What is a Medium Density Fiberboard – MDF?
MDF stands for Medium Density Fiberboard, which is a manufactured wood using wood particles and chippings which are then commonly glued together. There are many different boards that are available in today’s market, such as Particle Board, Fiber Board, Laminated Board, Veneered Board and the list goes on. The usage in MDF sheets the past few decades have spiked due to the low cost in which it is to manufacture and to purchase such boards, each type of MDF has its own pros and cons and depending what the task at hand is, there will be a perfect board for the job. If you’re now asking yourself what type of MDF should you be considering this year when fulfilling your projects, then we will help guide you with all your MDF 2018 needs.
Is MDF Good For The Environment?
Most MDF boards have a few environmental issues, as it has the potential to emit formaldehyde as off-gas because of the adhesives used in manufacturing. Formaldehyde, in most cases, causes plenty of short-term health effects, such as watery eyes, respiratory irritation and many other, annoying and unnecessary problems. Formaldehyde affects sounds more annoying than anything serious but in fact, due to recent studies, the particular emissions is now seen as a known human carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer and a “probable human carcinogen” by the EPA. The reason the furniture emits such high formaldehyde values which are slightly above 0.1 parts per million is that of the type of glue which is used to assemble the board together, commonly lower formaldehyde glues are more expensive to buy and manufacture. In addition to this, boards that use this resin to be completed generally take longer to set, which further increases expenses due to the longer creation time of the product. If you wish to read even more on the topic before you form your final opinion, please fell free to read on here.
What is Particle Board?
Particle boards, as the name suggests, are made up of wooden particles which are bonded together with a form of resin, particularly some form of glue as its safe, reliable and predominantly cheap. These boards also mistakenly get referred to as a chipboard due to their chipboard texture like surface. Environmentally friendly, due to the fact the boards are made with wood throwaways like sawdust, shavings and chipping which would generally just go to waste after being cut from their parent log. All of its contents is then sent through a wood chipper so that all of the particles are equal in size so that the fibreboard is an even size once put together with the resin. As we have just mentioned, the resin is then mixed together with the particles and placed in a sheet to keep everything compact, usually, this would also have some form of weight on it to make sure the fiber board sticks together and forms an equal shape. Particle boards can be used for small-scale furniture such as cupboards, plenty of minimalist style furniture is made up from these exact boards due to the curvy and reliable things you can design with them when used correctly, a particular favourite is particle board cabinets as they are cheap and reliable to have in your home. There are many different areas of your home that you may want to spruce up, adding particle board detailings around your windows, doors and floor or even ceiling in the form of elegant trims and mouldings. It’s particularly popular for these things because it is easy to create furniture and decor with and even easier to paint. If you’re interested in other uses you could get out of particle board, please feel free to read this helpful article about such uses.
What is Plywood?
Plywood is the most widely available manufactured MDF material sheet which you can get on today’s market and for good reason. It is assembled like the other boards by bonding together a large number of soft or hardwood veneers, generally, the more veneers MDF sheets which are used, the stronger the plywood will be. Particularly on floors, plywood panels may include groove edges that allow each board to be slotted together to allow them to become one, meaning they will stay sturdy and will also be great when used for an underlay like skin suitable before you place tiles. The water proof plywood thickness makes this an even stronger choice if you’re looking for a particular board to be used in your floor and roofing project. Along with plywood flooring, this board is also known as ‘playwood’ due to the many uses that you can get out of it when making children’s furniture and activity units, the name suits it very well due to the low plywood price, which enforces the creative but fitting name even more. Plywood can be bought at various locations and in fact, places like home depot will cut your plywood if you do not have a plywood cutting machine at hand, which makes it the perfect sort of wood if you’re looking to do some DIY around your home
What is Fiber Board?
Fiber board is a high-density particle board and manufactured using a similar process as particle board and hardie board/hardee board. Although we did say particle boards are environmentally friendly due to the use of wood waste, rather than cutting down fresh tree’s the fiber boards are slightly different in the fact that the particles are made up of similar wood cuttings except that these are formed together with organic fiber from sugarcane and vegetable starch, which is a lot more safer than man created resins. This Fiberboard is certainly the one for you if you are always considering the environment but you’re in desperate need of some reliable MDF boards. You can’t doubt their practicalness as they are used when creating residential and commercial buildings due to the soundproofing quality which they hold.
What is Stirling Board?
Also known as OSB, manufactured from softwood strands which have then been compressed and bonded together with water resistant resins making this the perfect MDF material to be used in somewhere like a bathroom as it will make for a strong hold that will not be affected by the moisture. This particular MDF should only be used in in places where appearance is not a matter as the surface is a little rough and somewhat awkward to give it an appealing finish, this is why this type of board is generally found on the back of wardrobes or at the bottom of a bed because this is somewhere, in theory, no one will get to view. Particularly if you wanted to use such fibreboard for a display piece, as part of some furniture or other decorations, you will need to sand the boards down first to get rid of their rough texture so that it is a lot easier to paint over them.
What is Chip board?
Chipboard is not so dissimilar to a laminated board, as the creation process consists of heating and assembling at high pressure. The key difference is that instead of layers of fibreboard bonded together, chipboard is just made up of wood particles which are stuck with resin all at once, meaning that it isn’t as reliably strong as the laminated board may be but it will be a lot cheaper because of the shorter manufacturing process. Similar to laminated board it is also possible to give the MDF wood more style by painting the chipboard with colours of your choice. Chipboard has seen a high spike in uses by furniture manufacturing companies such as IKEA as it makes the perfect durable material to be used for flat pack furniture a long with it being great for kitchen furnitures such as worktops and flooring.
What is Laminated Board?
Laminated boards are a type of hardboards that you would particularly find if you took apart that beautiful shabby chic sideboard that you feature in your hallway, because of its reliable strength and durableness. The particular board consists of a number of thinner boards which have been created with wood fibres that have then been exposed to high heat and put together with the use of equal high pressure to enable the sheets to essentially blend together and become one. With strong and stiff qualities, this particular MDF wood is more common for larger furnishings, the complete opposite of what particle boards and fibre boards would be used for.
What is Veneered Board?
The final board in which we will look at is the veneered board, this is a great board if you really want the natural wood look along with the feel. Because the MDF panel can be veneered with decorative wood patterns sheets you can get a lot more creative use out of this particular fibreboard than you might be able to with something like a particle board. Although the drawbacks of this board if any, is that you can only use it on gradual curves as when the Medium Density Fiberboard has dried up you could find yourself with cracks across your design and of course, no one wants this look.