Edge Banding: The Best Processes, Tips and Materials

Edge banding applies a perfect finish and extra durability to various furniture and panels. Discover the best tips, techniques and edge banding materials to apply in your next project.

According to research, the edge banding industry is continuing to boom, with a CAGR of 7.41% predicted between 2021 and 2026.

And it’s hardly surprising. After all, who wants furniture, cabinets and panels with rough edges? In this article, we show you how you can apply this perfect finish by sharing some essential tips, processes and edge banding materials.

Edge banding Services - Midlands CNC

What Is Edge Banding?

Edge banding is a thin strip of material used to cover the edges of objects such as tables or worktops. Typically, it’s applied to improve the finish visually and physically while adding extra durability to the item. Common edge banding materials include:

  • Wood
  • Veneer
  • ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene)
  • Acrylic
  • Melamine
  • PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride)

Edge banding can be applied to appear the same material as the rest of the object or can contrast in colour and texture for effect. Whether you’re using this technique for furniture or a wall panel, it helps maintain the structure of the objects and reduces damage. For example, a table with veneer edge banding is much more likely to survive wear and tear, unlike a table with exposed edges.

Ultimately, edge banding is used for its visual appeal by removing raw edges from sight. When the same colour and texture are applied to an item, it transforms it from a “homemade” piece into something you would expect to see in a store.

How to Apply Edge Banding 

The purpose of edge banding is to cover raw or rough edges of wood panels with a thin strip of material. One of the easiest ways to apply edge banding is to use, “iron on” edge banding. For optimal iron-on edge banding results follow these steps:

  1. Before applying the edge banding, ensure the edge is smooth and flat
  2. Cut your strip to just over the length of the edge you wish to band
  3. Run an iron on top of the strip until the glue on the adhesive side (facedown) melts to stick to the edge
  4. Run a flat edge/block across the banding to ensure it stays flat while the glue hardens
  5. Trim off the ends and use an edge trimmer to take care of the edges
  6. Lastly, use sandpaper to smooth over each side

This method is perhaps the easiest way to apply edge banding. However, for complex/larger projects requiring a quality finish, you might need something more capable than a handheld iron. Other methods of applying edge banding include:

  • Hot-melt glue
  • Hot air/laser
  • Laser edging

Commercially, edge banding is performed with industry-grade heat applications such as large heat rollers upon a hot-melt adhesive material.

How to Cut Edge Banding
After applying the edge banding, the next step will be to trim the edges. Depending on the material and size, you should aim for a cutting device to accurately remove the edges flush with the panel before applying sandpaper for the final smooth finish. The best tool to cut edge banding is a quality edge bander manned by experts.

Edge Banding Materials

PVC Edge Banding
PVC is the most popular material for edge banding because it’s cheap and durable. Ideal for bedroom and kitchen cabinets, PVC is not suitable for chipboard. PVC is also non-recyclable as it won’t biodegrade. Once blemished, you can’t refine it. ABS edge banding represents an eco-friendly alternative to PVC. The recommended width for PVC edge banding is 3mm. Avoid 5mm width as corners can be left too sharp.

Oak Edge Banding
Oak and other hardwood edge provide an excellent form of edge banding. Compared to PVC and veneer, oak is much more durable, recyclable, easy to fix, strong, and economical. Oak is also more resistant to damage, as the hardwood edge banding is applied with wood glue, making it more dependable and less prone to peeling than an adhesive strip.

For its strength, oak edge banding adds additional support. However, it’s a challenge to apply it to curved edges. Compared to PVC, oak edge banding is better to cut at thicker widths between 8mm and 10mm. It can also be applied internally with an HPL top for extra durability and a perfect finish.

Wood Veneer Edge Banding
Like PVC, wood veneer is another popular edge banding materially, used commonly on plywood cabinet sides, draws and MDF wardrobe doors. It offers a solid oak look and is strong and durable. It’s important to use the right application, depending on the thickness and material. While wood veneer is durable, strong and looks good, it’s not heat resistant and won’t last in busy environments like a kitchen.

Acrylic Edge Banding
Acrylic edge banding is known for having high resistance and durability. Made from a high-grade thermoplastic, acrylic edge banding is ideal in active areas, especially with water resistance.

It’s capable of producing a 3D effect by printing a pattern under the layer of banding before placing a transparent layer of acrylic on top and is also available in PMMA (Polymethylmethacrylate). PMMA is used as a lightweight and shatterproof alternative to glass, and can easily be moulded, coloured, drilled and formed.

Damage is easily rectified, and the material is recyclable and reusable. Although, it isn’t biodegradable.

Use our Edge Banding Services 

If you’re looking for a perfect finish, Midlands CNC offers first-class edge banding services in the West Midlands.

No matter the curvature of the edge, our expert team can apply solid wood, veneer, aluminium, ABS, or melamine edge banding onto all edge types at various thicknesses and finishes. We aim to transform raw edges into perfect polished quality.

With over 70 years of experience in edge banding, we guarantee top-quality service at affordable rates. For more information about our edge banding service, get in touch today.



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