MDF vs HDF: Head to Head Comparison

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When choosing between products, you can sometimes be tempted to choose the product with higher durability. However, that might not always be the right choice. This is the case for MDF and HDF. That’s why you need the full difference. 

What are the main differences between MDF vs HDF?

MDF has a density ranging from 600 to 800 kg/m3. On the other hand, HDF has a density of  800 kg/cu meter. This makes HDF much heavier and more durable than MDF. But less density makes MDF easier to saw and cut. Other than that, MDF is also cheaper than HDF. 

Are you still not sure? We understand your confusion. That’s why we have an article just for you. 

Give us some time and learn all there is to know between MDF and HDF!

MDF vs HDF: A Short Comparison

Knowing the difference between MDF and HDF is important. It helps you decide what you need. You could be curious about the differences between SYP and SPF for example. That’s why we have the basic differences between MDF and HDF just for you. 

They’re very similar in many ways. But if you install one in place of another, it can ruin your project. 

Let’s not waste any time! Dive in to see their basic differences:

Aspects MDFHDF
Price $5.58- $24.51$5.58- $25.5
Strength and durability Medium-strongStrong 
What they’re made ofWood fibers, wax, raisinsWood fibers, wax, raisins
Easy to work with EasySomewhat easy 
Common usesFurniture, flooring on washrooms, decorative items, cabinetsLaminate flooring, door skins, baking panels. 
Style and finishingConsistent structure and smooth finishingSmooth finishing and uniform structure 

Now you know the basic differences. But you also have to know that this isn’t enough. You need the full picture. Don’t worry, we have just what you’re looking for. 

MDF vs HDF: Overall Comparison 

When you’re in the market for something, you’d want the best one. It’s similar to wanting the perfect wood for your basement stairs. In order to do that you need the full comparison between multiple factors. 

That’s why we have the head-to-head comparison you need in detail. Let’s find out- 

Price and Availability 

Both MDF and HDF boards are cheaper than plywood. But both of their prices vary according to their thickness. MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard) comes in thicknesses ranging from 12mm to 20 mm thick. 

HDF (High-Density Fiberboard) is available in thicknesses of 3.0mm, 4.8mm, and 5.5mm.

Let’s find out what their prices are!

MDF boards prices and availability: 

ThicknessPriceAvailability
20 mm$5.8Highly available 
18 mm$10.86Highly available 
12 mm$12.25Highly available 

HDF boards prices and availability:

ThicknessPriceAvailability 
3 mm $6.00Highly available 
4.8 mm$8.35Somewhat available 
5.5 mm$14.25Highly  available 

You now know the differences in prices for both fiberboards. Let’s find out their other details!

What They’re Made Of 

They’re both made by putting wood fiber and glued together under extreme pressure and heat. They are great for the environment due to the recycled nature of their construction. 

They can also be used as a substitute for genuine wood. 

On that note, we’ve recommended some good quality wood products:

Product 1
Product 2

These are both good quality products. Have a look and see if there’s anything you like. 

Strength and Durability 

MDF is an engineered material. It’s manufactured with a lot of heat and pressure. This gives it the appearance of a particleboard but with a higher density.

MDF has a higher density than many hardwoods, ranging from 600 to 800 kg/m3. It also resists warping and swelling in high-humidity environments such as restrooms and washrooms. 

On the other hand, HDF is similar to particleboard and MDF. But it is significantly harder and denser. 

It has a density of more than 50 lb/cu ft (800 kg/cu meter). This is an excellent stabilizer for laminate and engineered hardwood floors.

Neither of these boards is fully water-resistant. But HDF is significantly more water-resistant than MDF boards because of its density. 

In conclusion, HDF is significantly stronger and more durable than MDF. 

Easy to Work With 

MDF is significantly easier to work with. This is because they’re not as dense as HDF. This makes sawing a lot easier. As a result, the board is free of knots and grain. 

HDF on the other hand is much denser. This makes it harder to saw or cut. 

Common Uses

You should know some common woodworking tips before using any one of these two. But anyhow, let’s check out the differences-

MDF is the more adaptable and lighter of the two wood product options. It is normally used for furniture, flooring in washrooms, cabinets, and decorative items. Because it’s less water-resistant it’s better not to use it on wet surfaces. 

On the other hand, HDF is a more durable and pricey choice. It should be used on furniture with frequent uses. It can also be used in laminate flooring and door skins. 

Style and Finishing 

MDF has a consistent structure. It offers a smooth finish that is ideal for lacquered and painted effects. 

MDF can also be readily shaped into beautiful shapes due to its small particles. This ensures a flawless finish on the final product. 

HDF also has a smooth finish like MDF. But HDF is much harder to style. This is because they are heavy and hard to cut through. This is why there’s a chance of cutting your finger while working with this wood. 

Now you know which one is better for you. But we will give you our two cents about which one to choose.  

Final Verdict: Which One to Go For 

If you want something that’s strong enough to withstand heavyweight, go for HDF. 

If you are a newbie and want to cut and shape your boards, it’s better to choose MDF. If you’re thinking of using MDF, make sure not to put too much weight on it.

FAQs

Question: Is MDF good for the subfloor? 

Answer: MDF is a great choice for your underlayment because it’s both affordable and simple to deal with. MDF can be used as an underlayment, but it’s better for places that aren’t prone to dampness.

Question: Does HDF contain formaldehyde?

Answer: Yes, HDF contains formaldehyde. It contains around 75-80% urea-formaldehyde or melamine urea-formaldehyde as the binder. 

Question: Is HDF wood cancerous?

Answer: Yes, it can cause cancer. It results in lesions. It causes harm to the eyes, skin, lungs, and heart. It is heinous and poisonous.

Final Word

MDF vs HDF, now you know the difference between these two. But we would like to give you one last piece of advice-

Always make sure you buy a product that has no cracks or dents. Wood products can be sometimes faulty. 

Good luck with your DIY project!

Richard Allen