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MDF Board or Particle Board? Find One That Suits You Best!

When it comes to choosing materials for your next DIY project or furniture upgrade, medium-density fibreboard (MDF) and particle board are two popular contenders. Both offer affordability, versatility, and ease of use.


MDF boards are one of the easiest and most affordable materials to get for your project. It is made from a mix of broken-down wood fibers and resin that are pressed together using high pressure and temperatures. It is a dense material that has a smooth and flat finish, making it ideal for painting, laminating, and veneering purposes.


Similarly, particle boards are engineered by pressing resin with leftover wood and dust using high temperatures. Particle boards are said to be a great, affordable alternative to MDF boards. Particle boards have a rougher surface and, because of their composition and density, are less likely to be used for heavy objects.

So, what are the key components and differences between the two? Here’s our breakdown of it.


MDF boards stacked up on top of each other in a workshop


Identifying Key Differences


  • Composition: While both materials are engineered wood products that are bonded using resin and pressed in high temperatures, both products have fundamentally different base materials. MDF boards use wood fibers mixed with resin, while particle boards use leftover wood from previous wood projects, such as wood cutting residue and sawdust.


  • Density: MDF are said to have a higher resistance than particle boards. This might be due to MDF boards being pressed at higher temperatures — resulting in a 500 to 1000 kg/mg³ density. Meanwhile, particle boards only have 16 to 450kg/mg³ density.


  • Durability: The difference in material density has also affected the board’s durability during use. Though particle boards can be used for heavy-duty furniture, such as wardrobes and hanging shelves, MDF boards remain the superior choice. The MDF board’s density and thickness allow it to withstand heavier objects without the risk of bending or breaking while in use. Additionally, MDF boards are also more resistant to humidity even before adding lamination on top.

  • Versatility: Both boards have the same amount of versatility to be transformed into practical furniture. However, the difference in strength and durability has made MDF the superior choice in this matter. Its thickness allows for a wide variety of furniture and is sturdy enough to keep its shape even after screwing a bolt onto it.


  • Price: You can find particle boards at a cheaper price compared to MDF boards. Seeing as particle boards are from sawdust and residual wood industry waste, it’s no wonder they are the more affordable option.


  • Sustainability: In terms of sustainability, both boards are great alternatives to solid wood. Particle boards are made from residual wood waste, such as sawdust and leftover chips from processing solid wood. Meanwhile, MDF boards (especially ones by PT Sumatera Prima Fibreboard) source their raw materials from tree trunks of unproductive rubber trees. By turning them into boards, these trees can prolong their expected use.


Two particle boards on a yellow background


By understanding the strengths and weaknesses of each material, you can confidently choose the MDF board or the particle board that best suits your needs. Consider using MDF boards if you have an extra buck and are looking for durable furniture that will last you a long time.


If you’re looking for MDF board suppliers that offer high-quality boards and have a great portfolio, be sure to check out PT Sumatera Prima Fibreboard (www.spf.co.id).

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