11 October 2017

We quite often get asked by customers what the difference between our MFC and laminate (MDF) table tops is, so below is a bit of an explanation that will hopefully explain this.

Premium laminate is high quality heavy grade suitable for contract use. Manufactured in the UK, the

Medium density fibreboard (MDF) core is a composite wood product. It is made out of wood waste fibres glued together with resin, heat, and pressure to form the solid core. Because of the density of the board, it gives superior screw retention between the base and top.

The laminate is scratch-resistant and heat-resistant to 180c; to further add protection the tops have a 2mm impact resistant ABS edging. Finally, there is a plain white balance board on the reverse. 

MFC, in comparison, is melamine face chipboard. These are also contract standard and suitable for the majority of establishments, including the vast majority of office furniture nowadays being manufactured in MFC, as well as kitchen and bedroom carcasses and contract furniture.

The tops are scratch resistant and heat resistant to 90c. These also have a 2mm matching ABS edging the same as the laminate tops.

There can be a number of thicknesses used, but typically the industry standard is 25mm thick. Some budget ranges are 18mm thick, and even as low as 15mm thick on flat pack furniture. Most people think of the low grade, unattractive material favoured by high street furniture stores in the past, but todays MFC has come on a long way.

The quality of that chipboard mainly depends on the density of the board. Many domestic furniture uses low density board, which is light. Most commercial grade furniture such as ours at Tabilo is made of a dense board – as it stops flexing and bending on larger sizes.

Interestingly, MFC is one of the most sustainable wood based products. The bulk of the wood chips in MFC come from trees grown in managed forests. And because the trees are chipped there is very little wastage. Quality MFC is manufactured in the UK and is FSC certified. FSC stands for Forest Stewardship Council and guarantees that the product is made with wood only from sustainable sources. Keep an eye out for the below mark which shows this.

Below are the two cores of the tables tops.

To the left is the Chipboard MFC and to the right the dense MDF.

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