What is a Waterfall Counter?

Waterfall counters have popped up at the forefront of interior design in recent years. But we think they are a staple of timeless kitchen design. This style of countertop has graced homes since the early half of the twentieth century, and now serves as the perfect combo between modern and classic design. Basically, with a waterfall kitchen island, instead of having a slab of material that sits on top of a base, with a waterfall countertop, the countertop material wraps around the sides of the base too.

Are Waterfall Kitchen Island Counters Right for You?

If you are looking for a sleek, modern touch to add to your kitchen space, we suggest trying a waterfall counter, not just for the aesthetics, but also for their practicality. Here are some reasons why you might want a waterfall counter:

Added Protection for your Base Cabinets

Because the counter material wraps around to cover the sides of the base cabinets, the risks of chipping or damaging the finish of the cabinets is reduced. Also, just as you clean your countertop, you can also clean the sides in the same way, providing for an easier way to keep your kitchen tidy.

More Room for Storage

Since a waterfall countertop usually extends out past the cabinet bases, they provide a neat way to tuck away bar stools. You can also try adding outlets on the sides of the countertop, a unique feature that can be a game changer in how you enjoy your kitchen.

They Look Interesting

If you are looking to add a stand-out focal point to your kitchen, a waterfall countertop does the job. Based on your choice of countertop material and color, you can easily create cohesion between your kitchen’s other materials and colors. The smooth transition between the floor and the countertop can also add a more natural feel to the kitchen. Sort of like the counter is growing out of the floor.

Best Materials for Waterfall Kitchen Island Counter Tops

Material is of the highest importance when it comes to waterfall kitchen island counters. Depending on your choice, the material of the counter can either make for a seamless, subtle look or can turn the island into a statement piece. Here are some popular materials used:


Known for its fine veining, marble can be a beautiful addition to any minimalist kitchen. However, marble is a softer stone that will require a bit more upkeep than granite or quartz. A way around some of the upkeep issues is through choosing a good finish and regularly resurfacing the counter.


A kitchen favorite known for its strength and durability, granite is practical and stylish. Granite can withstand high heat from pots and pans and rarely chips. It is a porous material though, so some liquids, if left on the surface for too long, can be absorbed into the counter.


Easy to maintain and available in a variety of colors, quartz has sky rocketed in popularity in recent years as a countertop material. Be careful though when choosing between natural quartzite and engineered quartz as they each have their pros and cons. Generally, quartzite is more durable but needs to be resealed every few years while engineered quartz cannot withstand high heat but does not require resealing.


A new crowd favorite, known for its warm country feel, wood countertops can make any home feel cozy while also being a more affordable option. However, wood falls short when it comes to upkeep. This material needs to be resealed frequently, is more prone to damage, and harbors bacteria when improperly sealed.

7 of Our Favorite Waterfall Kitchen Island Counters

So which of these 7 waterfall counter looks do you like best?

White Minimalism

This minimalistic white waterfall kitchen island counter adds a touch of modernity that pairs so well with the rustic ceiling beams!

Bold Black

We love how this black waterfall countertop outlines the wood base cabinets, helping them stand out against the matching wood flooring.

Soothing Peninsula

Don’t have space for a full kitchen island? Try a waterfall peninsula for a similar look. We like how they paired this white one with the heathered wood.

Cool Concrete

Look at the rustic charm this concrete waterfall counter top adds to this crisp white kitchen!

Carrara Casing

We love the elegance of this Carrara marble island paired with the light cabinetry and flooring.

Marble and Wood Grains

Look at all of the storage and seating space this island has!

Waterfall Kitchen Island Counter Tips

So now that you have decided that you must have a waterfall kitchen island, we’re sure you’d like to know how to choose it and take care of it. Well here are some of our tips:

  1. Consider your space- think about the general aesthetic of your kitchen and what you would like to achieve.
  2. Consider seams- stone slabs that are large enough to cover an entire counter area are rare and it might be impossible to find one large enough to make a solid waterfall countertop. So make sure to think about the pattern of what ever countertop material you choose and what sealants you will be using to fill in those seams.
  3. Pay attention to your seating- the seats you choose to put at your waterfall kitchen island counter can make or break the look. Make sure that when you are choosing your counter top and you seats that you are considering them together.
  4. Care for your counter surface- make sure that as you maintain your waterfall counter that you are not neglecting those gorgeous sides that attracted you to it in the first place.

So now that we have seen just what a wonderful addition a sleek waterfall countertop can be to a home, which of the seven waterfall counters that we showed is your favorite? Are you going to run out and get one now? Feel free to comment on this post with your opinions and any waterfall counter expertise or questions you would like to share.

Happy Thursday!