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HDF vs MDF

Published : 23/06/2016 14:51:34
Categories : Product Information

We have had a lot of people contacting us recently to find out if we manufacture skirting and architrave from HDF rather than MDF. After doing some digging around online, we realised that the reason we were being asked so much is that another online supplier makes the following claims:

 

“HDF is a highly moisture resistant material which is stronger and harder than MDF”

“HDF is far superior compared to standard or premium MDF”

This, unfortunately, is not at all true and is causing confusion for consumers who do not have access to the correct information.

 

What is HDF?

HDF (High Density Fibreboard/Hardboard) is like MDF in that it is a man-made composite panel product that is manufactured from compressed wood fibres. It is a stronger, harder product than MDF with a typical density of up to 900kg/m3. HDF is predominantly used in laminate flooring products where this density is required, though other uses include door skins and underlayment.

HDF is a very thin board, with a typical thickness of 3mm-8mm, and is also often supplied perforated, meaning it is completely inappropriate as a substrate for creating interior mouldings. You may have seen HDF in your home as it is also commonly used as backing panels for furniture- if so you will understand how unsuited this material is for creating skirting boards and architrave!

 

If you see skirting boards and architrave at thicknesses of 15mm and more advertised as being cut from HDF we would recommend insisting that you see the data sheet or specification for the material being used, as it will definitely not be an HDF. Most likely it will be a dense grade of MDF being sold under the wrong name.

Difference between HDF and MDF

This image demonstrates the difference between various wood panel products- HDF (hardboard) can be seen on the far left, with the MDF on the far right being standard 18mm thickness.

Why The Confusion?

Not all MDF’s are created equal.

There are different grades of MDF to suit different applications, and one of the key differentiating factors is the density of the MDF. The MDF we use (follow link for more information) is, as far as we can establish, the best MDF available for our purpose. Standard-grade MDF has a typical density of 680kg/m3 – 730kg/m3, whereas the moisture resistant MDF that we use is a premium grade and has a density of 800kg/m3.

The density of MDF is important in the manufacturing of skirting boards and architrave for 2 main reasons:

  1.      The more compact the fibres are, the less likely it is that the MDF will become ‘furry’ when the profile is machined. If MDF does become furry it can lead to imperfections in the paint finish as loose fibres get trapped by the moisture in the primer or paint and harden as it dries.
  2.    Skirting boards need to be as durable as possible to withstand knocks and bumps from furniture and people over time. A denser board will have a greater resistance to damage, meaning it will last longer.

High Density Fibreboard sounds like it should simply be MDF (medium density fibreboard) with a higher density. Therefore, it is easy to see why some people may think this to be the true state of things. The name does in fact make it sound superior to MDF because density is important (as established) and HDF has a greater density than MDF. The truth is that HDF and MDF are completely different products for different purposes.

HDF vs MDF

Another visual example of how High Density Fibreboard (HDF) dffers from MDF. The uppermost board is HDF hardboard and is completely unsuitable for skirting boards and architrave.

Don’t Just Take Our Word for It!

 

All of the information in this post is correct at the time of writing, and you can confirm any part of this article by visiting the following sources:

 

http://walzcraft.com/cabinet-refacing/refacing-materials/#mdfhdf

http://www.richwoodind.com/composite-panels/2-uncategorised/57-hdf48.html

http://www.decorativesurfaces.org/products/hardboard.html/details/

http://www.medite-europe.com/products/medite-fq

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hardboard#cite_note-1

 

Technical information has been provided by:

 

http://www.lathamtimber.co.uk/

http://uk.kronospan-express.com/en/products/view/kronobuild/fibreboards/mdf-mr/moisture-resistant-mdf-30

If you need any more information on this subject please get in touch with our sales team and we will be happy to help!

About the Author

Kieron Miller is the Managing Director of Skirting 4 U and has been working in the skirting board and online retail industry since 2012. Kieron has been using his extensive product knowledge and problem-solving experience to help both trade and private consumers all over the country find the perfect skirting board products for their projects. He continues to innovate new solutions and product ideas as the market continues to grow.

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View all comments (1)

Ashish Pandey


10/08/2016 10:00:09

This is very usefull blog for those who is looking for MDF boards products.

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