Difference Between MDF and Plywood Boards for Waterproof Screen

difference between mdf and plywood

Difference Between MDF and Plywood Boards for Waterproof Screen

If you are planning to work on a wood project, you might be wondering which type of wood to use: MDF or plywood. Both are engineered wood products that are widely used for furniture, cabinets, shelves, and other applications. But what are the differences between them, and how do they affect the quality and durability of your project? In this article, we will compare MDF and plywood in terms of their composition, appearance, strength, cost, and suitability for different purposes.

What is MDF?

MDF stands for medium-density fiberboard. It is made from wood fibers that are glued together with resin and pressed into flat panels under high heat and pressure. MDF has a uniform and smooth surface that is easy to paint or stain. It is also available in water-resistant and fire-resistant forms.

What is Plywood?

Plywood is made from thin sheets of wood veneer that are peeled from logs and glued together in layers with the grains at right angles to each other. This gives plywood a strong and stable structure that can resist warping and cracking. Plywood also has a natural wood grain appearance that can be enhanced with veneer or paint. Plywood comes in different grades and types depending on the quality of the veneer and the glue used.

MDF vs Plywood: Comparison

Here are some of the main factors to consider when choosing between MDF and plywood for your project:

  • Cost: In general, MDF is cheaper than plywood. The price depends on the thickness and grade of the material, but MDF usually costs less than plywood of the same size and quality. If you are on a tight budget, MDF might be a better option for you.
  • Appearance: Plywood looks more like real wood than MDF. Plywood has a natural wood grain pattern that can be attractive and authentic. Higher grades of plywood have smooth and even surfaces with few or no knots or defects. MDF, on the other hand, has no grain and a flat and dull surface. MDF can be painted or stained to improve its appearance, but it will not look as natural as plywood.
  • Strength: Plywood is stronger than MDF. Plywood has a layered structure that gives it more strength and rigidity than MDF. Plywood can also bend slightly without breaking, which makes it suitable for curved shapes. MDF is softer and more prone to sagging or splitting under pressure or weight. MDF needs to be reinforced with additional supports or frames if used for load-bearing purposes.
  • Durability: Plywood is more durable than MDF. Plywood can withstand moisture, temperature changes, and impact better than MDF. Plywood also does not expand or contract as much as MDF when exposed to humidity or heat. Some types of plywood are specially designed for outdoor use and have water-resistant and boil-proof glues. MDF does not handle moisture well and can swell or warp if wet. MDF is more suited for indoor use only.
  • Workability: Both MDF and plywood are easy to work with using common tools and techniques. Both can be cut, drilled, nailed, screwed, glued, sanded, routed, etc. However, there are some differences in how they behave when worked on. MDF produces more dust than plywood when cut or sanded, which can be harmful if inhaled. MDF also tends to dull blades faster than plywood. Plywood can splinter or chip along the edges when cut or drilled, which can affect the quality of the finish.

Which One to Use?

The choice between MDF and plywood depends on your project requirements and preferences. Here are some examples of when to use each one:

  • Use MDF if you want a cheaper material that is easy to paint or stain.
  • Use MDF if you want a smooth and consistent surface with no knots or defects.
  • Use MDF if you want a fire-resistant or water-resistant material for specific applications.
  • Use plywood if you want a stronger material that can support more weight or pressure.
  • Use plywood if you want a natural wood look that can be enhanced with veneer or paint.
  • Use plywood if you want a durable material that can withstand moisture, temperature changes, and impact.
  • Use plywood if you want a flexible material that can bend slightly or form curves.

Waterproof MDF

Waterproof MDF is a type of MDF that has been treated with a water-repellent substance, such as wax, to make it more resistant to moisture. Waterproof MDF can be used for applications where exposure to water or humidity is expected, such as bathrooms, kitchens, or outdoor furniture. However, waterproof MDF is not completely immune to water damage and may swell or warp if submerged or exposed to excessive moisture for long periods of time.

ASIS MDF board

ASIS MDF board is a brand of MDF board manufactured by ASIS Shirdi Industries Ltd., an Indian company that produces various wood-based panels. ASIS MDF board is made from eucalyptus and poplar wood fibres and has a high density and strength. ASIS MDF board is suitable for furniture, cabinets, doors, partitions, and other interior applications. ASIS MDF board comes in different sizes, thicknesses, and grades to meet different customer needs.

MDF screen

MDF screen is a decorative panel made from MDF board that has been cut or carved into various patterns or designs. MDF screen can be used as a room divider, a wall accent, a window covering, or a privacy screen. MDF screen can add visual interest and style to any space and can be customized to fit any theme or preference. MDF screen can be painted, stained, or laminated to achieve different effects.


MDF and plywood are both useful materials for various wood projects. They have their own advantages and disadvantages that you should consider before choosing one over the other. The best way to decide is to evaluate your project needs and goals, as well as your personal taste and budget. Hopefully, this article has helped you understand the difference between MDF and plywood and how to choose the right one for your next project.

Scroll to Top