High density boards or HDF (High Density Fibreboard) are compressed wood fiber boards. In general terms it is the same as MDF (Medium Density Fibreboard) or DM, although with a higher density, which improves some of its features.

HDF wood density

From what density or weight per cubic meter do we consider that we are facing an HDF and not an MDF? Well, the density of this type of industrial wood is between 800-1000 kg / m3.

To give you an idea, MDF is usually between 500-600 kg / m3.

Advantages of HDF material

Some of the characteristics of this type of fiberboard are similar in high and medium density.

  • Excellent surface for applying finishes: paints, lacquers, melamine, natural wood veneers …
  • Great stability Much higher in HDF. Lower expansion coefficient. In other words, it swells a lot less when it comes in contact with water. This is a striking feature when using HDF on laminate floors.
  • Very easy to process and machine the material.
  • Greater resistance to impact and torsion than MDF.

HDF water repellent and its resistance to moisture

Both HDF and MDF are marketed with a moisture-enhanced version, known as water-repellent MDF or HDF.

This is a sensible improvement, but it does not make it a product for outdoors or to be in direct contact with water or other liquids. That is, the resistance and its expansion are slightly improved, but it does not make it suitable for these uses.

Main uses of high density plates

The first thing to keep in mind is that for many uses of HDF, MDF can also be used, reducing costs. In other cases, when its use is more demanding, it is necessary to resort to plates of higher density.

  • Laminate floors. The main layer that constitutes a laminate floor is essentially a fiber board. When we are facing a quality floor, we are also facing an HDF. This improves its resistance to torsion, impact, improves its stability and has a much lower expansion coefficient against moisture. It also improves the grip of the anchoring system. This is one of those areas where density makes the difference.
  • Furniture manufacturing. Manufacture of all types of furniture. It is not specifically about cheap or low-cost furniture, because chipboard or MDF panels would be used for this. We are therefore talking about a medium range of good benefits.
  • Rear of cabinets and furniture. In small thicknesses, 3 and 5 mm.
  • Construction. In this area it is being replaced by other products such as OSB, phenolic or even MDF.
  • Kitchen countertops. The high density of the material gives the countertops the necessary strength for this type of use. In addition, the use of HDF allows to obtain benches between 1.5 cm and 2 cm thick with excellent performance.
  • Lacquered or painted surfaces. Using HDF not only improves the quality of the finish, but also reduces the amount of product needed. Therefore, greater investment in the board is more than justified in this case. For example, one sector in which this is very much taken into account is the manufacture of doors, mainly for the kitchen, but also for other types.

HDF vs. MDF

This is a recurring question, which board is better, hdf or mdf?

Obviously, a higher density of the plate offers more strength and stability. Therefore, in uses that we can call demanding, HDF is preferable. For example, as a work surface or countertops, manufacture of laminate floors, etc.

However, there are many other uses, mainly furniture or most interior coatings, where these superior HDF qualities are not used. In these cases, these are oversized projects with an unnecessarily high cost.

On the other hand the advantage of MDF over HDF, in addition to the price, is the lightness. In other words, it is preferable in situations where weight is a variable to be taken into account: decorative structures, doors …