One of the things you have to decide on when contracting a specialist for your granite countertops is the edge profile. Up to that point, you may not even have been aware that there are different kinds of edge profiles, and that it matters to the way your kitchen countertops look and function.
However, it does matter, and it needs considerable skill on the part of the fabricator to put it on natural stones. Below is a brief description of the basic edge profiles and their impact on granite countertops. This will help you choose the best one for your own kitchen.
A square edge profile is the most common treatment for granite countertops, primarily because it is the simplest to make, and therefore the least expensive. It is also the most versatile edge treatment you can choose, its clean and sleek lines appropriate for any kitchen style.
Interestingly enough, a square edge looks straight and sharp, but it actually is not. During fabrication, artisans cut tiny grooves or kerfs along the edges of the granite. These grooves soften the edges to make it more resistant to chipping and breaking. This softening technique also helps protect you and small children from injury, as razor sharp edges can result in some nasty cuts.
The square edge treatment comes in several variations. The eased edge is one of them, where the top edge of the cut is a bit rounder than the standard square edge. Another option is the waterfall edge, which are actually two slabs of granite seamlessly joined at the edges at a 90-degree angle to provide a continuous edge to the floor.
You want a square edge profile if you have particularly busy or dramatic granite countertops, or you have other attention-grabbing features in the kitchen. Having too many interesting things to look at in the kitchen is not a good thing, so a simple and clean edge can guide your eye quietly to the divas.
A mitered edge is technically not an edge at all but a cheat. Granite slabs are more affordable right now, but they are still expensive. The standard thickness of granite countertops is 3 cm, which is about 1-3/16 inch. Aside from being more expensive, thicker slabs will be much heavier. This is why granite suppliers do not cut them any thicker unless it is a special order.
If the 3 cm thickness is not doing it for you, there is a workaround: the mitered edge. This edge treatment gives the illusion of a much thicker slab without the cost and problems associated with it. The mitered edge is the countertop and a separate piece of granite, each with a 45-degree cut at the corners. This allows for a seamless joint that, when done correctly, will look like a square edge of a thick slab. You can choose how thick you want your countertop to appear, although a 2¼-inch miter is common. You can also specify an eased ad mitered edge if you want a rounder look.
What you need to realize about a mitered edge for natural stones is that it is very difficult to do. While it may look like a simple square edge, joining two pieces of granite or other natural stone together without showing a seam requires the careful eye and skill experience of an expert fabricator. Aside from having to ensure the cut is so precise that the edges will meet exactly, the fabricator has to contrive coloration and pattern continuity at the joint to complete the illusion. Since granite is notorious for its unpredictability, this is no easy task.
The beveled edge treatment, or chamfered edge, actually came about as a way to prove that the granite is real, and not just a surface treatment. The angled cut at the top edge of the slab displays a cross section of the grain of the stone. Back in the day, granite was so expensive that only the rich could afford them, so they wanted to make sure everybody else knew it was real.
Nowadays, engineered stones also use this edge profile, so it no longer serves the same function as before. Nevertheless, it is still a popular treatment for traditional kitchens because it has a subtly elegant and refined appearance.
As with most edge treatments, there are variations to the theme. The standard single bevel has a 45-degree top cut and flat face; the extreme bevel cut is steeper and longer at 1 inch. There is also the inverted extreme bevel, where the cut is at the bottom edge, but that is not very popular.
There is also the ¼-inch and ½-inch bevel, which is still at a 45-degree angle; the variation refers to the length of the cut. Another variation is the double bevel, where there is a cut at the top and bottom edges of the countertop. You can also choose to combine this edge with other edge treatments for a more complex profile.
A bullnose edge is a round and soft treatment popular in any type of kitchen, but especially homes with your children. It is the safest edge profile for them as there are no sharp edges at all. The bullnose is also a good way to show off the robust nature of granite countertops. Because it is so versatile, you are likely to find it in traditional as well as modern kitchens.
Variations of the bullnose edge include the demi-bullnose and the half-bullnose. While these may sound like the same thing, they are not exactly the same when it comes to edge treatments. Both have angled bottom edges while retaining the rounded top edge. The difference is the half- bullnose does not have the same sharpness at the bottom as the demi-bullnose.
Many more edge profiles are available for granite countertops, such as the concave, cove, ogee, offset, and Dupont. However, these are premium treatments, and likely to cost you a pretty penny. The basic ones described above are the most likely to be included in granite countertop packages.
Of course, you can choose more complex edge profiles if you want. However, you have to make sure you engage the services of a reputable countertop company with skilled people to do it properly. Silver Marble Granite has the best reputation in the areas of Washington D.C., Alexandria, Arlington, Falls Church, Fairfax, Chantilly, Herndon, Centreville, among others.
We are your ONE-STOP SHOP for home improvement, and we specialize in providing you with the best granite countertops in Northern Virginia. You can visit our showroom in Sterling, VA to see the actual slabs before you buy.
We work only with the best brands in the business, and can offer better prices and faster turnarounds than big box stores. Aside from granite and marble, we also carry top brands in engineered quartz, including Silestone, MSI, Cambria, and Caesarstone.
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