How to Create Custom Countertops in Chief Architect Software

How to Create Custom Countertops in Chief Architect Software

For this countertop video I’ll review
the automatic countertop settings, how to generate a custom countertop using
existing cabinets, manually draw a custom countertop along with shaping and
creating custom shapes, placing holes and cutouts. adding an edge profile and
applying countertop materials. Let’s get started by reviewing the automatic
countertop settings. When you place a base cabinet in chief architect it comes
in typically with an automatic countertop. If you want to adjust the
countertop, let’s open up the cabinet dialog and you’ll notice one of the
things that I want to point out is the height of the cabinet includes the
countertop, this cabinet is set at 36 inches and after you subtract the inch
and a half allocated for the countertop the cabinet box itself is 34 and a half
inches. Now the countertop can be removed if you
press a 0 in here and if you want the cabinet box to be exact you can set it
at thirty four and a half inches. That will remove the countertop from being
displayed and also remove the countertop itself. Additional settings you’ll find
about the countertop: you can control the overhang, in this case I have a one inch
in my default plan, set to be uniform all the way around. You can uncheck the
uniform option and you can control the overhang on all of the sides. Could be
that you have a cook range on the left or the right and you want to zero that
out. There’s also information on your corner treatment. Currently my corner
treatment on the corner of the cabinet is set to be rounded. You can clip it or
you can specify none and then you have the information on the corner width for
that radius. Moving from automatic countertops to manually created
countertops, there’s two ways you can do them. One of the ways is to click on the
cabinet, sometimes this is easiest to do in your floor plan view. While a cabinet is
highlighted there is a tool that you’ll find in your lower edit menu saying
generate custom countertop. I’m going to go ahead and click that button and that
separates the countertop from the cabinet itself. You can notice in my
screen I have a selection handle on the countertop. And from here you can click on this and move that countertop around, so if you
want to make it longer, wider you can click on this and adjust it. I’m
gonna take a look at this in more detail on the island here in a minute if
I delete this custom countertop the cabinet will revert back to having the
automatic countertop generated for itself. Let’s look at the process in
creating the custom countertop for this island. I’m going to highlight the
existing countertop, I’m going to press the Delete key,
notice that the automatic countertop is retained on those cabinets. I’m going to
return to the plan view and show you the steps. I’m going to hold my shift key
down and I’m gonna select the key cabinets that I want to use to convert
and generate the automatic countertop. Notice while those cabinets are selected
I have the lower edit menu option to generate the custom countertop. I’m going
to go ahead and click that tool, that will generate a custom countertop. I like
to use this approach because it has the exact overhang that I’ve already
specified, that’s likely one inch, and if I were to manually draw this out as
you’ll see here in a minute it’ll take me a little bit longer to get that one
inch overhang exact, so this is a time-saving approach that I like to use
for generating the custom countertop. When you’ve generated a custom
countertop and I press the spacebar to deselect it sometimes it’s a little bit
difficult to re-select it in your floorplan view. If you click near the
edge it’s easy to select, if you happen to click on the cabinet it may be a
little bit more difficult to select but you can press the Tab key and get to the
next closest object, which is what I’ve just done here. Now to resize this
countertop if you have your temporary dimensions on you can click on this and
if I wanted to pull this back a predetermined amount, let’s say I want to
pull it back plus 11 inches I can say plus 11 while the back edge of is
selected I’m going to actually create the arc on here using the CAD tool in
the Edit menu Change Line to Arc and when I select that it will create an arc
on that edge. Notice that there is a small diamond in here and I can click on
that and I can pull it back. If you hold your ctrl key down you have a little bit
more refined control because it will override the bumping and snapping. Now
you’ll notice that I have a text call-out for a specific radius. Let’s go
ahead and double click on the countertop. You’ll notice on the selected arc I can
come in here and I can be very specific about the radius before I type in a
value here I want to make sure what I’m going to lock. You can think of the start and the end, you can lock one of those two. You could lock the center, you can lock
the arc, and in this case I’m going to lock the chord, which is the distance
between this point and this point, and they won’t move. That will create
symmetry on the edge and overhang of the countertop itself. I can set the radius
in here if it’s 146 and a half, press the tab key, the preview will update and then
when you close the dialog I now have a precise radius at 146 and a half inches.
As I return back into the 3d view you may notice that I actually did not have
a countertop on the apron sink. You can click on these edges and you can easily
pull these around; again it’s more precise to do this in your floorplan
view, and you can then resize this right over and create the reveal you’re after
for your countertop. My preferred approach in generating a custom
countertop is to leverage those cabinets you have in place, they already have an
overhang and it makes it easy and precise to generate that exact overhang
and then shape the sides that you need to. The other method that you can do in
creating your countertops is to use the custom countertop tool. You’ll find this
tool underneath of our cabinets and it’s called the custom countertop. When you
use this tool you can click and drag and create a countertop. When you highlight
the countertop, and you open up the information about the countertop, a few
of the settings that I usually like to adjust is set thickness from the cabinet.
If you want a thicker countertop you can come in here and specify the number that
you’re after, height of the cabinet. It’s going to look at your thirty four and a
half inch cabinet, this will replace your automatic countertop and you can specify
the height if you need to adjust it accordingly and you can either adjust it
from the top or from bottom, and there’s also a setting from
where you’re trying to do it. I usually use the finish floor. There’s a few other
things that you can control we already looked at the selected line,
there’s moldings which is our edge profile I’ll cover that in a minute. For
now I’ve set the thickness at three inches and the bottom of the countertop
will be at thirty four and a half inches. In the 3d view you can see the
countertop that we’ve drawn. This works exactly the way the other countertop, if
you need to click on it you can resize it. There’s also the change to arc where
you can reshape it. While you have the countertop selected there’s a few tools
in your lower edit menu that you may want to use. One of them is a hole tool
you can create a hole inside of this countertop and it will generate a hole
right inside of it. If you take a look at this countertop that I’ve drawn offset, I
created a hole inside of the countertop and then I put an image in there and
crushed glass to create the fire that comes out of the top of the countertop.
When you draw your countertops manually they will come in with 90-degree corners.
When you highlight the countertop you’re gonna find a Fillet and a Chamfer tool.
If I look at the Fillet tool I can specify the Fillet amount by clicking
on the tool and specifying the Fillet amount. In this case I have it to be set
to be a half-inch radius. Let’s look at the way this tool works. I can click on
one edge, click the Fillet tool, click on the other edge and that’s going to
create a half-inch Fillet if you zoom in and take a look. You can always undo
that Fillet with the next tool that will say remove the intersection between
two points. In this case I can come in here click this edge, come over here and
click this edge ,and it’s going to remove that Fillet out by asking of you if you
want to join those lines. The other tool that I like to use is actually to Fillet all four corners in one operation by selecting the countertop. Remember I
already have my Fillet defined at a half inch. You can click on the Fillet
tool and the option to Fillet all corners, it has the letter A on it in my
toolbar. I can click this tool and then it will generate a Fillet on all four
of the edges or on all of the edges of the countertop for the exterior corners, saving me quite a bit of time. Waterfall islands
are very popular. The way that I draw these countertops are with the manual
countertop tool. Let’s go back into our plan and I’m going to show you how I
create this vertical countertop edge for the waterfall.
I find this easiest to do in the floorplan view and I’m gonna select the
Custom Countertop tool. I’m gonna come over here and I’m just gonna snap on the
edge and I’m gonna drag out, snap on the other edge and we’ll just pull that out
so that it’s exactly the same width. I’m gonna zoom in here a little bit and
let’s begin by sizing it. I’m going to turn on my temporary dimensions and I’m
gonna click on this edge and I’m gonna purposely set this a little bit thicker
for the purpose of the video, I’m gonna specify three inches for the edge of
that. Let’s go ahead and double click on the countertop itself. Inside the dialog
box let’s remove the checkbox from set thickness from the cabinet. In this case
this is going to be a very thick countertop. You can think of this as
going from the top of the existing countertop all the way down into the
floor and on that other countertop the top of it was set to be thirty seven and
a half inches. I’m also going to remove the set height from the countertop so
floor to top, or floor to bottom in this case, is easy to set it to be zero.
Let’s go back in and take a look at this in our 3d view. Now as we return
back you can see that we’ve created the waterfall by simply taking the
countertop itself and making the thickness go from the top all the way
down to the finished floor. That’s the easiest way to create your waterfall
style countertops. The next thing I want to take a look at is creating an edge
profile. Right now I don’t have an edge profile on this particular edge of the
countertop. If you want to put an edge profile on your countertop, you’ll find
this setting underneath the moldings panel. Select Add New, browse out to the
Library. You’ll find several of these in the Core Library of Chief Architect
under the moldings and profiles. There is an edge profile that you can select and
choose the profile. These are basic styles, if you go to the Bonus Catalog
and you download these from the 3d Library on our website, you can then find
several edge profiles and then you can easily
select these. Let’s go ahead and select this Ogee Bullnose. When you do this
you can specify the height of the molding and then the width of the
molding and then you get a preview of how that’s going to be applied onto the
counter top. You typically want your edge profile to match your countertop
thickness; in this case it’s one and a half inches.
You may have a thicker countertop and you want to create a build up you can
add new. Typically you want that total to add up to the thickness of the
countertop. Let’s go ahead and close our dialog box. You now have that edge
profile on your countertop. You can use your material eyedropper, pick up the
material of the countertop and apply it onto that edge. You might notice that
this edge is a little bit jaggy, I like these to be very smooth. I’m going to
return back into the floorplan view, select that same edge. You’ll find a tool
down here that I like to use sometimes that will allow you to put many segments
in there. So I’m going to just add maybe 20 segments in here to smooth it out,
it’s gonna create a much smoother arc. You can go back into the 3d view, and you can
see that this is a much smoother edge. Another thing you may want to do on your
edge profile- maybe you don’t want your edge profile to come in on your sink or
maybe it’s on the edge of a cook range, again you can select this edge and
notice in my edit toolbar there is a remove molding from selected edge. You
can click on the edge that you want and simply remove that edge profile on a per-edge basis and so you have control over exactly the way you’re going to do that.
Again, if you’ve got a cabinet and a cook range and you’ve got a custom countertop
edge profile you may want to use that tool and remove the edge on a per-line
basis. One last point here at the end of the countertop video it’s a little bit
more advanced topic. I want to expose you and let you know that you can use the
CAD tools to create pretty unique countertops. Notice in this image I have
a scalloped cutout of the countertop for the sink. Let’s go into the program, let
me show you a couple things so you’re aware of the tools that you can use here.
Using the CAD tools you can come in here and create really any shape that you’re
after. I’ve just drawn a box using the CAD box tool. While you select this item
you can use the break tool and add different
break points. You can curve and shape this item. In this case, if I curve this edge
and curve this edge, maybe pull it up a little bit, you can create pretty unique
shapes. Using the circle tool, we could draw a circle over here and maybe I
might take a copy of that circle and just pull it over to the other side.
I can actually convert all three of these things by holding the shift key
down and then converting those into a custom countertop. Once I’ve done that
it’s gonna say, you know how thick do you want I,t and we’ll just go ahead and use
the default here. Now I have three unique pieces of countertops here, two circles
one somewhat of a rectangle. You can also do this operation that will merge all of
these, or you can subtract them. You’ll find these tools down here in the bottom.
It’s called Intersection, Union and Subtraction. If I create the union of
this it’s going to go ahead and create one single countertop, and you can see
that countertop in the 3d. If you want to get your square footage for your
countertop you can always come over, click on the polyline and notice that my
area for my countertop is 43, a little over 43 square feet. If you’re interested
in learning how to do a countertop plan you’ll find a separate video on this. As
I’ve opened up my library browser you’ll notice that I have Caesar stone and
Cambria at the top of my library. You can select these materials, click and apply
them. These are materials that you can download from the 3d Library. If you want
to go into the library, select get additional content online. That will take
you out to our 3d Library. You can pick and choose those manufacturers. They’ll
show up in your catalog and then you can apply them in your 3d views. Well that
wraps up the video on countertops. Remember your automatic countertop
settings can control how thick your countertops are, what your overhang is,
you can do that on a per edge basis. I like to generate custom countertops from
existing cabinets, that saves me a little bit of time. Countertops can be
manually drawn, you can create custom shapes and shape them. You can use the
CAD tools, you can create holes and cutouts. To apply an edge profile in Chief Architect we refer to that as a molding. Remember to go out
to the 3d Library to make sure you download manufacturer-specific materials,
you’ll also find those in the Core Library. Thanks for watching the video!

7 thoughts on “How to Create Custom Countertops in Chief Architect Software

  1. Pls i need help on tutorial how to change stair blustery to glass railing. Anytime i try to do so the glass turns to a different direction all together and it has been a problem since CA x6

  2. Thanks so much for watching! If you're interested in learning more about cabinets and custom countertops in Chief Architect, check out the Chief Architect X10 Kitchen Webinar here:

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