Natural timber has some undeniable advantages; it has great visual appeal and is a relatively stable material. However, there are situations and conditions where its use is impractical or impossible. Financial constraints, weight requirements, and moisture in the environment may necessitate other timber panels. Manufactured panels and laminated boards such as medium density fibreboard and plywood are some common timber products used in construction and furnishing.
Plywood is the main form of the laminated board which is made with wood veneers. The thin veneer sheets are bonded together in alternating grain directions to create a strong board. This process is called lamination. Plywood timber panels see frequent use in the kitchen, bathroom, and laundry cabinets, where hardness resilience in moist conditions is needed. The alternating grain directions make the board much more stable and less prone to expansion and reduction. Plywood is cheaper than solid timber, but it is also more expensive than some other laminated board options.
Medium density fibreboard, or MDF, is another type of timber panel which is manufactured from wood fibers of various timber species. The wood fibers are combined with resin and pressure to form the fibers into a solid, uniform and smooth board, although not as hard as plywood. MDF is most commonly used in some cabinet construction and shelving projects where it can even be covered with decorative veneer. It is mostly limited to indoor usage away from excess moisture.
To learn more about laminated boards and other timber panels, visit Processed Forest Products.