Details of 5 Manufactured Woods
Details of 5 Manufactured Woods

Manufactured wood is available in many forms, Plywood, Particle Board, (MDF) Medium Density Fiber Board, Furniture Board and Melamine.

Formaldehyde is used in the Manufacturing process of Particle Board Products, the amounts and the possible out-gassing could be a possible risk to some. Formaldehyde occurs naturally in all wood, No One can say their Wood is Formaldehyde Free.

Manufactured Wood for Cabinetry is used for the Boxes, Base, Toe Kick Area, Drawer Sides and Bottom plus most of the Door Center Panels. Without Plywood or Particle Board Cabinets would be Expensive, Heavy and Very time consuming to construct.


Plywood, a very common household Word. Plywood has been with us since the Late 20's. A Standard Sheet of Plywood is 4' by 8' but Some of the Big Box Stores will Cut it for you.

Plywood for Kitchen and Bath Cabinets
Plywood for Kitchen and Bath Cabinets

Plywood is first a Tree, Cut, Sent to the Mill. At the Mill the Logs are Spun on a Machine that Peels off a Thin Layer, Like Toilet Paper, the Layers are cut to Size and Stacked. The Layers then go through a Glue Process on their way to be Pressed into a Sheet of Plywood.

Using Plywood for Kitchen and Bath Cabinets in most cases is Upgrade from Particle Board. Plywood is not affected by Moisture as easily as Particle Board. Plywood is an Excellent choice for Construction of a Sink Cabinet or any Cabinet that is going to be near Water.

Plywood may not be the Best Choice for some Portions of Cabinet Construction, like Door Panels that have little to no support to keep the Panel Stable. Plywood can and will warp in certain conditions without Support. Offshore Plywood is more subject to warping that Domestic brands.

Particle Board

Particle Board is derived from Mill Waste like Saw Dust, small Wood Chips and Pieces from Cutting Lumber. The Chips & Dust are mixed with Resins and other Binders then Pressed at about 440 psi at Temperatures up to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Particle Board can also be Extruded into the shape and size desired.

Particle Board (LDF) Low Density Fiberboard
Particle Board (LDF) Low Density Fiberboard

Particle Board (LDF) Low Density Fiberboard is 1 of the 3 Densities of this form of Engineered Wood Products. MDF is Medium Density Fiberboard, and the HDF High Density Fiberboard. LDF is the Lowest in Density and Strength as the Letters indicate Higher Density and the Strength.

Particle Board acquired a Bad Reputation from the Swelling, Warping and Structural Break Down when it gets wet, That has not changed. Particle Board has many Practical uses that don't involve Moisture.


MDF or Medium Density Fiberboard is the next Grade up from Particle Board. MDF is made of Small Wood Fibers Pressed at an increased Pressure and higher Heat than Particle Board. MDF does not have any Voids like Particle Board hence a very Smooth Finish.

MDF Medium Density Fiberboard
MDF Medium Density Fiberboard

MDF is more Graceful and Heavier than Particle Board so its uses may not be the same as Particle Board. MDF is easy to Paint and the edges are easily formed with a Router or edge Banded. I Prefer MDF over Particle Board for Shelving.

Furniture Board

Most Furniture Board is Particle Board at the core. The Applied Finish could be a Plastic or some Synthetic Laminate Material. The Design is a Printing of a Wood Look, that is Heat Laminated to the Particle Board and in some cases Plywood.

Furniture Board is Particle Board at the core
Furniture Board is Particle Board at the core

If you look Closely at the Edge Image on the Left there is a small section that is edge banded with the same material. This Type of Lamination is inside most Kitchen and Bath Cabinets. It should be noted that this type of Lamination is also applied to Plywood.

Furniture Board is used for Cabinets, Office and Home Furniture, Shelving, Paneling and many other uses. Furniture Board is Useful and Economical.


Melamine to most Wood Workers is the White 4 by 8 Sheets at the Big Box Store. Melamine is a nitrogen based compound used to make many things. Melamine does not have to be White, some of its uses can be almost any Color.

Melamine for Kitchen and Bath Cabinets
Melamine for Kitchen and Bath Cabinets

Melamine has had its ups and downs since the 1950's in Animal Feed and China has misused Melamine in Food Products. Melamine is used for Dishes, Utensils, Food and Non Food Containers. Melamine is also used as a Coating Material for Wood and Plastics.

For Wood Products Melamine is a Hard Smooth Surface that is very Durable, Resisting Scratching, Staining. Melamine coating on Wood is Waterproof and Cleans up Easily. Melamine is used for Kitchen and Bath Cabinets plus it is a very Popular Material for Closet Upgrades.

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