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Pool & Spa Design Trends: 10 Dam Wall/Spillway Styles—in photos

Posted by Blue Haven Pools & Spas on Aug 15, 2016 12:40:11 PM

—Check out great options for your spa façade and water overflow into your pool


With its rather unappealing name and highly utilitarian purpose, you might be surprised that the dam wall on a spa can serve as a beautiful focal point of your new inground swimming pool.

The dam wall’s purpose is to separate the spa from the adjacent pool. Along with creating a cozy enclosure, this concrete separation ensures the ability to heat the spa and keep the warm water inside the enclosure.

In many cases, a dam wall provides ample design opportunities as well. A little creativity can go a long way in boosting its visual appeal, particularly when the spa is elevated.

An elevated spa—also known as a raised spa—is built higher than the pool. Typically it is 12”, 18” or 24” inches tall, although it can get built higher. When the spa is positioned above the pool, the spillway on the spa dam wall essentially transforms into a lovely water feature.

Design in-SPA-ration for your new poolscape

From a functional standpoint, spa dam walls are inherently dull, basic structures. However, pool builders frequently turn them into decorative architectural features that highlight the small flow of water from the spa as it enters the pool surface below.

One way to make a dam wall aesthetically pleasing is to adorn the outward-facing façade with carefully selected tile or stone. Another is to make the most of the spillway—the opening over which or through which the spa water flows into the swimming pool.

Combined, both approaches can make the spa the crowning centerpiece on your new backyard resort. Get some great ideas for your design with these examples of popular trends in dam wall and spillway construction.

1. Single Wide Overhang

pool-with-spa-with-wide-spillway-stone-facade.jpgBecause this wide, single spillway is built with a slight overhang, the flowing water pours over in a distinctive cascade that visually stands out from the cut stone façade behind it.

2. Triple Spillways

pool-with-spa-with-triple-cascade-spillways.jpgInstead of a single spillway, this spa boasts a trio of narrow ones—each allowing a sleek, flat cascade of water. A sophisticated tile setting along the dam wall makes it particularly attractive.

3. Sconce & Fountain Embellished

pool-with-spa-with-sconces-and-fountains-1.jpgAlong with custom-cut stone fascia, a pair of decorative pool-wall sconces and emanating fountains dress up this spa wall and cascading spillway.

4. Open Narrow Channels

square-spa-with-narrow-spillway-channels.jpgWhat makes this spillway so visually striking is the series of channels. A modern architectural feature even on its own, the group of channels runs the full length of the wall, creating a segmented water flow.

5. Covered Channels with Scuppers

spa-with-spillway-scuppers.jpgInstead of a wall with openings to allow spa water to flow over the top, this design includes channel openings that allow water to pass through it. A scupper fixture with a flat surface creates a wider spout for the water to stream out in an arc.

6. Stepped or Tiered

custom-spa-with-tiered-facade.jpgWater travels over a series of graduated steps as it makes it way the to the pool surface below. While this spa façade is composed of a series of small, incremental steps, a popular variation is to use only two or three deeper steps.

7. Rock Waterfall

pool-with-spa-with-rock-waterfall-facade.jpgThis organic-inspired design essentially packs two features into one: The entire front of the elevated spa takes the form of a beautiful stone waterfall.

8. Infinity Edge

pool-with-infinity-spa-tiled-spillway.jpgLike an infinity pool with a rimless perimeter section that visually blends into the horizon, an infinity spa captures the same concept on a smaller scale with a smooth, tiled spillway.

9. Perimeter Overflow

pool-with-full-perimeter-overflow-spa.jpgOne of the latest trends is spa walls designed to overflow along the entire spa perimeter. The spa appears to virtually rise up out of the pool, and its smooth tiled exterior creates a sleek, contemporary aesthetic.

10. Rock-Strewn

custom-spa-with-rock-facade.jpgA unique approach to incorporating rock into a pool, the entire façade area of this spa is composed of a mix of natural rocks, chipped stones, and faux pieces of various shapes and sizes.

While these photos can serve as inspiration for your spa design, keep in mind that your pool builder can modify any of them to compliment you pool’s style, materials, and your preferences.

You can view additional photos of custom gunite spa designs here. To learn more about the array of spa dam wall and spillway designs you can have on your new aquatic retreat, contact the professionals at your local Blue Haven Pools office; you can view a national office directory here.

Topics: Design / Features, Spas, Construction, Buyer Tips


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