All you need to know about the MDF boards

MDF in full means medium-density fibre-board, this is made by softwood or hardwood residuals which are broken down into fine particles and then blending it with resin binder and wax after which pressure and high temperature are applied.

This article will expound more on the MDF board, its advantages, disadvantages, its uses, and many more.

MDF board has replaced the use of solid wood. It is highly demanded by architects, builders and woodworkers. Its bulk production began way back in the 1980s to date.

Uses of MDF board

The MDF board is used in making furniture e.g. closets, storage units, tabletops, flooring, ceiling, shelves, cabinet fixing in the kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, and the theatre set building. It can also be used in making tradeshow booth and on speaker boxers.


Compared to the natural wood mdf board price in Kenya is very affordable and easily available in the market.

Advantages of MDF board

  1. It has stable dimensions which do not contract or expand like natural wood.
  2. It’s flexible and can be used for making different shapes.
  3. It’s very affordable compared to natural wood.
  4. It is very smooth and does not have knots
  5. It is easy to drill and file without damage because it does not have grain in it.
  6. It is flat, dense and stiff.
  7. It works well with PVA wood adhesive
  8. Strong pull-out strength on the surface.
  9. It has a smooth surface when painted.

Disadvantages of MDF board

When exposed to water, especially the low-grade quality will swell making it break.

When cutting or sanding, it produces formaldehyde which is carcinogenic to humans and hence may lead to allergy, and lung and eye irritation.

It makes its cutting tools dull quickly and hence needs replacing often.

Features to note before purchasing an MDF board

This board comes in three different types based on their specific features thus fire retardant, ultra-light and moisture resistant MDF board.

The fire retardant MDF board are used in the kitchen. It has blue or red stamps on the edges.

Ultra-light is used on furniture, especially where weight is an aspect to deem. this is because it is light in weight it’s almost less than 30 per cent of the normal weight of a standard MDF board.

Moisture resistant MDF board is recommended for wet rooms like bathrooms. It has a green label on the edge.

In terms of finishing, we have laminated and veneered MDF boards

Laminated MDF boards have an extra coating on the fibreboard surface that gives it a smooth finishing and are scratch-resistant and more durable making them a better substitute for plywood.

This MDF board can either be laminated on one side or both sides. It is suitable for making tabletops, panels, closets shutters, doors, partitioning etc.

Veneered MDF board is fabricated from high-grade veneers affixed to medium thickness fibreboard giving it a more natural finishing compared to the wood.

This board is fabricated by rolling a thick hardwood all over the MDF board under pressure and heat. The veneer coat protects it and makes it more durable and cost-effective. It can be used in interior wall designing, offices, and conference walls.

In terms of grading the MDF board is graded as external grade and interior grade.

The external grade is MDF board favourable for outer dressings due to its heat and moisture resistant features but on the other hand, the interior grade is good for interior fittings.


MDF board has both pros and cons it is still highly desirable in the market due to its strong and durable and easy to design features. I will recommend the MDF board as a suitable building material over wood.

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