make sure to take safety precautions when mixing the concrete, as it is harmful if swallowed. It can irritate the skin if you get it on your hands, so make sure to wear protective gear. Also, make sure there are no kids around while working with sharp tools and concrete. If children are around, make sure they have proper adult supervision at all times.

What are the construction concerns?

Make sure that the fake rocks are large enough to support the weight of people walking on top. You’ll also need to make sure that they’re stable and can’t be moved around when you’re placing them for the final product to look like it won’t move when people walk on top. However, if you want it purely as a decoration and not as a walking area you can make it as large as you want with no weight restrictions.

How much will it cost?

Around $60 -$80 depending on how large your waterfall will be. If you want smaller, it could cost around $40 depending on the size. These are just estimates and could change according to various reasons.

What should I do with it after I’m done using it?

For an everyday decoration, it would be best to just leave it there. If you wanted to use it as a stepping stone for your garden it would be best to make another layer on top of the fake rocks using a concrete mix and then just add pebbles or soil around that. This will give it enough strength to hold the weight of people walking on it.

Final thoughts

We hope you like our blog on making a fake waterfall and let us know if you have any questions or suggestions!

And if you are planning to build your backyard more exotic and fancy, make sure to check out our post on how to make a Japanese garden in your backyard.

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