Metal edging is becoming a popular option for modern kitchen countertops. Although the type of counters that metal edges can be used with is limited, they can add a powerful accent to many kitchens and are not in danger of the chips, cracks, or wear that other types of edges are subject to. Metal edging is not usually possible for vinyl countertops or other types of plastic.
Metal edging refers to a metal covering over the edge of a countertop, usually a kitchen counter where there is a long border that must be covered and protected in a style that goes along with the rest of the kitchen design. Some edges are largely utilitarian, created for protection with simple square edges that are designed to be easily cleaned. Others are designed to be more elaborate and can even be decorated depending on the type of countertop.
Metal countertops were originally popular before the rise of plastics, when laminates and eventually vinyl became the preferred options. Metal was popular because of its durability and availability, with prices often lower than the relatively rare stonework. Today, homeowners have a choice between making their entire counter metal, including the various edge designs, or simply applying a metal edge to an existing countertop.
The most metal edge options exist for full metal countertops. However, if a homeowner has a stone tile counter or a ceramic counter, then metal trim work is also a possibility. The edges of granite or ceramic tiles are then left unfinished, and a metal trim is bonded to the counter instead of the edge pieces typically used in stone tile work. Plastics are not strong enough to support a metal edge. The metal edges themselves can be left smooth, acid-stained in a particular design, or even covered with a vinyl design.
If the homeowner has a stone or ceramic countertop, then stainless steel will probably be their primary option, and they may have trouble finding other choices. Stainless steel is popular because of its modern, clean look and resistance to rust from water spills that often occur in the kitchen. Copper, zinc, and even pewter edges are also a possibility, especially with full metal countertops.
Metal edges tend to be more expensive than other edge options. While metal edges can be found in a variety of metal tones, they do not have as many colour options as glazed ceramic tile or plastic countertop options. Homeowners should try to find a V-shaped edge that will trap spills before they can flow off the smooth metal and onto the floor.