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Outdoor vs Indoor Fountains

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At Water Gallery, a couple common questions we get asked are “What’s the difference between an indoor and outdoor fountain?” and “Why can’t I use an indoor fountain outside, or vice versa?”

Here are some of the major characteristics that separate the two kinds of home water fountains:

Indoor Fountains

Indoor fountains make brilliant additions to a variety of rooms and spaces in a home or office. They can also be great features on a covered porch. Most of these fountains are smaller in size because the spaces in which they are installed have a smaller, limited space.

Indoor fountains make for great focal points in a room and can also provide a calm and relaxing environment to the room with its gently flowing waters.

These types of fountains have built-in lighting and are powered by electricity. Most indoor fountains have cords that reduce the risk of tripping.

There are three major types of indoor fountains: free-standing, bubble wall and wall. Within each of these indoor fountain subcategories, there are multiple shapes, sizes, colors and materials to choose from.

Free-standing indoor fountains can have a classic look with a series of small waterfalls or they can be modern-looking panels of glass, stone or metal with water trickling down it.

Bubble wall indoor fountains make for great room separators. These fountains tend to lay horizontally and are usually on top of a free-standing base. Bubble walls feature motorized bubbles that create patterns between two panels of clear, glass or heavy-duty plastic panels. Most bubble walls also come with built-in LED lighting of various colors.

Wall fountains are a good idea for small spaces that don’t have adequate floor space of a free-standing fountain or a bubble wall fountain. Wall fountains are panels of either glass or metal over which water trickles down. It has a built-in water catcher. These fountains come in a variety of sizes and can be either simple, sleek, clean and modern-looking or they can be luxurious and feature unique, custom made replica paintings or metal work. With wall fountains, you’ll need a wall big and strong enough to hold the fountain.

Besides trip reducing power cords, indoor fountains also have built-in splash guards, which prevents excessive splashing that could quickly damage your floor.

Outdoor Fountains

Outdoor fountains, on the other hand are built to survive the potentially harsh elements of the outdoors such as moisture, wind, heat, cold and sunlight. These types of fountains are often coated with a special protective finish that isn’t applied to indoor fountains.

Unlike indoor fountains that can be constructed with stone, glass, metal and wood, the vast majority of outdoor fountains are made of stone.

Outdoor fountains also run on electricity, but they have UL-grounding plugs and shroud devices to protect the lights from moisture.

These fountains tend to be larger as outdoor spaces tend to be larger and lack the limiting boundaries of indoors.

Outdoor fountains are specially made and have UL-approved grounding plugs. These plugs protect the fountain from electric shock in the event of moisture occurring. Additionally, there are shroud devices that protect the lights from moisture.

Outdoor fountains come in a variety of styles, sizes and shapes, from the white, classical fountain to the charcoal, modern fountain featuring stacked cubes.

Just like indoor fountains, outdoor fountains can serve either as a focal point for an area or it can provide relaxation.

Why the Two Can’t Be Interchangeable

Going back to the dilemma at the beginning, placing an indoor fountain outside where it will get exposed to the elements will not only ruin the look and finish of the fountain, but the exposed electrical components to rain, fog, dew and snow opens the possibility of dangerous electrical shocks and shortages.

The opposite would be just as disastrous. On outside fountain has bulkier, larger electrical components, increasing the risk of tripping and they lack the splash protection of indoor fountains, meaning more water spillage which will destroy your carpet and/or wooden flooring.

Fountains That Can Do Both?

There are a few, select, premier fountains that are built for both indoor and outdoor use. These can be great options for the situation previously discussed.

A fountain can add a lot to a space. With the variety of indoor and outdoor fountains available, it is possible to find the fountain that is the right size, shape and color to either compliment a theme or vibe or stand out as the focal point. Both can also provide relaxing serenity with their trickling water.

Indoor and outdoor fountains are made differently to thrive in their respective environment. Because most fountains are different and have different components, indoor and outdoor fountains are not often interchangeable.

There are a few fountains, however, that can operate in either the indoor or outdoor environment.

Whether you’re looking for an indoor or outdoor fountain, you’ll find a variety of both fountain styles at the Water Gallery. If you have any questions or need input as to which one would be best for your situation, contact us today. 

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