MDF vs Plywood: What are the differences? Best tips for you!

You are choosing the type of wood to decorate the interior of your house. Currently, there are many types of wood with different properties. In this article, we will help you distinguish MDF vs plywood. Consider which wood is best for you.

What is MDF?

MDF is an industrial wood created from a combination of wood pulp and chemical additives. Then undergo the necessary processing and press into sheets of the most common sizes. 

In terms of structure, the MDF board has basic components. These include wood fiber powder, binders, paraffin wax wood protectants and inorganic fillers.

MDF is a material for the production of home and office furniture. In addition, the manufacturer also uses this wood for some outdoor requirements. Gluing veneer or decorating by coating melamine on the surface is also made of MDF.

What is Plywood?

Plywood is the creation of the wood industry with the combination of many layers of wood veneer perpendicular to each other. People often use glue to fasten these layers of wood. Then press it with a hydraulic machine to stick the board together.

Plywood is durable, resistant to environmental impacts. It doesn’t even warp when in use. There are many different types of plywood on the market today. Each type will have its own unique characteristics, so depending on your needs, you can make the right choice.

What are the differences between MDF vs Plywood?

Visually, MDF and plywood appear to be the same. Each type has different ingredients. Wood fibers are the raw material for the production of plywood. Wood planks are the raw materials for the production of plywood. Both types of wood have the same manufacturing process. It is using glue to stick and press with heat and pressure. Therefore, both types have different characteristics.

1. Plywood is more like natural wood than MDF

Plywood is the wood chips and wooden planks that are glued together. They are the natural woods after the manufacturer has harvested and cut them into wooden planks. 

These wood planks make the plywood look more like real wood. Plywood still has the same grain as solid wood, but it’s not as aesthetically pleasing as solid wood. 

In the gas, MDF does not have wood grains. MDF is just small wood fibers so the surface is not as smooth as plywood.

Plywood is more like natural wood than MDF

2. MDF is heavier than plywood

Wood fibers are the raw materials that make up MDF. Manufacturers have to use multiple layers of glue to bond as many layers of wood fibers as possible to ensure firmness. This makes MDF a lot thicker than plywood. 

MDF is heavier than plywood. When lifting or holding MDF furniture, you need a lifting shelf to be able to lift it.

3. Plywood has higher bearing capacity than MDF

Comparing the structure of the two types of industrial wood we see the basic difference. One side is wood fiber mixed with glue evenly, the other side is natural wood layers stacked on top of each other. So, the stability of MDF will not be as high as Plywood. 

The contact surface of the veneer is wider. So, the tearing properties are better. That leads to the strength of Plywood more than MDF.

4. MDF produces more dust than plywood when cut

The structure of MDF consists of wood fibers, glue and other chemicals. That’s why MDF produces more sawdust than plywood. Therefore, you need to protect your eyes with goggles when cutting MDF panels.

5. MDF is easier to cut than plywood

Because of the strength and high strength of plywood, it makes plywood more difficult to cut than MDF. The structure of plywood is wooden planks stacked on top of each other. It is not suitable for fancy curves. 

The edges of the plywood are very rough so during cutting it can tear. In contrast, the softness of MDF is high. So, MDF is easy to cut and does not crack the edges. Forming with MDF is also much easier than plywood.

  1. MDF is easier to paint than plywood

Aesthetically, both of these woods require a topcoat. Although Plywood has the outer surface layers are all natural veneer layers. 

However, this veneer is short-term natural wood. So, even though the outer surface is a natural wood layer, it is not aesthetically pleasing. Therefore, it is still necessary to use common external coating surfaces.

With MDF wood core when gluing coated or painted surfaces to adhere to the paint very well. It is easy to apply the outer coating. All stickers will be smooth and beautiful.

MDF is easier to paint than plywood

Plywood though has been sanded in the final step of production. When spraying paint on the upper surface, it is inevitable that the points of natural veneer layers are unavoidable. 

Surface finish will not be MDF. When comparing plywood and MDF in terms of aesthetics, it is clear that MDF has an advantage. MDF is easier to stick to paint and apply surface layers.

6. Plywood is easier to anchor than MDF

Plywood is very durable so you can easily tighten screws with plywood. Meanwhile, MDF is softer, so the anchoring is not really good. 

Because, MDF easily loosens layers of glue and wood fibers if you try to tighten the screws. Therefore, if your products need a lot of nails and screws, you should choose plywood.

Frequently asked questions

1. Should I choose MDF or Plywood?

Each type of wood has its own advantages and disadvantages. The choice of MDF or Plywood depends on your needs. 

If you make indoor furniture such as tables and chairs, shelves, etc, you should choose MDF. Plywood has strength and water resistant properties. So , it is very suitable for making both indoor and construction furniture. 

No type of wood is better than another. So you should consider your needs to choose the right type of wood.

2. Which wood is more expensive?

Currently, MDF is more popular than plywood. Because this is an industrial wood with a mid-range price. MDF furniture is available at a popular price that is suitable for most families. Therefore, this is currently the most popular and used wood. 

Plywood is a side but the price is quite high, so it is less popular. When calculating to make furniture, a few people use plywood even though it has more features. Most people only use plywood when they really need its good water-resistant properties.

Final Words

Above is the difference between MDF vs Plywood. We hope that this information will help you in choosing materials for your project.

Reference Source: Difference Between Particle Board vs MDF vs Plywood (Tamil)


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