MDF or Plywood – Which One is Better For You?


MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard)

MDF stands for Medium Density Fiberboard in its entire form. The MDF board gets its name from the different densities of fiberboard. MDF jali design is the most common application of the material these days, among the many. In addition, the price of MDF cut to size determined by a variety of criteria like as grade, finish (laminated or veneered), thickness, and so on. MDF was created as a solid-wood alternative by exploiting the massive waste of wood chips and sawdust generated by timber mills. MDF board was first mass-produced on a large scale in the 1980s. Because of the benefits they provide, MDF boards have become a popular choice among builders, woodworkers, and architects.

MDF Board Composition and Processing

MDF is typically composed of 82 percent wood fiber, 9 percent urea-formaldehyde resin glue, 8% water, and 1% paraffin wax. It is manufactured by breaking down and crushing hardwood or softwood remnants into wood fibers, then mixing them with wax and resin binder. This material is formed into panels by pressing it together at elevated temperatures and pressures, which is commonly done with the use of a defibrator. Professional’s sand down the MDF board after it has been formed to smooth out any flaws and give it a soft finish. The board can then be coated with oil, varnishes, and paints. In addition, the finishing of MDF boards occasionally necessitates the use of laminates and veneers.

MDF Boards Benefits

An MDF Board has a number of benefits to offer:

  • Unlike other forms of wood, it is more malleable.
  • Because of its capacity to be easily molded, it is commonly used for curved surfaces.
  • Unlike actual wood, the proportions are stable and will not expand or compress.
  • Natural wood is more expensive; thus this is a less expensive alternative.
  • Strength and characteristics are consistent across the entire surface.
  • Dense, rigid, and flat
  • Has no tangles
  • Due to the presence of small particles, it does not have an immediately distinguishable surface grain.
  • MDF that has been painted gives a smooth surface.
  • MDF may be cut, drilled, machined, and filed without damaging the surface because it has no grain.
  • PVA wood glue can be used to adhere MDF.
  • Surface pull-out strength is high.

MDF Board Disadvantages

While there are benefits to choosing MDF Board, there are also drawbacks to be aware of in order to make an informed decision:-

  • When wet with water, low-grade MDF may swell and crack.
  • If not sealed, the flexibility may lead it to distort or expand in humid situations.
  • When cutting and sanding, formaldehyde, a known human carcinogen, may be released, causing allergy, eye, and lung irritation.
  • Cutting tools for MDF wear out more quickly.
  • Screwing into the board’s edge

MDF Boards Types

MDF boards are distinguished by a number of characteristics, including:-

On the Basis of Feature

MDF boards are classified into three types based on their special characteristics: moisture resistant, fire retardant, and ultra-light MDF boards. MDF boards that are moisture-resistant are ideal for wet environments like bathrooms. Green stamps on the board edges identify it.In kitchens, fire-resistant MDF boards are used. On the product’s edges, it is designated with a red or blue stamp. MDF board that is ultra-light weighs around 30% less than ordinary MDF board. They are employed in situations where weight is a factor, such as in furniture.

MDF with a Veneer

The veneered MDF Board is made from high-quality wood veneers attached to medium density fiberboards, giving it a more natural appearance.

Laminated MDF

Laminate’s distinctive surface finish makes this MDF type a great plywood substitute. The laminate coating is a scratch-resistant and exceptionally durable layer that is applied to the fiberboard surface. The board can be laminated on one or both sides, depending on your needs.


Plywood is a type of wood that is used to make furniture. Plywood is a type of engineered wood made from thin veneer sheets (also called plies, hence the name). To make a cross-grain design, the sheets are bonded together at alternating right angles. The board’s crisscross structure gives it more strength and stability. This reduces shrinking and warping of the furniture as a result of humidity or temperature changes.

Plywood Characteristics

Because of the scarcity of wood, solid wood furniture has become unsustainable over time. Plywood has been the primary material for fixed furniture such as wardrobes, kitchen cabinets, beds, and tables ever since. There are many distinct types of plywood, and you can choose the one that best suits your needs.

Types of Plywood

  • Commercial Plywood
  • Marine Plywood
  • BWP Ply (Water-Resistant)
  • Hardwood vs. Softwood Ply
  • Plywood Decorative
  • Fire Resistant Plywood

How to Choose the Best Plywood for Your Home

You can choose the best material choices for your home now that you have all the information you need about the characteristics and varieties of plywood! If you live near the water, consider utilizing water-resistant or waterproof boards to tolerate the dampness. Commercial ply can be utilized in non-moisture-prone locations, while water-resistant ply can be used in kitchens and bathrooms for further durability. Ply cut to size as it is needed.