With the modern progress in CNC technology, granite and marble countertops have almost limitless potential for edge profiles. When you are ready to buy your worktop, you will be offered a selection of edges. Some very basic edges will be incorporated in the square-metre or linear-metre price of the worktop. More attractive or difficult edges can be added at an extra cost, which is typically more.
The standard worktop edge is the straight edge. It is a squared edge, with only a slight bevel, called a chamfer; this is to take the sharpness from the edge. A well-liked alteration to this is the quarter round, where the top edge is rounded off, or the double quarter round, where both the top and bottom edges are rounded. Bull nose is a variant where the top edge is rounded more radically, and a full bull nose makes the edge of the worktop to a perfect half-circle. Bevelled edges are also admired, and the bevel can be carved on either the top or bottom edges…or both.
Fancier edges are obtainable, usually at extra cost to the customer. Possibly the most well liked is the ogee. Inspired by medieval European architecture, the ogee edge is made up of two elegant, sweeping arches, one concave, and the other convex. It adds a very stylish look to countertops. Other well-liked edges include DuPont a straight edge dropping down to a curve, cove a concave bevel on the top edge, stair tread a curved undercut lip, and waterfall three flowing convex arches.
With CNC technology, though, the potential is unlimited, and totally unique, custom edges can even be produced. Premium edges were initially more costly because they take much longer to fabricate. But with CNC in the end making an ogee edge as easy to carve as a straight edge, we should see the price of premium edges decrease in the future.
The thickness of the worktop makes a variation in which edge profiles are obtainable, and which look best. The standard kitchen countertop is 30 millimetres thick. Luxury worktops are cut 40 millimetres thick. But most slabs are in 30mm as 40mm is heavy to transport and lift into the home some economy countertops are 20 millimetres thick, supported underneath by a layer of intermediate density fibreboard. Bathroom vanities are typically 20mm thick.
The more intricate edge profiles do not look good on 20mm countertops, and are not as strong. For 20mm bath vanities, it is good to select a basic edge profile. If you have selected a 20mm kitchen countertop, and still desire a intricate profile, you may be able to choose a 20+20 edge option, which is a strip of stone moulding glued to the underside of the countertop edge, consequently providing the illusion of a 40mm slab. Though, this often costs extra that a 30mm countertop with a premium edge could be purchased for the same money.
The well-liked edges are, for the most part, sensible for any use in the kitchen or bathroom. So the primary factor to think about when you make your edge profile select is aesthetic. Which do you like the best? Which will a tribute to your space? If your kitchen is modern or business, an ogee edge will look out of place with its traditional curves, and you would be serviced better by a half bull nose or a bevel. A country-style kitchen would be improved by waterfall edges. And the stair tread or ogee edges would fit well in a modern, stylish space.
Do keep in mind, though, that any fold in the edge profile may be a potential trap for food and dust, and the more within the edge profile, the more cleaning the worktop will need.
Eventually, you should select the edge profile that you like the best. Your supplier will have samples for you to look at, or a website with photos and drawings. Remember that once you buy a natural stone worktop, it will last the rest of your life and almost certainly your children and grandchildren’s lives so choose the edge that you love, even if it costs that much more. You will be glad you did so.