Medium Density Fibreboard (MDF) is manufactured by grinding up residual hardwood or softwood pieces into fine particles, mixing them with wax and a resin binder, and then applying high heat and pressure. It typically has more density than plywood. Despite being constructed of separated fibres, it can be utilized as a building material just like plywood. Among the numerous applications of the MDF sheets, the most popular one these days is the jali design. In addition, MDF board price depends on multiple factors like grade, finishing- laminated or veneered, thickness, etc.
It developed as a substitute for solid wood by utilizing the huge waste of wood chips and sawdust produced by lumber mills.
Large-scale mass production of MDF boards began in the 1980s. Today, these boards have become a bankable option for builders, woodworkers, and architects for the features they offer.
This article aims to shed light on the following aspects related to MDF boards:
- 1 Composition and processing of MDF boards
- 2 Properties of MDF board
- 3 Advantages of MDF board
- 4 Disadvantages of MDF board
- 5 Safety precautions
- 6 Types of Medium-Density Fibreboard
- 7 Grades of MDF boards
- 8 Applications of Medium Density Fibreboard
- 9 MDF designs
- 9.1 MDF jali designs for ceiling
- 9.2 MDF board white cornices
- 9.3 Checkered board flooring
- 9.4 MDF jali door design
- 9.5 High-gloss kitchen cabinets
- 9.6 Paintable MDF bath
- 9.7 Textured panels for wall
- 9.8 MDF board for bathroom furniture
- 9.9 3D wall panelling
- 9.10 Statement wall panel
- 9.11 TV table
- 9.12 Painted MDF board cabinet
- 9.13 Black cornices
- 9.14 Mdf jali design for mandir
- 9.15 MDF jali designs for mandir
- 9.16 Panel top
- 9.17 MDF wooden floor
- 9.18 Simple panelling for walls
- 9.19 MDF sheet partition
- 9.20 Movable panels for partitions
- 10 Watch this video: How to seal and paint MDF edges? (9 mins 38 secs)
- 11 MDF board brands
- 12 Price and size of MDF boards
- 13 Our recommendations (Buy here)
- 13.1 Century Prowud Medium Density Fibreboard Densified Interior Range
- 13.2 Woodmartshop Pre-laminated Medium Density Fibreboard
- 13.3 Archiply Decor Pre-laminated Medium Density Fibreboard
- 13.4 VIR Interior Grade Medium Density Fibreboard
- 13.5 Mark Glam Medium Density Fibreboard
- 13.6 Action Tesa Pre-Laminated Medium Density Fibreboard
- 13.7 Century Prowud Medium Density Fibreboard
- 13.8 ASIS Exterior Grade Medium Density Fibreboard
- 13.9 VIR Proplus (Exterior Grade Medium Density Fibreboard)
- 13.10 Archiply Decor Plain Medium Density Fibreboard
- 14 Conclusion
Composition and processing of MDF boards
Medium Density Fibreboard is generally made up of 82% wood fibre, 9% urea-formaldehyde resin glue, 8% water, and 1% paraffin wax.
Its density is typically between 500 kg/m3 (31 lb/ft3) and 1,000 kg/m3 (62 lb/ft3). It is denser than other woods because of the presence of heavy resins.
This material is turned into panels by pressing it together under high temperature and high-pressure conditions, often using a defibrator.
After the formation of the board, professionals sand it down to smooth irregularities and give it a soft finish. Oil, varnishes, and paints may then be coated over the board. Moreover, the finishing sometimes requires laminates and veneers.
For better-quality boards, add more wood fibres to the container.
This forms almost the same board but with a higher density. The quality and finish of this board are also superior.
|Also see: Plywood sheets – What you need to know about them?|
Properties of MDF board
These boards are used by manufacturers and construction companies because they are strong, lightweight, and paintable. Furthermore, these have a consistent thickness that makes accurate cutting easier. The following are some noteworthy properties of this building material–
- Sturdy and durable
- Heat resistant
- Moisture resistant
- Termite and borer resistant
- Smooth surface
Advantages of MDF board
There are several advantages of using this board-
- More flexible than other types of wood
- Used for curved surfaces because of its ability to be shaped easily
- Stable dimensions that will not expand or contract unlike natural wood
- MDF board comes at an affordable price and is less expensive than natural wood
- Consistent in strength and properties along the whole surface
- Dense, flat, and stiff
- Has no knots
- Does not exhibit an easily recognizable surface grain due to the presence of fine particles in it
- When painted it produces a smooth surface
- Since it has no grain it can be cut, drilled, machined, and filed without damaging the surface
- It can be glued with PVA wood glue
- High pull-out strength on the surface
|Also see: Room partition designs: Your inspiration & buying guide|
Disadvantages of MDF board
As much as there are pros to using the Medium Density Fibreboard, there are cons to it too and it’s better to be aware in order to make an informed decision-
- Low-grade MDF may swell and break when saturated with water
- Flexibility may cause it to warp or expand in humid environments, if not sealed
- May release formaldehyde, which is a known human carcinogen and may cause allergy, eye, and lung irritation when cutting and sanding
- Its cutting tools become dull easily
- Screwing into the edge of a board
Medium Density Fibreboard can be dangerous to use if the correct safety precautions are not taken. Hence, here are some important points to remember while working with them-
- It contains a substance called urea-formaldehyde which is released by its surface while cutting or sanding the board. As a result, it becomes important to ensure proper ventilation when using it. Also, use facemasks while sanding or cutting the board with machinery.
- The dust produced when machining MDF is very dangerous. Therefore, wear masks and goggles at all times.
- The edges of MDF cutters will blunt very quickly because of the glue present in the board. Tungsten carbide-edged MDF cutter will prevent dulling.
- Screws and nails can be used on MDF. However, there is the possibility of split edges. The screws should be at a maximum distance of 25mm from the edge.
- While painting it is a good idea to coat the entire sheet, panel, or board to contain the ill effects of urea-formaldehyde.
- Wax and oil finishes are great finishing options but they don’t contain urea-formaldehyde effectively.
- Phenol-formaldehyde is a good alternative because it does not release urea-formaldehyde.
On the basis of features
Medium Density Fibreboard comes in three different varieties-
- The moisture-resistant MDF boards are suitable for wet areas such as bathrooms. It is marked by green stamps on the board edges.
- Fire retardant MDF boards are used in kitchens. It is marked as a red or blue stamp on the product edges.
- Ultra-light MDF board weighs approximately 30 per cent less than standard MDF board. They are used where weight is a factor of consideration, for example, in furniture.
Manufactured from high-quality wood veneers attached to medium-density fibreboards, the veneered MDF Board gives a more natural appearance to wood.
That is why today’s builders substitute solid wood with veneered MDF.
This board is made by wrapping a 1-2 mm thick hardwood around the MDF board using heat and pressure.
These veneered boards need more care and maintenance than laminates.
These can be used in offices, conference halls, and home interior walls.
Generally, Veneered MDF is a more cost-effective option since the veneer coat protects the fibreboard and makes it safe for usage.
|Also see: Laminate vs Veneer: Which one should you opt for?|
Laminated Medium Density Fibreboard has a unique surface finish which makes it a great substitute for plywood.
The laminate coating is an additional layer added to the fibreboard surface making it scratch-resistant and highly durable.
Depending on your requirement, the board can be laminated on one side or both sides.
Laminate MDF boards are extensively used in partitions, panels, cupboard shutters, doors, tabletops, etc.
Grades of MDF boards
Medium Density Fibreboard is available in two grades-
- Interior Grade- It refers to the MDF board suitable for use in interior applications
- Exterior Grade- It refers to the board suitable for exterior applications. It is packed with features like moisture and heat resistance to combat weather.
These boards are primarily used for indoor applications due to their poor moisture resistance. They are available in raw form, with a finely sanded surface, or with a decorative overlay. They are popular in the following areas of application-
- It may be used to make wall-panels
- For flooring purposes
- For furniture such as cabinets and storage units
- In modular kitchens
- MDF jali designs are a valuable add-on for decorative ceilings and doors
MDF jali designs for ceiling
Image Source: kathuriya.com
MDF jali design is an appealing option for the home. It is a brilliant ceiling design idea.
This false ceiling adds exquisite detailing to an otherwise dull bedroom ceiling.
MDF board white cornices
MDF cornices look great adorning the walls of your home. They add a royal and luxurious touch to the home.
Image Source: Silver Springs Woodworks
Image Source: FrenchyFancy
A plain white cornice outlines any area with a pleasing simplicity.
Checkered board flooring
Image Source: Armstrong Flooring
This soothing and classic black & white combination is a great design idea for MDF Board flooring.
Black works magically with this predominantly neutral-toned room.
MDF jali door design
Image Source: Civil Engineering Discoveries
As mentioned above, MDF jali designs are an attractive design option for doors.
This symmetrical pattern makes the entrance to your home stand out from the mundane.
High-gloss kitchen cabinets
Image Source: Deco Group
This modular kitchen design has a dominant presence of laminated MDF for furniture.
This kitchen combines a rustic aesthetic with a modern set-up.
Paintable MDF bath
Image Source: bathpanelstore
The blush pink exterior of this bathtub made of MDF panels is eye-catching.
A waterproof MDF sheet is the best choice for bathroom furniture.
Textured panels for wall
Image Source: Walmart
MDF can be shaped to resemble a horizontal or vertical striped pattern.
A vertical pattern gives the illusion of length to a room while the MDF texture adds to the style quotient.
Image Source: badkamer-voordeel
For obvious reasons, a waterproof MDF sheet is the best choice for bathroom cabinets.
They make for sturdy and stylish bathroom accessories.
3D wall panelling
Image Source: Design Chronicle
This MDF wall panelling is exquisite. It makes your wall seem three-dimensional and gives it an artistic look.
Statement wall panel
Image Source: Wattpad
Emphasize your bed with this MDF jali design wall panel. It adds elegance to your bedroom.
Image Source: SKLUM
For a more classic feel, opt for an MDF board TV table instead of getting it wall-hung.
The drawers provide additional space for one to store their Blu-Ray stack!
Painted MDF board cabinet
Image Source: This Old House
This kind of cabinet is perfect for the kitchen workspace. It is stylish in a subtle way due to the presence of two complementary colours.
Image Source: Shutterfly
If you thought that only neutral shades would work on cornices, you are in for a surprise!
MDF wood cornices look just as stately in a matte black finish.
Mdf jali design for mandir
Image Source: Venetian design
If you want an enclosed but visible space for your place of worship, then MDF wood panels along with an MDF jail design will do the trick.
MDF jali designs for mandir
Image Source: Decor Units
This slidable MDF sheet is a great option to lower the cost. You don’t need to invest in multiple sheets- just the one would do.
Also, the MDF jali design makes the temple look beautiful.
Image Source: Article
The dining room furniture can be upgraded to a wooden exterior with MDF tops for the metal table and chairs.
Image Source: About Flooring
These MDF sheets replicate the look of a wooden floor and make for a warm atmosphere.
Simple panelling for walls
Image Source: Pinterest
The plain blue vertical grid look of this MDF wall panel is classy and looks great in a study room.
Image Source: Civil Engineering Discoveries
Decorative MDF sheets are art pieces unto themselves. This MDF design for partition adds to the overall look of the living room.
Movable panels for partitions
Image Source: ArchiExpo
These efficient sliding Medium Density Fibreboard doors save space that would be needed to allow the opening of the door.
Watch this video: How to seal and paint MDF edges? (9 mins 38 secs)
ASIS Exterior Grade MDF offers uniform thickness and a homogeneous structure.
These boards are high on moisture resistance, termite resistance, borer, and fungus resistance also. Moreover, these boards are eco-friendly and possess very low levels of formaldehyde emissions.
ASIS pre-laminated MDF is available in 43 contemporary designs and colours with 2 distinct finishes namely suede and matte.
They are available in Grade I (exterior MDF); Grade II (interior MDF); one-side laminated; both-side laminated; one-side bare; both-side balancing variants.
Action Tesa MDF boards have the best routing characteristics due to special German technology used to press the boards in a way so that compression pressure can reach its core.
Thus, the core is densified which is required for high-quality routing.
- Interior grade plain and pre-laminated MDF
- Exterior grade plain and pre-laminated MDF
Century Prowud Medium Density Fibreboard is borer, termite, fungus, and highly moisture resistant. Additionally, it is made with a higher density, and to a higher standard.
These products are perfect for creating durable furniture of all shapes and sizes, as well as stunning interiors of every design.
The brand offers the following two ranges in MDF boards-
- Densified Water-resistant board
- Densified Interior Range
Vir Medium Density Fibreboard, from the house of Rushil Décor, is a new-age product, a great alternative to solid wood and plywood. Also, it is a favourite of OEMs, SCPs, and conventional wood furniture manufacturers across India.
Vir products are as follows-
- Interior Grade
- Exterior Grade
- Interior Grade Decorative
- Exterior Grade Decorative
Archidply Medium Density Fibreboard is extensively used in partitions, panels, false ceilings, cupboard shutters, and panel door inserts, among others.
Products from this brand are-
DURATUFF MDF boards find application in both interior and exterior decoration & furniture making.
They provide the following products-
- Pre-lam Interior Grade
- Pre-lam Exterior Grade
- Plain Exterior Grade
- Plain Interior Grade
Price and size of MDF boards
Good quality MDF board price ranges from Rs 40 per square foot to Rs 120 per square foot. Also, the laminated MDF board price is higher than the plain MDF board price. The MDF board price highly depends on the thickness and grade of the material.
The standard size of MDF boards across most brands is 2440mm (8 ft) x 1220mm (4 ft). Thus, the MDF Board price is also standardized.
Other variants of size are available as per specifications. Thus, the MDF Board price also slightly varies.
MDF sheets are available in a great range of thicknesses from 5 mm to 30 mm, as per the application.
|1.||VIR||Interior and Exterior||8 ft x 4 ft||7.5mm, 7.8 mm, 8 mm, 9 mm, 11mm, 12mm, 15mm, 16.7 mm, 17mm, 18mm, 22mm, 25mm, 30 mm|
|2.||Archiply||Interior and Exterior||8 ft x 4 ft, 8 ft x 6 ft||5.5 mm, 8 mm, 9 mm, 11 mm, 12 mm, 16.7 mm, 17 mm, 18 mm, 25 mm|
|3.||Action TESA||Interior and Exterior||8 ft x 4 ft||5.5 mm, 7.5 mm, 8 mm, 11 mm, 12 mm, 15 mm, 16 mm, 17 mm, 18 mm, 25 mm|
|4.||Pioneer Panel||Interior and Exterior||8 ft x 4 ft||7.5 mm, 8 mm, 11 mm, 12 mm, 15 mm,17 mm, 18 mm, 25 mm|
|5.||CROSSBOND||Interior and Exterior||8 ft x 4 ft||7.5 mm, 9 mm, 11 mm, 12 mm, 15 mm,16 mm, 17 mm, 18 mm, 25 mm|
Our recommendations (Buy here)
Century Prowud Medium Density Fibreboard Densified Interior Range
Woodmartshop Pre-laminated Medium Density Fibreboard
|B U Y H E R E|
Archiply Decor Pre-laminated Medium Density Fibreboard
|B U Y H E R E|
VIR Interior Grade Medium Density Fibreboard
|B U Y H E R E|
Mark Glam Medium Density Fibreboard
|B U Y H E R E|
Action Tesa Pre-Laminated Medium Density Fibreboard
|B U Y H E R E|
Century Prowud Medium Density Fibreboard
|B U Y H E R E|
ASIS Exterior Grade Medium Density Fibreboard
|B U Y H E R E|
VIR Proplus (Exterior Grade Medium Density Fibreboard)
|B U Y H E R E|
Archiply Decor Plain Medium Density Fibreboard
|B U Y H E R E|
MDF boards are the result of the pursuit of substitutes for natural wood. It aimed to make use of the high levels of waste produced by lumber mills.
In recent times, it has emerged as a sustainable building material.
Besides being a strong and sturdy material, an MDF board also offers great flexibility in design.
While there are many reasons for using it, there are also drawbacks. Major drawbacks include the release of formaldehyde as well as expanding and warping issues. However, it remains easy to overcome all of these drawbacks by taking precautionary measures.
Safety measures can minimize these problems to a significant extent.
The categorization of MDF boards into different types depends on their finish, their density, and their special features.
Wall panelling, flooring, doors, cabinets, and other storage units mainly use MDF boards.
The designs and applications of MDF sheets are plenty.
If manufactured and installed correctly and with precision, MDF sheets are one of the best composite wood products on the market.