Quite often, we hear clients say, “I love this stone so much. I wish I could just put the whole slab up on my wall!” Of course, that’s not an option in most homes, but the next best idea is a waterfall counter. Also called “risers,” a waterfall counter can be installed on the end of an island or an open end of perimeter counters.
Usually, the horizontal counter is extended vertically down to the floor in such a way that the pattern of the granite, marble, or quartz continues across the joint, creating the waterfall effect that gives this stunning design feature its name.
1. Hide an Appliance….with Style
Of course, a simple end panel on a kitchen island will keep a dishwasher or oven tucked away, but we prefer to make everything in the kitchen both functional and beautiful. More natural elements and less appliances showing will give the room a clean, calm feel.
2. No More Scuffed Up End-Panels
Speaking of end panels, how often have you seen them scratched and scuffed up by kids, pets, and clumsy adults? Just like stone or metal panels behind the stove to protect against grease can be both practical and beautiful, a waterfall counter in a durable material like granite or quartz is easier to keep clean than a wood panel and will stay scuff-free. Granite and quartz are incredibly durable and very difficult to scratch.
3. Show off your Unique Granite or Marble
If you’ve taken the time to search out the perfect exotic or unique natural stone for your kitchen, we’re guessing you want to show it off. The vertical waterfall counter suggests a work of art, on display for your enjoyment. A waterfall counter is especially effective in an open floor plan, where the island is visible from other rooms.
Kitchen counters are usually only visible from above, when you are standing. A waterfall counter extends the enjoyment of your stone to the living room couch by bringing the stone into another height level. This is a particularly great way to emphasize a linear patterned granite. Work with your local fabricator to orient the lines in your granite or marble so that they go across the island and simply flow down the side.
4. Create an Aesthetic Focal Point
Walk into your living room. What is the first thing that draws your attention? That is the focal point of the room. In the same way that an elegant fireplace or brightly painted accent wall in the living room creates a visual focal point for the space, a waterfall counter on the island can add weight to the center of the room, drawing the eye constantly back to the middle.
The focal point of the room is where all the other elements converge. The kitchen is the heart of the home, and the practicality of the kitchen island means it is usually the busiest place in the kitchen. So why not add beauty and a touch of luxury to this hard working focal point?
5. Emphasize Angles and Lines in a Contemporary Kitchen
If you are designing a contemporary kitchen, then you need a focal point with strong, clean lines. A waterfall counter down one end of the island will create a strong 90 degree angle. Opt for a waterfall counter down both sides of the island for a powerful statement of symmetry. Another way to play up the island lines in your contemporary kitchen is to upgrade to a laminated eased/stacked edge. This is a special 6cm (2.5 inch) edge created by attaching a faux second layer of stone to make the granite look twice as thick.
A few more tips for designing your waterfall counter:
• Consider an eased or beveled granite edge in your kitchen if you choose this feature. The clean lines on these edges will let the extra stone take center stage.
• Choose a high quality stone fabricator. The cuts needed for a waterfall granite counter are bit more complicated than a regular counter and are best done on a CNC machine and installed by skilled craftsmen.
• Include the measurements of your island side panel(s) in the drawing or plan you bring to your local fabricator so that they can include it in their overall stone design right from the start.