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Corner Countertop Options

The shape of a countertop's corner has both aesthetic and functional purposes. Because an unfinished straight edge countertop can chip or splinter with time, shaping the corner can help to give it some resilience. Aesthetically, designers can use angular corners for a country-style kitchen or acute angles for modern décor. Additionally, the finish used on the counter's edge, such as the beveled or rounded "bullnose," can change the corner and countertop's overall design.

Straight Corner

A straight countertop corner can give a kitchen a modern look.

One of the simplest corners a countertop can have is the straight corner.  Whether fashioned out of granite, marble or quartz, this sharp 90-degree corner can help to give a kitchen a very clean, modern look. However, even if the corner is straight, it still needs a finished edge as a sharp rough edge can progressively chip away.  Therefore, the countertop should be smoothed and is sometimes slightly rounded 1/4 inch. With this slight curve, the straight corner still retains a sharp angle but is slightly more durable than an acute 90-degree angle. 

Angular Corner

Sometimes designers want a more embellished corner option.  An angular corner can provide this stylized look while retaining the clean-cut appearance of the straight edge. When making an angular corner, a craftsman shaves down the hard 90-degree angle of the corner so that it forms two unobtrusive corners instead of one protruding one.  This double-pointed countertop corner is versatile as designers can use it for a traditional English country appearance or in more contemporary kitchen designs.

Rounded Corner

The rounded corner is common because it can be safer in high-traffic areas.  A versatile countertop style, the rounded corner can be applied to many kitchen designs, from traditional to modern. The measurement of the corner radius is the main factor as it can range from 1 to 3 inches.  The overhang or the amount of space that the countertop hangs over the counter is also important to ensure that the granite covers the entire top of the cabinetry. With a curved corner, a craftsman has to allow up to 3 inches, depending on the corner's radius.  One simple method of calculating the necessary countertop allowance is to add 1 inch overhang for every 1-inch radius, thus a 3-inch radius would equal a 3-inch overhang.

Finished Edge

The finishing touch on any countertop corner is how the countertop is edged.  The edge of the counter is how the countertop's depth (its thickness) is finished. The most favored countertop edges are the flat eased (smooth straight edge), bevel (angled), "bullnose" (rounded) or ogee (notched).  The simplest is the flat eased, which is a style commonly used with a straight corner because it complements its simplicity. Beveled and bullnose edges are a bit more decorative and can add flair to an angular or rounded corner.  Adding the ogee finished corner can help give a countertop a classic French look as it is often a decorative element commonly used in traditional bars and cafes.

About the Author

B. Maté has been reporting on creative industries since 2007—covering everything from Fashion Week to the latest artist to wow the Parisian art scene. Her experience stems from a marketing background, with more than 12 years of experience consulting fashion-forward entrepreneurs.