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What is Engineered Wood Furniture?

manufactured boards


Engineered Wood is widely used as an alternative to solid wood in interior decoration, not only for economic reasons but also because it has some advantages that solid wood does not have. However, are all these Engineered Woods the same in different ways? In this article, I will talk to you about Engineered Wood from the perspective of a furniture manufacturer.

What is Engineered Wood Furniture?

Engineered wood is also called mass timber, composite wood, man-made wood, or manufactured board. It is now an important component category in wood products, distinguished from solid wood and Polywood. Mainly through some fibers or particles of wood, through high temperature, high pressure, or glue trip of composite materials. The main categories include the following:

  • Oriented Strand Board (OSB)
  • Chipboard/ Particle Board
  • Plywood
  • Hardboard/ High-Density Fibreboard
  • Fibreboard/ Medium-density fibreboard (MDF)
  • Laminboard/ Laminated Timber
  • Blockboard
  • Densified Wood

1. Oriented Strand Board (OSB)

Oriented strand board (OSB), also known as European pine board, originated in the 1970s, developed from structural particle board – waffle board, and has been developing rapidly in North America and Europe since the mid-1980s, and has begun to replace plywood and fiberboard in large quantities.

1.1 Advantages

1.1.1 High Output Rate

1.1.2 Safety and Environmental Friendly

1.1.3 Superior Performance

Anti-deformation, anti-peel, anti-warping, with uniform strength, dimensional stability, etc.

Anti-corrosion, anti-moth, flame retardant, can be used in outdoor and high temperature environment

Good waterproof performance, can be exposed to natural environment and wet conditions for a long time

Excellent heat insulation, sound insulation, and good performance of finishing paint

1.2 Applications in Home Furniture

The excellent physical and mechanical properties of OSB determine that it can be used as the load-bearing part of furniture such as sofas, TV cabinets, bedside tables, tables and chairs, and also used in panel furniture to make cabinet partitions, table tops, doors and so on. In addition, because of its excellent waterproof performance, OSB is suitable for kitchens, bathrooms and other relatively wet spaces.

Oriented strand board is very decorative, and the oriented strand board produced by different tree species can show different textures and colors. Unlike the delicate and smooth man-made boards, the surface of OSB has a unique and rough texture due to the vertical and horizontal arrangement of the chips. As a decorative element, it has a natural and vivid effect when applied to interior decoration.

Besides, Oriented strand board is an internationally recognized general-purpose exempt packaging material, superior to solid wood panels in strength and waterproof performance.

2. Chipboard/ Particle Board

It is a kind of artificial board made by cutting various branches and buds, small diameter wood, fast-growing wood and wood chips into pieces of certain specifications, drying them, mixing them with glue, hardener and waterproofing agent, etc., and pressing them under a certain temperature and pressure.

2.1 Advantages

Good sound absorption and acoustic performance

The internal cross-staggered structure of the granular, the performance of each direction is basically the same, the transverse gravity is good

Flat surface for various veneers

2.2 Disadvantages

Internal granular structure, not easy to mill type

It is easy to cause the phenomenon of burst teeth when cutting the board, so part of the process requires high processing equipment.

The quality of particle board on the market varies, poor quality particle board environmental protection is very poor formaldehyde content exceeds the standard serious

2.3 Standard Thickness

The thickness ranges from 1.6mm to 75mm, with 19mm as the standard thickness. Commonly available are 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 19, 22, 25, 30mm, etc.

3. Plywood

Plywood is a three-layer or multi-layer board material made of wood segments cut into veneer or wood planed into thin wood, and then glued with adhesive, usually with an odd number of layers of veneer, and make adjacent layers of veneer fiber direction perpendicular to each other glued together.

3.1 Softwood Plywood

Usually made of cedar, Douglas fir or spruce, pine and fir or redwood.


Construction and industry, ventilation panels, flooring, walls, roofing for building construction, manufacturing of machinery, vehicle parts, and making fences around an area.

3.2 Hardwood Plywood

Made of wood from dicotyledonous trees (oak, beech and mahogany)


Heavy-duty floor and wall construction

3.3 Tropical Plywood

Made of mixed hardwood species of tropical woods


Doors, concrete strands, floor bases, container floors.

4. Hardboard/ High-Density Fibreboard

Like MDF, they are made from wood or other plant fibers, prepared by fiber, applied with synthetic resin, and pressed under heating and pressure conditions. But the difference is the density and use of different.

4.1 Density:

  • 600—1450kg/m³

4.2 Applications in Home Furniture

Cabinets, door skins, pegboard, wallboard, backsplash, laminate flooring, liners, drawer bottoms, partitions, countertops, whiteboards, and clipboards.

5. Fibreboard/ Medium-density fibreboard (MDF)

The same as Hardboard, both belong to the production process of density board, the difference is in the density, from the naked eye is not easy to distinguish.

5.1 Density:

  • 600—800kg/m³

5.2 Applications in Home Furniture

Furniture, flooring, floor mats, cabinets, shelves, countertops, soundproofing, signage, skirting, and decorative panels. This is also the most common type of Engineered Wood used in interior furniture.

5.3 Advantages

Easy to finish processing, a variety of coatings, paints can be evenly coated on the density board, is the first choice of substrate to do paint effects.

Various materials such as wood veneer, printing paper, PVC, adhesive paper film, melamine impregnated paper and light metal sheet can be finished on the surface of density board.

Rigid density board can be punched and drilled to make sound-absorbing board, which can be used in the decoration of buildings.

Excellent physical properties, uniform material, no dewatering problems.

5.4 Disadvantages

Not moisture-proof, swelling when it sees water

Density board will be deformed due to high expansion rate in water

Poor nail holding power

5.5 Standard Thickness

The most used in our daily life is about ten kinds, the thickness of which are 30 mm, 25 mm, 20 mm, 18 mm, 16 mm, 15 mm, 12 mm, 9 mm, 5 mm and 3 mm.

NOTE: Density board conventional specification is 2440×1220mm.

5.6 Environmental Standards

5.6.1 China MDF Environmental Standards

  • ENF grade formaldehyde emission is ≤0.025mg/m³
  • E0 grade formaldehyde emission is ≤0.050mg/m³
  • E1 grade formaldehyde emission is ≤0.124mg/m³

5.6.2 European MDF environmental standards

  • E0 grade formaldehyde emission is ≤0.5mg/L
  • E1 grade formaldehyde emission is ≤1.5mg/L
  • E2 grade formaldehyde emission is>1.5mg/L

5.6.3 Japan MDF environmental standards

  • F★ ≤5.0mg/L
  • F★★ ≤1.5mg/L
  • F★★★ ≤0.5mg/L
  • F★★★★ ≤0.3mg/L

5.6.4 United States MDF environmental standards

  • CARB Phase 2 ≤0.05ppm

6. Laminboard/ Laminated Timber

7. Blockboard

8. Densified Wood

Timothy Pam

Timothy Pam

Hi, I’m Timothy Pam, the CEO of Ruijie Home Furniture, I’ve been running a factory in China that makes Home Furniture for 7 years now, and the purpose of this article is to share with you the knowledge related to Living Room Furniture from a Chinese supplier’s perspective.

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