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Chipping and edge detail issues for granite and quartz

I am a fabricator.

Recent posts and comments about chipping motivated me to provide some information that may be of help to people making a countertop purchase.

The edge profile has a significant impact on any materials susceptibility to chipping. Sharp corners chip more easily than rounded ones. At the very lowest quality levels a "free" edge is polished on a CNC* and untouched thereafter. Noticably sharp edges at the top and bottom of the edge profile are left by the CNC tooling. Flat edges and the Ogee profile are examples of edges that will be easily chipped if the sharp edge corners are not worked by hand after the CNC. (Note: generally, in the industry an untouched CNC'd edge has come to be accepted as "good" quality. It's not.)

A lower quality shop will give you edges with sharp corners because it takes less fabrication labor. Worst case is probably a flat or Ogee with a sharp corner on top. Best if it's a shop that doesn't handwork after the CNC would be a bullnose or demi-bullnose (radius = stone thickness)

If you are dealing with a typical "granite" or quartz surface then chipping should be an uncommon event that takes a considerable blow from a dense object. Some countetop materials like schist, slate, and ones with mica inclusions can be chipped relatively easily. A good fabricator will educate a customer on this as appropriate.

Softer materials like marble and limestone chip more easily as you'd expect.

Fabricators fix chips all the time so a chip in your top, even a relatively big one, need not be a cause for panic. A competent fabricator can usually repair a chip such that you'll have to look close to see the repair. A good fabricator will fix a chip, even in a countertop installation that is a few years old, for free as it's worth the good PR value.

CNC - a computer controlled machine that cuts and polishes stone using diamond tooling per a user supplied program. roughly $300,000.

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