Quartz countertops are popular options for kitchen and bathroom remodeling projects due to their durability, low maintenance, and visual appeal. One of the decisions to make when choosing quartz countertops is which type of edge profile to select. The edge impacts the look, feel, and functionality of the countertop. Here is an overview of the different edge options for quartz countertops.
Standard Flat Edge
The standard flat edge is a simple square edge with a flat profile. This is the most basic edge option and is frequently the least expensive choice. It gives the countertop a clean, modern look.
The flat edge has a crisp 90-degree angle along the front and sides. It does not have any rounded or beveled edges. The flat edge has a minimal overhang past the edge of the cabinets. This creates a streamlined appearance but provides less workspace area than some other edge styles.
The main advantage of the flat edge is that it is easy to clean. There are no crevices or indentations where messes can collect. Simply wiping across the flat surface removes crumbs and spills. The sharp corner does mean this edge can be prone to chipping if objects are dropped directly on the corner.
Overall, the standard flat edge is a popular choice for contemporary kitchens. It pairs well with flat-front cabinetry and other sleek, minimalist elements. It also tends to be one of the most affordable options. It is a straightforward but stylish edge profile for quartz countertops.
The bullnose edge is rounded or curved on the front corner. This creates a softer, gentler appearance versus the sharp 90-degree angle of the flat edge.
With a bullnose edge, the front corners are polished to a rounded shape. This can be a tighter quarter-round shape or a more dramatic half-bullnose that is rounded nearly all the way across the top.
The bullnose rounds just the front corner. The sides remain flat in most cases. Some people opt to do a full bullnose that also rounds the side edges for an oval-like shape.
Compared to a flat edge, the bullnose is more likely to withstand impact from bumps and dings without chipping. The curved shape helps deflect force and protect the edge. It also reduces sharp corners that can catch on clothing or cause injury.
In terms of appearance, the bullnose adds a touch of elegance that works well for both modern and traditional kitchens. The rounded corners provide visual appeal. The curve also adds some surface area for plates and glasses while still allowing for easy wiping.
The main downside to the bullnose edge is potential dirt and grime collection in the rounded front corner. Paying attention to cleaning this area is important to prevent buildup. Overall, the bullnose is an attractive and practical edge choice that softens the look of quartz countertops.
The beveled edge is angled or tapered along the front. Typically, a portion of the bottom edge is cut at a 45-degree angle leading to the top surface.
This creates an indented area known as a reveal. The reveal has a dimensional appearance that stands out compared to a standard flat edge.
With a beveled edge, the very front corner can remain 90 degrees. Or it can have a rounded bullnose shape while still incorporating the beveled reveal.
The reveal adds visual interest and a unique touch. Light reflects off the angled surface, accentuating the shape. A beveled edge can be symmetrical with even reveals on both sides. Or it can be asymmetrical with one side cut deeper than the other.
While the beveled edge does collect crumbs and spills in the reveal, the angled surface is fairly easy to wipe clean. The reveal is also handy for preventing items from falling off the front. Overall, the beveled edge makes an attractive upscale statement.
An ogee edge has an elegant double curve shape. It flows in a graceful S-shape along the front of the countertop.
The top portion of the ogee curve overhangs slightly before angling back underneath. This creates a subtle reveal similar to a beveled edge. The bottom then curves back out to create a small lip along the bottom.
The ogee is considered a classic countertop edge profile. It provides a ornate touch and works well for traditional decor. The S-shaped curve adds beauty and visual interest. It also makes a slightly larger work surface than a flat edge.
Cleaning the indent of the ogee can require a bit more effort and attention. The best way is to wipe downwards from the top to catch any debris that may get caught in the curve.
Overall, the ogee edge brings elegance and flair to a quartz countertop installation. It is a distinctive choice that enhances high-end kitchens and bathrooms. The ogee curve makes a statement while still being highly functional.
Eased or Pencil Edge
The eased or pencil edge is a minimalist mixed curve that combines elements of other edge profiles. It rounds just the very top and bottom edges, leaving the majority of the front flat.
Only approximately 1/16th of an inch on the top and bottom is rounded. This creates a narrow but visible curve on both edges. The curved sections are then smoothly connected by the flat midsection.
The eased edge helps soften the rigid lines of a standard square edge. It puts a modern twist on the standard flat edge that gives it a smoother, softer appearance.
Unlike a full bullnose curve, the eased edge still allows countertop materials and patterns to stand out. The flat midsection shows off the main surface.
For quartz countertops, an eased edge can highlight the stone-like patterns and colors of the material. It provides enough curve to add shape but does not overwhelm the rest of the surface.
Maintenance is also easy with an eased edge. The majority of the front is still flat, making wiping and cleaning simple. Only minimal attention is needed on the narrow top and bottom curves.
Overall, the eased edge strikes an elegant balance between angular and curved edges. It refines the basic flat edge and suits transitional to contemporary designs.
The waterfall edge creates an illusion of the quartz surface cascading over the side of the countertop like a waterfall. This is achieved by having the countertop material wrap down past the cabinetry frame.
To create a waterfall look, the fabricator miter cuts the front edge of the quartz material at a sharp angle. This allows the countertop to extend past the cabinet face frame before tapering back underneath.
The waterfall edge showcases the thickness of the quartz material and any patterns or colors running through it. Light reflects off the angled mitered edge, accentuating the cascading design.
Thanks to the overlapping material, waterfall edges conceal any gap between the backsplash and countertops. They provide a seamless transition between surfaces. The extended countertop also adds some workspace area.
However, the extended overhang and crevices in the cutout can collect dirt and debris. Homeowners need to take care to regularly clean these areas when choosing a waterfall edge.
Quartz works especially well for waterfall edges thanks to its durability and stain resistance. The look makes a bold statement and immediately catches the eye. Waterfall edges work with a variety of kitchen aesthetics from modern to luxury.
A mitered edge is cut at a 45-degree angle from the corner of the countertop. The two adjoining countertops are then fitted together to create a sharp 90-degree corner point.
Mitered edges are most commonly done on countertop corners. This allows the pattern or design of the quartz to run seamlessly across the joint, creating the illusion of one continuous surface.
The mitered seam makes corners less noticeable. This can help smaller spaces appear larger and more expansive. A mitered edge runs patterns and colors uniformly across the counters.
Unlike a standard butt joint with a visible seam, a mitered edge has very little gap between the two countertops. This prevents crumbs and spills from getting caught in a crevice. It provides a cleaner, smoother look.
Creating mitered edges takes special skill and precision cutting by the fabricator. But for quartz’s resilient properties, the result is durable and long-lasting. Miters stand up well to daily wear and tear.
The only downside is if the counter shifts or settles, it could affect the seamless mitered appearance. Overall, a mitered edge minimizes the visible joints between countertops for a seamless custom look.
A laminated edge uses a matching quartz piece adhered to the front edge using glue or epoxy. This gives the appearance of a thicker edge profile.
The process involves cutting a strip of quartz material to match the chosen edge shape, whether bullnose, ogee, or another style. This edge strip is then bonded to the front of the countertop core.
Laminated edges create the visual of a 1.25-inch to 2-inch thick quartz edge. In reality, the countertop itself remains the standard 3/4-inch to 1 1/4-inch thickness.
The main advantage of a laminated edge is the beefier, chunkier look it creates. This gives the countertop a more substantial, high-end appearance. The laminated strip also lets you use a bolder quartz color or pattern just on the edge.
However, gluing on the extra edge piece can increase the likelihood of damage or the laminated section peeling off over time. Seams may also be more visible. Improper bonding during manufacturing can lead to future issues.
With a quartz countertop’s durability and thickness, a laminated edge provides minimal structural benefit. But it does allow for a thicker style look.
Double Thickness Edge
A double thickness edge is similar to a laminated edge but even more substantial. These edges are literally twice as thick as the normal countertop slab.
Creating a double thick edge involves cutting the front portion of the countertop edge at double the standard thickness. This portion sticks up higher than the rest of the countertop.
The thicker edge provides extra durability and support for busy countertops. It creates an extremely substantial, beefy appearance on counters that makes a bold statement.
However, the doubled edge thickness increases costs significantly. Fabricating a double edge uses more material and requires special cutting tools to achieve the thicker edge. The thicker edge also weighs considerably more requiring structural support.
Since quartz already provides a very durable material, the double thickness edge is primarily for appearance. It allows the patterns and colors to stand out prominently from the side angle. The extra thickness also accommodates more elaborate edge profiles.
For homeowners wanting a chunky, rugged edge style, the double thickness edge makes a substantial impact. But for most quartz installations, standard edged offer suitable durability at lower cost.
Inline Bar Edge
An inline bar edge incorporates a countertop edge with an extended seating area. The extended portion matches the edge profile and material to create a built-in informal table area.
The inline bar area can range from 10 to 18 inches in depth from the main counter. This provides ample room for seating, serving, or casual dining integrated into the countertop design.
To construct an inline bar, the countertop is fabricated with an extended peninsula edge. Support legs are mounted underneath, either freestanding or installed into the cabinetry.
Quartz inline bars are often found in kitchen islands. They provide additional seating and tabletop space without requiring a separate furniture piece.
An inline bar makes an ideal breakfast seating zone, beverage station, or entertaining space. The streamlined look of a bar edge is a more sleek alternative to an elevated eat-in island.
When choosing an inline bar edge, be sure to select a durable edge profile for high-use areas. Bullnose, eased, or double thickness edges are smart choices to withstand daily wear.
Backsplash Transition Edge
The countertop edge that connects with the backsplash is also an important design consideration. A well-designed edge transition provides a streamlined look and minimizes gaps.
There are a few common options for integrating the countertop and backsplash:
Standard Butt Joint
This simple square joint has the backsplash resting against the edge of the countertop. A butt joint may result in visible gaps, so high quality installation is important. Using a coordinating caulk or grout color helps minimize noticeable seams.
A bullnose curve on the countertop edge allows the backsplash to gentlyalign with the curve. The smooth transition results in a near-seamless look.
Cutting the quartz countertop and backsplash at complementary 45-degree angle allows the two pieces to fit together cleanly. A small bevel or notch in the surface provides space for caulk or epoxy to reinforce the joint.
Full Backsplash Overlay
Having the backsplash overlap the countertop edge by 1/4 inch or more creates a cascading waterfall effect. The overlapping design disguises any gaps and misalignment.
Some backsplashes feature a recessed channel behind the edge to conceal caulk lines. The shadowline gap highlights the transition between surfaces.
Cutting the backsplash with a small L-shaped lip or return creates a pocket for fitting over the countertop. This anchors the backsplash tightly to the edge.
Carefully weighing the options for how the countertop and backsplash meet can enhance the transition and complete the design. A tight seam-free look allows the surfaces to flow together naturally.
How To Choose the Right Edge
With the wide variety of edge styles available for today’s quartz countertops, deciding on the right edge profile can be a challenge. Here are a few tips for choosing the perfect edge for your project:
- Consider the overall kitchen or bathroom style. Curved edges like bullnose or ogee transition well for traditional spaces, while square flat edges match contemporary designs.
- Take into account ease of cleaning based on edge crevices and indentations vs flat surfaces. Built-up debris may be a concern for some homeowners.
- Factor in the functionality of the countertop area. High traffic zones like kitchen prep areas may benefit from more durable thick edges.
- Weigh the simplicity of a basic flat edge vs the design statement of a thick double edge or cascading waterfall profile.
- Look at the type of sink you are installing. A flat edge is needed for an undermount sink installation.
- Visualize shadows and light reflecting off the different edge styles to appreciate the aesthetic impact.
- Evaluate options for pairing edges through light pencil rubbings of the profile. This helps envision how the edges intersect.
- Consider any sharp corner or edges in family spaces used by small children. Rounded profiles can reduce injury risks.
- Budget for added costs for built-up, laminated and other specialty edges to avoid unexpected expenses.
- Review edges available from the fabricator to pick profiles compatible with their specific tools and skills.
Taking the time to explore the many edge choices available allows finding the perfect edge to complete your new quartz countertop installation. The edge profile impacts both aesthetics and functionality, so make sure to choose carefully.
FAQ About Quartz Countertop Edges
Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about quartz countertop edges:
What edge is best for the kitchen?
In kitchens, a sturdy edge that can withstand daily use is ideal. Slightly rounded edges like bullnose or double thickness edges provide durable options. Eased edges are also a great choice mixing subtle curves and clean lines.
What is the most popular edge for quartz?
The standard flat edge remains the most popular quartz countertop edge. It offers a clean, contemporary look and matches well with many kitchen designs. Bullnose and pencil edge profiles are also widely used for their versatility.
Do you need to seal the edges of quartz?
Sealing quartz countertop edges is not necessary. Quartz resists moisture and staining without the need for sealants. Some homeowners opt to use clear silicone caulk for peace of mind filling any slight gaps where the edge meets the counter.
How thick should the edge be on a quartz countertop?
The standard thickness for quartz countertop edges is 1 1/4 inches to 1 1/2 inches thick which provides suitable durability. Thicker laminated or double thick edges of 2 inches or more can provide a chunkier look but are primarily aesthetic.
What edge styles work with undermount sinks?
Undermount sinks require a flat countertop edge for proper installation and support. Bullnose, beveled, and other edges with curves or irregular profiles are not compatible with undermount sinks.
Can you cut or rout a new edge profile on an existing quartz countertop?
It is possible for a professional fabricator to cut a new edge profile on installed quartz countertops. However, the quartz material is very hard, making on-site edge fabrication difficult and time consuming.
Do you need to use a backsplash with quartz countertops?
Backsplashes are highly recommended with quartz counters. The backsplash protects the wall from splashes while also covering the edge transition. Coordinating the backsplash color and style with the quartz complements the design.
What edge finish is best for quartz?
Quartz manufacturers offer several edge finish options. Polished and eased finishes provide sharper definition of edges. Honed, double honed, or concave blasted finishes offer more stone-like textures. The choice comes down to personal style preference.
How often do quartz countertop edges need to be redone or replaced?
With routine care, quartz countertop edges can easily last 10 to 15 years or longer before needing replacement. Their durability means edges show minimal wear over time compared to other countertop materials.
The wide range of edge profiles available for quartz countertops allows creating a look tailored to your kitchen or bath design needs. Whether seeking a sturdy utilitarian edge or a dramatic decorative statement, quartz can be fabricated with customized edges.
Consider the style you want to achieve along with factors like maintenance