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There’s more to choosing your countertop than just selecting the perfect slab! Picking out the right kind of edge is the next step. At Granite & Marble Specialties, we have thirty different edge profiles to choose from, and though that may seem like a lot of options, we guarantee that we can help you find exactly the one that best fits your needs, budget, and aesthetic.
The different edge designs are called edge “profiles” because they are viewed from the side to get the best sense of their shape and effect. Each different profile can evoke a different style in your kitchen, and each offers different levels of utility. Here’s a quick look at some of the fundamental edge styles.
These are most popular in apartments, condos, or developments because they’re one of the most appealing designs to the widest variety of people. Because there are no sharp corners or blunt edges, you (or your tenants) are much less like likely to damage your countertops by chipping or scratching their edges. The gradually disappearing underside of a bullnose edge can create a sensation of smooth, almost floating endlessness, though it can also make your slab seem thinner. However, the shape does make it slightly harder to completely wipe off water or debris, and water can roll back up under the lip of the countertop. If you’re worried about this, ask us to drill a small trench around the edge on the underside of your counter that will stop drips in their tracks.
The “flat” or “straight” edges are a standard option that bring a distinctly modern feeling to any kitchen. If you are using stark white and blacks, shooting for minimalist or contemporary design, or incorporating a lot of industrial materials like steel or cement in your kitchen, you may want to choose a flat edge. Of course, bear in mind that the sharper the edge, the more easily it will chip, and though granite is very difficult to damage you may want to soften the edge slightly if you anticipate swinging around a lot of cast iron pans.
Not only does it make the granite more structurally sound to round off the corner of a “straight” edge, it also makes it a lot more forgiving to the human body. A rounded corner will make your counter more comfortable to lean or bump against, and if you have any children who might be bumping their heads against the countertop edge rounded is the best choice. You can apply any level of rounding, from a 1/8 inch round-over to keep the look but lessen the severity of a straight profile, to a complete round-off. This makes it easy to wick water or debris from your counter without inviting water to follow a path underneath your counter and cause potential moisture build up.
You can have a countertop edge “bevelled” at different angles, which essentially shaves down the corners of an edge to a straight slope that either extends the length of the countertop lip, as in our premium Hollywood Bevel, or something shorter, like our 1/4 inch bevel. Either look impressive because they add a new dimension to your countertop that catches the light and shadow and outlines the surface. Remember when choosing the extent of your bevel that the farther it cuts into the countertop, the less usable countertop you have, and a dramatic bevel on all sides of a kitchen island will functionally make it smaller.
This is a classical profile for countertops, defined by a dropped groove that becomes a downward curve in the opposite direction. Ogee profiles feel fancier and more ornate, and evoke Victorian styles that almost resemble the trim of an antique piano. They can make a kitchen feel more formal, austere, or impressive, which can be exactly what many homeowners have in mind. Ogee profiles, depending on the angle of where the drop meets the curve, can be slightly harder to clean because you need to first wipe off the surface, and then along the edge parallel to the counter to catch anything that rests on the curve.
There are also a number of premium edge designs that combine the aspects of the above, such as the Dupont, which has a perpendicular drop onto a curve similar to an Ogee but with a much harder angle. Our popular Cove Ogee has several layers of stacked Ogees that create the appearance of a tideline along a beach. There are literally dozens of different stunning profiles, and we encourage you to come into our showroom in either Kent or Seattle to see them in person!
Granite & Marble Specialties takes pride in doing the finest granite work in the Northwest, and we would love to help you decide on the perfect profile for your countertop! And keep an eye out for next week’s piece on Laminated Edges!