A computer desk is a mandatory element of furniture in almost every home.
The tabletop is the working surface of the table and, without exaggeration, one of its most important components.
After all, the convenience, durability, practicality and appearance of the product depend on the tabletop. Therefore, when choosing a table with height adjustment, you should pay attention to the material from which the tabletop is made.
Among the materials used today for the production of furniture in general and tabletops in particular, chipboard and MDF are the most popular.
The biggest advantages of both materials are as follows:
- moisture resistance,
- wear resistance,
- ease of processing,
- affordable price.
In order to choose the best option for yourself, let’s try to understand what is the difference between chipboard and MDF.
Properties and characteristics of chipboard
Chipboard (chipboard), belongs to sheet building materials, is widely used in construction, repair and furniture production.
The main parameters of chipboard: grade, class, brand
According to the quality of the chipboard surface treatment, there can be three grades:
- first grade – full compliance with the standard, impeccable technical condition, monotony of color;
- the second grade – a board with a rougher texture, slight peeling of the edges and scratches are permissible, in other parameters, chipboard does not differ from boards of the first grade;
- the third grade (or out of grade) – slabs for construction purposes, the rough structure of the base prevails, since a large wood texture – bark – is used in the production.
Laminated chipboard of the first grade is usually used for desk tops.
Classification of chipboard
Chipboard classification is carried out according to the presence of phenol-formaldehyde resins, which are used in accordance with the pressing technology, and includes the following types of boards:
Chipboard e 0 – class E0 means that the emission of formaldehyde in the board = zero.
Environmentally friendly chipboard E0 is safe for human health and the environment. Making furniture from chipboard E0 – there will be no harmful smells and fumes in the house, which makes it safe for your household members;
Chipboard e 1 – plates of this class are distinguished by a high eco-index, therefore they can be used for finishing living spaces and manufacturing children’s furniture;
Chipboard e 2 – the volume of impurities exceeds the permissible eco-norm, therefore boards of this class are used in areas where there is no contact with people.
Chipboard marking involves the mechanical differences of plates:
p-A – moisture resistance, bending strength, increased resistance to mechanical deformation;
p-B – the characteristics are somewhat inferior to the p-A brand, but the advantage of chipboard of this brand is the low price.
The properties of chipboard are explained by the expediency of using the board: the material made of fine shavings has all the technical parameters of natural wood. Formaldehyde resins are used as a binder when forming pressed boards, which do not in the least reduce the main quality indicators of chipboard: lightness, versatility, practicality and aesthetics.
What is MDF?
MDF is a wood-fiber board, and here is the first difference from chipboard: in the manufacture of MDF, fibers are used, and not wood shavings. In addition, the adhesive component here is paraffin, which is considered more environmentally friendly and safer than formaldehyde resins.
MDF facade processing techniques
The following techniques are used to finish the MDF facade and give it an attractive look:
- covering with a film,
- coating with paint;
- coating with high-quality ADLER multi-layer varnish.
Film coating is the application of a PVC film to the workpiece. The film is very thin – 0.3-0.5 mm. When heated, it easily sticks to the surface of the plate, including all milling recesses (if any). When the film hardens, it becomes very strong.
The combination of MDF and PVC film is used quite often in modern furniture. This option is perfect for use in furniture: MDF has high strength, resistance to high humidity and temperature changes, and the film is easy to keep clean.
One of the main design advantages of film surfaces is the diversity of the color palette. Plates covered with a film can be matte or glossy. Another way to make MDF surfaces beautiful and original is patination. Patination gives the film-covered MDF board an antique effect. The patina itself can be dark, silver or golden and is best combined with a film imitating wood.
The technology of painting MDF boards may differ at different enterprises, since the modern market presents a huge number of paints, enamels, varnishes and other materials that differ from each other in terms of their technological properties. However, there is a large selection of brands that produce high-quality primers, paints, enamels and varnishes specifically for working with MDF.
Advantages of MDF painting: a variety of colors and finishing options (taking into account the finishing effects: chameleon, mother-of-pearl, patina) – thousands of decor options; the possibility of correcting minor defects.
ADLER Bluefin Pigmosof varnish, which is used specifically for MDF surfaces, is a real find for beauty, comfort and safety in design.
Bluefin Pigmosoft is a water-based color varnish, matte, with incredible resistance to scratches. But the most amazing thing is the innovative self-healing formula that doesn’t leave fingerprints. Minor scratches that appear on the surface of the tabletop disappear thanks to a truly unique technology. Without exaggeration, we can say that this method of processing MDF is a new generation of furniture!
So – chipboard or MDF?
So, as we can see, the main indicators of chipboard and MDF are quite similar, but there are certain differences in them, the consideration of which will help you make the right choice of table top for a lifting table:
- environmental friendliness: MDF is considered a more environmentally friendly and safer material, but high-quality chipboard meets the necessary safety standards;
- moisture resistance – both chipboard and MDF are resistant to moisture, but this indicator is much higher in MDF.
- wear resistance, strength: both options have proven themselves quite well and are reliable and durable when used correctly.
- aesthetics: with MDV slabs, the widest possible option of developing an individual design, pattern, and various effects is possible.
- one of the advantages of a tabletop made of MDF is the absence of an edge, unlike chipboard, which can come off over time.
- price: both chipboard and MDF are considered budget options, but the price of MDF is higher.