Pros and Cons of Waterfall Kitchen Countertops - O'Hanlon Kitchens (2023)

Pros and Cons of Waterfall Kitchen Countertops - O'Hanlon Kitchens (1)

Looking for a wow factor in your kitchen remodel? A waterfall countertops could be the perfect addition. Before you get your heart set on a waterfall edge, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of waterfall kitchen countertops. Here are some considerations to keep in mind from the professional remodelers and O’Hanlon Kitchens.

What Is a Waterfall Edge Countertop?

A waterfall edge occurs when the material on top of the cabinets is carried over to the side of the cabinets. This creates the appearance of a ‘waterfall,’ as if the countertop is pouring down. Waterfall countertops are popular on kitchen islands because they act as a dramatic focal point in the room. They can also be used on exposed sides of cabinets that do not butt up against a wall.

Waterfall countertops can be made from stone, wood, and other materials. The point where the side and top meet is a crucial element of the illusion. Veins in the wood or stone must be closely matched to create the appearance of one seamless piece. If this is not done properly, it will look like the side was simply wrapped in the same material as the top – not the same piece of material.

Pros of Waterfall Kitchen Countertops

Waterfall kitchen countertops are showstoppers. If you want your kitchen to be unique and impressive, this is a great solution for you. The stone on the side of the cabinets also acts as a protective barrier, shielding the cabinets from normal wear-and-tear.

The waterfall design is incredibly versatile. You can use it in nearly every kitchen design you can imagine. A sleek white waterfall countertop would look perfect in a contemporary kitchen, but a sweeping butcherblock countertop would look great in a country kitchen. As long as you choose the right material, you can design a waterfall countertop that beautifully enhances your kitchen.

Cons of Waterfall Kitchen Countertops

Because of the craftsmanship required to match and fit waterfall countertops, they tend to cost more than standard kitchen counters. There is little room for error, especially when it comes to matching the veins along the connection. The counter material that runs along the side will require extra support to stay in place, thus adding to the cost of materials. Simply put, this is not a good fit for budget kitchen remodels.

If you want an outlet on the side of the cabinets, it will be difficult to install with a waterfall edge. The outlet may also take away from the effect of the waterfall. Think about the function of the kitchen first. Then you can decide if this design element is the right fit for your needs.

Is a Waterfall Kitchen Countertop Right for My Kitchen?

If you have a visible cabinet edge that you want to jazz up, look into waterfall kitchen countertops. If you can barely see the edge in question, it’s probably not worth the extra cost of a waterfall edge. Think about the overall design you have for the kitchen. Would a waterfall countertop add to the design or compete with other features? The experts here at O’Hanlon Kitchens will gladly support you every step of the way. Contact us online or give us a call at 443-285-0558 to schedule a consultation with a kitchen designer near you.

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What are the disadvantages of waterfall countertops? ›

Upfront Cost – Waterfall countertops do come with a hefty price tag. They are significantly costlier than conventional countertops due to the manufacturing process and the amount of material used. Aside from the material cost, you'll also have to include the CNC fabrication costs.

Is waterfall countertop worth it? ›

If the client wants a more contemporary feel, waterfall countertops have slender, clean lines which are good for a modern, minimalist look. There is a practical benefit too, as the material is tougher than a wooden, side cabinet panel which gives excellent impact resistance in high-impact areas.

Is waterfall countertop dated? ›

Along with glamor and luxury, art deco was known for its geometric and streamlined aesthetics; all details that a waterfall counter embodies. Since this kitchen feature has lasted through the decades, there's a strong argument to be made that it has earned its way into being considered a timeless design.

Should I put a waterfall on my kitchen island? ›

Waterfall kitchen islands have emerged as a popular design trend in modern kitchens, thanks to their unique style and functionality. Not only do they add an eye-catching statement piece to your kitchen, but they also offer practical benefits like extra countertop space and seating options.

Why not to use waterfall? ›

High amounts of risk and uncertainty. Not a good model for complex and object-oriented projects. Poor model for long and ongoing projects. Not suitable for the projects where requirements are at a moderate to high risk of changing.

What countertops to avoid? ›

Good options include porcelain slabs, quartz, and some natural stone. Avoid countertops that are largely plastic such as cultured marble, solid surface, and those that introduce formaldehyde, like laminate.

What is the hottest trend for countertops? ›

Quartz remains top of the wishlist for kitchen countertops. Quartz worktops are made from engineered stone – a combination of ground quartz, resins and polymers to create a really tough material.

What countertop adds the most value? ›

Granite and quartz countertops offer a great return on investment when it comes to increasing the value of your home. Granite is known for its durability and timeless beauty, while quartz offers a more modern look with excellent scratch resistance.

Which countertop holds up the best? ›

The durability winner is quartz, the man-nature combo countertop. Crushed quartz stone is mixed with resin to produce countertops that range from solid colors to the look of real granite, but they'll beat natural stone in toughness. Quartz is almost indestructible under normal kitchen prep conditions.

Are waterfall countertops out of style 2023? ›

Waterfall islands, generously sized islands, and countertop materials that continue seamlessly onto walls are all kitchen trends of 2023.

What is the trend in countertops 2023? ›

The trend towards quartzite countertops was present this past year, and it is expected to continue in 2023 as well. While the name of this stone is similar to quartz, they are entirely different materials. Quartz is a man-made countertop, while quartzite is a natural stone material.

What is the best material for a waterfall island? ›

They provide a very unique look and make for a beautiful space. Quartz is currently the most popular material for waterfall countertops. Its versatility allows our engineers and designers at Caesarstone to mold it seamlessly into a variety of shapes and patterns.

Does waterfall Island add value? ›


A waterfall island in the kitchen is a great way to add value to your home. It adds beauty and functionality, but it's also built to last. When constructed properly, a waterfall island is made with durable materials that can withstand years of use.

When should you not have a kitchen island? ›

Another life-saving guideline: if your kitchen is less than 13 feet wide, we don't recommend adding an island at all. And, for a U-shaped kitchen, the opening should be at least 10 feet wide to accommodate an island without causing claustrophobia.

Is it better to have sink or cooktop on island? ›

Deciding between a hob or a sink is largely down to personal preference. There are lots of different things to consider when deciding if you should have a hob or a sink, or both, on your kitchen island. Hobs make the cooking process much more sociable, where sinks make prep much easier!

Do waterfall countertops increase home value? ›

Increased home value: The unique and modern look of a waterfall countertop can increase the overall value of a home, making it a worthwhile investment for homeowners looking to upgrade their kitchen or bathroom.

Is waterfall outdated? ›

Research shows that 51% of organizations still use Waterfall, based on a 2017 report from the Project Management Institute. Despite the Waterfall methodology being very structured and straightforward, making it suitable for many product teams, some drawbacks render this methodology outdated.

Which countertop lasts the longest? ›

Quartz wins as the most durable material for any kitchen construction or renovation. Having a durable countertop is a lifelong investment and if you plan to sell your home at some point in the future, its value will be higher if you've used a durable countertop like quartz.

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