• March 2, 2023 /
  • Interior

MDF VS Plywood

The wood product chosen is the foundation of any piece of furniture. As wood becomes scarcer and more expensive, a wide range of pre-processed boards is now accessible, and plywood and MDF are the most commonly utilized. Let's know the pros and cons of both kinds of wood below.

How does MDF get designed?

MDF is a sheet material, not a hardwood, made by fusing fine wood fiber and glue together using heat and pressure. The final sheet material is both robust and easy to deal with. It is also eco-friendly, as it is made from repurposed wood! In addition to MDF, low-density fiberboard and high-density fiberboard are available.


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S.No. Advantages of MDF Disadvantages of MDF
1 Because MDF is inexpensive, it is helpful for most people looking for less expensive home décor materials. MDF comes with VOC comprising urea- formaldehyde, which can damage the eyes and lungs.
2. MDF is created through the recycling process, and as a result, it is environmentally beneficial. MDF absorbs water more quickly than wood. As a result, it is prone to swelling and inflicting harm.
3. The surface is smooth. When stressed, MDF can readily split or shatter.
4. It is simple to paint. A lot of dust is emitted into the air during MDF production, which might be dangerous.
5. MDF is a solid, flat, and dense material that is easier to drill and cut into without damaging it. MDF is not as sturdy as wood.

MDF price-affecting factors

The cost of an MDF board is determined by a variety of factors, including:


MDF is classified into four categories; Ultra-light MDF, the least expensive to MDF plain, average price, and Fire-resistant MDF, slightly more costly. The most expensive is moisture-resistant MDF.


High-quality MDF combines wood fibers with resins and other materials. The higher the percentage of wood fiber in this mixture before pressing (to a specified level), the higher the quality of the MDF. As a result, MDF sheets containing a higher percentage of wood fiber are more robust and durable but also more expensive.

Supply and Demand

The following determining factor is simply market supply and demand. MDF, like all other forms of lumber and engineered wood, has become increasingly expensive due to increased demand vs. a minimal supply that has been declining.


The grade of the MDF you purchase will also affect the pricing. You have two grades of MDF, inside and exterior. Exterior grade MDF is produced with moisture-resistant adhesives and resins, making it suitable for indoor and outdoor use. In contrast, standard interior MDF is not moisture-resistant and cannot be used outside. This alone raises the cost of exterior- grade MDF.

What is PlyWood?

Plywood is another engineered wood product created by pressing and binding wood veneer sheets to form a single solid piece. Plywood, like MDF, comes in various thicknesses and grades, allowing you to select the best one for your project.

Lower grades are employed in house construction. The higher grades of plywood (stain grade, cabinet grade, and so on) are significantly more excellent and smoother. Unlike MDF, they have continuous wood grain showing and are free of knot holes and other severe flaws. Veneered plywoods are also available in various wood species (for example, oak, Sapele, or ash), allowing you to achieve the desired look for your project.

S.No. Advantages of Plywood Disadvantages of Plywood
1 It is available in various thicknesses ranging from 6mm to 32mm. It is difficult for ordinary people to determine which wood veneer was used to make the plywood.
2. Plywood is often made of many wood species and is less vulnerable to water damage than MDF. It is quite difficult to cut.
3. It is simple to polish or paint. It emits hazardous VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds), which can cause eye irritation.
4. It can create a smooth surface for laminate or veneer to adhere to. Moisture Resistant (MR) grade plywood may be harmed by water.
5. It can be carved into whatever form you like. During transit, it frequently acquires splinters from the edges.
6. It withstands shrinking, bending, twisting, and cracking. It costs more than Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF).
7. It is less expensive than solid wood.

Plywood affecting Factors:

The wood type used in making

The primary cause for the variation in plywood board prices is the type of wood used to form the core. A better grade of wood used in plywood will result in greater pricing.

Face Veneer Type

When plywood is made with high-quality face veneer, it looks and behaves like wood veneer but is considerably stronger and more expensive. Therefore, the vast bulk of face veneer for plywood in India is imported from other countries. Among the most well-known face veneers are Gurjan, Okoume, and Keruing. Face veneers are graded AA, A, B, C, D, and E. Superior-quality face veneers are thicker and more expensive than inferior veneers.

The number of Layering

The more plywood layers there are, the greater the anisotropy of the wood. Adding more layers, however, necessitates using more glue. Plywood boards with many layers will thus necessitate additional technology and materials, which will be more expensive.

Is plywood waterproof or not?

In Waterproof plywood, pricey undiluted phenolic resin is utilized for gluing cores together instead of Urea formaldehyde resin. As a result, the price of plywood rises.

Consider these points if you receive a higher price on the same type of plywood from another vendor. Does plywood indeed have a higher quality wood core and a higher grade face veneer?

The average 4*8 sheet with a thickness of 1/4 inch might cost anything from $6 to $45. A sheet with an 11/32-inch thickness could cost anything from $15 to $120.

This article provided all your information regarding MDF and plywood for home décor. Plywood and MDF are handy materials for numerous DIY projects around the home. But, as a general rule, MDF is preferable for indoor furniture or ornamental purposes, particularly if you intend to cut finely carved trim or motifs and plan to paint the finished piece. In addition, plywood is ideal for outdoor use, framing walls or building floors, crafting kitchen or bathroom cabinets, and curved projects.

Hence, while selecting these materials, choose high-quality, long-lasting materials according to your requirements.

Check out more information MDF vs Particle Board


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