Infinity pool design ideas, inspiration & pictures

Probably the most visually impressive of all pools is the infinity pool (also called ‘infinity edge pool’, ‘eternity pool’ or ‘overflow pool’) - a swimming or reflecting pool that produces a visual effect of water extending into the horizon, or “vanishing” into infinity as it flows over the rim. This term is also used to describe perimeter overflow pools, like ones that may be on level parcels, wherein the water flows over one or more edges, usually flush with the decking elevation.

Don’t think that this is a modern-day invention, for infinity pools have been around for centuries – one, called the Stag Fountain, is even included at the Palace of Versailles, built all the way back in the early 1600s (although, apparently, that one wasn’t used for swimming, merely visual appreciation).

The maintenance of an infinity pool

Infinity pools are a stunning sight to behold, but they are not easy to build and can be quite expensive. A few must-have factors required for an overflow pool is elevation, distance, a view (preferably) and top-notch engineering.

A lot of thought and planning go into the design of an infinity pool, such as the filtration and controlling of water levels. All the water that floods over the rim needs to be stored somewhere, so it has to be designed with this in mind.

The building of an eternity pool requires a lot of work due to its two different levels: the rim-flow pool situated at the top, and the reservoir at the bottom (into which the water is contained that flows over the top rim). Two pumps are required: one to drive the water back up from the reservoir, and another for the sanitisation process, with level controls being especially crucial.

For those that live near the ocean: seagulls are quite fond of infinity pools and like to sit on the edge while preening and plucking their feathers, which can get into the filtration system – another reason why constant maintenance is important.

What are the pros and cons of an infinity pool?

An eye-catching, oasis-like design that can superbly improve your garden or yard, but are you taking everything into consideration that relates to infinity pools?


· So much more than a body of water for swimming, an overflow pool enhances an already beautiful view, especially when looking out onto another body of water (like the ocean).

· A well-placed infinity pool can also act as a stand-alone water feature, adding great value to a house (around 15%).

· In some ways, infinity pools are easier to maintain than standard swimming pools due to their filtration systems that help to pump water up from the bottom reservoir. This helps reduce the need for cleaning out the pool or ensuring that the water is not stagnate, for the constant motion of the water persistently cleans and filters the pool.


· They are more dangerous due to their exposed (slippery) edges.

· In certain situations, an infinity pool is actually a bad idea, for example, when your lawn has a sloping edge.

· The “vanishing” effect won’t work if you don’t have an adequate view. For example, if your yard looks out onto a wall and not a larger landscape, the infinity effect will be lost.

· That stunning, serene effect doesn’t come with a tiny budget, as these types of pools are quite costly.

The costs of an infinity pool

Nothing in life is free, and a pool (whether infinity or otherwise) is certainly no exception. A pool pump consumes vast amounts of electricity on a monthly basis, in addition to the required chemicals and cleaning products needed to give your pool a decent cleansing. Underground pipe leakage is also an all-too real issue, as well as damaged tiles or paving around the pool area.

However, should these very real issues not scare you off, then feel free to look up one of the many pool-building companies in South Africa. Note that an experienced consultant needs to come out to your home, assess your yard and pool requirements, as well as your budget, before work can begin.

Note that each swimming pool is different, and the final price will depend on certain criteria, including:

· Size of the pool

· Type of finishes (glass tile, ceramic tile, stones etc.)

· Lighting fixtures

· Additional equipment that is needed for proper operation of the reservoir or catch basin, i.e. filter and pump.

Depending on the swimming pool’s design and your property, a decent ordinary pool can cost between R55,000 to R100,000; however, this can increase dramatically depending on size, finishes, location and decorative elements. An infinity pool typically costs 20% more than a regular pool, so remember to adjust your budget if an overflow design is what you see in your future.

Let homify help

Whether it’s an infinity pool, a garden pool or just a regular swimming pond you require in your yard, homify provides an ever-expanding list of options to inspire you. Not only that, we also present a supreme collection of professionals (such as builders, carpenters, architects, landscape designers, you name it) to help you achieve the design of your dreams.