Adhesive Edging Buyer Guide

Adhesive edging buyer guide

Adhesive edging is one of the quickest, most affordable easiest and most effective methods of enhancing the edges of sheet materials. The use of plywood and melamine-coated particleboard has its benefits across a broad range of projects. But such materials often have unsightly unfinished edges to cover up. Edging providing the ideal solution, which in most instances requires no specialist tools or equipment to apply.

What is adhesive edging?

Edging is a form of ‘banding’ that is designed to match the surface of most wooden (or faux-wooden) surfaces. Available in an extensive range of colours and natural-looking finishes, adhesive edging can also be tailored to suit the exact shape and size of almost any piece of material.

Adhesive edging is used to improve the appearance of the raw or unfinished edges that are the norm with materials like plywood and MDF. One of the most common applications for edging is to finish the raw sides of kitchen counters, worktops and islands with a strip of material that matches the surface flawlessly.

Types of adhesive edging

Strips of adhesive edging are available in an extensive range of materials, including everything from basic polyester to premium hardwood. The vast majority of manufacturers that produce sheets of material will also produce edging to match the surface finish. If not, there’s a near-endless range of third-party edging products to choose from.

Depending on the type of edging you need and where you intend to use it, application methods vary significantly. Some edging is supplied with an adhesive coating and simply needs to be pressed into place. Other types need to be glued into position with a specialist adhesive. It is therefore important to carefully access your requirements, before getting started on an edging project.

Choose the right edging

Edging differs significantly from one manufacturer to the next, though in most instances it is easy to work with. So first and foremost, it’s essential to ensure that the edging you choose is the perfect match for the material you’ll be applying it to. The last thing you want is edging that doesn’t match the finish of the material.

Choose an appropriate adhesive

Most likely, the manufacturer of the edging will specify what type of adhesive you need to fit it in place. The majority of edging is applied using hot melt EVA adhesive, which is compatible with the vast majority of PVC, melamine, ABS, acrylic and wood veneer edging.

There are also various standard contact adhesives that can be used with edging – check the manufacturer’s guidelines for more information.

Health and safety

However you apply your edging, it is essential to take sensible safety precautions from start to finish. Always remember that many glues and adhesives are toxic and emit harmful vapours, which may not necessarily have a detectable odour.

In addition, hot glues and powerful industrial adhesives can cause severe skin damage, so wear protective gloves and goggles at all times.

Edging end trimming

Trimming the edges and ends of the banding will help to produce a flawless finish. If preferred, you could opt for a specialist flush trimming tool, which is usually inexpensive and is practically fool-proof. Alternatively, take to the edges and ends with a mallet and a decent chisel. Just be sure to take your time, in order to avoid damaging your adhesive edging.

Sanding a rounded edge

The final stage in the process is to take a piece of relatively fine grit sandpaper (or a sanding block) and give the edges of the material itself a gentle sand where it meets the banding. This is important for creating a softly-rounded edge – the difference between a decent finish and a flawless pro-grade finish.

Again, the key to getting the job done right lies in taking your time.

How to maintain adhesive edging

The rules for maintaining edging will be determined by both the material it is made from and the method of adhesion. In most instances, it is simply a case of keeping it clean and sanitary in the same way as the rest of the surface.

Avoiding prolonged exposure to moisture is always advisable, as is addressing any potential adhesion issues you detect along the way. If the edging shows signs of becoming loose, you’ll want to tackle the problem as quickly as possible before it gets any worse.