28 Jul

What’s the Difference Between MDF and Plywood?

Okay all you DIYers out there, today we’re rolling up our sleeves to delve into the exciting world of MDF and plywood. You’ve likely heard these terms thrown around, but what are they really? And when should you use each one? Hitchcock and King are here to break it down for you.

What is MDF?

MDF stands for Medium Density Fibreboard. In simpler terms, it’s basically a man-made wood product formed by breaking down hardwood or softwood residuals into wood fibres. We then mix these fibres with a bit of wax and resin binder, heat it up, and press it into panels – voila, you get MDF. Its surface is smooth, making it perfect for jobs that require a tidy finish, like your MDF panelling and MDF boards.

MDF & Sheet Materials In Fulham

What is plywood?

Unlike MDF, Plywood is made by gluing together multiple thin layers, or ‘plies’ of wood, at alternating right angles. This ‘criss cross’ arrangement helps plywood to stay strong and resist warping. It’s versatile, available in various thicknesses (you can even get plywood cut to size), and can handle more weight than MDF.

What are the pros and cons of plywood?

Plywood boasts a variety of benefits. It’s strong, stable, and less likely to warp under changes in temperature or humidity. Plus, it’s water-resistant, so it won’t swell up like a balloon when it gets a bit damp. On the flip side, it’s usually more expensive than MDF, and the edges can look a bit rough if not properly finished.


What are the pros and cons of MDF?

MDF also has its strengths and weaknesses. It’s cheaper than plywood, has a smooth surface that’s perfect for painting, and it’s consistent in thickness across the board. But, it can be a bit of a pain when it comes to water, soaking it up and swelling. It’s also not as strong as plywood, so it won’t hold up as well for heavy-duty jobs.

What are MDF and plywood best used for?

For MDF, think of jobs that need a clean finish. It’s perfect for things like decorative wall panelling, shelving and cabinetry. Plywood, on the other hand, is your go-to for jobs requiring a bit more muscle, like subfloors, roofing and wall sheathing.

Builders merchant supplying materials across London

Need MDF sheets or plywood boards for your next job? Hitchcock and King have got your back. We’ve been supplying top-quality materials across London for years. Whether it’s MDF, plywood, or any other building materials, we’ve got what you need. 

Contact us today to place your order.