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Plywood and MDF Board

Planning for renovation or purchasing a ready-made furniture? You need to know the differences between Plywood and MDF. While these two materials seems similar , both have their pros and cons. Decide which materials function better in your renovation project or furniture by comparing these key differences.


1. Material

Plywood starts off with very thin layers of wood from peeler logs. Available in different thicknesses and grades


MDF stands for Medium Density Fiberboard. It made by hardwood and softwood fibers, glued together with various resins, and subjected to high heat and pressure to form panels.

2. Surface

Plywood looks more like real wood as it is made with wood strips and carries grain. It is stainable and perfect for kitchen cabinets, tabletops and other projects where you want a large, stained wood surface.


MDF has no grain, looks like pressed wood fibers. Smoother surface hence it is great for painting.

3. Strength

Plywood are stronger and more solid than MDF, can gently bend to create curves; plus, plywood won’t expand, contract, or warp, even under temperature extremes.


MDF are softer material and tends to sag or split under pressure. Hence it is not recommended to build shelves or other weight-bearing furniture.

4. Screw Holding Power

Plywood holds screws very tightly since the varying grains of wood on each layer give the screws something to hold onto.


MDF doesn’t hold screws very well because it consists of fine particles.

4. Water Resistance

Plywood does not soak up water and liquids like MDF. Thus, it is less susceptible to damage.


MDF tend to soaks up liquids and swells if not sealed well.

5. Limitation

The edges of plywood are rough and not well suited to fancy curves or cuts due to its stacked construction.


MDF are easy to cut , because of its lack of grain and its softness. It won’t splinter or crack along the edges, even if you carve in curves, sharp angles, or ridges , hence it is suitable for furniture, frame, or cabinet door with elaborately scrolled trim.

6. Sawdust Level

Plywood has lesser dust when cutting , yet still need to be extra cautious about working in a well-ventilated area.


MDF creates far more sawdust when cut than plywood, required to wear a respirator or other protective mask and goggles.

7. Pricing

Plywood cost higher than MDF.

8. Weight

Plywood are light weight compared to MDF.


MDF weight more than plywood as it is denser than plywood.

Hope the description and comparison listed above helps you to have deeper understanding about Plywood and MDF board.


Already have a renovation idea in your mind and decided which materials to go now ? Book an appointment and talk to us today !


#sghomerenovation #carpentrysingapore #renovationproject

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