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!
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
A square or eased edge profile is typically less expensive because it requires less work. Therefore, straightforward profiles are less expensive.
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!
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!
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.
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…
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.
If you’re looking for related stone & countertop selection posts, you may find some of these helpful:
- The Difference Between Natural Stones
- Everything You Need to Know About Soapstone
- Honing Our Guest Bathroom Nero Marble Countertops
- Marble Maintenance & The Truth About Natural Stone
- Why We Used Soapstone in Our Kitchen… Again
- How to Choose a Marble Slab for Your Renovation
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.