which is better particle board or mdf ?

- Jul 27, 2019-

Particle board vs mdf

      Both particleboard and MDF or medium-density fiberboard pressed wood products. that formed by using a hot press machine that squeezes the component materials. into flat boards of varying thickness. Particleboard. and pressed wood MDF share advantages over solid wood and plywood density, uniformity, and price. While solid wood is far more attractive as a finish material. often the under layers of cabinets, paneling. and furniture made from either particleboard or MDF.

      Comparing the less expensive price, density, strength, and durability of particleboard and MDF. you will find that they are quite similar. But, The two wood-based composite materials indeed different.


       particle board , (or chipboard, oriented strand board) is an engineered wood product manufactured from wood particles. such as wood chips,small wood,waste wood, sawmill shavings. or even saw dust, and a synthetic resin or other suitable binder, which pressed and extruded much denser.

      particle board is a type of oriented strand board fiberboard. but it comprised of bigger pieces of wood than medium-density fiberboard and hardboard building material.

       Particleboard is less expensive, denser. and more uniform than the usual wood and plywood. and substituted for them when appearance and durability are less important than cost. But, particleboard can made more attractive by painting. or the use of different types wood veneers that glued onto surfaces that will be visible. 

      Though it is denser than conventional wood. it is the lightest and weakest type of fiberboard, except for insulation board. Medium-density fiberboard and hardboard foundational material. also called high-density fiberboard, therefore stronger and denser than particleboard.

      A major disadvantage of particleboard is that wood composite is very prone to expansion. and discoloration due to moisture, particularly. when it is not covered with paint or another sealer. Thus, it is primarily used outdoors or places that have high levels of moisture. except for some bathrooms, kitchens and laundries. where it is commonly used as an underlayment. beneath a continuous sheet of vinyl floor covering.

      Medium-density fiberboard (higher density MDF) is an engineered wood product formed. by breaking down softwood into wood fibers. often in a defibrator, combining it with wax and a resin binder. and forming panels by applying high temperature and formaldehyde resin pressure. It made up of separated fibers (not wood veneers). but can used as a building material similar in application to plywood. It is much more dense than normal particle board.

       MDF has many advantages over plank wood, particleboard or high density fiberboard. It's very smooth because the wood fibers used in its manufacture are uniform and fine. This makes it have low "tear out," which means that when sawed, the end has a smooth cut instead of a jagged edge. 

        This also means that a coat of primer. and a couple of coats of paint take well, leaving an attractive, finished surface unlike. other composite wood  products. fiberboard mdf also has a mild reaction to moisture. meaning it won't warp or swell in high-humidity applications like a bathroom cabinet.

       Builders often use medium density fiberboard in furniture, shelving, laminate flooring, decorative molding and doors. They value board mdf for its heat and sound insular forest products qualities. Also, it can nailed, glued, screwed, stapled or attached with dowels. making it as resourceful as plank wood. 

       Usually, people working with medium density fiberboard use a carbide saw. fitted with a vacuum to reduce the amount of airborne dust. Since board mdf strengthened with resin containing formaldehyde. those at exposure try to reduce their risk of inhalation. or use special fiberboard mdfwith lower formaldehyde levels.

       Reconstituted, engineered wood products like medium density fiberboard. are often covered in a veneer or laminate. These thin layers of vinyl or real wood disguise the MDF, especially along visible edges. Some people prefer using fiberboard mdf over regular lumber. because it has a lower impact on the environment. medium density fiberboard is solely made from waste products, the leftover scraps. that would otherwise dumped in a landfill. This attraction has helped it gain popularity among homeowners.

Moisture resistance is different grades.

       As the particleboard and medium-fibre raw materials are all very fine toner ink. from the moisture-proof point of view. soaking a piece of wood fiber in water will expand like bread. while soaking wood product the Particleboard in water. because the long wood fibers of particleboard. keep more wood consistent wood grain showing. so expansion to a certain extent will not expand. performance, the comic version is still much better than the waste-wood product MDF. 


mdf board

cons and pros

MDF Advantages

-Cost: as mentioned above, MDF is a cheaper alternative to solid wood.

-Uniform product without knots or blemishes.

-Provides a flat, smooth surface that makes it ideal for veneer substrates

-Doesn’t include grain, which means that its properties are exactly the same in all directions

-Easily takes paint and other finishes

-Doesn’t expand and contract according to weather conditions like wood

MDF Disadvantages

-MDF tends to be absorbent, which means that it will suck up paint and can swell if it becomes wet.

-Needs to be properly sealed to prevent moisture damage and warping

-Nail holes can create a puckering effect.

-Inserting screw or nails into the edge of the board will result in splitting.

-The formaldehyde used in the manufacturing process is a known carcinogen. Many companies are phasing this chemical out of their production process. and introducing safer alternatives.

particle board Advantages: 

      waterproof, strong, easy to handle. Particleboard “holds” nails and screws, could machined (cut, drilled, milled, etc.), glued. and painted. One more particleboard benefit is a low price. That is why particleboard. is the most used material for the fabrication of economy-class furniture. the majority of office furniture made of particleboard.  

      With some of its physical-mechanical properties particleboard even surpasses natural wood. particleboard swells less than natural wood, is low-inflammable. does not warp and has thermal and soundproof properties.   .

      particle board Disadvantages: formaldehyde resins. which bind wood particles.Particleboard extract a certain amount of formaldehyde. Thus, it is not the most useful product, which has to changed. 

Particle Board Disadvantages

-A wide variety of chemicals, including formaldehyde, used in the manufacturing process. When particleboard cut and sanded, these chemicals released. which means that anyone working with these materials should limit their exposure time.

-Particleboard is also sensitive to moisture. If it becomes saturated with water, it will swell and crumble.

-Cheap particleboard tends to sag over time. It is not ideal for long lengths of shelving that need lasting structural integrity.

Physical properties are different.


The density of use properties of particleboard affects almost all properties of particleboard. Its distribution in thickness direction is uneven. The density of surface layer is high, and the density from surface layer to core layer decreases . Generally speaking, the density is the average density of particleboard. According to the national standard. the density of particleboard is generally 0.50-0.85g/cm3. MDF board has uniform density and excellent physical and mechanical properties. fine wood chips is the closest to natural wood. and superior to natural wood in all kinds of wood-based panels.


The surface is different.


particle board has flat surface. realistic texture, uniform bulk density, small thickness error, pollution resistance. aging resistance, beautiful appearance. and can used for various wood chips veneers. MDF board sheetshas smooth surface and good machinability. It can pasted with planned thin wood pattern. and novel and beautiful decorative paper. it is very popular in home decoration . and is often used to make  natural wood furniture and partitions.



particle board is commonly used in lower-end furniture. floor underlayment and as a substrate for kitchen and bathroom countertops. The material can milled with all power tools but is subject to a moderate amount of tearout. The surface of particleboard is usually finished with a thin layer of laminate. or veneer to improve its appearance. Particleboard is difficult to mold or shape because of its tendency to chip and break.

MDF preferred by manufacturers of higher-end furniture, cabinetry and shelving. This panel-board type is easier to mill than particle board . because it resists chipping and tearing. MDF can shaped and molded by all power tools and is thus widely used for molding. MDF may finished with veneer or laminate and, unlike particleboard. accepts paint without undue absorption or undesirable warping.

Particle boards and MDF. or medium-density fiberboards. used in furniture production and household construction. because of their advantages when it comes to uniformity, density, and price. In practice. both terms are often used. which but does not take the differences between these materials into account.

Which is better and how to choose when buying


particle board price

Looking from the outside.

       The particle size and shape of wood chips in the center of the cross-section. can seen in particleboard. The length is usually 5-10MM. solid woods structure is too long and loose, and the deformation resistance is too short. 

       The so-called static bending strength is not up to the standard. The MDF woodfiber board depends on whether the thickness. and density of wood chips are uniform. whether the edges damaged. whether there are stratification, bulging, carbonization. and other phenomena, and whether there are soft parts. Points.

See moistureproof performance.

       Moisture resistance of wood office furniture panels depends on their density. and moisture-proof agent. Soaking in water is no good for moisture-proof. Wood particle Moisture-proof means moisture-proof, not water-proof Wood fiberboard. so, it is necessary to distinguish between them in future use. 

       The moisture content of particleboard should generally controlled at 6-8%. otherwise the board will absorb moisture and deform. MDF solid wood face can saw a small piece of medium density fiberboard. and soak it in water at 20 C for 24 hours to observe its thickness change. and to observe whether there are small bulges on the surface of the board. Thickness varies. and there are small bulges on the board surface. which indicates that the waterproof property of the board surface is poor.

Look at the smell.

      When choosing to use olfaction. we should choose medium density fiberboard with less stimulation. because the larger the odor, the higher the formaldehyde emission.  the greater the pollution.

Environmental protection grade.

        Formaldehyde. and other harmful wood veneers substances released. from solid lumber core veneer different grades of particleboard are less. than those from Medium-density fiberboard

More reading

What Is The Difference Between MDF And HDF

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