What is edge banding?
Edge banding is the process of glueing bands or strips of different materials and thicknesses to cover the sides of raw wood or non-wood materials. You’ve probably known it your whole life but wasn’t aware that the process is known as edge banding. The strip is used to give a finished look to a piece of furniture and hide its rough edges, and also protect it from abrasions and early decay.
Edge bands come in different thickness and types and chosen based on the material it is used to cover, and is, almost always, one that most resembles wood. These sleek edge bands cover the exposed rough edges of the plywood, MDF, particle boards or any other wooden furniture to give it that perfect finished, inviting look.
Why is edge banding needed?
Edge banding has a lot of benefits when it comes to furnishing and is predominantly used to prevent water absorption and humidity on wooden surfaces and to protect it. It is also used to give wood veneers a smooth aesthetic finish as it conceals the natural rugged texture of solid wood.
1. Gives a deceptively natural, finished look
Edge bands are used quite commonly to achieve that perfect finishing touch in furniture. Oftentimes, edge banding on non-wood surfaces gives the appearance of natural wood, as the similarities in appearance are uncanny. Some may even struggle to distinguish between real wood and plywood or particle boards, because edge banding, when done well, gives the appearance of seamlessness with the rest of the furniture.
In order to achieve this look of perfection, edge bands are glued to the exposed sides of wood, giving it that final touch of perfection and the look and feel of solid wood.
2. Protects the underlying material
At a very basic level, the functionality of edge bands are to protect the raw edges of furnishing materials from the problems that arise due to exposure. When the edges of wood or non-wood surfaces are left unprotected, they become prone to moisture absorption, spills and decay, causing irreparable damage to your furniture.
However, these edge bands don’t just protect the material, but give the furniture a look and feel of completion rather than leaving it with edges that have a rugged and unfinished texture. Using face frames or moulding instead of edge bands is often a tempting quick-fix, but shoddiness and ineffectiveness soon become apparent.
For this reason, edge bands are the most preferred option when it comes to covering and protecting the rugged edges of any kind of furniture.
3. Blends seamlessly - Is it real wood or not?
The edging tapes of edge bands come in different textures, thickness, patterns and materials. This allows room for picking and choosing edge bands that blend seamlessly into any piece of furniture, be it wood or non-wood. Many interior decorators use edge banding as a go-to option in order to emulate the look and feel of wood.
With advancements in technology, both in terms of glueing the strips to planks as well as the range of strips available to pick and choose from, edge banding has become a trusted option.
Type of edge bands and how to pick the right one
With the rising innovation in the furnishing industry, we’ve been seeing a slew of newer options available for edge bands, and PVC is no longer the only main option. While PVC is still one of the most trusted for edge bands, today, there is a range of edge banding materials like veneer, melamine, laminates, laser, as well as acrylic, among others.
With so many options available, choosing the right one can become quite the ordeal if you’re unsure. As interior decorators and homeowners, it’s important to consider a number of factors apart from just design consistency when it comes to choosing the perfect edge banding material for interior decor.
Edge bands come in a variety of thicknesses based on the usage in different set-ups. In homes minimal-use areas like a home-study or home offices, edge bands with a thickness of 0.5mm is preferred, and in areas with extensive use, edge bands with 1mm thickness is used. Also available are edge bands of 3mm thickness for application in heavy-use spaces like commercial setups where durability is a key deciding factor.
There are different types of edge banding materials based on the type of usage. Heavy commercial setups would require bands with more thickness as compared to indoor or home settings. PVC edge bands have been most commonly used over the years, but with more innovative approaches, we have a slew of options like veneer, melamine, wood, and even wood veneer edge bands.
With the rise in modular furnishings, we are seeing a range of modern and ultra-modern home decor in terms of design, colours, material, finishing and fittings. For years we have seen natural wood used in furnishings, but with the onslaught of non-wood materials for furnishing, design options have become a lot more diverse and affordable.
For example, there are laminates and edge bands that emulate the exact same look and feel of raw, natural wood, and are more affordable than using actual wood. Wood also contracts and expands with the change in weather conditions leaving manufacturers to come up with long-lasting, durable options. For edge bands, materials like PVC, plywood and particle board are the preferred options, giving you that added aesthetic appeal.
Choose from a broad range of edge banding materials like decorative laminates, melamine, acrylic or ABS or laser bands as these are tried and tested to give your home the style and personality you desire.