Metal kitchen countertop edging provides and authentic look 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 like they did in the 1940s, 1950s, and earlier. I point to examples from readers’ actual kitchen projects… 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. Note, while I initially tried to spotlight original manufacturers, it often proved difficult from looking at the websites to tell who makes what and who sells who what makes. So, there’s a mix of both manufacturers and distributors — shop around!
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!
Video: How I used stainless steel counter edging in my kitchen — lots of tips!
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, which the company says, “is custom made for us with the same molds used in the 40’s and 50’s.” :). There are also other sizes. They also offer metal edging with space to insert vinyl or laminate as an accent — but I believe this is something like 3″ wide, typically a size reserved to for tables, not countertops.
- New York Metals — carries a variety of aluminum countertop edge pieces. You can get it either with a brushed/matte finish or with a shiny polished finish.
- Heffron’s has carries a large lineup of aluminum molding and has a nice page designed for Retro Renovators to sort through the choices.
- 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 a banded edge look — worth a try or call to see. Note: Typical kitchen countertop edging, per my experience, is 1.5″ — but that is not a hard and fast rule. They have a similar such design in 7/8″ width. Thanks to reader Bill for this tip.
- McMaster-Carr has aluminum tee-molding and other designs that might work.
- Outwater Plastics is another source.
- Orange Aluminum, too.
- Home Depot — Jean’s husband found some aluminum molding at Home Depot that he used to trim the Satin Glide-style bathroom vanity he made. 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. Another reader pointed to Alexandria Moulding at Home Depot (which I could only spot in 1″ width. Joan 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!”
3. Look for metal counter edging 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 countertop edges:
Above: Laminate companies now make metal-look laminates that you can potentially use for counter top edging. Like Christine did in her kitchen, above.
And, Anna used auto body molding trim for her counter edging.
5. Installing metal countertop edges:
On this question, I refer you to consult with the professionals and/or manufacturers who are selling you the edging.
6. Metal trim to edge your stove:
7. Historical references about metal counter top edging:
8. More research on countertop materials and ideas for a mid century house:
- 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!