Wardrobe build - MDF thickness?


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20 Dec 2021
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Hi all,

Planning a built in wardrobe for the bedroom - see plans here. I'd appreciate some advice around material thicknesses.

wardobe plan.png

For reasons of cost (plywood is £££) and ease of finishing I'll be making it from melamine faced MDF.

The carcasses will be 18mm MRMDF. It's 3 double carcasses, with central dividers in the second and third units (from the left). My worry is the leftmost unit, which will be left as a double width. Will 18mm suffice? Worried most about the top and also the top shelf (above the clothes rail). Could go thicker (25 or even 36mm) but then worried about the additional weight this would add.


Hi Alex, you’ve probably got a few options. Add a divider above the shelf that’s above the clothes rail which would work even better if you could get some sort of fixing from the top of the carcass into the ceiling. You could add a solid wood lipping to the front of the shelf and screw through both sides of the carcass into the lipping, or you could add a simple frame underneath the shelf (maybe 2 x 1) and then face the seen part of the frame with some more mdf.

I’m sure more experienced makers will be along soon to give you more advice.

As above 18mm all the way. Or 19mm if its veneered*.

*TBH veneered is much better. Bare looks poor and painting is a pain. Plus veneer you can lip the edges in a matching timber which makes a more pro finish, as ends are even more of a pain trying to seal them.
You could add a say 30 mm strip to the edge of the double unit around the rear perimeter and a few cross members and fix a back panel to the strip / cross members ( if you are not already doing so )
18mm MFC, you can buy this in all sorts of finishes and the iron on edging to suit to finish the edges. We make this stuff all day in the factory in a kitchen/ bedroom manufactures and it lasts for years
One way to add strength to the double width top shelf would be put a length of metal angle full width below the front edge, hidden by a thin strip of trim, then pimp it up with LED tape behind. Even 20mm angle would help resist sagging.

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