How to Select Different Countertop Edge Profiles

I’ve had countertops on my brain with our recent basement renovation design plan and to-do list spinning in my mind. I arrived home from vacation nearly forgetting about our newly installed viola marble countertops. They’re stunning and I’m really pleased with how they turned out (sneak peek attached). I did receive some questions in regards to the edge profile and how it was achieved. I knew a blog post was in order. Countertops, natural stone, and designing kitchens & baths is what I’d consider my design specialty. As an interior designer, those are always the spaces I enjoy tackling the most. Click through for a diagram of countertop edge profiles, how to choose the best one for your renovation, and to see how each can vary in price. This informative blog post is one everyone should save or pin for future renovations!

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Types of Countertop Edge Profiles

I’ve created an easy diagram for you below. Save it, pin it, print it… wherever you decide to tuck it away, I hope it comes in handy for future renovations. Do keep in mind that each fabricator or stone retailer may change these names slightly. It’s always best to provide a confirmation sketch in case their name for something doesn’t quite align. Some shops also brand their own edge profiles (which further complicates things). These are the basics:

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Considering Functional vs Decorative Edge Profiles

When defining an edge profile, you should definitely consider form versus function. A sharp square edge profile may not be the best choice for a softer stone such as marble, as it is easily chipped. A curved ogee edge would be more forgiving. Save the delicate or super defined edge profile for a space that is used less frequently- like a guest bath… as opposed to the main kitchen.

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When chatting with my fabricator about this, he said the biggest issue people face when choosing a functional edge profile is intricacy, which is correlated with cleanability. Cove profiles are more difficult to clean, so that profile may not be best suited for a home with children.

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Why Countertop Edge Profiles Vary in Cost

Edge cost usually boils down to how labor intensive it is to fabricate, if the fabricator has the correct bit on hand for routing the edge, the stone type (easy versus difficult to work with, stone hardness, etc), and the amount of sanding required. Thickness also comes into play (standard slab, laminated slab, etc). Basically, a lot goes into creating a professional or designerly looking countertop edge, and as you might expect- that comes at a cost.

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How Material Influences Countertop Profile

The type of material will dictate what type of edge profile you can achieve. For example, a laminate countertop only has two edge profile options: a square edge or a bullnose edge. This is because the material is not solid throughout… just the surface contains the color & pattern, while the center is comprised of particleboard. On the contrary, a natural stone slab or piece of solid surface can be profiled to a variety of edges because the center material matches the exterior- it’s solid throughout. Therefore, material can be limiting in regards to the profile you’re able to specify.

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Countertop Edge Profile Trends

If you’re wondering what edge profiles I’m currently gravitating toward, I think we’ve been seeing traditional edges uptick in the design world. Eased, beveled, bullnose, and square edges feel more modern and minimal… while cove, ogee, and waterfall styles have been gaining popularity with their intricate traditional details. If you’re going for a modern look, eased feels classic to me. If your aesthetic skews more traditional, you can’t go wrong with a timeless ogee profile. The more complex an edge profile becomes, the more likely it is to go out of style. That’s my personal opinion!

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What is the least expensive edge profile?

A square or eased edge profile is typically less expensive because it requires less work. Therefore, straightforward profiles are less expensive.

Is marble an easy stone to fabricate with an intricate edge profile?

Since marble is a softer stone, it can be easier to fabricate. However, it’s an expensive material and depending on how much a slab costs, some fabricators may shy away from working with it… or increase the price because mistakes can be costly. Check out this post on how to choose a marble slab for your renovation!

How do you find a good fabricator?

If you’ve already secured your slab or countertop material, ask the retailer for fabrication recommendations… they may even have an in-house source. Otherwise, check out this blog post with tips for finding, hiring, & managing reliable contractors. It includes my best tips and is a must-read!

Do edge profile names vary?

They do! The basics are typically the same (eased, square, bullnose, etc), but the more intricate profiles are often given more descriptive names or are branded by the shop. When in doubt, ask your fabricator for a diagram or sketch before signing off on the edge.

How do you achieve the thick looking countertop?

If it’s not a thicker slab to begin with (more than 3cm, which is standard)– the countertop will have to be mitered or glued up to achieve a stacked or laminated edge for a thick look. They basically glue the countertop slabs together to create the effect of a thicker slab, then fabricate the edge profile. Do you see the subtle line on the lower edge of my countertop below? The bottom section was laminated to achieve the thicker look…
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What is the standard thickness for a countertop?

3 cm is standard. Anything less is considered thin and anything more is considered thick… which means you’ll end up paying a little more in fabrication.

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If you’re looking for related stone & countertop selection posts, you may find some of these helpful:

How to Select Different Countertop Edge Profiles -

I’ll be catching up on replying to comments today! Being away for almost three weeks was no joke- I’m feeling so glad to be back, but a bit behind. Thanks for being patient with me while I’m playing catch up.

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  1. Good morning! Phew. What a helpful, information-packed post. I wish I needed new counters right now. 😉 Seriously though, as a person who requires ample time to consider all options, these details are vital. Once gorgeous stone enters the chat, I get distracted. Having said that, I confess that my preferred edge is the simplest. My quartz has a basic eased edge, and I would likely choose that again. (Speaking of another non-stone material, does quartz have edge limitations?) I do find the more decorative edges beautiful and intriguing, especially the ogee, cove dupont and waterfall. For my very hardworking kitchen though, simple is best. I learned from dusting my ogee-edged nightstands that I would not love keeping it clean in a messier environment. Now, if I had a bar or fancy pantry…a different story. Let’s talk about the real star of this post though, sneak peeks! Squeal! I just want to stare at your incredible stone all day. (Or come live in your basement. Ha.) So exciting to see that progress! Hopefully, it will provide extra motivation for tackling your catch up tasks. The inevitable downside of a wonderful vacation. Thanks for all your hard work keeping us engaged and educated, even while you were away! Cheers to a busy Wednesday, Sarah!💜

    1. Sarah Gibson says:

      Ha! I’m with you on gorgeous stone entering the chat and becoming majorly distracted. Stone is one of my favorite things to source. It’s mesmerizing! Quartz can really take on an edge profile… because it’s super hard, solid throughout, and unlikely to chip / scratch. I spent the weekend painting the basement cabinets and I’m getting so excited! Can’t wait to share more snippets in the week ahead. It’s finally coming together down there. xo

  2. I wish I were using this to update all the countertops in my home!! Good morning Sarah! This is a super informative post; I’m definitely pinning for later. I don’t remember having this many profile options when we renovated our last kitchen. The edge profile is definitely something I care more about now, than I did then. I also wouldn’t have known to ask the questions I would ask now, given the information you’ve shared here. We had a full bullnose edge on our granite countertops- but I would never choose that profile again. The overhang is a bit more substantial than other profiles- you’d be surprised the gunk that can accumulate on the underside- and being the side that isn’t finished or sealed, it’s very difficult to clean. I also didn’t love the feeling when resting against the countertop. I’m a countertop leaner, lol. We have an eased edge countertop now, and I’d likely never choose this profile either. At least not for my kitchen. I find myself wiping countertop edges a billion times a day and somehow, they’re still always dirty. 🫠 I love seeing the peeks of the basement countertop. I forgot you had done that when you shared in stories yesterday. Ha! I’m excited to see everything to come. Thank you for this informative countertop post!

    1. Sarah Gibson says:

      I’m so happy this was a helpful post and you’ve pinned it for later! I feel like most fabricators or showrooms only give you a few basic options or expect you to know exactly what you want. There are so many choices though! I didn’t even think about the difficulty of cleaning the underside with a larger overhang… such a great point. I’m also a countertop leaner. I spent the weekend painting the basement cabinets and it’s looking so fun down there! Can’t wait to share more this week. Hope you had a great weekend!

  3. Gah! Your marble is stunning! I loooooove it Sarah!
    I’m pinning this helpful post for sure! I did not know there were so many options. Over 20 years ago, we were only given a couple of options for our granite. I was curious if some options lean more traditional and others modern (maybe the simple forms)?
    Hang in there with transitioning back to your routine. Hope your feeling well and enjoying the holiday events. Our son comes home from college and I’m happy to have him here for awhile. Now off to get one of his favorite dinners in the crock pot. Have a great Thursday.
    Just realized I am a day late responding…ooops!

    1. Sarah Gibson says:

      Thank you so much, Danna! I’m really excited about it. I spent the weekend painting the cabinets and it’s coming together nicely. It’s so nice to be back home and enjoying the holiday season. I hope you’re having the best time with your son. So sweet of you to make his favorite foods! Hope you guys had a lovely weekend :) xo

  4. Very interesting, alot of information that in truth I knew little about as I begin to ponder new counter tops for kitchen and island.

    1. Sarah Gibson says:

      Thanks, Torin! Happy it was interesting.