If you are shopping around for an affordable office desk that still offers great looks and durability, you may have noticed that there are quite a few options when it comes to materials. Unless you are able to snag a great thrift store find, a solid wood desk won’t be the most budget friendly choice. Most of the desks you are looking at are probably built using composite materials, such as MDF (Medium-density fibreboard). This product provides a great alternative to wood and offers plenty of distinct advantages. To help you stay in the know, here are nine reasons why you should consider an MDF desk.
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1. MDF Saves Money
There is just no way around it. Desks that incorporate MDF into the design or rely solely on MDF will cost significantly less than solid wood options. Often times, you will find desks that have a wood frame and use MDF to create drawers and backs. Placing MDF in places that aren’t visible is a great trick to reducing costs and still allowing customers to enjoy the look and feel of wood.
That being said, MDF is also commonly used through the entire desk. Typically, these models come already covered in a waterproof laminate that gives a clean appearance. You can even purchase MDF based desks that use a wood veneer for the final finish. These different options come with different price points, so you can choose a look that fits your office and your budget.
2. Provides a Smooth Consistent Finish
Even a piece of MDF that hasn’t been covered in a finished decorative laminate, provides a smooth surface. When MDF is manufactured, wood fibers are pressed together using heat, glue and bonding agents. The result is a final product that is free of blemishes such as knots. The smooth surface makes it easy to attach veneers and form precise corners and seams. The material lends itself well to finishing touches.
3. Stronger Than Plywood and Particle Board
Compared to plywood and particle board, MDF offers superior density and strength. The manufacturing process creates a super dense material that can withstand a tough work environment and provide a no-sag surface for desks, shelves and other office furniture.
4. Limitless Style Options
As mentioned above, MDF desks will come in your choice of different laminate and veneer finishes. While some are quick to dismiss veneer as an option that is somehow “less than” wood, certain furniture makers swear by veneer. When it comes to creating truly artistic pieces that combine different types of woods and grains, artisans can do much more with veneer than solid wood. In fact, some of the most expensive and collectible pieces of furniture are actually veneer. It is its own art form and requires a smooth, solid substrate, which is exactly where Medium-density fibreboard really shines.
For a less expensive style upgrade, the smooth, absorbent surface also takes paint well. While you won’t be able to stain your desk, you can paint MDF the color of your choice. If you like to constantly update your home or office, then you might enjoy the flexibility that comes with MDF.
5. Easy To Work With
Easy to work with. The smooth, versatile surface, also makes MDF easy to work with. Whether you are constructing your own desk, or putting together a pre-fabricated desk that requires some assembly, MDF is easy to cut and screw into place. As you are working on your desk, keep in mind that nails don’t tend to hold well in this material because it is so smooth. You will want to use hardware that can actually bite into the MDF and take hold.
6. Easy To Treat
If you have been reading up on Medium-density fibreboard, you will notice that one of the disadvantages that is often mentioned is that the material is susceptible to water damage. This is partially true. MDF, in its unfinished form, can end up absorbing water spills and expanding. However, the vast majority of consumers end up purchasing MDF that has been treated with chemicals to make it water resistant or they purchase MDF that is already covered with a laminate or veneer material. Either way, it is easy to ensure that your desk won’t end up experiencing water damage.
7. Uses Recycled Products
MDF is created by collecting wood waste and using the fibers to manufacture a new product. While this process still relies on the use of wood, it puts waste materials to good use. In general, new trees aren’t harvested in order to create Medium-density fibreboard products.
8. Repels Pests
During the manufacturing process, MDF can also be treated with chemicals that will repel pests. This includes termites that can quickly damage wood and cause it to crumble at the slightest touch. If you live in more temperate climates where pests thrive, Medium-density fibreboard may provide a better sense of security against the effects of invasive pests.
9. Price. Again!
Yes, it is worth listing twice. While prices certainly vary, you can end up paying a fraction of what you would for a solid wood desk and still enjoy a beautiful piece of furniture that inspires you to work your hardest every day.
Some people have learned to associate composite materials with cheap construction, but that isn’t always the case. Sure, there are going to be less than reputable companies out there trying to make money at your expense, but MDF is actually an extremely dense, strong and versatile option for desks and other furniture. It provides a unique combination of performance and value that may just make it the best choice for your next office desk.