MDF panels, appearing on the domestic market, instantly conquered it. It is a durable and safe material with excellent aesthetic properties and maximum ease of installation. Both walls and ceilings can be clad with them with equal success, but so far it is more often used for finishing the surface of the walls. Manufacturers offer a lot of different solutions, so before buying it would be nice to understand the entire assortment, learn how to choose MDF panels and what to look for when buying.
# 1. Features of production and advantages
For the production of MDF panels, wood chips are used, which are mixed with urea resins. From this homogeneous mass, boards are formed, which are dry-pressed under the influence of high temperature and pressure. As a result, a dense slab is formed, which is given the necessary decorative properties at subsequent stages of production.
The rapid spread of the material is dictated by the mass of its advantages:
- beautiful appearance and wide selection;
- ease of installation and maintenance;
- panels can be installed in any direction;
- there is no need to carefully prepare the original surface, because the panels will hide all minor defects in the walls or ceiling;
- Since the panels are mounted on a batten, there is space between them and the original surface that can be used for routing cables or for additional sound insulation.
# 2. Why is MDF better than chipboard?
Often MDF boards are compared with chipboard products: they are made from wood chips, and they look very similar in appearance. The difference lies in the type of chip binder used: higher quality materials are used in the production of MDF, so the boards are stronger and safer.
The main advantages of MDF boards in comparison with chipboard:
health safety. Phenol-formaldehyde resins are used as a binder in chipboard. As a result, the material can emit formaldehyde, which, even in small quantities, can cause serious harm to human health. That is why the production of chipboard has long been abandoned in Europe. MDF panels are completely harmless to health, therefore, they are used even in children’s rooms;
protection against moisture. Chipboards are covered with a water-repellent compound, but the protective properties are not long enough, after which the boards can swell under the influence of moisture. MDF panels are much more resistant to moisture.
Nevertheless, it should be noted that MDF panels are more sensitive to high temperatures than particleboard, and their main drawback is a high fire hazard.
No. 3. Types of MDF panels depending on the production method
Although the principle of production of MDF panels remains general, some nuances can be used that affect some of the properties of the material. Depending on the technological features of production, the following types of panels are distinguished:
solid pressed. The most common and common option. The wood pulp is compressed under high temperature and pressure, and the result is a board with smooth surfaces;
laminated. They are produced in the same way as solid-pressed ones, but with one difference – at the final stage, the front panel is covered with a thin polymer film, which becomes additional protection against moisture and mechanical damage. The film can be of absolutely any color;
moisture resistant. For this type of board, the highest quality wood is used. Sawdust, together with a binder, lend itself to longer processing at high temperatures, resulting in more durable and resistant to negative effects of the board. They can be used for cladding bathrooms and balconies.
No. 4. MDF panels according to the method of design of the front part
To give the material an attractive appearance, the front part is decorated in one of the following ways:
The choice of a particular option depends on personal preference and design features of the room.
Depending on the features of the front surface, MDF panels are also divided into:
No. 5. Size of MDF panels
Each manufacturer produces MDF panels with the parameters that it considers necessary – there are no unified requirements yet. The length and width of the panels varies widely, the thickness is usually 5-25 mm.
Depending on the shape and size of the panels, they are usually divided into:
No. 6. The best manufacturers of MDF panels
SWISS KRONO GROUP
Sometime in 1897, it was a small sawmill located in Austria. Today the group of companies includes a lot of factories located around the world, its products are in demand all over the world, and the company’s name has become a kind of quality mark. In 2002, the company’s plant was also opened in Russia, which is now well known as Kronostar. This enterprise is today considered the largest producer of wood-based panels in the country.
On the territory of the country, MDF boards from Kronostar are very popular, because their quality is European, and prices are domestic. The company offers a huge selection of such panels, they have a lot of advantages, are used for wall cladding and, if desired, ceilings, can be laid horizontally, vertically or at an angle.
This Austrian company with more than a century of history is today considered the world leader in the production of MDF panels. They use only the highest quality raw materials, modern high-tech equipment and constantly introduce innovations, as a result of which the products constantly receive prestigious awards. The company specializes in the production of laminate and MDF panels, each time striking with new developments. The products are exported all over the world and are also represented in Russia.
The Portuguese company, whose factories are now located in 12 countries of the world, is not much behind the giant in terms of sales. The company has existed since 1959, at first it produced plastic products, then it produced chipboard, and since 1990 it has been producing MDF panels. Today the company is one of the three largest manufacturers of MDF panels in the world. Such high results were achieved thanks to a strict approach to quality control, continuous improvement of technologies and expansion of the range.
The company has been operating since 1969 and today unites production in Turkey, Romania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and recently a plant was opened in Russia, so the company’s products are actively entering the domestic market and are distinguished by a fairly low price. High production turnover allowed the company to enter the top five woodworking companies in Europe. The factories of the enterprise use modern technology, new technologies are constantly being introduced. The assortment of the company includes MDF panels with a wide variety of coatings and different sizes, and there are so many decor options that everyone will definitely find an option for themselves.
Large domestic enterprise, which includes several factories. The production of MDF panels is carried out by OJSC “Lesplitinvest”, which uses the best and most advanced European technologies, adapted to domestic operating conditions. Today 35 types of various panels are produced here, and equipment of Italian, German and Swiss production is used. The assortment includes veneered, painted and laminated panels, a lot of design options. The prices are different: there are budget options, and quite expensive ones.
“Zheshart plywood factory”
The company has been operating since 1946, and today it is one of the main domestic producers of MDF boards. The products are used not only in Russia, but are also actively exported to neighboring countries. Modern equipment is used, new progressive technologies are constantly being introduced, and production volumes are increasing.
LLC “Master and K”
This group of companies has been the flagship in the domestic market for the production of MDF panels for several years in a row. The manufacturer appeared in 1995, started with the manufacture of chipboard, and today its range is very extensive and also includes MDF panels. They are presented in several collections, which are constantly updated and replenished with new types, so the buyer will certainly be able to find himself an option with the necessary technical characteristics and design.
Another responsible manufacturer of MDF boards with a full cycle production. The company itself produces logging, it itself produces low-toxic resins used as a binder, produces plates on modern German equipment. The company’s specialists control all stages of production, which allows us to achieve high quality products.
LLC “MDF Plant”
A full-cycle enterprise that is engaged in the selection of timber resources, timber harvesting and directly the production of MDF boards. At each stage of production, strict control is carried out, so the products are of good quality.