Granite countertop edges can be straight, beveled, or rounded, or for a fancier edge, curved edges can be combined with straight edges in a number of varieties, or a custom edge can be designed. The least expensive edge is a straight, square edge which comes with a very minimal bevel, called a chamfer, along the upper corner of the square cut edge, to prevent chipping. A variety of edge profiles with a larger bevel, sloping from an angle on the top of the surface to one-quarter, one-half, or one-third of the straight side edge gives a different look.
The sharp angles of the squared-off straight edge and beveled edges give a more traditional or high-tech look. However, for most granite countertops, rounded is the most popular. This is because it gives a warm, soft feeling to the countertop, and is less likely to chip. The rounded edge also is more comfortable to lean against when working at the counter than the more angular edges. Rounded or eased edges are basically straight edges with the upper, or upper and lower, angles of the edge rounded off. A bullnose edge results when the entire thickness of the edge is rounded. In a full bullnose, the profile of the edge resembles a semicircle, with the whole edge rounded. Variations on this are the half-bullnose, where the top edge is rounded, but the curve of the edge meets the bottom surface of the countertop at a ninety-degree angle; and a demi-bullnose, where the top half of the thickness is rounded at the edge, but the edge is straight down for the lower half of the thickness of the slab.
More Complex Edges
Simple straight, beveled or rounded edges are pretty standard for the industry, and the extra cost of the edging is minimal if at all, adding $5 to $20 per linear foot of edging to the price of the countertop. More elaborate designs are available if preferred, but are more expensive. A concave rounded edge called the cove gives a grooved edge to the countertop. The ogee edge style combines concave and convex curves in its profile, giving an elegant S-shaped profile. The Dupont edge is a popular edge combining a sharp, straight angle with a bullnose-like curve. Multiple rounded, bullnose, or cove edges or combinations of these give a multi-ridged or cascading design. A variety of edge profiles combining different curves and angles at different points along the thickness of the slab can be produced for a fancier or custom look. The bottom edge of the countertop can be shaped as well as the top edge. The design can be undercut so that the top edge of the surface juts out farther than the bottom.
Which Edge to Choose
Endless varieties of edge designs are possible. However, if the slab is only 2 centimeters thick, a simpler edge would be preferable. A 3-cm slab is necessary for the fancier, more complex edge. The edge, however, can be made thicker with the gluing, or lamination, of a 2-cm thick strip of stone to the bottom edge of the countertop before the edge is shaped. Select a countertop edge that you like and can live with, taking into consideration the mood and décor of the entire room. You will want to balance the beauty of the edge design with its practicality and comfort of working at this counter, especially if it is in the kitchen. Seeing a sample of the countertop edge will give you a better idea of the look and feel of the finished edge than just looking at the profile.