If you’re not installing one of those red-hot countertop materials like solid-surfacing, stone, or butcher block, chances are you’re working with high-pressure plastic laminate — still the dominant countertop material. No matter which material you or your client chooses, every countertop has an edge that can and should be turned to advantage.

A square edge is a workmanlike option, but it’s not the best or only possibility. Square edges are sharp and unforgiving, easily damaged by impact, and generally don’t say much about craftsmanship or design. If you’re working with solid-surfacing or stone, you’re limited only by your router bit collection. But if you’re dealing with laminate,...

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