Stainless steel metal edging for your laminate countertop

I am updating this Retro Renovation “Classic” post for Tiel, her husband, and all readers looking for classic 50s and 60s metal countertop edging. Trust me – this is the real deal:

My husband hunted down the only place left — in Astoria, Queens — that still made the exact stainless steel edging on 50s and 60s countertops. We installed this very easily and successfully on our new countertops.

Go to newyorkmetal.com to order this. Here are the exact pieces that you need:

1. Stainless steel “snap-on” edging – 1-5/8″:

2. For the top of the backsplash #SS801A in 1″ profile:

snap-on-backsplash-molding
I want you to call the company and get the same PROFILE as above, but in 1″.

3. The little piece that goes in between these two where they meet at 90-degree angles:

4. Note, there is a core shipping charge of $150 – because the edging comes in 12′ strips, it must go freight. Well worth it, in the long run (no pun intended)!

Here are close ups of how this stuff comes together.

And, be sure to see my updated post on varying your countertop materials - this really improves a retro reno kitchen.

 

 

 

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Comments

  1. Femme1 says

    You have NO idea how long I’ve been looking for this stuff. The kitchen counter in my 1949 ranch house in southern Indiana is a blue-green scritchy-scratchy formica with stainless steel edging. I have called everywhere, talked to every custom counter company, and all I’ve gotten is that no one knows how to do it.

    I’m so psyched! I’ve held off re-doing the counters for 15 years because I love that edging. Hmmmm. I wonder how expensive it is?

  2. 50sPam says

    My husband is the most organized human being on this planet. He has the paperwork from Dave Sanders. I’ll ask him to pull it out and post the cost info. Happy to help – and I’m glad you’ve found the resource you were looking for!

  3. 50sPam says

    Amy – Thank you for your comment including the info about the link not working. I fixed it, so you can take a look at the kitchen – it’s also along the top nav bar.

    Regarding countertop edging. When we were looking for ‘metal’ edging about 2 years ago to complete our kitchen plans – the New York Metals stainless steel was the only thing we could find to fit the bill.

    As I’ve become more immersed in all things retro renovation, I am pretty confident in saying that steel was the material of choice for this purpose in the postwar period. The New York Metals s.s. edging is identical to the stuff we pulled off the 1963 countertops. Dave Sander also had the insert to connect the counter to the backsplash…and the 3/4″ piece to cap the backsplash. They told us — they’d been making it since the ’50s.

    Let us know how it turns out for you, Amy!

  4. Amy says

    I’ve been looking for aluminum edging, would you say stainless steel is a better option?
    We’re actually going to use the exact same Formica in the first picture, the Skylark.
    Would love to see your pictures, but the link doesn’t seem to work.
    Love your site, by the way!!!

  5. Amy says

    Thank You!! Your kitchen is “to die for!”

    One question, what is the height of the s.s. edging? My countertop will be 1 1/2″ thick, do you think that Dave Sanders’ edging would cover the edge of my counter? (I guess that’s two questions…)

    Thanks again for your insight and fantastic website!!!

  6. Femme1 says

    Pam,

    I have a technical question. The original SS edging on my countertops is soldered at the corners, which are mitered at 45-degree angles. How did you deal with the corners in your kitchen using the NY Metals edging?

  7. says

    Femme 1, the counter guys also mitered the corners as you described. However, they did not solder them. Subsequently, I saw a story in an old magazine – which, yes, advised soldering. Some day, I will find the story again – and post it.

    Also – funny story – the countertop company was, like everyone involved in my retro renovation kitchen project, confounded and amused that they had not done work on edging like this for…40 years or more! In the end, everyone loved the result!

  8. Milster says

    Hey Pam! Wow, I, like everyone else love your website and am finding it invaluable to my restoration/remodel of my 1959 Ranch Kitchen that just recently suffered a major plumbing leak which has prompted my early “redo” of my kitchen that I had been wanting to do anyway.

    I’m going to use the Formica aqua boomerang countertop ( just like you) and am ordering the SS edging from NY metals – thanks to your info on that as I had no luck on my own….but my local contractor is also now a little “afraid” of committing to doing the SS edging due to cutting it and it “crimping” on the edges when it comes to the corners – What tool did you use to cut your SS edging from NY Metals?

    Thanks for all of your incredible information and oh yeah, I’ve ordered my Dishmaster 76XL (found that on your website as well) and bought a Kohler white cast iron sink on clearance at Home Depot. I’ll send pictures as I get further into this nightmare…oops, did I say that, I meant exciting project!

    Thanks!

    • Pam Kueber says

      Welcome, Milster, and we can’t wait to see the results of your project. Honestly, there were professional countertop guys who did the stainless steel edges along with my contractor. They were all very trepidatious, too — but also kind of excited — because they had never worked with the steel edging, although they had thrown out plenty and knew that their dads had worked with it! I strongly recommend that you talk to the folks at NY Metals about the correct tools to use, every time that I have talked to them, they have been very very helpful. All that said – my guys said it was “easy”, ultimately.

  9. Milster says

    Thanks Pam and I’m so excited to be part of your online “family” and will definitely post photos for you when we get all finished of the before and after. I’ve got an email in to Larson at NY Metals on how to cut so I’m sure I’ll be getting a response soon. I’ll also be glad to post that info when I hear back from NY Metals.

    I’m really getting excited and can’t wait to get more of it done! My contractor said he’s excited too as he’s never done a project like this and looks at it as a “professional challenge”! It’s a shame we retro lovers are having to take these young whipersnapper contractors back to the roots of countertop installation! LOL!

    Thanks again and I’ll be back with more info as soon as I have it!

  10. Milster says

    Pam – I got my samples from NY Metals today and Larson there is just way too helpful for words. I’m going to show them to my contractor and hopefully be on my way. I saw where someone was interested in the prices and I can tell them that as he gave me the prices today. All these come in 12ft lengths and price is per 12 ft.

    The SS224 3/4″ snap on is $33.00
    The SS799 5/16″ is $18.00
    The SS806 1 5/8″ is $58.00

    Then you just have to pay the shipping fees but he said if they cut it down into lenghts that can go FedEx or UPS you may can avoid the $150.00 freight charge it just depends on how much you order.

    I’ll keep you posted,
    Milster

    • Pam Kueber says

      Milster, thanks for adding this info – and I am glad to hear that NY Metals also is being very helpful to you – as was my experience. I’ll also say – that before you have them cut down the edging to save on shipping cost, make super sure you understand your project. It is really really nice to have complete spans along your cabinet lengths and around any outside corners. You can cut-and-match at inside corners. The $150 shipping fee, while it sounds steep, reflects the cost of the only (I think) carrier who will ship/handle 12′ lengths. Finally, I recall that the shipping was handled very well. Literally every piece of edging came fitted along a ‘block’ that ensured it was not damaged in shipping. Each piece also has a protective piece of sticky blue plastic on it to prevent it from being dinged. This stuff is NICE!

  11. Milster says

    Thanks Pam, I’ll keep that all in mind. I may actually be reconsidering now and am thinking about using polished aluminum in order to get the exact measurements and cuts I need for my countertops and backsplash pieces and based on what my countertop man is able to feel he can do and do very well. He seems more comfortable with the thought of aluminum so we’ll see. It’s definitely all a big learning process for a novice like me!. And, I know what you mean about making sure I get the excact sizes I need as I don’t want to have to “piecework” anything and as much money as we’ve already spent, I don’t want it to look “rigged” in the end. I’m still weighing all my options.

    NY Metals definitely rocks in their customer service though and even if I may not be able to get all my trim from them they still get an A+ from me!

    • Pam Kueber says

      Milster, it’s not that I ‘don’t recommend’ another edging…I just haven’t researched this more expansively yet. In fact, some readers have recently sent more resources – such as Outwater Plastics. But I am up to my eyeballs in other things right now…Pam

  12. Jamie says

    Any body here from Idaho or the Pacific NW that needs any of this edging? I need two uncut 12′ sticks but can’t afford it with freight costs. Would love to split it with you.

    Thanks

  13. Tammera says

    Hi and LOVE this site. I have a 50’s kitchen with pink and gold fleck laminate that is in very good condition. It is trimmed with the strainless steel edging which is also pretty nice. BUT, all curved edges and the center of the edging has a plastic insert that I would like to replace as it is chipped and broken. ANY ideas? I will post a pic if needed.
    THANKS!

  14. says

    I never read this post before, because we redid our kitchen in 2006. However, I’m somewhat bummed that we were unable to find this edging when we did ours! I called all over trying to find something like this, but everyone was so confused by what I was asking. You think this edging would be really popular in modern kitchen remodels. it’s awesome.

  15. Robin says

    After looking around forever, I just found a place in Los Angeles (Culver City to be exact) that has several different options for edging in stock.

    I got a ridged stainless steel outside edge, with a little aluminum cove piece for where the back splash meets the formica countertop.

    They have a showroom where you can see samples. Each piece comes in 12 foot lengths and are around $2 a foot:

    http://www.studiosupplier.com/aluminummoulding.html

    • pam kueber says

      Thanks, Robin, for adding that find! I know there are a lot of readers in LA area who will be glad to have a local supplier, as shipping from NYMetals can be expensive. Hmmm. Anyone working with a place like this also should ask …. can they get you NYMetals, too?

  16. atomicbowler-dave says

    This won’t likely be of much help for those needing ribbed edging, but for smooth edging search up TACO Metal Products Corp.
    This is stainless stuff used widely on boats as a rubrail trim or edging, and TACO is the largest US supplier. Anywhere there is much marine work or new boat construction work done in the US there will be a wholesaler of this material not too far away. Comes in a number of widths and is usually available in 20 foot (sometimes 12 foot) sticks.
    Hope this could help someone…
    Dave

  17. Rebecca says

    A low budget version! My man and I recently retro-ized an old office brown wooden desk. We got the desk for free and I painted it white. We bought a piece of the skylark boomerang formica and resurfaced it. We didn’t want to spend the money to ship 1 piece of edging on a little desk. So we just used two piece of aluminum threshold material around the edges. It bent really easily. To hold it in place we used contracting white upholstery tacks in the already there holes. We changed the hardware to match the “look” we were going for, and we have a solid, sturdy, retro-looking desk that cost us around $75 total. We were very pleased. You would never know that the aluminum threshold was anything but edging for a desk and it cost us only around $15. Just thought we would share

    • pam kueber says

      Rebecca – sounds super-ingenious! I’ve sent you an email requesting pics! Thanks for sharing this great idea!

  18. Dan Spring says

    I just recieved my metal edging from NY metals in the mail today. I avoided the $150.00 shipping charge by letting them cut each piece so it would be 8 ft or less. Their website said each cut was 10 bucks but the guy on the phone said that was wrong and that 10 bucks covered all 5 cuts.(I bought five 12′ pieces) Total was $221.00 and change to Orlando, Florida for enough to finish an L- shaped counter, 8′ x 5′ against the wall and 6′ x 3′ on the outer side with a backslash all the way around. I got the same edging/product numbers in the “how to” video. My friend has a cabinet shop and we ordered a 5′ x 12′ piece of aqua boomerang formica so it will be a one piece counter with no seams. He’s psyched up about using the edging. We practiced with a small piece at the shop today and it looks like it will be a breeze. I found a beautiful GE turquoise wall oven in the garbage down the street and bought a matching GE turquoise cooktop with a seperate chrome, push button control panel off of craigslist. Next week the 1962 kitchen will begin it’s transformation. Dan

  19. Derek says

    Hello,
    This discussion is very helpful. I’m adding a small countertop to my kitchen and want to match the style (laminate with steel moulding). I need only about six feet (doesn’t have to be one piece) of the snap on moulding and only 18″ of the cove moulding. Does anyone have any extra that they would be willing to sell me?
    -Derek

  20. Josette says

    I can’t thank you enough for posting this. Your picture is too perfect. It is exactly what I was planning to do for the remodel of our 1965 Airstream travel trailer. I can’t wait to get it done now that I know I can get the materials I need.

  21. Susan Sermoneta says

    Wow – I’m looking forward to finding lots of answers on this site. I’m about to fix up my apartment kitchen – the first time I’ve ever done this kind of thing. And I want vintage formica counters and linoleum on the floor – no granite, not porcelain or ceramic.

  22. Magnaverde says

    My very first post-college apartment in 1977 was in a 1940 multi-unit building that had seen better days–filthy carpet, nicotine-stained walls & not a working lightbulb in the place the night I moved in. But the place had glass block & steel casement windows–with their original pearl gray 12-foot wide steel blinds–plus terrazzo floors, St. Charles cabinets, charcoal gray Skylark laminate counters with stainless edging and the original streamlined light fixtures & hardware. And a jazzy turquoise & yellow bath with ablack & gold terrazzo floor. What was a little dirt & mold compared to all that?

    So I buffed & shined and got the place looking really good, and when I moved to a bigger apartment in a Victorian house a few years later, I really hated leaving the place, so much so that, every once in a while, I dream I move back in. Which I would, except that these days I live in a different town and my old neighborhood–never very fancy–has turned pretty dicey in the last 30 years.

    But last spring I went back to my old town for a funeral and naturally, I cruised past my old aprtment, and when I saw the doors were wide open, I took that as a clear sign. I couldn’t get into my old apartment, but the hallway’s terrazzo floors are still shiny & their glass block walls are intact, and when I looked around online and found a realtor’s listing for the building, I see that–even after a few decades’ worth of hard-luck tenants– the sleek kitchens & spiffy tile baths are all intact & as handsome as ever. All of which is pretty ironic, given that the brand-new countrified oak-&-almond kitchens that my newly-married pals were building when I moved into my dingy apartment were scrapped years ago. Now, having seen how well the place survived thirty years of neglect makes me miss it even more

    Anyway, seeing so many people right at the point where I was, all those years ago, and more important, seeing them wanting to preserve–or recreate–what was there is really good. My friends all called me crazy. Not for moving into an ‘outdated’ dump (which anyone without a high-paying job might be forced to do) but for WANTING to do so. This is a great site.

  23. Rebecca Prichard says

    Thanks again Pam for all your work. This kitchen dude I am talking to said he could only find 3/4 inch, which sounds small! Now I can send him this.

  24. says

    Hi there. I am the “kitchen dude” Rebecca is speaking of. I checked with metal suppliers locally in Michigan and found nothing. Outwater Plastics has the 3/4″ thick edging in their catalog- same deal- the pieces are 12′ long. I called them and they do not have the 1 5/8″ stuff.

    Nice web site. Thanks for all of the useful info.

    Bruce Curtis
    Washtenaw Woodwrights Inc.
    Ann Arbor, Michigan

  25. Lauryn says

    Hi Pam. Thanks so much for all the great information on your website … I found you while looking for information on cracked ice laminates. I have two questions regarding the stainless steel edging. Our house is from 1939 and we are trying to keep the spirit of the time period intact (it still has the original cabinets!) while increasing the (very tiny) kitchen’s functionality. Would that type of stainless steel edging have been used in the late 30s? We have chosen a “retro” satin nickel hardware from Hickory Hardware that matches the tone of the more subdued paint colors from that era and my second concern is whether the satin nickel hardware would look strange or out of place with the stainless steel edging. (We are somewhat attached to the hardware as it looks gorgeous with the paint we have chosen.) And I suppose while I’m at, what are your thoughts on a linoleum countertop vs. the cracked ice, in regards to the era of the kitchen?

    • pam kueber says

      Lauryn, the other edging to consider is ribbed aluminum. That may have a less-shiny look, which you may prefer. Check NYMetals, as well as Outwater Plastics. Depending on where you live you may be able to get Outwater stock locally. I need to do a post about them.

      • Lauryn says

        Thanks, Pam! Your website really is such a great resource, and much appreciated by folks like me. I called NYMetals to get a sample and will look into Outwater Plastics. I prefer the non-ribbed edging, just wasn’t sure if it was used much in the 30s. Love Dave and Francis’s kitchen (and house)! Many thanks again.

  26. Deborah says

    OH! Thank you for this information. I am in the beginning stages of a renovation of my late 1950’s St. Charles kitchen with “bittersweet” colored cabinets and gold fleck laminate. The stainless steel edging (and I have a LOT of it) was one of my biggest worries!

  27. Peg says

    As I hunt for vintage/retro fixtures for my mid-1950s rustic ranch house, I’ve happily found myself at your site several times. Although the previous owners maintained the house very well, I’m lucky they did little redecoration in the last 35 years, so there are a lot of fixtures in pristine condition from the ’50s-’70s that I’ve kept and am working around (people comment on the cool ’50s reproduction handles on the kitchen cabinets; the handles and cabinets are original). I’m hunting for retro laminate for my kitchen countertops, ideally boomerang; otherwise, I’ll probably go with Pionite Suede in Orville or Summer Heat Wave. A local distributor thinks she may be able to get some coral boomerang for me, so fingers crossed!

    Meanwhile, a comment about metal edging for vintage/retro countertops. We sold my parents’ mid-1950s house a few years ago, which still had a lot of original fixtures, including boomerang countertops in the kitchen and bathroom (white with pink and gray in the kitchen, white with pink and green in the bathroom). They had metal edging in the crease between the countertop and backsplash; however, the front of the counters and top of the backsplashes were edged with laminate, not metal. Just wanted to mention this because, depending on the style of house (this one was a California-style ranch house), it could also be historically accurate to do the laminate edging instead of metal.

    Of course, if I had known I’d buy a mid-’50s ranch house myself a few years later (after growing up in a ’50s ranch house, I wanted a Cape Cod), I would’ve pulled out the boomerang counters and used them myself; however, they were a big selling point for the buyers, so I guess everything worked out as it was supposed to.

    • pam kueber says

      Welcome, Peg. What fun it sounds like you are having! Send me pics when you are ready for prime time. I trust you have seen all my posts about potential laminates in Kitchens / Countertops category.

  28. Debra says

    We are getting ready to replace our kitchen & laundry room counters with laminate & metal edging! Thank you for the wealth of information you supply. When all the rest of the reno world wants granite and marble etc. your encoragement to stay true to the mid century vibe is appreciated! Does anyone know of a local supplier for the metal edging in the Houston, TX area? Thanks again Pam!

    • Lisa says

      Hi, I’m in the midst of my kitchen reno for our midcentury home. Did you find a place that will do the stainless steel edging in Houston? Thanks for any input you could give me.

  29. says

    Getting ready to install our ‘boomerang’ formica in our new retro kitchen. In fact, at the top of your website is the exact formica we picked! My contractor will be ordering the edging – may I please have a phone number in order for him to contact you folks directly.

    Thanks so much.

  30. Ann says

    My parents built their Cape Cod style house in 1956-it had this same type of countertops/4inch backsplash in a light gray speckle metallic laminate. I remember the ss edging on the counters had a track with a black rubber ribbed strip that could be popped in and out that covered the nails/screws used to attach the edging to the counter. The ?laminate? counter edges minimally inserted into the channels of the back of the edging. Cabinets were white birch with clear varnish. Little did my parents understand that 50yrs later their kitchen could look cutting edge. Which is why they remodeled and made it all much worse. What amazed me was the countertop material was still in perfect condition-I know it was a laminate but it always seemed metallic to me. Danish modern stainless steel ahead of its time!

  31. Mitch says

    I am desperately looking to the metal edging with the black rubber insert that covers the screws………..where can I find the stuff.

  32. Michael says

    I have this laminate countertop in white with the ss edging, along with a bunch of other things that I’m looking to replace. If anyone is looking for items that are circa 1940s-1960s here’s what I have…Cast iron Gas range x 2, Cast iron bathroom sink, 14 foot Laminate countertop in white w/ speckles with ss edge.

    • Mitch says

      I guess I wrote my post wrong……..i need the ribbed rubber insert that went into the aluminum channel for my formica counter tops……it was usually black, with small ribs, and stinky!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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