What edge profiles can I choose for my granite worktops?
For some kitchen worktop customers that question is a natural one that comes up early in their research. For others it comes as a surprise that there are different options. But there are. In this article we look at some of the purposes and possibilities of different edge profiles.
Steel Grey Granite on Yew Tree Kitchens Units – see case study here
Why do we need to think about edge profiles?
The first reason is that the slabs we and other granite worktop manufacturers receive have no edges that are fit to be used in kitchens. This means that we have to be careful about promising customers very long or wide granite worktop runs or islands that assume we can use every last millimeter of the surface.
Azul Platino slab showing drill hole from the quarry
Rough cut edge of a Bianco Sardo Slab
Coarse bevel edge on a slab of Cambria Berwyn quartz
Colonial White Granite slabs in the warehouse
Saw cut edges and Finished edges
When we saw slabs for worktop use the resultant cut surface is cleaner than the really broken edges of slabs, but it still always has roughness and chipping along the cut edge.
A finished edge will be clean and even along its length, smooth to the touch. There will always been some bevelling, however slight, to get rid of those little chips from the saw.
Salt and Pepper Granite showing saw cut edge (bottom) and bevel edge (top)
Close up of Silestone Gris Expo upstand showing small bevel (left) and saw-cut edge (right)
30mm Nero Assoluto table top showing very small bevel – the coin is a 5p piece.
Sometimes people ask for very square edges. Aside from the fact that fully square is impossible, due to the chipping issue mentioned, it is also uncomfortable on whatever part of your body you happen to lean on it, and it is more fragile and prone to damage if anything is dropped on the edge. But we can make an edge with a very minimal bevel.
Over the years we have found that a reasonable sized bevel edge (3-5mm) is one of the best ways to reduce the chance of the granite worktop edge chipping.
Steel Grey Granite – standard bevel edge profile at undermount sink
The bevel edge is also called a chamfer and (very occasionally) an arris. People sometimes also refer to a pencil edge, as so many wooden pencils have flat faces in that style. Do not confuse this with pencil round, though, named after cylindrical pencils. See more on pencil round below. The term pencil edge is, unfortunately, used to refer to both bevel and rounded styles, and as a result we try to avoid using it.
For many kitchens the beveled edge is also a good look. The ever-popular Shaker style kitchens, and many in-frame designs with their recessed central panels have echoing bevels into the panel.
Steel Grey Granite with a bevel edge on a grey Shaker kitchen
Cimestone Sines – Like Silestone Crema Stellar – a sparkly cream seen here at 20mm thickness on handless units.
A slightly smaller bevel can look good on the currently popular, featureless slab doors, where minimalist design is to the fore. Many such kitchens are handleless, and are suited to thinner profile 20mm quartz worktops, where we tend to give a smaller bevel as a matter of simple proportion.
On kitchens with more rounded profiles on their doors, a pencil round edging may be chose as it echoes more closely the soft contours of the units. This edge has a similar look and curvature to a traditional cylindrical pencil, though the curve meets the top surface at a slight line. We charge a little extra for pencil round edging. It is quite common to use this edge on the top edge only, with a bevel on the bottom.
Softer curves on the unit doors lend themselves to a rounded worktop
Close up of the pencil round edge profile to top and bottom – Black Galaxy granite on Antique Oak
The line between the curve of pencil round edging and the top face becomes visible in a light-coloured quartz if it is allowed to get grubby – as here. We cannot curve right onto the top surface without some risk of uneven polishing on the flat surface beyond the edge – there has to be an upper line – though it is not normally nearly as visible as this!
Contemporary kitchens with slab, handless doors are often paired with thinner profile worktops, made to look thinner still with a shark-nose edge. The edge looks very thin indeed, though normally relatively rounded, and the fingers have more space to slide easily into the door edge “handle.”
For more on sharknose edge designs, please see our more recent article here.
Shark nose edge profile on Cambria Berwyn
On more traditional kitchens, often with more ornate style doors feature complex architraving, further profiles are possible. Over recent decades these have not been enormously popular in the UK. We have tended to follow European, modern, minimal kitchen styling rather than the more retro, ‘Colonial’ look which is stronger in the North American market. Nevertheless, we are asked for more complex edgings from time to time and at the time of writing have a couple of installations in the pipeline which feature Cove-Dupont edging. These edge profiles are created by hand, and as such are labour intensive and expensive.
Cove Dupont edge profile
Large American Kitchen with a complex, built-up (double granite layer) edge profile with Cove Dupont and an Ogee
A range of edge profiles shown diagrametically – not all are available from Affordable Granite
Standard versus Bespoke Edging
Our standard edging is the bevel, sometimes called a chamfer. The size of the bevel can be chosen to suit the customer. this would normally be discussed on templating.
Pencil round edge profiles (top only, with bevel below, or pencil round to top and bottom) are available for a little extra.
Shark Nose costs significantly more, as does Cove Dupont.
We do not normally offer Full Bullnose edging. Other edgings may be available, price on request.
Pencil Round top, bevel bottom – Silestone Lyra Quartz 30mm in our office