What Are Laminated Edges?

As we’ve covered in the past, there are basically infinite possibilities for the edge profile of your granite. Determining what kind of edge you should choose is all about the look and feeling you’re trying to achieve with your countertops and kitchen.

One specialty kind of edge profile is called a laminated edge, which involves glueing stone underneath the edge of your countertop to give it the appearance of being thicker, and to conceal the plywood underneath the countertop that supports it. It’s especially popular on free-standing kitchen islands, where the edges of the countertop are most conspicuous.

Laminated edges are often installed on countertops that are made from slabs with a 2cm thickness. You might notice, for example, that restaurant tables will use laminated edges because it keeps the table light enough to move easily while still providing the look of a thick granite slab. Household slabs that are 3cm thick rarely require a laminated edge—they already look impressive enough on their own!

Of course, you can apply a laminated edge to a 3cm slab in order to achieve an especially dramatic countertop. A laminate edge on a 3cm slab will create a gorgeous 6cm drop that can make beautiful granite absolutely stunning. However, this only makes sense in a high-end kitchen where all other aspects of the space are also a testament to its quality.

The most important thing to remember about laminate edges is that there is a big difference between “inconspicuous” and “invisible.” If you’re hoping to achieve the look of a smooth unbroken surface, be aware that under close inspection the seam will be visible, if difficult to detect from afar. A mitered edge can make the laminated portion less obvious, but it needs to be cut perfectly.

Example of a laminated edge, from Houzz

If done correctly, laminate edges can have a very impressive effect. Unfortunately, many manufacturers don’t apply the laminated edges correctly, and the effect is disastrous. If the manufacturer uses the wrong type of glue, it can discolor over time, drawing much more visibility to the seam. If they adhere or cut the lower piece of granite incorrectly, it might not be level with the countertop, which is not only unsightly but invites water damage. Finally, manufacturers need to have a keen eye for understanding what colors, textures, and patterns will line up, and how. Some stone designs can go a long way to disguising the laminated lines, while others make it glaringly obvious.

If you’re interested in a laminated edge for your countertop, choose a manufacturer you can trust. Granite Marble Specialties is the Northwest’s leading installer, and we can guarantee you not only excellent information and guidance concerning what edge profile is right for you, but also an expert installation that leaves nothing to chance. Call us today!