We look at the different worktop edge choices to help you perfect your design and avoid elbow-bruising incidents.
You may not spend much time thinking about counter edges – until you knock an elbow on an unexpected corner. It’s not pleasant, but we’ve all been there. And the pointier the edge, the more unpleasant the experience.
When selecting your granite or quartz worktop size and material, you’ll also have the opportunity to tailor your worktop edges to the style of your room and to suit your preferences.
There are two main points to consider: the type of edge – whether curved or squared tops and/or sides, and the overhang – the space from the edge of the base unit, to the edge of the worktop.
To avoid any further elbow-bruising incidents you may be tempted to smooth all your corners, but it is worth considering the design message you will be conveying with your worktop edges first. We have a look at your options.
A squared edge suggests classic sophistication
The hard, strong, squared edge on a granite worktop is a popular and classic choice for homes, often seen in a renovated cottage or semi detached whose designers wanted to embrace clean lines and a robust sense of belonging.
While the edges will not, in all likelihood, actually be sharp, a pointed edge does require you to be more wary of it. With a hard 90° angle along the top-to-side and side-to-underside edges, there is a higher chance of catching a bag or garment off the edge.
However, a beautiful squared edge can create a sense of co-ordination and organisation in a rustic setting. It will lend modernity to a room with exposed wood walls or furniture, and division between the surface and what surrounds it.
Curved edges offer a contemporary style
In modern art, the rise of fluidity and curves gave influence to designs with fewer edges and right angles. A curved worktop grants a distinct flow to kitchen areas and creates a stylish space. However, these curves are largely featured in the overall shape of the worktop area rather than simply the corner points and top and bottom edges.
For curved edging along the top-to-side and side-to-underside areas, there is significant scope for differing degrees of curve. A softening of the meeting edges and an otherwise flat side implies a modern aesthetic but hints at classic practicality. A bulbous curved edge is striking and offers a forgiving surface that would be less painful to catch yourself on.
How much of an overhang do your need?
Overhang may not be a feature of your worktop edge that you will be thinking of from the get go. For many custom builds there will be a suggested distance that works in tandem with the design.
A couple of inches would be a regular, expected distance. However, you may want to maximise the working surface area when you have limited unit space by increasing the overhang.
Remember to factor in the curved or straight edging when deciding on your overhang. A curved edge will have a smaller workable area compared to the distance it protrudes. Again, to make the most of the useable tabletop, you may wish to consider a flat edge with minimal curves.
One of the wonderful advantages of designing your own worktops is creating surfaces that suit your personal home style, allowing you to mix and match your edges based on your needs.
For example, a family dining island where contact with the edge is frequent will benefit from a curved edge. However, you kitchen chopping surfaces can showcase a square edge as most contact will be on the top surface. That way you get your worktop, edge-actly right!
At Modern Worktops we’re always happy to talk through your specific needs and can show you previous case studies to help you decide. Because granite worktops can last a lifetime, we believe it’s important for you to get the little things just right.