MDF vs Plywood : A Comprehensive Comparison

difference between plywood and mdf

>MDF vs  plywood, here are two of the most popular types of engineered wood. Both types of wood are engineered, i.e. synthetically manufactured using wood and other materials. Both are suitable to be used for a variety of projects and have their own advantages and disadvantages. If you are finding it difficult to choose the best engineered wood for your project, here’s a detailed guide about MDF and plywood along with the difference between the two to help you make the right selection.

When you are ready to buy, contact us at CameroonTimberExportSarl to enquire about the best price for MDF and plywood. We are a leading supplier and exporter of top quality engineered wood and solid wood in 20+ countries around the world.

MDF or plywood is a less expensive alternative to solid wood, which is considered the best option for woodworking. However, because of the lack of availability and high price of natural wood, people opt for options like engineered wood which can be as good for a variety of projects ranging from furniture to flooring and more.

Before we start talking about the difference between MDF and plywood, let’s first get to know the basics of these two types of engineered wood.

What is MDF?

MDF or medium-density fiberboard is an engineered wood board made up of small softwood and hardwood fibres. Since there is no real wood involved, the MDF boards have no visible grain or knots. Wood fibres along with glue or wax are joined under specific pressure and heating conditions to achieve a strong and somewhat durable board that is cheaper than both plywood and solid wood but stronger than particleboard.

MDF board is smooth, looks beautiful and is easy to cut and carve. However, it can easily soak moisture, especially when not treated and sealed well. It is dense, and therefore heavy. It is not easy to screw and may get damaged easily without proper care.

What is Plywood?

Plywood is a type of engineered wood that is made by combining thin layers of wood, called veneers, using high-quality glue or other adhesives. Plywood is strong, hard and durable to moisture. It does not soak water and is somewhat resistant to insect attacks. Depending on the type of wood sheets used, plywood can be available in different grades. Plywoods are suitable for both indoor and outdoor projects, including flooring, high-quality furniture, and others.

Unlike MDF, plywood does not absorb water and is less prone to damage. It is easier to work with and glues and stains well. Also, it holds screws tightly and can be seamlessly customised in different designs and thicknesses.

Plywood can be expensive, with some premium grade plywoods being as expensive as solid wood. They must be finished well to hire the visible layers and grain on the surface. Also, plywood cannot be used to carve designs because it doesn’t have a smooth surface.

MDF vs Plywood

Though we have already discussed the basic difference between MDF and plywood above, here’s a quick look at some other things to help you make the right selection.

MDF Plywood
Strength High High
Durability Moderate> High
Moisture resistance Low Moderate
What is it made of? Wood fibres Wood sheets/plies
Cost Low Higher
Ease of use Easy Easy
Screwing Bad Good
Surface Smooth with no grain Less smooth with visible grain and layers


Common uses of MDF include bookshelves, cabinets, doors, door frames and other indoor projects.

Popular uses of plywood include furniture (bed frames, sofa, tabletop, chairs, etc.), flooring, roofing, and a variety of outdoor projects.

While MDF is made primarily of hardwood and softwood fibres, plywood is made of very thin layers of wood obtained from logs. It is generally cheaper than plywood. It weighs more than plywood, which can be an issue when working with it. Plywood is stronger than MDF and doesn’t sag, split, expand, contract or warp. Because MDF is made up of wood fibres, it creates more dust when cut, but it’s easier to cut than plywood, which doesn’t cut well in fancy curves. It looks great when painted, while plywood is generally stained to achieve the desired finish. Because plywood is more durable, it is perfect for outdoor projects.

These are the basic differences or comparison ( MDF vs Plywood ) and if you are looking to buy top-quality plywood at the best price in the market, contact CameroonTimberExportSarl.

How To Buy Best Quality Plywood & MDF

plywood & wood boards

Choose from diffrent types of plywood such as 3-ply, 5-ply or multi-ply and various types of wood boards according to your requirement at affordable prices. At CameroonTimberExportSarl, We can provide plywood and other types of engineered wood in your desired grade with both standard and custom dimensions as required for your project. You can order plywood and medium density wood board in bulk quantity at the best price with free shipping facility worldwide. Contact us to know more, on our official mail or you can directly reach us at +237671776559 for all your wood related needs.