The Ultimate Guide to Edge Banding

In today’s design age, the selection of furniture pieces is near limitless, with e-commerce and brick-and-mortar shops selling a wide selection of furniture. Choosing elements that have been manufactured with keen attention to detail is vital.

The desk you’re sitting at, the shelving unit that holds your books, and your kitchen and bath cabinets may all have one key detail in common: edge banding.

Edge banding aids in creating an aesthetically attractive piece and adds value to it while also improving the longevity of the product it is applied to.

To learn more about edge banding and the different types available today, the experts at have created an ultimate guide to edge banding. Gain knowledge and understanding of this critical, intricate product and craft.

Flexible Edgebanding | PRI Supply

What is Edge Banding?

Edge banding is both a type of material and a process. As a material, it functions as a narrow decorative strip with adhesive applied to one side to seal the edges of a piece of carpentry. It makes the outside of a piece of wood or plywood more aesthetically pleasing and creates a seal that helps protect the exposed edges from dings and harmful elements such as water or debris.

Edge banding is also the process by which these narrow strips of material are placed on the edge of exposed wood or plywood.

How Does Edge Banding Work?

During production, everyday furniture items like cabinetry, desks, doors, and shelves will be shaped and cut to exact dimensions, often leaving exposed or unsightly edges. Not only is this visually unappealing, but it is also a hazard to the material. Rough, unfinished edges on a manufactured wood core open to the elements are a recipe for disaster. Over time, these exposed edges can absorb moisture, leading to the bowing, shrinking, or cracking of wood. Edge banding is a sealant for these exposed edges, delivering a functional and stunning look.

What is Edge Banding Used for?

While we have mentioned wood a few times, edge banding is only used for some wood material. For example, a solid wood item would not require edge banding as it is durable enough. As solid wood becomes more expensive and the need for harvesting increases, potentially devastating to the environment, the market for manufactured wood has vastly expanded, along with the need for edge banding.

Manufactured wood, e.g., plywood, particle board, and MDF, do not have solid wood’s density or beautiful smooth finish. It requires the application of edge banding to create a “natural” edge. A component made from manufactured wood panels typically has a decorative and protective top and bottom surface. Still, it will usually require edge banding along the edges to create the decorative and protective seal.


TAFISA Edgebanding Collection | PRI Supply

What Products Don’t Require Edge Banding?

Edge banding is used on the exterior edges and sides of drawers and cabinets because these areas are readily visible. They are also the areas that are heavily exposed to air, moisture, and dust.

Areas not requiring edge banding include cabinet backs or drawer bottoms because their raw edges are usually embedded in attached pieces in dado grooves. Leaving these areas unbanded is also less expensive since exposed edges are not readily visible.

How is Edge Banding Applied?

Edge banding can be applied in a variety of ways, including:

  • Laser edging
  • Hot air
  • Hot glue
  • Iron-on
  • PSA (pressure-sensitive adhesive)

The appropriate application method(s) will depend on several factors, such as the type of edge banding being utilized, the size of the material, the intended use of the final product, and the production capacity of the component manufacturer. Several application techniques suit those doing the work themselves without professional assistance.

Different Types of Edge Banding

There are several different types of edge banding. The best edge banding choice typically depends on finding the closest color match to the finished surface(s) of the component that is both cost-effective and suitable for the intended use of the furniture item.

Edge banding is available in various materials, thicknesses, widths, textures, and sheen levels, and an unlimited range of solid colors, patterns, and wood grains. Working with an edge banding specialist to find a suitable material is highly recommended.

Here are the different types of edge banding materials, what they are best used for, and their pros and cons.


Mylar and metal edgebanding | stock program | PRI supply

PVC Edge Banding

PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) edge banding is a long-lasting material that has continued to grow in popularity over the last few decades.

It is one of the most popular materials in laminated and melamine furniture construction. It is renowned for its color selection (including solids, wood grains, and patterns) with many width and thickness options, sheens, and textures. PVC is also available with a metallic look.

Best Uses

Because PVC is relatively easy to affix and has a long life, it is a prevalent choice for modular furniture.  It is often preferred for its impermeable nature. PVC can be molded to fit curved surfaces and comes in unique colors that can easily match many color varieties.


  • Durability
  • Low cost
  • Longevity
  • No finishing process requirements
  • Available in automatic, pre-glued, and PSA
  • Available in automatic, pre-glued, and PSA

How Can Businesses Benefit from PVC Edge Banding?

PVC has continued to grow in popularity and stay relatively inexpensive, making it an excellent option for businesses looking to increase their profit margins and decrease labor costs. PVC is highly durable and easy to use, so even those without prior edge banding knowledge can create beautiful pieces of furniture for a fraction of the cost of solid wood.

ABS Edge Banding

ABS, also known as Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene, is another plastic edge banding produced from ABS resins rather than its more common cousin, PVC. To be more eco-friendly, many areas worldwide, including Europe, are utilizing ABS, Polypropylene, and Polyester edge banding (discussed below) over PVC due to their stricter environmentally-friendly standards.

Best Uses

Due to its greener attributes, healthcare and educational furniture are two of the largest markets for ABS. Architects and designers also specify ABS, and some furniture conglomerates like IKEA and H&M are abandoning PVC altogether.


  • Recyclable
  • Thermally resilient
  • Versatile in color, finish, and texture
  • Environmentally-friendly
  • Available in automatic, pre-glued, and PSA

Is ABS Edge Banding More Environmentally Friendly?

ABS is more eco-friendly than PVC as it does not produce toxic chemicals when incinerated.

Veneer Edge Banding

Wood veneer edge banding is natural wood sliced very thinly and is commonly used in furniture manufacturing due to its durability, sustainability, and luxurious look. Thin veneer edge banding is typically 0.5 mm thick but is available in multiple thicknesses up to 5.0 mm.  Veneer is produced from common woods and more exotic woods that are either too expensive to use as solid wood or subject to limitations on harvesting. Veneer edge banding is considerably more affordable than solid wood, making it a preferable choice for businesses that want to match the aesthetics of solid wood but at a much lower cost.

Best Uses

Wood veneer edge banding is the perfect material for environmentally conscious furniture pieces and is a favored option for movable elements like cabinetry, shelving, or drawers. It is an excellent option for those who want a premium wood look for less.


  • Environmentally friendly
  • Available in automatic, pre-glued, and PSA
  • Easily stainable and accepts finishes; also available in UV prefinished
  • Affordable
  • Lighter weight than solid wood
  • Available in many species, thicknesses, and widths

Best Materials for Veneer Edge Banding

Numerous types of wood work well for veneer edge banding. These include red oak, cherry, white birch, maple, and walnut. At, we can source virtually any wood species needed for your banding and offer complete flexibility for order quantity.

Mylar & Metal Edge Banding

These types of edge bandings should be considered if you need a metallic look on your edges. Mylar edge banding is a thin film laminated to a plastic backer, usually ABS or PVC, which closely resembles the look of natural metal edge banding. Mylar film is often favored for its metal-like appearance at considerably less cost than actual metal. Both mylar and metal are available in attractive, modern finishes like brushed and polished. During production, a protective peel coat is typically applied to the top of the banding to prevent scratching. A primer is applied to the back to help the edge band adhere to its corresponding product. Both mylar and metal are available in automatic, pre-glued, and PSA.

Mylar vs. Real Metal Edge Banding

While mylar and natural metal edge banding appear very similar, they have distinct differences that might ultimately be your deciding factor in choosing which is suitable for your project.

At PRI, mylar and natural metal edge banding are produced on wide master rolls and can be made in thicknesses ranging from 0.5mm to 3mm. They also come in various choices, including aluminum, stainless steel, gold, chrome, pewter, zinc, bronze, and copper.

As noted above, Mylar is more economical as it is a thin film instead of a solid metal surface. However, metal edge banding may be the preferred choice in some applications. PVC is also available with a metallic look.

Laser Edge Banding

Laser edge banding is a more modern technique that melts two surfaces together.  Using a laser beam, this new technology is an edge banding with a pre-applied, co-extruded polymer functional layer that replaces the traditional glue used to apply edge banding, allowing for a much superior and seamless joint between the edge banding and the board. It can be used with all zero-joint edge banding machines, including hot-air, laser, plasma, and near-infrared. The edge banding is typically made from ABS or polypropylene.


  • Aesthetically pleasing since it eliminates the glue line
  • It provides a powerful bond
  • Wide variety of colors and sizes


T-Molding is an incredibly durable and flexible type of edge banding material that is an extruded shape with a center barb that gets pressed into a kerf (slot) cut into the edge of a panel. It provides strong impact protection and a nice finished look. T-molding is made using PVC and polypropylene. or similar products and is available in many standard or custom profiles and colors, including woodgrains. Because of its unorthodox shape, each T-molding profile has a different-sized barb that will fit snugly into the kerf slot. They are designed to seat firmly and hug the edge permanently.

Best Uses

T-molding has traditionally been used to increase edge durability and soften hard edges on manufactured composite wood furniture, especially office furniture, classroom furniture, and store fixtures subject to high use. At PRI, we offer t-molding options in solid colors, woodgrains, and patterns to meet your needs best.


  • Extremely durable
  • Maintains flexibility even in unheated manufacturing areas
  • Full-depth color or pattern, even if cut or nicked
  • Easily applied with low-cost equipment

Polyester Edge Banding

Polyester edge banding has become very popular in the furniture industry recently. As many countries avoid PVC, polyester is also an excellent eco-friendly option. Polyester edge banding is made with no formaldehyde or styrene during manufacturing and can be recycled in cogeneration plants to produce power and steam.

Best Uses

Polyester is quickly becoming popular for businesses looking for PVC-free edge banding. Not only does this environmentally friendly material offer matches to high-pressure laminate (HPL) and thermally fused melamine (TFM) solids, wood grains, and patterns, but it is available in multiple textures, gloss levels, widths, and thicknesses.


  • No formaldehyde or styrene is used in manufacturing
  • Matches available to HPL and TFM solids, woodgrains, and patterns
  • Multiple textures, gloss levels, widths, and thicknesses are available
  • Outstanding color matches because it is made from the same decorative papers that are used to make HPL and TFM panels
  • Soft-forming edge banders can shape the edges of laminated panels and apply polyester banding, which cannot be done with other plastic edgings
  • Available in automatic, pre-glued, and PSA

Polypropylene Edge Banding

Polypropylene (PP) is considered the most eco-friendly edge banding. It requires relatively little energy to manufacture and can be safely recycled or incinerated. It is the best rigid material for radial applications.  PP is resistant to water and most chemicals and has superior light fastness and shrinkage properties, making it ideal for laboratory and school applications.


  • Can be safely recycled or incinerated
  • Matches can be produced available to HPL and TFM solids, woodgrains, and patterns
  • Multiple textures, gloss levels, widths, and thicknesses are available

Melamine Edge Banding

Melamine edge banding is a unique, resin-saturated paper that is expertly designed to provide strength and resilience to scratches or knocks.

Best Uses

This low-cost, durable material is used primarily in furniture manufacturing, specifically for kitchen, living room, and bedroom products. It is also widely used for smaller items like cabinetry and shelving by expert manufacturing companies and at-home DIYers.

Is Melamine Edge Banding Cost-Effective?

Melamine edge banding is a highly cost-effective material to use for projects.


  • Typically less expensive than PVC
  • Wide master rolls can be slit to any width regardless of order size
  • Available in automatic, pre-glued, and PSA

FINSA Collection Edgebanding | PRI Supply

Contact the Experts at

PRI Supply is here for you if you require experts specializing in edge banding. At PRI Supply, our knowledgeable team can help you find exactly what you’re looking for. From edge banding and wood veneer sheets to Funder America melamine panels, we have the products you need at affordable prices.

Tell us about your project, and we will walk you through our process from start to finish. Have additional questions on our edge banding? Contact us today or request a free quote to get your project started.