After selecting a countertop material, there are a few other decisions that have to be made concerning your new countertop before moving on to your backsplash or other décor. As simple as the selection may seem, choosing one of the available countertop edge details or accent features can ensure that your countertop is part of a cohesive kitchen or bathroom design.
Standard Edge Details are a great starting place and work well with the majority of material options. These details generally consist of a few simple options, such as a square/eased edge, bevel/chamfer, top radius/half-bullnose, and bullnose. Although these profiles can be accomplished at any thickness, standard edge thincknesses are generally 3/4″ or 1.5″.
*Designer’s Tip: If you find yourself frustrated with cleaning your cabinet doors/faces, you may want to shy away from a bullnose edge. As liquids roll off the countertop, they will cling to the edge detail, bringing them back to the cabinet face or in some cases, inside the cabinet doors.
Specialty Edge Details can be custom designed and hand-crafted for a specific look. Chiseled edges, for example, are a favorite for outdoor countertops and barbecues.
Mitered edge details are a perfect fit if you are looking for an edge thickness greater than 2.25″ or if your material has a large pattern or color variation. Given that the seam is hidden on the top corner-edge, a mitered edge allows your material’s pattern to continue down the front edge detail.
Waterfall edges are essentially a floor-length mitered edge. A mitered edge is often used on the side of the cabinet door faces which is then transitioned to a waterfall edge on the cabinet side. Waterfall edge details are a great way to add drama or highlight the beauty of a material and are extremely popular with eat-in islands.
*Designer’s Tip: If your flooring requires frequent, ongoing maintenance or if you are considering refinishing or replacing your flooring after your countertops, waterfall edges may not be the best choice. Waterfall edges are installed to be flush with your flooring, so the only way to fully access the area underneath the edge would require you to temporarily raise the entire cabinet (off of the floor with a jack or shims) or a complete removal of the waterfall.
Edge Detail Construction depends upon the specific type of edge detail. Standard or more traditional edge details are generally created through a lamination process, where a strip of the countertop material is attached below the main slab and is then shaped into the preferred profile. More ornate edge details are often created by stacking strips of the material vertically or horizontally to accommodate any shaping that may be needed. The horizontal seams in the lamination may be more or less visible depending on the chosen material. A mitered edge is created by cutting the main slab and the apron/edge piece at a 45-degree angle so that the seam is hidden in the top edge of the detail.
Whether looking to add a thoughtful detail, a eye-catching feature, or a simple finished edge, there are countless countertop edge details to suit any style.