Materials Used in Designing Furniture

When it comes to doing up your interiors, designers will usually give you a wide range of material options. Some of the commonest ones are MDF, Plywood and Particle Board. However you can only make the correct choice when you are aware of the differences and relative advantages and disadvantages along with the basic characteristics of the material. Below are a few attributes of each of them.

MDF and its characteristics


MDF is an engineered wood product which is composed of fine quality wood chips. The fiber boards of uniform thickness are manufactured from wood, which has already been felled or scrapped. These wood chippings or wood compost is subjected to extremely high pressure and fed to a refiner with rotating segments. The whole bundle of refined material goes to the drier and is subjected to further gluing.

The major difference between the chips that are used for particleboard and the chips that are used for MDF is that MDF is glued with paraffin and lignin which makes the latter eco friendly.

MDF is an engineered product with high amount of structural integrity. The dimensional stability and versatility of this material makes it a preferred choice in the construction industry. Furniture, doors and high gloss flooring is made from MDF and it is a relatively high cost option.

Plywood and its Characteristics


Another common material used in designing furniture and for interiors, Plywood comprises of sheets or ‘plies’ of wood veneer glued together, with adjacent layers kept at right angles to each other. The juxtaposition of these layers gives it a tensile strength and sturdiness and enhances its ability to bear weight. Plywood is another dependable option after MDF that is versatile, can be made waterproof and very durable. It s also easily available.

Wood and its Characteristics

solid wood

Solid wood is undoubtedly the best option in terms of quality and endurance. Wood is still the preferred material for making furniture and high quality door. Furniture that is created with solid wood can easily be stained, varnished, painted and treated in various ways. While some wood types are soft and show a lot of wear and tear, other wood types like hardwood are extremely durable. However for ecological purposes wood is not an ecofriendly material as it is responsible for deforestation. Wood is also a quite expensive option as compared to MDF and particle wood.

Particle wood and its characteristics


Particleboard is made up of warm and compressed particles of wood which are mixed together with binding agents and then ultimately formed into a smooth sheet. The raw material of particleboard is any type of low investment wood comprising either of softwood or hardwood.

The usable properties of raw particleboard depend on the shape, dense characteristics and complete size of wood particles along with the kind of binding agent used. There are particle boards of extremely low density i.e. 350 to 450 kg/m3 used available while other high density particle boards with 4-5 layers (700 kg/m3) are also available.

Particleboard is a suitable material for making cabinet furniture, partitions and interior boards. The primary advantage of particleboard is that it is waterproof, highly strong and pretty easy to handle. This type of material is non inflammable and has good sound proofing qualities. It is affordable and can be easily cut, drilled and pasted.

The main disadvantage of particle board is that it is not ecologically clean as it has formaldehyde. It is unsuitable for use in high humidity areas.



by Sandesh Dhanraj, on December 7, 2015