Quartz countertops have become increasingly popular in kitchens and bathrooms thanks to their durability, aesthetics, and low maintenance. One way to customize the look of your quartz countertop is with a bullnose edge. A bullnose edge rounds off the front corner of the countertop, creating a smooth, finished look. Installing a bullnose edge on a quartz countertop is a relatively easy DIY project that can completely transform the look of your countertops. Here is a comprehensive guide on how to bullnose quartz countertop edges.
What is a Bullnose Edge?
A bullnose edge is a rounded or curved front corner of a countertop. It creates a smooth, rounded transition from the top surface to the front edge of the countertop. The curve is typically 1-2 inches wide.
Bullnose edges create a clean, streamlined look, eliminating any sharp 90-degree angles on the countertop front. The rounded edges have a polished, finished appearance.
Bullnose edges are popular for a variety of countertop materials, including granite, marble, quartz, solid surface, and laminate. They provide a custom look without requiring a full edge profile fabrication.
Bullnose edges are a great way to update existing countertops or add decorative detail to new countertop installations. They work well in a variety of design styles from traditional to contemporary.
Benefits of Bullnose Edges
There are several benefits to choosing a bullnose edge for your quartz countertops:
- Enhanced aesthetics – The rounded bullnose profile creates a polished, designer look. It offers a more finished appearance compared to straight 90-degree edges.
- Softened edges – The curves eliminate any sharp corners, creating a safer environment. This can reduce injury from sharp edges, especially important in homes with small children.
- Easy to clean – With no crevices for crumbs and spills to get trapped, bullnose edges can be wiped clean with a sponge. Their seamless profile makes cleaning simpler.
- Versatile design – Bullnose edges work well in almost any kitchen or bath design style from modern to traditional. Their customized look can match any decor.
- Value added – Bullnose edges can increase the value of your home. They offer a higher-end, designer detail.
Overall, bullnose edges are an affordable way to elevate the look of your standard quartz countertops. Their aesthetic and functional benefits make them a popular edge choice.
How to Bullnose Quartz Countertops
Bullnosing a quartz countertop involves rounding off the front corner edge. There are a few different ways to achieve this:
Order Pre-fabricated Bullnose Edge
The easiest option is to order a pre-fabricated bullnose edge from your quartz manufacturer or countertop company. Most quartz fabricators offer an optional 1-2 inch bullnose strip that can be attached to your countertop edges.
This creates the rounded bullnose shape without any fabrication on site. The bullnose strip and the straight edge are cut from the same quartz slab to ensure a seamless color and pattern match. Your installer will attach the bullnose piece using strong adhesives.
The only downside to this method is the small seam between the bullnose strip and the body of the countertop. With a good installer, the seam is barely visible. Pre-fabricated bullnose edges are a fast, affordable option for achieving the rounded look.
Router Bullnose Edge
You can also bullnose the edges of your existing quartz countertop using a router and specialty bits. This involves carefully rounding off the sharp 90-degree corner of the countertop using a bullnose router bit guided by a pattern template.
This method creates a seamless, smooth bullnose with no visible joints. Router bullnosing takes more time and skill but achieves a higher end result.
The steps for routing a bullnose edge are:
- Select bullnose bit: Choose a 1/2″ or 3/4″ rabbeting bit with guide bearing to match the curve size you want. Attach to router.
- Make routing template: Use a piece of 1/4″ MDF board secured to the countertop edge to guide the bullnose bit along the correct path.
- Route edge profile: With the template in place, make several shallow passes with the router to slowly round over the edge. Remove template and router inside corner by hand.
- Sand edge: Use progressively finer grit sandpaper (120 to 220) to smooth the newly routed edge.
- Finish edge: Apply a quartz-specific polishing compound and buff edge to a glossy finish.
Router bullnosing takes practice to master but creates a seamless custom bullnose on the countertop edge.
Cut New Bullnose Edge Strip
For a remodel, you can create your own bullnose strip to adhere to the existing countertop edge. Simply cut a new 1-2 inch piece of quartz with a bullnose edge profile on the front side.
Using quartz adhesives, attach the new bullnose piece so it overhands the original 90-degree edge. This essentially creates a pre-fabricated bullnose look without ordering a separate strip.
Cutting your own bullnose strip takes extra quartz material and fabrication time. But it allows you to match remnants or reuse quartz from another project.
How to Install a Bullnose Strip
If using a pre-fabricated bullnose strip, proper installation technique is important for a seamless look. Here are some tips for installing a bullnose edge:
- Bullnose strip cut to size
- Adhesive for bonding quartz (silicone or epoxy)
- Color-matched caulk for seam gaps
- Clean rags, acetone, gloves for prep
Prepare the Surface
- The countertop and bullnose edges must be clean and dry for proper adhesion.
- Wipe all bonding surfaces with denatured alcohol to remove dirt and oil residue.
Dry Fit the Pieces
- Do a dry fit without any adhesive to ensure the bullnose edge fits correctly.
- There should be no significant gaps between the pieces.
- Adjust bullnose as needed for a tight seam.
- Run a bead of adhesive along the backside of the bullnose edge.
- Use enough to completely coat the bonding surfaces, but avoid any drips.
- Most quartz adhesives cure quickly, so work in sections if necessary.
- Carefully place the bullnose piece in position against the countertop edge.
- Apply even, firm pressure to create a tight bond along the seam.
- Use painters tape to hold the piece in place as the adhesive cures.
Fill any Gaps
- Once adhesive has cured, inspect the seam and fill any small gaps with a matching caulk.
- Tool the caulk smooth for an invisible fill. Allow caulk to fully dry.
- If needed, use fine sandpaper to blend any uneven edges between the bullnose and main counter.
- Finish by polishing all edges and seams together to a uniform sheen.
With careful installation, your bullnose edge should appear seamless. The rounded profile will completely customize the look of your quartz countertop!
FAQs About Bullnose Quartz Countertops
Is a bullnose edge more expensive?
Bullnose edges typically add $8 – $12 per linear foot to the overall countertop cost. Many quartz manufacturers include bullnose options standard in their pricing packages. For a full custom fabrication, expect to pay 10 – 15% more compared to straight edge counters.
How is a bullnose edge attached?
Most bullnose edges are adhered using a specialty quartz adhesive like a high-strength epoxy or silicone. The adhesive cures to create a permanent, waterproof bond. Proper surface prep and clamping ensure optimal seam strength.
Can you bullnose existing quartz countertops?
Yes, it is possible to add a bullnose edge to existing installed quartz countertops using a router or new bullnose strip. This refinishing process can update old countertops. Care must be taken to achieve clean seam lines.
Does a bullnose edge impact durability?
When properly installed, a bullnose will be just as durable as the rest of the quartz countertop. Quartz maintains its strength and performance properties regardless of edge details. The seam may be slightly weaker but proper adhesion prevents issues.
Can you bullnose just one edge?
Absolutely! A common application is having a bullnose edge on just the front counter facing outward. The other edges can remain square for ease of installation. Mixing edge styles adds diversity to your design.
Does a bullnose edge prevent staining?
The rounded bullnose profile does not inherently improve stain resistance. Quartz is non-porous and resist stains well already. However, the smooth edge does eliminate crevices that can trap spills. This makes cleaning easier.
Installing a bullnose edge is a simple, budget-friendly way to customize ordinary quartz countertops. The rounded profile adds a high-end designer touch to kitchen or bath interiors. With the right techniques and materials, DIY bullnosing of quartz is very achievable. Just remember to prep all surfaces, make tight seams, and take care when routing edges. With some attention to detail, it is easy to add this popular finished look. So consider incorporating a bullnose edge to make your next quartz countertop installation truly unique.