When it comes to kitchens, stone – or other material purchased “by the slab” – is the most selected counter material. Why? Easy to choose, easy to install, and easy to clean. Large slabs of material have less (or no) seams and can typically be installed within a few hours. Remember tiled counters? Imagine how long that took to install in a large kitchen. However, stone slabs aren’t being used exclusively on counters. In more contemporary design stone can be used to finish the ends of cabinetry (see above) or even in lieu of a tile backsplash. Let’s get inspired!
Waterfall edges are created by taking your horizontally placed counter material and “dropping” down the sides of the cabinetry in a vertical installation. The picture above shows a waterfall edge on one side of a peninsula. Below, you can see a waterfall edge with Caesarstone’s Frosty Carrina Quartz on both sides of the cooking island. We also used a waterfall surround (so, finished on both sides and the back) on the seating island with the same material. We took it a step further and created a waterfall “table” out of a secondary stone material: Caesarstone’s Raw Concrete Quartz. Waterfall edges are everywhere in this space, and we love it!
You can honestly cover any vertical surface with stone as well. Besides a waterfall edge, there are fireplace surrounds, bathroom walls, and yes – even backsplash! We love the idea of taking you counter material and pushing it up the wall for backsplash. Although it’s a little pricier per square footage than a tile, it goes up faster and has such a good look to it. In the kitchen below, we used Cambria’s Delgatie Quartz as both counter and splash. Combined with a contrasting gray stained cabinet, it looks fabulous! Thinner material (2cm) used on the walls helped “lighten” it up while the standard thickness (3cm) was used on counters.
Different Counter and Splash
Who said you can’t mix it up?! Just because you use one material as a counter doesn’t limit you on your backsplash selection. See this gorgeous kitchen below. A very subtle Caesarstone Vanilla Bean Quartz is used on all horizontal surfaces. However, we opted for a Calacatta Avant Garde (from Allied Stone) for the backsplash. Behind the bar, we took the splash to the bottom of the cabinets and behind the sink, it stops just below the window sill. The grand showstopper, however, is the bookmatched slabs behind the range which creates a perfect dramatic piece of art in the room. Plan on bookmatching? Don’t be shy. You can do this on any horizontal or vertical surface with natural stones that have slabs cut accordingly. There are also some porcelain and quartz slabs on the market that create perfect bookmatches as well.
Stone On Every Surface
So, you want a really clean look? Maybe something more modern? Use the same material on as many surfaces as you can! This kitchen and bar used similar materials everywhere there wasn’t a cabinet. This is also a perfect design when you want to mix in several cabinet materials/colors to add a different element. Not only did we design a double waterfall on the island, but the backsplash in the kitchen and a small splashlet in the bar are the same material. Just imagine how easy these spaces are to clean – no potentially messy grout lines anywhere!
Mix It All Together
If you haven’t figured it out by now, mixing things together is one of our favorite things to do. In this kitchen below, we have two different stone materials at work to compliment the two different cabinet finishes. The perimeter cabinets have a simple Caesarstone Pure White Quartz installed, including splashlets at the pantry landing zones (far left). The main backsplash behind the cooktop and hood – a Quartzmaster Calcutta Borghini Quartz – has a bolder design and creates movement. We also used it on the island with a thickened drop edge and waterfall edges on both sides. There are (almost) no limits when it comes to designing with stone!
Want more counter and stone inspiration? Check out our quick intro to countertops and the most popular materials. Learn more about wood counters as an alternative to stone. And even read about different countertop edges and what they look like!