What is Edge Banding?

Edge Banding – What is it and why is it preferred?


With the advent of modular kitchens, wardrobes and other modular woodwork, edge banding has become more famous. These rolls of PVC strips have found there way to almost all homes which get interiors done now. So what is this edge banding?

What is edge banding?

Edge banding is a term used to denote rolls of PVC strips which are stuck on the sides of boards like plywood, MDF or particle board. These boards come in standard sizes which is usually 8 feet X 4 feet. They are then cut using machines in the desired sizes. After this, the edges continue to show the wood inside. This is then covered using these PVC strips called edge banding. Since these boards are only available in standard thickness, the edge banding also comes in standard sizes and usually two different thicknesses of 0.8 mm and 2 mm.

Is it difficult to use edge banding?

No. In fact it can easily be fixed even in on-site work. The 2 mm thick edge banding needs a bit of skill for proper finishing but 0.8 mm thickness has no such issues. Its typically stuck using the standard glues like fevicol on-site in which case its pressed using abro tape for a couple of days to make the glue set. In a factory, the glue used is different which instantly sticks the edge banding to the edges of the panels and good machines also properly round and finish the banding.

What was used before edge banding became famous?

There were two types of techniques used before edge banding came. One was the cheaper option where the carpenter simply stuck the strips of the same laminate being applied on the surface on the edges as well. This resulted in very sharp corners and issues of cracks and breakage. The second more costlier option was the use of wooden bidding strips. All of these are compared in a separate article by us.

Advantages – Why should we use edge banding?
  1. They are quick to fix. Since they are available in ready rolls, they are easy to fix quickly.
  2. They are flexible plastic and do not have the risk of cracking later.
  3. They ensure a clean look with well rounded corners of the shutters in modular interiors.
  4. They prevent water seepage into the inner board from the sides. This helps in increasing life of the shutters specially when being used in high moisture areas like kitchens and bathrooms.
Disadvantages – What is wrong with edge banding?
  1. Color mismatch – Since edge banding is not the same as the laminate or acrylic which is covering the panels, they more often than not are not an exact color match. Some premium brands of laminates may actually tie up with edge banding manufacturers to give an exact match but mostly, its not possible and small to large difference is always there. This can be solved to some extent by providing a contrasting color.
  2. Finish in on-site – On site finish is not as clean as in a factory unless the carpenters are properly skilled and experienced. This can be avoided by only using the 0.8 mm edge banding in on-site work but that largely depends on the designer and contractor.
  3. Cost – Compared to just sticking laminate strips which will be available from the wasted laminate after work is complete, edge banding has to be specially purchased and costs money along with extra time. This is why many carpenters who work on small projects will promote the “color mismatch” issue of edge banding to try to convince there customers.

Edge banding is a great thing to have in case of modular work involving finish in laminate or acrylic. It is always best to avoid sticking laminate strips on the edges but that is a topic for another article.

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