Tuesday, March 6, 2012

No Bull: Keep it simple

One small detail that can make or break your kitchen or bathroom is the counter edge detail. Many people have never had to make this decision before, and unfortunately make an uneducated selection. If you want to take the look and feel of your room down a notch, use the bullnose edge.

The bullnose edge: It's bad...it's really bad. I don't know a designer that would spec out this edge. To be honest I don't know it is that makes it lack style. It could be that if you go to Home Depot to buy a premade countertop, it will have a bullnose edge. It could be that if you leave it up to your fabricator or builder to choose for you, odds are they will give you the bullnose. It could be that all pop-up subdivision houses and apartments use bullnose edges. Whatever it is, just avoid it.

Here we are trying to dress it up. Still does not work.

There are a few different edges that actually look good. I will not get into any edge details here that have a profile, or detail to them. Seventy five percent of the time, I just stick to a square edge. It is clean, looks good, and emphasizes the thickness of the counter. It will not go out of style, and is a lower cost to fabricate. Here are a few similar variations that always work.

Beveled Edge: I cant decide if I like prefer a beveled edge over a square edge, but this is a nice look. The bevel helps reduce chipping. I typically do the width of my bevel less that what is shown here.

Here is a concrete counter with a square edge. An updated clean look. A standard for me.

This is called an "eased edge" (slightly rounded). Again this helps with chipping. Each fabricator's version of "eased" is different. The less rounding the better.

In short, unless you are dealing with a traditional or historic styled kitchen it is typically best to just keep it simple.


  1. Good tip! I am just getting ready to make design selections on a new condo. The condo comes with bullnose (rounded) sheetrock as standard.

    In keeping with your "no bull" position above on the countertop edges, do you feel the same way about the sheetrock? We can change to squared edges if we prefer. I like the concept of the rounded sheetrock (to prevent knicks and dings) but I am afraid it will ultimately, down the road, become a dated trend and would brand your house as so 2000 - 2010. I don't want to end up with the cottage cheese ceiling of my generation. Thanks for your advice!

  2. Also, regarding countertops in general, do you feel that granite is passe? It seems like it has been so overplayed (you even see it in gas station bathrooms now). I am leaning toward the cleaner look fo caesarstone. Do you think granite is at the end of it's trend life and will start to date a house? Thanks!

  3. Regarding the bullnose edge: The bullnose edge is a bad choice for a couple of reasons. It makes your top look thinner since the bottom edge creates a shadow. It also gives a way for water, that would run off the edge, to follow the edge around and into the cabinets.
    Regarding the choice of granite: Caesarstone is a manufacturer of Quartz tops. There are many manufactures of Quartz like Silestone and Daltile also. The quartz product is a good choice if you want more of a clean line contemporary look, but granite will never loose its natural beauty quality that makes it so unique.

  4. Question...and I know this is an old post, but hopefully someone will answer. We're doing a granite bar in our basement. My husband seems to think a rounded edge would be more comfortable for elbows? I argue that elbows will not be touching the edges. We can still do square, right?