There are many important differences between particle board medium density fiberboard and solid wood. These days, it’s not uncommon to see a home adorned with coffee tables, desks and even kitchen tables made of composite wood materials like particleboard or medium-density fiberboard (MDF). While these wood substitutes certainly have some valid uses considering they are much cheaper than solid oak or Custom Farmhouse Tables.
Particleboard, which has been utilized for making cheap furniture, paneling, doors and cabinets for more than 50 years, is made of compressed resin and wood chips. It’s definitely not known for its strength or durability, but its affordability makes particleboard a rather popular choice for anyone who needs a less expensive piece of furniture.
One of the primary issues with particleboard, aside from its physical weakness, is its sensitivity to moisture. Just a little dampness can make the material expand, so using it outdoors, in a kitchen or in a bathroom, is not a very good idea.
On the other hand, Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF), which is made of compressed wood fibers, wax and resin, is much stronger and denser than particleboard, but it still doesn’t hold water compared to solid wood – literally. While MDF isn’t likely to split if kept in a perfect setting, exposure to moisture can lead to swelling and cracking of the material. There are different strengths of fiberboard, including LDF & HDF, low density fiberboard and high density fiberboard as respectively.Low density fibre board – more commonly known as cork board
Both particleboard and MDF aren’t particularly great for the environment either, as the manufacturing of each requires a number of toxic chemicals.
If you’re looking to decorate your home with items that are not only aesthetically pleasing, but are also guaranteed to last a lifetime, going with reclaimed barn wood is a no-brainer.
Unlike particleboard or MDF, antique wood has natural character that you simply can’t recreate in a factory. If the wood comes from a century-old barn, it’s withstood the elements for generations so you can rest assured that a coffee spill isn’t going to come close to compromising the material.
If you are buying new furniture make sure to double check the material that the piece is made from. If you choose to use MDF or particle board for furniture, make sure to keep away from water, and/or choose a piece, such as a bookshelf, that is not as susceptible to every day wear and tear. If you are looking for a piece of furniture that will last a lifetime, go by the old adage, quality is king.