What is Decor Edging?

Decor edging, also known as cabinet edging or edge banding, refers to trim pieces that are applied to the exposed edges of cabinets, countertops, furniture, and other wood products. The edging comes in various materials like wood, veneer, laminate, and PVC.

The main purpose of decorative edging is to cover the raw or unfinished edges of wood, plywood, medium density fiberboard (MDF), and other materials used in cabinet construction. The edging gives the cabinets a more finished, upscale look compared to leaving the edges bare.

Benefits of Adding Decor Edging to RTA Cabinets

Here are some of the benefits of using decor edging for RTA cabinets:

  • Enhances appearance – Decor edging gives the cabinets a more polished, high-end look compared to unfinished square edges. The edging can match or contrast with the cabinet finishes.
  • Protects edges – The edging protects the corners and edges of the RTA cabinet boxes from damage caused by impacts and moisture. Unprotected edges can chip and swell over time.
  • Ease of cleaning – Laminate and PVC edging have seamless surfaces that prevent dirt, grime, and moisture from getting into the raw cabinet edges. This makes cleaning easier.
  • Variety of colors and patterns – Decor edging comes in many colors, wood grain finishes, and patterns. This allows coordinating or accenting the cabinets with counters, floors, and décor.
  • Affordable upgrade – Decor edging is an inexpensive way to make RTA cabinets look more custom and upgraded. The edging can be bought in rolls or strips and applied using iron-on or glue methods.

Types of Decor Edging for RTA Cabinets

Some popular options for RTA cabinet edging include:

Wood Veneer Edging

  • Comes in various wood species like oak, maple, cherry, etc.
  • Provides a seamless match if cabinets have a wood veneer finish
  • More durable than laminates
  • Costlier than PVC edging

Laminate Edging

  • Comes in hundreds of solid colors and realistic wood grain patterns
  • More affordable than real wood veneer
  • Wide color selection to match or contrast cabinets
  • Not as durable as real wood

PVC Edging

  • Most affordable edging option
  • Made of flexible, yet durable vinyl
  • Resists moisture, warping and impact damage
  • Large assortment of colors and finishes
  • Easiest edging to apply on your own

Veneer Tape Edging

  • Paper-thin real wood edges
  • Applied like tape using hot iron method
  • Ideal for achieving stained wood look
  • More labor-intensive to install
  • Costlier than laminate and PVC

How to Apply and Install Decor Edging

Decor edging can be applied to finished RTA cabinets either with glue or using heat-activated tapes. Here is an overview of the basic process:

Preparing the Cabinets

  • Ensure cabinets are fully assembled and finished
  • Lightly sand any rough edges so edging adheres smoothly
  • Clean and dry the edges thoroughly

Measuring and Cutting Edging

  • Measure the exact length for each cabinet edge
  • Cut the edging to length using sharp shear or blade
  • For corners, measure and miter cut edging

Applying Adhesive

  • For glued edging, apply continuous bead of edging glue to cabinet edge
  • For heat tapes, remove backing to expose adhesive strip

Installing Edging

  • Position edging over cabinet edge and press down firmly
  • Use rubber roller to apply even pressure and improve adhesion
  • For heat tapes, apply heat from iron to activate glue
  • Trim excess edging and file edges smooth


  • Ensure edging is aligned evenly with no gaps
  • Use touch up markers to conceal any scuffs or nicks
  • Allow full 24 hours for glue to cure before use

With the right tools, materials, and techniques, it is possible to install decorator edging on RTA cabinets for a high-end finished look. The edging instantly conceals rough plywood edges and can complement or accent the cabinet’s style.

Decor Edging Ideas for RTA Cabinets

Here are some great ways to use decorative edging to customize and upgrade the look of RTA cabinets:

Matching Wood Grain Edging

Edging with matching wood grain laminate or real veneer provides a seamless, uniform look. For shaker-style cabinets, use oak, maple or birch edging.

Contrasting Color Edging

Add some character by choosing edging in a contrasting color to the cabinet boxes and doors. Popular options include white, black, or muted metallic edging.

Patterned Edging

Jazz up plain cabinets with patterned edging such as diagonal stripes, geometric shapes, or simulated marble patterns.

Stained Edging

Applying real wood veneer edging allows you to stain it to match custom cabinet stains. An oil-rubbed bronze edge can complement stained cabinets.

Textured Edging

For contemporary designs, textured vinyl edging with brushed metal or embossed patterns are an easy upgrade.

Dark Edges for Light Cabinets

Pairing white or light grey cabinets with a dark woodgrain or black edge creates striking definition.

Decor edging comes in so many options that it’s easy to find a style that matches your RTA cabinet finishes and room décor. Adding this finishing touch helps DIY cabinets look professionally installed.

FAQ About Decor Edging for RTA Cabinets

Should I apply edging before or after cabinet installation?

Edging can be applied either before or after installing the cabinetry. Pre-installation application allows for a more controlled process. Post-installation application lets you match edging to counters.

Does the edging need to match cabinet interiors?

No, the edging is primarily an exterior decorative detail. Cabinet interiors are typically left unfinished.

Do I need special tools to install edging?

A rubber roller, sharp scissors, and either an iron or adhesive glue are the key tools needed. A power miter saw makes cutting corners easier.

Can I use edging on already installed cabinets?

Yes, existing cabinets can be retrofitted with edging. The surfaces just need proper preparation and cleaning beforehand.

Should I edge doors and drawer fronts too?

Doors and drawers do not need edging since all edges are concealed after installation. Just edging the cabinet boxes provides an upgraded look.

Can I stain or paint the edging?

Prefinished edging should not need additional staining or painting. But real wood edging can be stained to match custom cabinet colors.


Adding decorative edging is an easy and affordable way to customize and finish the look of RTA cabinets. The edging options available let you match cabinet finishes or create an accent. While laminate and PVC edging are simplest to apply, real wood veneer provides the most seamless finish. With the right preparation and application technique, it is possible to install edging for a high-end finished look. Decor edging takes RTA cabinets from basic to beautiful!