By now, almost everybody is aware of the benefits of quartz countertops compared to traditional stone countertops. Quartz is a highly durable material made from finely crushed stone combined with a super-strong acrylic resin. This technique offers all the advantages of natural stone, but also provides a completely sealed, non-porous surface so you never have to worry about stains seeping into the countertop.
Another major advantage of quartz countertops is that this marvelous material can be used in a variety of ways to create unique, innovative designs. The waterfall edge countertop is one such breakthrough, that has been gaining in popularity over the last several years – and with good reason!
What is a waterfall edge countertop?
This is a countertop design that turns 90 degrees at the end, and “falls” to the floor, rather than ending in a traditional horizontal edge. The waterfall edge can also be combined with the “mitered edge” technique, creating a “wrapped island” style with a luxurious, opulent look.
Why should I consider a waterfall edge?
First of all, the look. It’s a much more modern and luxurious visual – the kind of style that was previously only available in fully custom kitchens costing tens of thousands of dollars. With a waterfall edge, you can create a stunning look at a fraction of the cost. The possibilities are truly endless, especially when you consider that quartz countertops are available in literally 1000s of colors and textures/patterns. As a premier dealer of the world’s most famous quartz brands – Compac, Caesarstone, Cambria, Pompeii, MSI, and many others – New York Quartz has access to an incredible library of stone designs, and can create any look, from traditional to contemporary.
Second, it protects the cabinets from damage and scuffing. Cabinet end panels are generally made from veneer, and are susceptible to damage over the years of use. Having a layer of stone surrounding the cabinets instantly extends the life of the kitchen. Since quartz is a highly durable material, and its color is “full depth”, even if the countertop gets scratched, the damage won’t be noticeable, and can always be buffed and polished out.
Third, it lets you experiment with island designs without being obligated to stuff the entire area full of cabinets. A waterfall edge countertop offers airy, lightweight design options, with plenty of legroom for seating. It also lets you create additional partitions to hide plumbing, electrical, or maintenance areas. This leads to far more flexibility in terms of locating sinks, dishwashers, cooktops, retractable appliances, ventilation, and power outlets (another growing trend in modern kitchens – having a “power tower” rise up out of the counter, to provide electricity for small appliances and cell phone chargers).
Modern, luxurious look
Stone protects cabinets
Will Waterfall countertops go out of style?
Not anytime soon. It’s a design technique that offers multiple advantages in terms of looks, ROI, comfort, and usability. Of course trends change over time – even granite that has “ruled the roost” for a couple of decades, is giving way to quartz and other more modern materials. But a waterfall edge countertop, made from high-quality quartz, is pretty much guaranteed to add value to a kitchen for years and years to come.
Does a waterfall edge island cost more than a traditional one?
No, not particularly. The base material – quartz – costs about as much as traditional granite and marble. The cost of fabrication (cutting and shaping the counter, making cut-outs for the sink, outlets, etc, and adding a decorative edge) is also similar. In addition, since we have our own in-house fabrication shop, we can keep the costs and timeframes to a minimum without sacrificing quality.
Is a waterfall edge countertop only suitable for a large kitchen?
Surprisingly, no. Even though most of the gallery pictures you’ll see of waterfall countertops are going to be photographed in large, showroom-style kitchens, waterfall edges are actually space-saving and thus very suitable for small kitchens. This technique gives you the design flexibility to create exactly the island style and layout you need, with the best possible placement for appliances, power outlets, seating, and conduits. So this design should be considered especially where space is at a premium.
Here’s an example of a “double waterfall” countertop that makes a small apartment kitchen look more impressive, by creating a luxurious, illuminated design statement.
Need more information?
We hope this article has been useful in addressing some of the general questions and concerns you might have about waterfall edge countertops. If you’re considering a kitchen renovation or a kitchen remodel, we invite you to visit our showroom (a 13,000-SF wonderland of design products, including full-size kitchen displays), or give us a call at (754) 222-8345 to speak to our consultants.