Man-made boards  Buying Guide

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MDF

Medium-density-fibreboard (usually called MDF) is the most well-known type of fibreboard. It’s made from wood fibres that are compressed and bonded together with an adhesive under pressure. MDF comes in a range of thicknesses, in a sheet size of 2440mm x 1220mm. You can paint the cut edges without the need to cover them with veneer or wooden lipping.

Plywood

Plywood consists of thin wooden veneers bonded with an adhesive on top of each other with the direction of the grain alternating at right angles in each layer. The edges are smooth enough to leave plain, or you can cover them with a thin strip of veneer or wooden lipping. Thicknesses go from 3mm to 18mm, and the standard sheet sizes are 2440mm x 1220mm.

Hardboard

Hardboard is made from compressed softwood pulp without added adhesive. The thin sheets are pretty easy to cut, although they’re not as rigid or strong as other man-made boards. But hardboard is a cheap alternative that’s ideal for drawer bottoms or as underlay for some floor coverings. Standard hardboard is 3.2mm thick, shiny on one side and textured on the other. Please note: hardboard relies on the naturally occurring adhesive from the wood that held the fibres together in the original tree. Consequently, hardboard will absorb moisture readily from the atmosphere and may swell in the process. We recommend that every board be conditioned with a pint of water (spread evenly over the textured face) and left to condition for 24 hours prior to fixing. Alternatively, the boards should be left for at least three days in the area of their final fixing to condition naturally.

HDF

High Density Fibreboard (HDF) is an engineered board produced from resin bonded wood fibres under high pressure and heat. HDF is a non load-bearing product for interior use in dry conditions. HDF, due to its very fine surface, is suitable for different coatings, veneering, laminating, painting and varnishing.

OSB

A strong versatile board, ideal for flooring, roofing and walls. Structural fully engineered board. Can be used in humid conditions

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