How to Edge a Countertop With Wood


Wood edging adds a natural, elegant accent to a laminate countertop. Available in a variety of wood types and finishes, wood edging can be used on new countertops or to spruce up old countertops. Find a type that best complements the color of your laminate, your cabinets and the rest of your kitchen decor. Use the proper tools and installation techniques to ensure a professional looking, long-lasting trim job.

Things You'll Need

  • Iron (optional)
  • Pencil
  • Miter saw or miter box with a fine-tooth handsaw
  • 220-grit sandpaper
  • Drill (optional)
  • Construction adhesive or urethane glue
  • Hammer or air nailer
  • 1 1/2-inch finish nails or 16 to 18 gauge air nailer finish nails
  • Rag
  • Wood putty
  • Putty knife
  • Polyurethane wood finish
  • Artist paintbrush
  • Remove the old laminate edging if you are adding wood edging to a previously existing countertop. Press an iron set to low heat on the edging for a few seconds to soften the contact cement then peel the edging away.

  • Cut the edging to size. Figure the size by holding an edging board in place along the edge of the counter and marking the back of it at the ends of the countertop with a pencil. Cut the edging with a miter saw or a miter box with a fine-tooth handsaw. For edging that is wrapping around corners, cut joining ends at 45-degree angles.

  • Sand the cut ends smooth with 220-grit sandpaper.

  • Run a bead of either construction adhesive or a type of urethane glue along the back of the edging. These types of glues will resist moisture.

  • Secure the trim to the countertop edges with nails. You can use a hammer and 1 1/2-inch finish nails or an air nailer with 16 to 18-gauge finish nails. If you are hammering nails, pilot holes should be pre-drilled in the edging (before gluing) using a drill with a drill bit that is slightly skinnier than the nails. This will ensure the wood won't split. Place nails every 8 to 10 inches apart.

  • Wipe up any adhesive that oozes out promptly with a clean rag.

  • Cover the nail heads with wood putty that matches the trim using a putty knife.

  • Cover the wood putty with polyurethane wood finish using an artist's paintbrush to match the finish of the edging.

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  • Photo Credit iron image by Eray Haciosmanoglu from
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