Frequently Asked Questions About Artificial Rock

What is Artificial Rock?
There are many types of artificial rock. Sometimes fake rock can be made of a light weight polyurethane which is usually cast into a mould and pressed out into various shapes and styles. Secondly is fibreglass rock which is a more rigid medium but is also a remarkably light weight rock with practical purposes when building indoor ponds and waterfalls or on even a second floor where weight limits are a concern. Finally, there is concrete artificial rock which is the most durable and customisable type of artificial rock. Concrete artificial rock is made by first designing a steel frame infrastructure, then covering the framework with concrete. This is a very specialised concrete mix with colour,bonding,hardening and waterproofing additives put into the mix. The concrete is then hand sculpted and finished to a beautiful natural looking finish. This concrete artificial rock is what Creative Rock most often uses when we build a pond, waterfall, or fountain.

pool waterfall, artificial rock, cave rock, pool rock
Cave design artificial rom on a pool

Is Artificial Rock Strong Enough To Stand On?
The structural strength of our our concrete rock features is such that it can easily withstand enormous weight loads without any risk of collapse or damage. This allows us to build magnificent rock structures over swimming pools that kids or adults can feel safe climbing onto and jumping off. Because our rock is steel reinforced and built to the highest standards, it can be used to make rock walkways/patios and stepping stones, or rock retaining walls or fake rock wall cladding. The landscape design potential is limitless when using artificial rock. When building man made rock ponds, you can always be confident that there will be no way to compromise the waterproofing as is often the case with rubber pond liners.

fake rock wall, Artificial rock wall cladding
structural retaining wall built out of concrete rock

How Do You Build A Waterfall To Fit A Small Area?
These days, people often don’t have a lot of space to incorporate a large landscape design. Sometimes, a property may only have a small courtyard or patio and without proper consideration, these areas are often left underdeveloped and therefore not utilised the way they could be. Creative Rock can design and build a waterfall, feature or fountain to make a huge impression with very little space. After many years of landscape design specialising in artificial rock and waterfall construction, we have many tricks to help create amazing concepts to bring elegance and vitality to areas of any size.

indoor waterfall with rock fountain
A unique waterfall built inside a house. The entry foyer is crucial to the design of the waterfall.

What Other Things Can Artificial Rock Be Used For?
Artificial rock has many standard applications that are familiar to everyone. Things such as rock fountains, Koi Ponds, rock waterfall construction,and waterfalls on swimming pools, rock garden edging and retaining walls. Sometimes, however there can be some really interesting ways to incorporate artificial rock that most have never even considered. Often, swimming pools will be carefully designed inso far as the shape, style and colouring of the pool, however what is often overlooked is the positioning and design to deal with the vast amount of functional pool equipment. Pool pumps, sand filters, lighting/transformers, chlorinators, and general pipes, valves and electrical set ups all take up quite a large amount of space and are completely unattractive. I have seen many swimming pool landscape designs that are completely ruined by the fact that no thought has been given to covering these unsightly mechanics. This is where artificial rock can be a saving grace. Many times we will build a waterfall on the side of a pool so that a beautiful cascade with flowing water and strategically placed lighting showcases a wonderful feature. What some people fail to recognise it that ofter we cave built the waterfall over top of the filters and equipment so that is completely out of view. We can create an artificial rock door which is removed when servicing is needed but when running normally, all of the pool equipment is hidden inside the rock. This also helps to keep the sound of pumps and equipment much more contained so that only the tranquil sound of the waterfall is heard and not the bringing of pumps.

Artificial rock waterfall added to pool
Artificial rock covering pumps and filters

We Have An Old/Broken Waterfall. Do You Do Waterfall Repairs?
We have extensive experience in regards to all types of water features, artificial rock repairs, pond repairs and all elements of waterfall construction. Call us if you require a waterfall or pond to be repaired or replaced. Too often a waterfall is left empty and not functioning. This is sad and unsightly and can easily be fixed so that any water feature can be properly restored to it’s former glory.

formal fountain
Rock fountain used in a formal foyer design

Is Artificial Rock Expensive?
Obviously, the price of our artificial rock features is dependant on many factors. Size, scope and design are always very individual, and will require individual pricing. If you would like to get a no obligation quote, give us a ring. That said, generally concrete artificial rock is very competitive when comparing pricing with factory made plastic waterfalls. When you factor in the value of having a custom made concrete feature with the strength a durability that comes with it, we believe that the cost of a well built Creative Rock waterfall far outweighs any comparable alternatives.

Indoor pond, fake rock waterfall, fibreglass rock
Big or small, Creative Rock can build an artificial rock feature to suit any situation.


Fake Rocks – Is Imitation Even Better Than The Real Thing?

Over the years, Creative Rock has built ponds and waterfalls to just about very size, shape, and design imaginable. Back in the old days (pre digital age even!), we would construct our waterfalls and ponds using huge natural rocks. These massive boulders would be placed in and around the garden by brute force. Putting both landscapers and property in peril we would manoeuvre these monoliths using cranes, excavators, iron bars, ropes and various contraptions which would inevitably result in a “that’s close enough” attitude. Besides the limitations and extra expenses that natural rock waterfalls have in regard to positioning and access, there were also many structural considerations involved when building waterfalls and ponds with natural rocks. Creating large overhanging rocks positioned over a swimming pool to create a cave style waterfall would definitely need to be thought out carefully. Eventually, we would have to concede that some designs just were not possible.

So began the beginnings of artificial rock.

The earliest versions of man made rock came from the golden years of hollywood. Studio productions would find it to be more economical to create artificial caves, rock features/formations, or natural surrounds in their studios rather that find the ideal location and have to set up the entire production in various scattered locations. Most rock was sculpted and formed out of light weight foam or fibreglass where very quickly the Bat Cave or a Bond villains’ hideout would be created and the man made cave could be recorded, sound staged, and lit up as necessary, allowing sound and lighting to be controlled precisely while the actors and crew never having to leave the studio.

As time went on the notion of creating natural environments in residential applications started to take off and the industry of creating mock rock migrated from the hollywood hills to world wide use for ponds, faux rock retaining walls, swimming pools, and any number of clever uses.

As artificial rock became popular in gardens, pools, and inside homes, the need for hard wearing structural rock became very important. People needed an artificial version of rock that was easy to design and manipulate but that had the integrity to be used for structural applications and retaining walls. Concrete rocks which were reinforced with steel were sculpted and coloured to look identical to natural rock. The results were so spectacular and convincing that this type of rock would become the norm. Of course, as well as adding some complication to the process of manufacturing fake rock features came some important benefits when using concrete. Rock bridges spanning huge ponds or pools would be much easier to construct and things like rock overhangs on pools and spas would finally become safe and strong. The other advantages when using concrete rock formations is that the style and colour can be designed to match the interior of a home, office, or hotel, while still maintaining it’s natural beauty. Man made rock could be used not only for waterfalls and ponds, but also as rock stepping stones, patios, walls, or even integrated into aquariums and furnishings. Theme parks, zoos and various public spaces such as clubs, casinos, and hotels would also use rock fountains and waterfalls to bring a sense of prestige and elegance whilst also creating memorable experiences for their clients and guests to talk about to their friends and family.

Of course waterscapes are just one piece of the of the landscape design puzzle. In Sydney, we are blessed with some of the best weather on the planet, and this allows us many options in regards to planting some extremely beautiful feature trees into our designs. The plants, waterfalls, lighting and pond design will all work together to produce a classy and unique contemporary landscape design. One that even Bat Man would be proud of.

pool waterfall cascade
cascade waterfall on pool with woman