My husband hunted down the only place left — in Astoria, Queens — that still made the exact stainless steel edging on 50s and 60s countertops. Our countertop installers installed this very easily and successfully on our new laminate countertops.
Polka dot patterns are a favorite for retro dresses — so, how about for the blue countertop of a retro kitchen remodel? Bridget shows us how, with her recently completed new kitchen featuring a tropical blue countertop with a polka dot pattern from Wilsonart’s Virtual Design Library. Props for getting some real pattern on the floor, too! Let’s take a look at more of this personality-rich kitchen’s design features >> Heck yeah there is more →
There are only a few places to find metal kitchen countertop edging for a midcentury, vintage or retro kitchen. On this page, I outline where to find this kind of edging, which is meant to edge laminate — Formica, Wilsonart, etc. — countertops in authentic period style. I also point you to examples from readers’ actual kitchen project… I show a video of my own steel-edge kitchen countertop, and I point you to historic references. All with the goal: To help you decide which style of metal edging you might prefer and to help make it easier for you to find it.
1. Stainless steel countertop edge:
U-shaped snap-on stainless steel countertop edging is my favorite — I used it in my kitchen remodel. To do my countertops we used three different pieces — (1) a snap-on countertop edge, (2) a “cove” molding to connect the countertop with the backsplash, and (3) a smaller snap-on top edge of the backsplash.
The only source that I know of for this stainless steel edging is >> New York Metals <<. Note: For stainless steel, go straight to the pieces named “SS”-followed by a number. My husband gets huge credit for discovering New York Metals. They have been making this edging for decades. 10+ years now into my kitchen, this edging is looking as great as the day it went in!
Above: In this video, I show you my stainless steel edging including all the pieces and how they work. I also talk about how I designed the countertops. Here is a story in which I write out and show the three pieces that I used.
2. Aluminum countertop edges:
- RetroTrims aka Eagle Moulding — manufactures a variety of aluminum countertop edgings. They tell me: “Eagle Mouldings is the largest supplier of aluminum retro trims and mouldings. We stock corrugated or fluted face nosing, angles, bar and tee’s, coves, and plain or smooth nosing and tees. Our retro polished aluminum and chrome looking aluminum trims are available in polished, Brite Dipped, satin or clear, bronze, and black or standard mill finish. Our custom and OEM aluminum extrusion services allow us to meet any need our customer may have. We can cut to length or miter, punch, drill and countersink, form or bend any extrusion to specifications as well as offer many standard and custom anodized colors.”
- Bars & Booths has 1.5″ flat, ribbed aluminum countertop edging. There are also other sizes. They offer metal edging with space to insert vinyl or laminate as an accent — but this is 3″ wide, typically a size reserved to for tables, not countertops.
- Brunneret has a number of aluminum banding pieces. In addition to straightforward 1.5″ step-nosing edging design, it also looks like it offers a 1.25″ aluminum molding designed to hold price tags — but instead, you could insert a colored strip of laminate or vinyl (?) and get that banded color edge look— worth a try or call to see. Note: Typical kitchen countertop height is 1.5″. They have a similar such design in 7/8″ width. Thanks to reader Bill for this tip.
- New York Metals — also carries a variety of aluminum countertop edge pieces. You can get it either with a brushed/matte finish or with a shiny polished finish.
- One reader used aluminum tee-molding from McMaster-Carr.
Jean’s husband found some aluminum molding at Home Depot that he used to trim the Satin Glide-style bathroom vanity he made. Also see this Alexandria Muolding at Home Depot. Be aware: A kitchen countertop is usually 1.5″ tall; if you choose a narrower/less deep countertop edge, you will need to plan accordingly. Joan also said she jury-rigged some aluminum molding found at Home Depot: “When we put a new layer of Formica on our kitchen counters, we went to Home Depot and got some inexpensive metal edging, carefully bent it around the corners, glued it and then put some decorative screws in. I think it was a very inexpensive option and it still looks great!”
- Note, for this story I worked to call out the actual manufacturer-retailers; their products also may be found at other online retailers. For example, in the past readers have recommended Outwater Plastics as source, but my recent check of their online catalog now indicates they are getting their trim from one or more of the manufacturers I have just identified above.
3. Look locally and save on shipping:
I have heard from some readers in the past that local stores may carry some of these products. If you can find stock locally, you may save a lot on shipping, as this stuff often ships in 12′ lengths — oversized and a potentially relatively high shipping charge. I have no research on unique local retailers — this may be determined by local and regional preference. If you have the time to do your research locally, you may be able to save money on shipping.
4. Faux metal edges:
5. Installing metal countertop edges:
On this question, I refer you to consult with the professionals / manufacturers who are selling you the edging.
6. Metal trim to edge your stove:
7. Historical references:
8. More research on countertop materials and ideas:
- See all my kitchen countertop research — including where to find laminate — here.
- Also popular: Readers and their kitchen projects — real-life experiences from readers like you!
When you are hunting for laminate for a countertop, be sure to check that it is specified for “horizontal” use. Some laminates are made just for “vertical” use — intended for commercial customers who want to put them on walls or the sides of things that don’t get much pounding. Kitchen and bathroom countertop need the durability, though. Lab Designs is a laminate maker that has a growing number of laminate designs — and has two laminates — Ebony- and Ivory Retro — that were previously ‘vertical’ now available, ‘horizontal.’ Both are nice options for Retro Renovators.Heck yeah there is more →