Want your kitchen countertop to be the hero of your new cooking zone rather than relegated to the background? One way to do that is to look beyond the basic block-like counter and incorporate a cantilevered, or floating, countertop into your kitchen design instead. Here are 12 cantilevered counters that not only offer showstopping style but also enhance functionality and create the illusion of more space.
1. Suspended reality. This may look like an optical illusion, but there was no hocus-pocus involved when this striking, impressively long floating counter was built — that we know of, anyway. Its gravity-defying design is just one reason this cantilevered countertop commands attention. Its luxe, chunky look and sleek black color (which boldly contrasts the vibrant red cabinetry opposite) also ensure that the suspended structure exudes jaw-dropping appeal.
The expansive bar provides plenty of room for several people to sit and enjoy a drink or meal, while the open area beneath ensures that spills and crumbs can be cleaned up with ease, making this an ideal setup indoors or outdoors.
Tip: If your countertop is thick, opt for minimalist stools with a slim profile so the design doesn’t appear too heavy.
2. Natural wonder. If you want to infuse your kitchen with warmth, subtle sophistication and an air of luxury, consider a cantilevered-counter combo of natural stone and timber. Here the suspended style showcases the quiet beauty of the travertine top, while the wood cabinetry below softens the look and complements the stone’s neutral tones.
But style isn’t all this counter has to offer. The cantilevered top also provides additional workspace (which helps offset the area taken up by the double sink and stovetop farther down the island) and room for extra chairs, which comes in handy when entertaining.
Tip: When choosing wood to pair with your stone countertop, look for one that’s free of prominent knots or patterns that could clash with the veining of the natural stone.
3. Minimalist chic. Although this cantilevered surface is a dedicated work zone, it also succeeds in injecting this modern rustic kitchen with a hearty dash of visual interest. The clever floating contraption is anchored to the wall by way of steel tabs that protrude from the metal surface and double as decorative elements that transform the vertical surface into an accent wall. Crisp white was a smart color choice for the surface, as it cuts through the room’s moody palette, while the thickness gives the space a clean, contemporary feel.
4. Cool and clean. If you hate being on cleanup duty after a family barbecue, a floating concrete counter like this one will make the chore a little easier to bear. Thanks to its suspended design, crumbs and spills can be swept or hosed away quickly. Polished cement also is durable, stain resistant and easy to clean, so it doesn’t require much effort to make the surface look as good as new after entertaining.
Also, note how the cool gray surface adds an industrial edge to the contemporary outdoor kitchen and entertaining area, while the countertop’s bold lines and streamlined look complement the sleek style of the space.
5. On the side. Now here’s a chic cantilevered counter with a twist. Rather than extending a section of the thin, neutral-toned countertop past the end of the island, designer Darren James placed a separate slab of stone (in a contrasting tone and thickness) on top and rotated it to sit across the width of the workspace. This not only helps define the cooking zone and visually separate it from the surrounding open-plan area, but also makes the space feel more communal, as the seating faces inward, fostering a sense of togetherness.
As you can see, the contrasting look and unique configuration of both counters also succeed in transforming a basic island top into a statement-making design feature.
6. See-through style. Don’t be too hasty to say, “Nuh-uh; no way” to a floating glass countertop. Sure, they’re not for everyone (like those with young kids), but they can work for some in the right space.
Here an eye-catching glass countertop appears to jut out from the corner of a taller wood prep zone. It’s stabilized by a metal bracket that supports the see-through surface. The material was selected to enhance the airy, spacious feel of the kitchen, and coupled with the suspended design, it successfully does just that. Although it’s an unconventional choice for a kitchen countertop, the structure here was designed to be a eating area, rather than a food-prep space, so the material should hold up fine.
7. Family friendly. One design trend we’ve seen in the kitchen project section of Houzz is the integrated kitchen counter–dining table. This elegant transitional-style cooking and eating area shows how this concept takes shape with the help of a cantilevered countertop.
Here the floating counter has been lowered so that it stands at table height, rather than matching the height of the adjacent concrete counter. This allows for more comfortable and ergonomic seating (unlike bar stools, which can sometimes cause aches and pains in your back and legs after you’ve been perched on one for a while —or does that just happen to short people like me?). This means your family and friends won’t mind sitting around the table for long meals and lengthy catch-up sessions.
The long, cantilevered counter provides loads of visual appeal too. The rustic, reclaimed wood table contrasts beautifully with the contemporary pastel pink cabinetry and industrial-looking cement counter, creating a space that oozes subtle sophistication but still makes a strong style statement. White retro-style dining chairs complete the look and add another layer of interest to the eclectic scheme.
8. Optical illusion. This stunning counter may appear as if it’s floating, but if you look closely, you’ll see that there’s actually a mirror-finish post that supports the stunning granite countertop from below — how sneaky! Even so, this showstopping cantilevered-look counter still deserves a mention, since it achieves the same airy, space-enhancing look as a suspended countertop, albeit with some help from a supportive friend.
Here it’s not just the striking countertop material that makes a dramatic statement. The undercounter lighting and the way the granite appears to be embedded in the white Caesarstone island also take the stylish kitchen counter to new heights. The lowered height of the bench makes this casual dining area more practical and comfortable, too.
Tip: If you’re worried that a natural stone countertop may be too high maintenance for you, choose an engineered stone or a high-quality laminate instead.
9. Green with envy. What was the first thing that caught our eye when we spied this cool cooking space? The striking island, of course — though the shimmering disco ball–like pendant light probably came in a close second. While the island’s eye-popping lime-green base immediately attracts the eye, the dramatic lines of the thick floating concrete top also command attention.
Polished concrete is a stylish and practical kitchen surface choice, as it not only injects any space with a cool, contemporary edge, but is also extremely low maintenance and environmentally friendly, making it ideal for those who desire an ecochic cooking zone that’s a breeze to clean. Did we mention the material is very affordable, too?
10. Space age. If you want to make a bold statement in your kitchen, opt for a cantilevered counter that’s fashioned from an interesting material in an unexpected shape, such as the cutting-edge, contoured design shown here. LED lights fitted underneath add to the freestanding form’s space-age vibe and help highlight the showstopping centerpiece.
Thanks to its tall height, there’s plenty of room to tuck several bar stools below the counter, which helps keep the pathways free of obstacles and ensures that the room maintains its clean, uncluttered look.
Tip: Install tinted LED strip lights below the floating countertop for a more dynamic and colorful look.
11. Going round. Worried that a suspended countertop won’t work in your spatially challenged cooking zone? This chic U-shaped kitchen shows how it’s done. Here a round floating bar is cantilevered out from the wall and floor cabinets, providing a spot for casual eats, an additional workspace and a social hub where family and friends can mingle when you’re entertaining. It also adds another layer of visual interest. Notice how the counter’s smooth, curved shape contrasts with the sharp lines and boxy forms that are used throughout the area.
12. Hidden treasure. Now you see it; now you don’t! A space-savvy cantilevered pivot table like this one is a clever, creative addition that will boost the functionality of any compact cooking zone. When extended, the table enhances the visual appeal of the space, thanks to its sharp lines and striking silhouette, transforming the otherwise basic kitchen counter into an interesting design feature. Note how the blonde timber and subtle wood grain echo the timber used underfoot and add warmth to the cool white palette, too.