The most important thing you are going to think about when putting in new kitchen countertops or bathroom vanity top is the material. You will most likely choose a natural stone such as granite, which is a smart choice. However, you will also most likely draw a blank when asked to choose an edge profile. You probably have no idea what that is, and wonder why some edge profiles are more expensive than others.
What you don’t realize is that the edge profile is actually a big deal, especially with natural stones. It can significantly affect the overall look of your granite or marble counters. You will not realize it until the deed is done. By then, it is too late to do anything about it unless you replace the countertop entirely. It also serves a number of functional purposes. So, you need to know how to choose the right one for your counter. Here are the basic edge profiles, and when to choose a particular one for you next kitchen remodel or bathroom renovation.
The square edge is the simplest and cleanest of the edge profiles, but its name can be misleading. While it is mostly square, the fabricator introduces “kerfs,” which are tiny grooves along the surface to slightly soften the edge. This is done to prevent anyone getting hurt on the sharp edges of the stone. Particularly small children that may be eye level to these counters. The kerfs also increase the strength of the edge, minimizing crack and chips that may result from normal use with a truly square edge.
In addition, the square edge profile has a few variations that further increase safety for users. The eased edge has a more exaggerated rounded top edge than the standard square edge. Another variation is the square edge waterfall, where the top edge dips slightly before going straight down into a waterfall edge.
The square edge profile is versatile, fitting in with most kitchen or bathroom designs. Many consider it a classic edge profile, and use it for neutral spaces to keep it from stealing the show from other decorative elements in the room. It works if you want to focus on dramatic features of the room, such as an ornate mirror, unique faucets, or an eye-catching backsplash.
The beveled edge profile is almost as popular as the square edge, but it is mostly found in more traditional kitchens and bathrooms. The beveled edge has a 45-degree angled cut that harks back to a classical style of architecture. Also known as a chamfer, this bevel or cut runs along the length of the countertop. An expert fabricator would also incorporate kerfs into the sharp edges for the same reason they put it in the square edge profiles.
Like the square edge, there are variations to this simple edge profile. The extreme beveled edge is one type with a bevel or chamfer that is considerably more than 45 degrees. A double-bevel edge has a bevel cut of 45 degrees on the top and bottom edges of the stone. Other variations are actually combinations the bevel cut with other edge profiles for a more elaborate look.
Beveled edge profiles make a strong design statement, emphasizing elegance and subtlety. Historically, fabricators would make a beveled edge profile to show the grains and patterns continued throughout the stone and not just on the surface, proving that it was authentic natural stone. Today, that is no longer the case as laminate materials with beveled edges can be made to look like natural stone. However, the beveled edge is still a popular choice for many designers and homeowners.
The standard thickness for countertop stone slabs is either 2 cm or 3 cm. You may be able to find some that are thinner or thicker, but most manufacturers produce slabs in these thicknesses. Naturally enough, a slab that is 2 cm thick is not only lighter than one that is 3 cm. It is also less expensive. It is also sturdy enough for most uses, so you can choose it if you have a tight budget. However, a 2-cm thick slab does look a little on the flimsy side, especially for kitchen countertops, so you may want to choose a mitered edge profile to make the counter look thicker.
Simply put, a mitered edge is a length of stone joined to the main counter with a special adhesive. It looks like a simple square edge, but for a thicker slab than it really is. It could look like 3 cm or more, depending on the width of the edging stone. If you want an eased and mitered edge, you can get that as well as this only means the top part is rounder.
It looks simple, but this type of edge profile requires considerable skill in fabrication and installation. It is important that the two pieces of the edge join seamlessly. So, there should be no visible difference in the color and pattern of the stone. This is hard to do if you are using natural stone like granite, because the colors, patterns, and grains are naturally not consistent. The cut would also have to be very precise or the two pieces will not fit together perfectly. KNC Granite does have the expertise to give you a mitered edge, but not all contractors can say the same.
With its rounded and soft look, the bullnose edge profile is a great favorite for homeowners and designers because it is the best way to show off the beauty of the natural stone. It is a very attractive edge treatment, suitable for all types of designs, and quite safe. The whole edge is rounded, so it is an excellent choice for homes with small children.
Most people prefer the regular bullnose edge, but you can pick one of two variations. One is the demi-bullnose, which has a rounded top edge and sharp bottom. The other is the half-bullnose, which is similar to the demi-bullnose, but the bottom edge is rounder.
More edge profiles are available from KNC Granite fabricators, some of which are quite complex and expensive such as the ogee, cove, quirk, DuPont, and chiseled. Our designers can walk you through each one if you want. However, the types described above are the most popular and affordable of the edge profiles, and guaranteed to show off the beauty of your natural stone.
It is also important to note that fabricating an edge profile is not easy. You need a contractor with experts to do it properly. KNC Granite not only has a large array of granite slabs from which to choose. But experts at fabricating and installing kitchen counters or bathroom vanities, including edge profiles.
You can check actual slabs at our showroom in Lanham, Maryland and consult about the best edge profile for each one. We also specialize in kitchen remodeling and bathroom upgrade projects, delivering on time and on budget.
Aside from natural stones, we carry some of the top brands of engineered stone, including Cambria, Caesarstone, Silestone, and MSI, all of which come with manufacturer warranties. Give us a call or email us for your free in-home consultation and quote.