Medium density fibreboards (MDF) are some of the most well-known composite wood boards on the market. Made up of wood fibres and resins, MDF offers a strong, versatile and cost-effective solution to a range of non-structural building projects, from cabinetry to wall panels. However, it is often perceived as a product that should be kept well away from water; problematic in areas prone to humidity and moisture, such as kitchens and bathrooms.
Water can introduce a host of problems to standard MDF as it tends to absorb moisture rather than repel it. If the boards soak up any moisture, the resin in most MDF can start to break down, which can lead to rotting, swelling or shrinking. If this occurs, then the boards will need to be replaced to avoid further issues.
Kitchens and bathrooms don’t have to do without the versatility of MDF entirely though: for these areas, there’s moisture and water resistant MDF. These specialist boards feature moisture-repellent resins, which provide an improved resistance to humidity and moisture, ideal for areas prone to splashes or steam.
For indoor use, MEDITE MR provides a great solution to moisture resistance, in accordance with MDF.H (Option 1) as defined in EN 622-5, developed as a substitute for softwoods and hardwoods, providing enhanced machinability.
This goes several steps further with MEDITE TRICOYA EXTREME (MTX). This water resistant MDF is formulated using an organic process called ‘acetylation’ which alters wood fibre susceptibility to moisture and fungal decay. This process greatly reduces the boards’ ability to absorb water and allows them to retain all the design, fixing, and machining flexibility of regular MDF. Developed for use in consistently wet areas, MTX can even be used outdoors, in all weathers, for up to 50 years above ground and up to 25 years in-ground.
R G. Whyte Building Solutions recently installed MTX to improve the moisture resistance of a bath and shower room in a property based in Prestwick, Scotland.
“Teenagers use this shower room so you can image how much water goes everywhere!”, explained Robert Whyte, Director of RGW Building Solutions Ltd, “However, using MTX to panel the shower has provided peace of mind that there will be no damage caused by any rogue splashes and the polished top finish we chose ensures the water just slides off the panels as if it’s sliding off glass.”
It is recommended that a paint or sealant is used to further protect moisture or water resistant MDF, however, its built-in protection resin gives it an advantage over standard MDF boards.
Find out more about moisture resistant MDF here: mdfosb.com/en/products/medite-mdf/moisture-resistant-mdf