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MDF or Chipboard

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Freetochat

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The wife has pursuaded me that a new kitchen is in order. Looking at building the carcass, DIY warehouses use chipboard, but both MDF and Chipboard laminated is available. What would be the best to select, MDF or Chipboard?

Thanks

John
 

jasonB

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Not much in it really but I would go for chipboard, Buy 8x4x18mm sheets not thin 15mm Conti board, the core is denser and the melamine harder, but it's still lighter to handle than MDF. With the right screws you will bet a better bite into the edges without the risk of splitting the board.

Jason
 

JFC

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I would go for exterior grade mdf for wet areas and moisture resistant mdf for the rest and spray the lot .
 

ike

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Hi John,

Two replies, two preferences - can't get fairer than that! :lol:

MY two-penneth - well MDF's is bloody heavy so better have good anchorage for wall cupboards. MDF's available water resistant I don't know if laminated chipboard is, but either way with full lipping, chipboard' be fine. I'd go with the notion that pullout resistance in chipboard might be a little better than MDF but it all depends on the grade. Cheap grade chipboard a la budget flat packs definitely s**te. "Quality" bought kitchens all seem to be MDF.

But for my money when I do my kitchen eventually, I'm going for carcass framed construction. Appropriate hardwood for visible elements and good quality softwood, spray-finished for the rest. Carcass/frame also has advantage of economical use of material, WW satisfaction, and light weight.

cheers,

Ike
 

Waka

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John

You can get some really good dence chipboard nowadays, I got some a few years ago from Silvermans in Bournemouth for some cupboards and it was excellent quality, i used the iron on edging strips and they really looked good.

Ike's idea is also a good option.

I've never used MDF so I can't comment on it, but a lot of guys do produce some lovely projects from this.
 

JFC

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You can also get mdf lite but its not as dence as normal mdf so no good for routing flutes into it as it firs up .
 

stonebas

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Ike

You mentioned spray-finishing the softwood carcases. Can you tell me what it is you spray onto them and why? I am considering carcases rather than chipboard for my new kitchen but I am not sure of the advantages/disadvantages.

Cheers

Stonebas
 

JFC

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Im not to sure what is meant by soft wood carcase sounds expensive to me , maybe i've got the wrong idea. I normally build kitchens out of mdf and make the doors using a cabinet door making kit bought from trend .
If its a wooden front you are after you can also use the door making kit to make a shaker door or shaker and bead with a raised panel , but you will need a router table to use the kit . They do a few different profiles . Ill try and post a link to the doors i made using the kit .....
http://www.angelfire.com/al4/jfcj/weekend_003.jpg
 

JFC

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Yeah im not to good at posting pics and links ,or it could be the host site . Try clicking on my www at the bottom of my post and look under work pics . They are the last ones on there so you may need to go to page 2 to see them. I can put a close up there for you or email you the profile if you like .
If you look at the oak door you can see the raised and fielded panel .
 

JFC

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maybe chipboard has moved on since i last used it 10 years ago ? If you want the latest in kitchens then they seem to be going the plywood route now . So you see the laminated ends . A good grade ext ply will give you the same effect rather than marine ply . You could oil the insides and just paint the doors .
 

Freetochat

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I thought about going the plywood route, as I would prefer that, but stock levels are almost non existent, and I don't fancy laminating all the boards myself.
 

ike

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Stonebas wrote:

You mentioned spray-finishing
I'm thinking solid colour paint for insides at least. I don't know that I'd want a painted external finish yet. Spray-finished simply to look smooth and professional as opposed to brushing (e.g. oil-base primer/undercoat and eggshell topcoat).

JFC wrote:
Im not to sure what is meant by soft wood carcase sounds expensive to me , maybe i've got the wrong idea
I'm referring to Frame and Panel construction - rebates, M&T's and so on. I'm not thinking kitchen fitter thoughts here, I'm thinking "non-professional, time isn't all about money, do it for pleasure,make good use of my workshop thoughts" here. There's not a terrific amount of solid timber in a carcase frame. Even factoring in for fancy wood-veneered MDF, I don't think it's necessarily any more expensive, maybe even cheaper than using all-lam/veneered MDF or chipboard.

I just thought John might appreciate an alternative approach than what one generally finds in the showrooms.

cheers

Ike[/quote]
 

Freetochat

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Ike - thankyou for your view. I must admit that your sentiments concerning time and doing it for yourself is something I can relate to you. The boss didn't agree to finished wood, something about wanting a surface easily cleaned. I'm still trying to work through that one! :lol: As we have a kitchen/diner, something more furniture like would suit.

John
 

Scrit

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Moisture-resistant MDF is a LOT more expensive than standard MDF (2- to 3 times the price) and is normally not available in melamine faced. Lightweight MDF is [probably about 5 to 10% lighter, but to go really lightweight you have to use ultra lightweight (MedeLite) - however neither is normally available in melamine faced! You are therefore left with MFC (melamine faced chipboard) or MF-MDF (melamine-faced MDF) - the MFC is available in a far wider range of colours/patterns, and again is some 20% cheaper (and lighter) than MF-MDF - main use is in shop fitting, PoS stands, etc. If you do go MFC, try to find a better quality booard, e.g. Egger. The plywood ends you often see are an edgebanding called "multiplex" - applied onto MFC - which is still the material of choice for the upper echlon German kitchen makers such as Siematic, and in 15mm too. Go figure.

My personal preferance would be for birch plywood...
 

jasonB

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Scrit":3i48f1nt said:
Moisture-resistant MDF is a LOT more expensive than standard MDF (2- to 3 times the price)
Don't know where you have been buying you MR MDF but it's £2-3 more per 8x4 sheet where I get it fromI only buy MR now as I find it gives a better cut edge than standard grade

If you look at the weights you will see that lightweight is 20% lighter than standard and ultralight is around 33% lighter but the cut edges are very fluffy

Another option for the carcases would be to use one of the many wood effect chipboardsthat are available, which could match the grain on the doors/faceframes.

Jason
 

Scrit

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Just checked my last three bills for MR and std MDF. The difference was nearly 50% more - alright not 2 to 3 times, but still a lot. I normally buy in half to full pack lots. In terms of edge finish CaberDecor and Kronospan MDF seem to give a far better finish than Medite. although Caber is hellishly dusty to work. Darker coloured, too.
 

Real wood

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If im making a hardwood kitchen i use veneered mdf. Its available in most of the hardwoods and looks superb when finished. Then i either glue veneer on the front edge or fit a face frame. Im just building a maple kitchen at the moment.
An 8x4x18mm sheet costs me about £25 per sheet and its faced both sides.

steve
 
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