When you're shopping for a new vanity top, the edge style may seem like a relatively unimportant detail…until the finished product is installed in your bathroom. Since your countertop is a surface you'll see and touch several times a day, you'll want to make sure your choice is not only practical but complements the rest of your bathroom design.
From the simple square edge to the fancier DuPont edge, from practical and soft bullnose edge to a clean beveled edge, choosing the right one... shows off the beauty of your stone, finishes your overall bathroom style, and provides extra decorative value.
Here's a rundown of popular edge treatments:
Basic Edge Profiles
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The most simple and clean-lined of edges, square countertops are actually not perfectly square; most are fabricated with small "kerfs" — grooves that soften what would otherwise be dangerously sharp corners. This serves a dual purpose: to prevent nasty accidents and to minimize the chance of chipping and breakage, especially important when you're using natural stone, quartz stone or cement.
Why Choose a Square Edge?
A square edge works well with nearly every design style, and is a... particularly good choice when you don't want to draw attention away from other details, such as a decorative tile backsplash or a dramatic faucet.
Square Edge Variations:
- Eased Edge — A square flat face with a slightly rounded top edge.
- Square Edge with Waterfall — A square-edge countertop that takes a little dip before descending over the edge.
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A traditional edge style that evokes classical stone architecture, a bevel (sometimes known as a chamfer) is basically a cut made at approximately a 45-degree angle along the top edge of the countertop. There are many variations on this style, including double bevels (both the top and bottom edges are cut at an angle), and more elaborate edge treatments that combine bevels with other shapes. Like the kerfs in a square countertop, beveling softens sharp edges, but also makes a strong design... statement.
Why Choose a Beveled Edge?
A beveled edge transmits tasteful elegance, and until recently was a reliable indicator that the countertop was hewn from real stone. But recent advances in laminate technology have made it possible to get a much less expensive granite "look-alike" countertop with a soft chamfered edge — a far cry from the telltale "laminate lines" so common in the square Formica tops of a generation ago.
Beveled Edge Variations:
- Extreme Beveled Edge — The top half of the bevel features a very slanted pitch.
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A mitered edge is straight and clean-lined much like a square. The difference is that a mitered countertop is assembled from two pieces to give a thinner top the look of a much heavier one.
Why Choose a Mitered Edge?
When you want a weighty-looking countertop without the extra heft and expense, this is the way to go. It's a great option for making the countertop the focal point of your bathroom, and it works well with both traditional and modern designs.
Mitered Edge Variation:
- Eased and mitered... edge — A mitered top with a slightly eased edge and rounded corners. A small detail that can really change the look of a stone countertop.
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One of the most popular edge treatments for granite, the bullnose is a deeply rounded style that creates a warm, soft profile around the entire countertop. It's also one of the best profile options for showing off the solidity and thickness of the granite.
Why Choose a Bullnose Edge?
Aside from its attractive contemporary look, a bullnose edge is a wise choice in a bathroom used by young children.
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- Demi-bullnose — Combines the curve of the bullnose with some angling at the... base of the countertop.
- Half-bullnose — A smooth, round surface that can show a larger cross-section of the stone.
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In addition to the basic edge profiles and their variations, there is a seemingly endless parade of special edge upgrades available for both stone and manmade countertops. Here are just a few:
Ogee: The elegant ogee consists of two gracefully sweeping arches that form an "S" shaped curve. It's a classic edge treatment that evokes the elegance of another era.
Waterfall: As its name implies, the waterfall's rounded top “falls” over the top to the front edge.
DuPont: As regal-looking... as its name, this design features a sharp, straight drop that flows into a bullnose-like curve.
Cove: The cove has a bowl-shaped bevel on the top that creates a grooved edge.
Quirk: An L-shaped cut in the edge of the countertop that resembles a step.
Chiseled: Also called Broken Edge or Rock Face, this rustic edge resembles stone or wood in its natural state. Available in natural stone and quartz countertops.