Kitchen Benchtop & Bar Ideas

A guide to the latest kitchen benchtop edge profiles

Your kitchen benchhtop profile is a crucial detail to get right. Here’s what you need to know.

Kitchen benchtop profiles can make a striking design statement, or they can be a small yet significant detail that gives the space a cohesive feel. 

Interior designer Rina Cohen of RCI Designs suggests drawing inspiration from your interior and considering the various elements within your kitchen design, such as cabinetry profiles, hardware and tapware. Is your style classic and decorative, or more modern and minimalist? Do you prefer a slimmer profile or a more substantial, solid-looking benchtop? An initial decision is the general profile shape, either square or rounded, and from there you can refine the specific look. 

“Not all benchtop materials and profiles are compatible,” says Rina. “All come with various limitations and advantages, so you need to weigh up aesthetics, functionality and practicality to find the right profile to meet your needs and desired look.” 

Our cheat sheet can help you ponder the perfect profile for your space. 

Curved island bench with bullnose benchtop profile
The owners of this sydney home wanted something different, so architect Imogene Potter of Potter & Wilson combined two bullnose profiles for a lavish layered effect on the island, and chose a mitred profile for the rear benchtop. (Credit: Photography: Simon Whitbread | Styling: Ashley Pratt)

Round benchtop profiles

Round benchtop proffiles including a rolled, bullnose or pencil edge often complement a classic country or Hamptons-style kitchen, recommends Tameka Moffat of Tameka Moffat Designs. “Another benefit of curves is their gentle, user-friendly feel, which can make them particularly appealing in homes with young children or elderly people,” she says.

Pencil round

Usually applied to most sharp edges, it softens the feel and aids in preventing any chipping.

Half round

This is a half-rounded bullnose-style profile, which generally comes in a thickness between 20mm and 30mm.

Marble and grey kitchen with half round benchtop edge profiles
In this sleek marble kitchen, a double half-round profile was selected for the island, while all other benches feature a half-round edge. (Credit: Photography: Dave Wheeler |


Available in full or half-rounded styles, a bullnose edge is generally used for laminate material benchtops in a standard thickness of around 32mm. Typically, it’s less susceptible to chipping compared to square edges. 


A Dupont profile delivers a classic look that is just right for more traditional kitchens. This profile can also be used with an added square profile underneath, for extra detail. It suits any stone, but this edge is made for marble.

Benchtop Dupont edge profile
A classic Dupont profile was selected for the marble island bench in this Anna Spiro-designed home. (Credit: Photography: Tim Salisbury, Eleanor Byrne | Styling: Anna Spiro)

Lambs tongue

This detailed look with undulating curves can be used in tandem with other profiles. Most stones are suitable in a thickness of 20mm and up.  

Square benchtop profiles

For a modern look, Tameka suggests angular profiles, which evoke a clean, minimalist aesthetic. From simple, cost-effective wraparound laminated square edges to a striking mitred waterfall edge, there are options to suit a range of styles and budgets. 

Kitchen with two styles of benchtop profiles
CDK Stone supplied the ‘Bianco Carrara’ honed marble for this kitchen. The island features a combined Dupont and bullnose edge profile, while the surrounding benchtops have been kept simple with a classic mitred profile. (Credit: Photography: Simon Whitbread)


A popular finish with an angled edge, it can be laminated or mitred for a sleek, modern look. 


Most natural and engineered 20mm stones can be cut at a 45-degree angle and joined to form a classy corner. “A mitred join is less noticeable than a laminated edge, but if a pencil round is applied to a porcelain slab, it removes the ‘design’ printed on the surface to reveal a solid colour,” says Graeme Metcalfe of Dan Kitchens Australia


A waterfall benchtop refers to a bench that cascades down the sides of a cabinet or central island bench.

Modern kitchen with green marble waterfall island bench
A waterfall edge shows off the stunning ice green marble island bench. (Credit: Photography: Armelle Habib |

Are detailed benchtop profiles durable?

It’s worth chatting with a kitchen designer or joiner/stonemason to understand the durability and compatibility of material and profile combinations.

“Some detailed profiles such as half-bullnose, which are pointed or tapered, can be prone to chipping, which can be exacerbated if using a softer stone such as marble,” says Graeme. “Some laminate finishes and thin porcelain slabs may not work with certain profiles, either, as they may be too hard or brittle.” 

Glam white and gold marble kitchen with detailed benchtop profile
The kitchen island is topped with Calacatta Oro marble from Styled in Stone with a quadruple half round edge profile. Every other bench features a classic lamb’s tongue profile. (Credit: Photography: Ess Creative | Styling: Samantha Torrisi)

Are detailed benchtop edges expensive?

Pricing often depends on the complexity of the profile and the material. Single slabs with a simple-edge profile are the most cost-effective, while detailed profiles and laminated benches where several pieces are joined together are more expensive, due to the additional labour and materials.

“A more budget-friendly option might be a Polytec benchtop with a rolled edge profile in a standard 20-32mm thickness,” says Tameka Moffat. “For a high-end look with a price tag to match, natural stone such as marble or quartz in a generous 30-40mm thickness creates a beautiful side view and luxurious aesthetic, particularly if teamed with a waterfall or slab end.”

How thick does a bench need to be for a detailed edge?

Standard 20mm-thick benchtops are capable of most basic profiles, whereas slim 12mm-thick porcelain surfaces are quite limiting as they’re more fragile and can’t overhang without support. “To achieve a more luxurious solid look,” says designer Graeme Metcalf of Dan Kitchens Australia, “stonemasons can fabricate a mitred apron for square profiles, or ‘laminate’ (layer) the edge by stacking several pieces of 20mm stone for more detailed profiles.” 

Should you use the same benchtop profile everywhere? 

“As the island is often a focal point, it can be effective to use a wider 60mm benchtop and detailed profile, to enhance wow-factor and keep rear workbenches simpler, slimmer and more cost-effective,” says Tameka.

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