Kitchen islands have become one of the most desirable features in open-plan kitchens over the last few years.

But what is a waterfall kitchen island?

A standard kitchen island usually consists of base units that match the rest of the kitchen with a contrasting worktop.

A waterfall kitchen island is a more striking design feature as it stretches the worktop material down the ends of the island to give a more seamless look.

This guide will compare waterfall kitchen islands with standard islands and explore how they can be used to make a statement in your kitchen design.

Why have a kitchen island?

The trend for open-plan living has grown over the last decade, with the kitchen now considered the heart of most homes. Kitchen renovations often include knocking through to separate dining rooms to create a much larger space.

Kitchen islands are a great way to separate the kitchen from the living or dining areas and create zones within a larger space. They often act as a transition piece for informal dining in breakfast bar style.

Of course, in a practical sense, they can provide plenty of storage and a centre for preparation, cooking or eating. You can even include an appliance or a sink to make the island more functional.

An island is versatile as it can be positioned to make the most of your layout, either dividing a space or replacing a run of cabinets to give a 360-degree walkway.

From an aesthetic point of view, you can choose your island to match the rest of your kitchen or contrast it in different colours or materials.

Let’s explore the differences between a standard and a waterfall island.

Standard Kitchen Island

The most common kitchen island style is rectangular, with a worktop slab resting on top of the cabinets. The cabinets may match or contrast with the rest of the kitchen.

The worktop edge can be flat or bevelled and made from various materials. Common choices include granite, quartz or solid surfaces.

Since the amount of worktop used is limited to the top of the island, it makes a more economical design.

Waterfall Kitchen Island

A waterfall island is a real statement piece to create a high-end individual look. In this design, the worktop will flow over the sides of the island to the floor, hence the name.

In these designs, it is usual to use materials such as marble, granite or quartz in a flat edge cut to give a modern glossy finish.

Luxury contemporary styles are best suited to a waterfall island, although they can also work in traditional kitchen styles. The cost will be more than a conventional island as more of the premium worktop material will be required.

It is crucial to use an experienced fitter for this look to create seamless joins and pattern matches to create a blended precision finish.

Quartz is the most popular material for waterfall islands thanks to the more straightforward matching process and seamless finish offered by the manufacturing process compared to natural stone like granite.

Pros and Cons of Waterfall Kitchen Islands

It is not hard to see why waterfall designs are popular. They make an attractive choice for any kitchen and create an elegant finish.

However, there are other good reasons to choose a waterfall island. Let’s look at the advantages and disadvantages of waterfall islands.

Waterfall Kitchen Island Pros

Visually appealing – A waterfall island is a visually stunning addition to a kitchen. It will elevate the look of any kitchen and create a luxurious statement feature.

More than a trend – Mark Dubois created his first waterfall island back in 1999 in the US, and the style has been growing in popularity in the UK for many years, according to Rock My Style, as the love of open-plan has grown. It particularly suits contemporary looks but will also sit within a traditionally styled kitchen.

Durability – Quartz waterfall designs are particularly robust and will protect delicate cabinetry from knocks and scratches, even in a busy family kitchen.

Low Maintenance – The majority of waterfall designs are made using quartz. This robust material is easy to clean, and it will keep its glossy finish with a simple wipe of water and dry with a soft cloth to buff the shine.

Waterfall Kitchen Island Cons

Upfront Cost – A waterfall design will add to your overall cost since more worktop material will be required, and fitting costs will be more. However, it would be best if you balanced the initial investment with the longevity of the materials, meaning you can enjoy your island for many years to come.

Seating – You will be limited to placing seating along the long edges where the worktop is not waterfalled.

If you wish to find out more about our worktop options, get in touch with us at Mr Worktop Fitter today.


What we can do for you:

  • Draining grooves
  • Undermounted sinks

  • Radius corners
  • Any shape

Not everyone can deliver the list above, we’re the experts and specialists in fitting kitchen worktops so call us today for any enquiries.

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