is mdf a hardwood or softwood?


MDF is a type of engineered wood. It’s quite different from softwoods and hardwoods. Unlike natural trees, engineered woods are being made in factories. 

Read on to know what this means.

When stepping into the market to purchase some piece of wood probably to build something. You will see their various types. Read more: types of MDF boards

With the help of knowledge about natural wood, you will recognize when the shopkeeper shows you options such as pinewood or fir, hardwoods such as oak, cherry, and so forth.

But, when it comes to MDF, it does not fall either in categories- Softwoods and hardwood.

Read more: Chipboad vs MDF.

Is MDF softwood or hardwood?

You surely question, MDF sheets look no different than wood so it should be either softwood or hardwood, right?

But the fact that you should know about MDF is that,

MDF, as the name suggests, contains wood fibers. Due to that, its physical structure is completely different from softwoods and hardwoods. In fact, regardless of the wood’s fibers are used in the manufacturing of MDF. The fibers will have no effect on the final product.

In simple terms, during the manufacturing of MDF sheets. The wood fibers are pressed down using heat, temperature and after that, fibers are glued and applied pressure to turn them into sheets. Is MDF strong?

As a result of all the treatment, the kind of wood fiber used is unnoticeable whether it was softwoods or hardwoods. Because that’s just a whole new product made, we call it engineered wood.

MDF sheets which are known as Medium density fiberboard is one of the types of man-made wood. 

What to know?

Knowing about softwoods and hardwoods will give you a better understanding that MDF is just a simple, man-made created wood. It has actually nothing to do with real wood.

So, softwoods and hardwoods differ in terms of their genetic makeup. Not their physical properties and structures.

MDF vs Softwoods Vs hardwoods

About Softwoods

Softwoods are conifers and normally have needle-like leaves. They generally have lower densities and are often light in colour. 

Softwoods usually grow quicker than hardwoods and are cheaper, softer and easier to work. Common examples of softwood include: pine, fir, spruce, larch and cedar.

About Hardwoods

A hardwood typically has broad leaves and comes from deciduous or broad-leaved evergreen trees. These trees grow slower than softwoods. 

Due to their denser structure, hardwoods tend to be harder and heavier. Water is transported through Hardwood’s xylem vessels.

About MDF

MDF is a material made of wood fibers. Wood fibers can be made of hardwoods and softwoods, but it does not actually make any difference. 

Is MDF a softwood?

No, MDF is not softwood like pinewood. It’s a man made material that is a cheaper alternative to wood. However, pinewood’s fiber can be used in making MDF but in the end, regardless of the wood fibers. It does not make any difference.

Is MDF a hardwood?

If you think MDF is strong and it could be hardwood? Then, you think wrong.

MDF is not hardwood like oak and cherry. Although it’s strong and can be a replacement for hardwoods, the fact is, it’s engineered wood. However, hardwood fibers can be used in making MDF.

Can mdf be used outdoors?

If you are planning to buy MDF for building outdoor furniture where the rainy weather is a threat. 

You should know that MDF sheets are not good to use outdoors. You will need to paint/apply a solid finish coat to protect it from humidity. Painted MDF can last longer than regular ones.

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