As an online furniture retailer we're often asked about the differences between various types of wood. Or why we opt to use Medium Density Fibreboard (MDF) in our furniture rather than our competitors who use Particleboard.
Well, we believe that as a consumer you should know exactly what you are buying, so we've put together a short guide on the more common types of wood. A great place to get started if you're interested in buying furniture!
A quick-read glossary:
- Plywood is a series of thin sheets of wood which have been glued atop each other to make a single thicker piece of wood. It's considered more durable than solid wood because it is less prone to cracking, shrinking and warping.
- Particleboard (or chipboard) is made by combining wooden particles such as woodchips, shavings, and saw dust which are compressed and glued together to form a single piece of wood. Its raw materials make particleboard extremely cheap to purchase but it's also the weakest of the woods mentioned in this article. While particleboard has its applications in the furniture industry (a lot of Ikea and Fantastic Furniture is made using particleboard) it's often recommended to steer away from particleboard in furniture that will support weight.
- Medium Density Fibreboard (MDF) is similar to particleboard but uses finer wooden particles during the manufacturing process. While it sounds like a minor adjustment it makes medium density fibreboard (MDF) a much stronger and more durable material which is great when purchasing furniture. You can be assured that your medium density fibreboard (MDF) shelf will take more weight and last longer than the same design made out of particleboard.
- Solid Wood is used to refer to natural lumber rather than man-made wood products such as those mentioned above. Solid wood is often viewed as more aesthetically pleasing because it can feature the true grain of the wood which is lost if using man-made wood products. However, the downside is that solid wood products are less efficient (there is more waste) and are considerably more expensive than their man-made wooden counterparts.
- Wood Veneer is a term used to describe a thin sheet of wood which has been affixed atop another piece of wood to provide a certain aesthetic. When purchasing furniture the presence of a veneer will really only affect the visual look of the piece.
It's important to note that each type of wood has various different styles and qualities (there are many varying grades of particleboard and MDF) but this little primer should give you a basic understanding of the differences!
Hope this helps and feel free to
contact us if you have any other questions!