Make a splash in your designer kitchen with a waterfall worktop
By Mike James
Waterfall worktops have been a major kitchen interiors trend over the last few years. Even if the terminology is not familiar to you, you will definitely have seen all kinds of different implementations in kitchen showrooms and homes up and down the country. So, what is a ‘waterfall’ worktop?
According to interior designer Anna Ward, a ‘waterfall’ design on a kitchen worktop simply means that the worktop carries on past the cabinet edge and flows vertically downwards all the way to the floor. You can have a waterfall edge one side of a run of base units or a kitchen peninsula, or wrap two sides of a kitchen island in the countertop material.
This style of worktop can be found in various kitchen designs and their impact is most striking when natural stone surfaces – marble, granite, quartz, concrete – are utilised. You could even go all out and achieve a true ‘monolith effect’ by covering three sides of an island.>
Contemporary luxury kitchen design
Initially used as a strong architectural design feature by avantgarde kitchen designers to show what’s possible, waterfall countertops and kitchen islands have quickly become one of the hallmarks of contemporary kitchens. And if you take a close look at kitchen brochures and showrooms near you, not to mention aspirational residences everywhere, you’ll see that this is largely still the case.
The waterfall design lends itself beautifully to putting the kitchen centre stage at the heart of the modern home. Use it to add a wow factor to showcase spacious, open plan kitchen/diner interior schemes. Inject a sense of individualism by choosing from a vast range of possible colour and finish combinations to truly personalise your kitchen space. From seamless background to dramatic contrast, the right choice of countertop in a waterfall style won’t fail to go unnoticed by your guests!
Best materials for waterfall countertops
Waterfall worktops embody a sleek, minimalist look with strong lines. Often, unusual and unapologetically luxurious natural materials such as marble and limestone, granite, quartz and slate are preferred. For kitchen designs with a nod towards industrial chic or futuristic creations, the use of utilitarian surfaces such as stainless steel or polished concrete has the power to elevate the space beyond its functional limitations.
That said, your selection of worktop material should be guided by both good looks and functionality. For contemporary kitchen schemes, natural stone and resin based worktops are hard to beat, plus there’s a near limitless choice of styles, colours and textures to fit in with any conceivable kitchen design.
Gorgeous natural stone countertops also have the advantage in terms of offering superior heat resistance, stain and scratch resistance but be careful to choose a product that doesn’t require period sealing to keep their properties.
Manmade or engineered worktop surfaces such as Corian or quartz, on the other hand, are non-porous and extremely hard wearing, making them totally impervious to burns, scratches or stains. These types of material are virtually maintenance free and come in an infinite choice of colours – you can even have the countertop material match dyed to complement the colour palette of your kitchen scheme.<
Practically perfect in every way
In addition to the undeniable aesthetic wow effect that a waterfall countertop or island will generate in your kitchen, it’s also a very practical choice for the home. Give your kitchen cupboard end panels a streamlined look while keeping bulky and unsightly kitchen clutter safely stored behind closed cabinet doors. It’s a clever way to maintain your kitchen’s neat and tidy appearance.
Scuffing or marking the side of the base unit by unruly pets or children will be a thing of the past thanks to the hardwearing property of the surface. What’s more, utilising additional worktop material, whether at the end of a run of floor standing units, a peninsula or a freestanding kitchen island, will make it much easier to keep clean – a daily wipeover should do be all that’s needed. Whether you’ve gone with naturally occurring granite or delicately veined marble, these durable surfaces will more than stand the test of time.