Uses And Benefits Of Using Man Made Wood Sheets Over Real Wood

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Man made wood boards are a cheaper alternative to real woods, but there are still benefits of these fabricated materials. When it comes to real wood the material can be prone to splitting, and it can be difficult to use where knots are involved. As appose to man made wood sheets where this is not an issue. The material is easy to cut, normally done with a circular saw for a clean cut. As the board is manmade is can be manufactured to certain specifications. The most common sizes are 2440mm x 1220mm in metric, or 4ft x 8ft, and divisions of this size. Thicknesses normally vary from about 5mm to 30mm, with 12mm and 18mm being the most common thickness for many DIY uses including panelling.
The materials manufactured are as follows;
Chipboard – made of wood particles and small chippings. By being mixed with glue, and put under immense pressure, it all bonds together to form a chipboard sheet, with a reasonably smooth surface. This material will break down on contact with water, so only use in dry areas. Chipboard is used mainly in flat pack furniture, and kitchen cupboards when a melamine coating is used for a decorative effect. It’s also given a tongue and groove edge to be used for loft flooring. Many times a wood effect melamine is used for the look of real wood cabinets. This also makes a cheap looking material look more expensive, and pleasing to the eye.

Plywood – Made by fixing several layers of thin wood sheets together. Each layer has the wood grain running in alternate vertical and parallel directions for added strength. This is the strongest and most expensive of wood sheets. The ply is available in both interior and exterior grade. Exterior being more expensive as it’s water proof, with more resistance to the elements. Plywood sheets are used for things like shuttering, They are used for lining inside of vans for protection, normally coming in a ply lining kit. Then obviously used for other simple DIY tasks, but more useful than other man made boards as it is much stronger.
MDF – Short for medium density fibre board, this uses the smallest of particles, mixed together with an adhesive under pressure similar to chipboard. Again only suitable where no moisture is present. As with all woods, when cutting you should wear a mask, due to dust particles. Dust particles are more excessive and finer with MDF, so it is even more essential to wear the correct breathing apparatus. This material is often used when finer detail is needed such as for skirting boards for example.

DIY stores will stock these in the full 8x4 sheets, normally as well as smaller easier to use sizes. They can be difficult to transport so ask the store if they do a delivery service. If not you may want to try a specialist timber merchant for delivery but they generally prefer to sell large sheets only. As a general rule real wood is more expensive, and gives the real effect without having to coat in a decorative material. These wood sheets on the other hand are ideal if you’re working on a task where the material surface won’t be seen. Maybe because you are coating in paint or the board is hidden away, maybe as loft flooring.

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