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Why MDF is a Safe Tabletop Material

Why MDF is a Safe Tabletop Material

9.9 min read

As a company that values its customers with genuine gratitude and believes in the principles of ethical entrepreneurship, we want to discuss any issues or reservations the end-users of our products may have. Our diverse range of products, all top of the line, are popular among consumers owing to their quality, ease of use, and adherence to industrial standards. Take a look at our best sellers and latest releases to see for yourself.

Pair your standing desk with an MDF or bamboo tabletop!

This blog will be centered around a topic that has been quite prevalent in our market for a long time: MDF and its safety concerns. As sellers of MDF tabletops, we pride ourselves as experts, and will provide a thorough and honest review of this product, so you can properly assess your purchase. In summary, this material is completely safe – and we will tell you why! Without further ado, let’s dive into this discussion!


MDF: What Is It and How Is It Made?

Medium-density fiberboard, abbreviated as MDF, is one of the most commonly utilized engineered woods for crafting daily-use furniture items. Its popularity in the furniture world places it among the likes of other famous wood products, like plywood and hardboard. MDF boards start like any other wood type: trees. Once the trees are cut down and sorted out based on their type, density, and health, the very best of the specific category of wood used for making MDF is picked out by manufacturers.

This wood is then chopped into chips and shaving, processed to clean it up and filter out unwanted substances, and finally turned into small-sized wood fibers with the help of a machine called a defibrator. Once the fibrous, pulpy raw material is prepared, it is mixed up with synthetic binders/resins that acts as adhesive for the discrete fibers. This mixture is then rolled into sheets of desired dimensions and through the application of controlled heat and pressure, the final product is achieved in the form of MDF. Post-processing like applying veneers and laminations transform these MDF sheets into the various furniture items we use in our homes.

Most other wood products have a similar manufacturing process. Wood is processed, bound together through suitable adhesives, and finished with some surface coating. To know more about different kinds of tabletop materials, we suggest you read this article.  


Is MDF Safe?

Standing Desk by Progressive Desk


The notion that MDF is unsafe stems from the use of a compound called Urea-Formaldehyde, also known as Formaldehyde and UF, in the manufacturing of MDF boards. Formaldehyde is part of the adhesive mixture used to bind the wood fibers together and it is known to cause health issues like watery eyes, respiratory problems, and has also inconclusively been linked to cancer. Any safety concerns arise when people learn that MDF boards emit Formaldehyde from its surface into the surrounding environment, from where it can potentially enter our bodies.

However, it is necessary to know all of the information is to determine whether MDF is safe to use in the home or not.


Formaldehyde is Everywhere – Literally!

It might come as a surprise to you that Formaldehyde is a naturally occurring compound found in a majority of living beings. Formaldehyde is one of the by-products of our metabolic systems and is emitted by plants, animals, and even human beings themselves. It is not just in our furniture but in the plants in our backyard, our pets, all family members living with us – the list is endless! Health issues arise when Formaldehyde is present in an amount above a certain safety limit, typically said to be above 0.1 ppm. If Formaldehyde’s composition in the environment exceeds this limit, then it undoubtedly is a health hazard and exposure to such an atmosphere must be avoided at all cost.


MDF Furniture is Safe

Now back to the main point, is furniture made from MDF safe? The answer is now a simple one; yes, it is! If the amount of Formaldehyde is controlled during the manufacturing of MDF, it still would emit Formaldehyde but in truly negligible amounts, much smaller than the scientifically proven safety threshold. Since the harmful effects of Formaldehyde have been established, there have been strict international standards in place that limit the use of Formaldehyde in consumer products to well below the safety limits. MDF is no different in this regard; all manufacturers in the North American region are bound to follow strict guidelines regarding the use of this substance in their products.

In accordance with these legalities, manufacturers have adapted extra safety measures to keep the Formaldehyde at bay. Most use surface laminations that prevent the substance from being released into the air. Furthermore, paint is a great restrictor for Formaldehyde emissions. The layer of paint on an MDF board’s surface blocks the particulates inside, answering and confirming another question we get: is MDF safe when painted?

In fact, we would like to add, that MDF is primarily engineered for indoor applications, which is also its most common market use. Its inherent structure makes it a great material for furniture like tabletops, with its strength, durability, and water resistance playing a huge role in this.


MDF is a Sustainable Product

Believe it or not, quite opposite to the widely held misconception of MDF being unsafe, it is actually an environmental-friendly product. MDF wood panels are entirely composed of materials that can be recycled and put to good use once their life is over. They also do not harm the environment by not decomposing, making it a sustainable option to go for when considering home décor solutions.


Progressive Desk’s Tabletop Solutions

 MDF Tabletops


We offer two types of tabletop material here at Progressive Desk: MDF and our newest addition, eco-friendly bamboo tabletops!


Our MDF Tabletops

We hope you got something useful out of this! Indeed, MDF in furniture is safe; the science, safety rules, and its popularity prove it.

All said and done, we would now like to point you towards some of the very best MDF tabletops in the market. We offer a huge variety of MDF tabletops in a number of sizes and appearances. From our classy Ebony Ash to the rustic Maple Woodline, we have a huge range of tabletops for any workspace. Our MDF tabletops are robust, smooth, and spacious, guaranteeing you quality and durability!

Ebony Ash MDF Tabletop
Ebony Ash MDF Tabletop


Our Bamboo Tabletops

Our group is committed to continual development, always engaged in new product development and market research for a better customer experience. The latest addition to our product line is the Bamboo Tabletop series.

Bamboo is an excellent material for tabletops, boasting strength, low density, and longevity. We provide them with a range of options, such as Matte/Gloss finish, rounded corners, and grommets. The Bamboo Dark Gloss is as elegant as it gets, it energizes your room’s aura.

Bamboo Dark Gloss Tabletop

Bamboo Dark Gloss Tabletop


Check out our desk solutions for your perfect workspace!


In conclusion, we would just like to reiterate that while may MDF carry a tiny fraction of harmful substances, it is completely safe. The concentration of Formaldehyde in it is well below the safety line and we ensure ample measures to ensure minimal to no emissions. Moreover, there are legal barriers that prevent manufacturers from using too much Formaldehyde, and neither is there any incentive for them to do so.

We hope this has quelled any concerns you may have about this topic. If you want to know more about MDF boards, feel free to contact us and our customer support team would be delighted to help!

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