Particle Board, Pros and Cons

Particle board (also called chipboard in some countries) is made from wood particles and glues much the same way MDF is.
It is weaker than solid wood and plywood and is primarily used when cost is the biggest factor as it is the cheapest composite wood product.

Though it is denser (and heaver) than solid wood, it is much lighter than MDF.

Particle board can be painted to match your current decor.  It is also very easy to find already coated in a melamine (a thin layer of plastic) or veneer.


Low cost, sheet form (large pieces are easy for tabletops for example), and easy to apply melamine overlay to.
There is an advantage over solid wood (when taking cost into account) when used in sidewalls for supporting countertops, for example.

Made from recycled timber or wood waste.


Weaker than solid wood.  
Needs special fasteners (confirmat screws).

Veneer or melamine coating can chip when cutting.  Scoring with a utility knife or covering the cut line with masking tape can help.

Damage is difficult to repair, and replacement will be necessary.  Damage usually occurs when the furniture is moved.

Very susceptible to moisture and should not be used outdoors or in moist environments.  Make sure any panels you buy are well-sealed.

Like MDF and plywood, particle board also contains formaldehyde.  Work with it outside or inside with a good dust collection system.

I’ve got some simple and cheap PB shelves in my garage (where no one will really see them), and they work just fine.

Most people hate particle board, how do you feel about it?

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