Countertop trim is available in a variety of materials, with different shapes on the finished edge. The most common types of edging used on the front of a countertop are straight, beveled, and bullnose, or rounded. Most contemporary countertops are manufactured as one seamless, molded piece that has a finished front edge, but it is often necessary to install countertop trim along the sides. Popular materials for countertop trim include laminate, wood, and metal. Ceramic tile is also commonly used to trim the front edge of a countertop.
Straight-edge countertop trim is the easiest to install. It is also the least expensive. This type of trim forms right angles where it meets the top and bottom of the countertop. It is attached to the front edge of the counter with adhesive.
Wood and laminate are commonly used for straight-edge trim, but strips of other materials, such as metal, can be used as well. The type of trim depends on the countertop material. For example, metal trim is good on metal, stone tile, or ceramic countertops, while laminate trim usually works better on laminate, plastic, and wood countertops.
Ceramic tile can be glued to the straight edge of a countertop. This tile is available in different colors and patterns and will create a custom look for the kitchen counter or bathroom vanity. If there are children who can bump their heads at that height, however, bullnose edging, with its rounded profile, might be a better choice. Small mosaic tiles can be attached to decorate the front of a countertop edged with bullnose.
Metal trim is one of the most expensive options, but it is also extremely durable. Stainless steel is a good choice, since the spills that are inevitable on a countertop won’t cause it to rust. Copper is another popular metal used for contemporary countertop trim. Both of these metals have antimicrobial properties, and this makes them healthy choices for countertop trim.
When an appliance, such as a refrigerator or stove, is installed beside the counter, molding or trim is applied to prevent food from falling into the crack between the counter and appliance. Countertop trim kits that are easy to install can be found on the Internet and at home improvement stores. Some kits consist of a row of caulking on an adhesive strip that peels off. Other countertop trim kits are made of stainless steel strips that come in different colors.