The edges of your countertops can play a huge role in aesthetics, durability and maintenance. Edges coming in eight major types, and some of them are easier to care for than others. Some complement certain architecture, preferences or décor better than others. The most common edges are beveled, bullnose and chamfer. Beveled is just what it sounds like — a sharp, squared-off edge on countertop corners consisting of three unique angles. Bullnose and chamfer are similar, featuring rounded edges (bullnose is just a little broader than chamfer). |
Other types of edges include ogee, which feature a much sharper angle than beveled; round half bullnose where one corner is very rounded and the other subtly so; straight flat polish with squarer edges; chiseled edges (just what it sounds like, with a rough appearance); and waterfall edges that have a tiered effect.
However, many homeowners simply go with whatever’s recommended by their contractor. But the reality is that edges matter, especially if you have little ones in the home. Here’s why you should take a little more time getting “edgy”:
1. Breaking points
Regardless of the material being used, some edges are simply more prone to chipping and breaking than others. Maybe you have a heavy hand in the kitchen, or you’re constantly bumping into things when moving the leaf in and out of the table. A chiseled edge gives that shabby chic quality (and chips won’t matter much), while a damaged waterfall edge is a big eyesore.
Natural countertop materials are porous, easily trapping bacteria and stains. Ideally, you should have these countertops sealed, including the edges, so that they’re easy to clean. However, if you don’t, keep in mind that wiping down a beveled edge is a lot easier than a chiseled or waterfall type. Unless you’re a pro at getting in nooks and crannies, you should select an easy-to-wipe edge (or get it sealed).
3. They can complement or clash with your décor
If your kitchen is all contemporary and sleek, sharper edges are bold, while swooping round edges look great. However, in a more classical situation, pretty edges just don’t go in such a kitchen. Think of the whole picture when you’re choosing your edging, and don’t just go with the edge you like best. Not only will this bring your whole kitchen together, it’s also potentially a means of upping the value of your home.
4. Price difference
This depends on the company and the transparency of their pricing, but don’t assume that all edges are (financially) created equally. If there’s a price difference, you need to weigh how much you want a certain edge and how much of a premium you are willing to pay. However, you shouldn’t see vast disparities here, so don’t let price be your major driving force.
Edges are the finishing touches of your kitchen and shouldn’t be treated as an afterthought. Consider your style, the rest of your kitchen and how they’ll be maintained. When selected carefully, countertop edges are the crowning jewel of the busiest room in the house.
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