Creating water stairs in the garden - 7 tips for building and designing

Creating water stairs in the garden - 7 tips for building and designing

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Water enriches every garden because it has a refreshing and calming effect. Visually makes e.g. a water staircase a lot ago. Here are 7 tips for structure and design.

A water staircase is a real eye-catcher in the garden

When it ripples softly in the garden and the water makes its way through the garden pond, don't you think that it has a very calming effect? But optically, too, it makes a lot of difference when a fountain or spring stone ripples in the garden or a waterfall rushes. A particularly beautiful spectacle is the water stairs, which e.g. can flow into the garden pond. That looks really great.

Water stairs are also very popular with numerous insects. Even dragonflies love to romp around these constantly moving water courses, which is why water stairs often clearly create a "hustle and bustle" in the garden. Now you will surely think that the construction of a water staircase is somewhat complicated, but this is not the case. With a few tricks, it is integrated in the garden in no time.

Tips for construction and design

➤ Tip 1 - select drop height & size:

The rule of thumb applies when building: the steeper a water staircase is, the easier it is to create a waterfall (height of fall). And the smaller a water staircase turns out, the easier it will be to populate it with aquatic plants.

A garden with a hillside location is of course ideally suited for the design of a water staircase, since such a staircase can always be integrated in a very harmonious manner. However, you should make sure that you design the two side surfaces next to the stairs.

➤ Tip 2 - determine the course:

Water stairs can either take a straight course or can also be designed in curves. The smaller your garden is, the sooner you should use the straight version.

➤ Tip 3 - use the water stair set:

Of course, you can be creative and build the water stairs entirely by yourself. For this purpose, many dealers now even offer different water stairs as a set, which you can immediately set up in your garden without much previous knowledge.

➤ Tip 4 - Lay out the pond liner:

It is ideal if you cover your water staircase with a pond liner after modeling (pay attention to the corner formation) so that you can then lay it with natural stones without any problems. Alternatively, you can also concrete the water stairs. You can technically optimize concrete concrete stairs in particular, for example by integrating lighting fixtures into the stairs.

➤ Tip 5 - Determine the height of the water levels:

With the length of your water staircase, you have to take into account that the individual steps must be subject to a constant gradient. If you only model the steps for the water flow, they can be much lower in depth than the planted steps.

➤ Tip 6 - planting stages:

When planting the steps, you have to pay attention to the height of the individual aquatic plants so that a graded picture results within the course of the stairs. So you should plant tall plants on the top steps, lower plants on the bottom steps.

➤ Tip 7 - choose the right water pump:

The heart of every water staircase is a well-functioning water circulation, which you can achieve with the help of a correspondingly powerful water pump. You have to calculate the power of this water pump according to the amount of water that you have to deal with, which you need for your water flow on the water stairs. So it's best to get advice from a specialist. This can tell you exactly which water pump is best suited for your water staircase.


If your water staircase ends in a garden pond, the water circulating through the staircase should always be cleaned again and again using a special filter system.

Here is a book tip:

For all those who want to integrate the element of water even more in the garden, we have a book recommendation here: Designing water gardens: design ideas for every location (available here). In this book you will find a wealth of inspiring examples of modern water gardens. This guide also provides specific design ideas with plant plans and plant lists.

The great thing about the book is that over 80 water and riparian plants are described in detail. So you not only get important know-how, but also tips on which plants are best suited for your project.