When shopping for a new countertop for a bathroom vanity or kitchen, you may spend a significant amount of time choosing the material and pattern of the countertop itself, but almost no time considering how the countertop’s edges will look. This detail is frequently overlooked until the countertop is installed, at which point many homeowners wish they had spent more time considering their options.
Because the countertop is seen and touched numerous times throughout the day, it is critical that you consider the impact that the edging treatment will have on the aesthetics of your bathroom or kitchen. From a simple square edge to a fancier DuPont custom edge, from a practical and soft bullnose edge to a clean beveled edge, the right edging treatment highlights the beauty of your stone, completes your overall room style, and adds decorative value.
Of course, the edging treatment should be considered when selecting any stone or engineered stone (quartz) countertop, but it should also be considered when using solid-surface materials or even custom laminates. With almost every countertop material, there are edging options to consider.
Here’s a rundown of popular countertop edge treatments to help you decide which look is best for your kitchen or bathroom.
Square countertops have the most simple and clean-lined edges, but they are not perfectly square; most are created with small “kerfs”—grooves that soften what would otherwise be dangerously sharp corners. This serves two purposes: it prevents accidents and reduces the possibility of chipping and breaking, which is especially important when working with natural stone, engineered stone (quartz), or cement.
Why Choose a Square Edge?
A square edge complements nearly every design style and is especially useful when you don’t want to draw attention away from other details, such as a decorative tile backsplash or a dramatic faucet.
Eased edge: This type of edging has a square flat face with a slightly rounded top edge.
Square edge with waterfall: This is a square-edge countertop with a slight incline before descending over the edge.
A traditional edge style that evokes classical stone architecture, a bevel (sometimes known as a chamfer) is really just an edge where the top corner is cut off at roughly 45 degrees. This style has many variations, including double bevels (both the top and bottom edges are cut at an angle) and more elaborate edge treatments that combine bevels with other shapes. Beveling, like kerfs in a square countertop, softens sharp edges while also making a strong design statement.
The degree of bevel can be adjusted to your liking. The most common bevels are 1/4-inch, 1/2-inch, and 3/4-inch.
Why Choose a Beveled Edge?
A beveled edge conveys tasteful elegance and was, until recently, a reliable indicator that the countertop was hewn from natural stone. However, recent advances in laminate technology have enabled the creation of a much less expensive granite look-alike countertop with a soft chamfered edge—a far cry from the telltale “laminate lines” so common in square Formica tops a generation ago.
Extreme beveled edge: Instead of the standard 45 degrees, the top half of the bevel has a very slanted pitch.
A mitered edge treatment appears to be a square edge at first glance, but it is created by mitering the edges of the horizontal top piece and the vertical apron piece so that they form a straight, square joint. It is frequently used when the vertical face of the edging extends further downward than usual. This can give the countertop the appearance of a thick slab, or it can be used to create a wide waterfall that extends all the way down the cabinet face.
Why Choose a Mitered Edge?
When you want a weighty-looking countertop without the extra heft and expense of a solid slab, this is the way to go. It’s an excellent choice for making the countertop the focal point of the room, and it complements both traditional and modern designs.
Eased and mitered edge: This is a mitered top with a slightly eased (rounded) edge and rounded corners. This small detail can really change the look of a stone countertop.
The bullnose is a deeply rounded style that creates a warm, soft profile around the entire countertop and is one of the most popular edge treatments for granite. It’s also one of the best profiles for highlighting the solidity and thickness of granite or marble. Traditional bullnose edges have been rounded off at both the top and bottom corners.
Why Choose a Bullnose Edge?
Aside from its appealing modern appearance, a bullnose edge is a wise choice in a bathroom used by young children because the countertop edges will be free of sharp edges.
Demi-bullnose: This style combines the bullnose curve with some angling along the bottom corner of the edge.
Half-bullnose: Only the top edge of the stone is rounded, allowing for a larger cross-section of the stone to be shown.