Nowadays selecting interior materials is more important than ever because of the permanent nature of built-in elements of home construction. For example, ceiling boards, room partitions, built-in furniture, wooden doors and the floor itself. The following flat-board and wood-based panels are commonplace interior design materials. They are widespread and easy to install, cheaper than real wood, and have much less complicated application when compared with brickwork. Choosing the right material is very important as it can save a lot of maintenance costs and other hassles over the duration of the product lifecycle.
Manufactured by calcining gypsum into a plaster, which is then passed through machines, which shape, set, and cut into a board. Dehumidified boards are then faced with paper.
Pros : Inexpensive. Quick installation time. Easy to touch-up. A carpenter’s favorite.
Cons : Low load-bearing capacity. Also prone to termite/insect infestation. Swells and disintegrates when exposed to water. Supports the growth of mold in situations with high humidity, e.g. leaking pipes and bathroom ceilings.
Suitable for : Ceilings and partition walls in air-conditioned rooms or dry rooms.
MDF Board / Particle Board
Also known as sawdust board or paperboard, MDF board is produced by compressing wood pulp and fiber with heat and pressure before shaping it to the desired size and thickness.
Pros : Cheap. Lightweight. Comes in standardized sizes. Its smooth surface can be finished easily.
Cons : Prone to swelling and will eventually fall apart in areas of high humidity. Has near-zero tolerance for mold and termites. Contains formaldehyde that may pose risks of cancer.
Suitable for : Interior doors and loose furniture in non-moist areas with foreseeable frequent renovation.
Suggestion : Increase ventilation after installation to reduce toxicity. Keep out of contact with water and take meadures to emininate termites.
Plywood is a manufactured wood-panel material made from thin sheets of wood veneer. They are peeled from a log, bonded by glue and heat, and cut to the desired dimensions.
Pros : Much stronger and more durable than MDF/Particle boards. Can be painted or refinished in many ways.
Cons : Mold and termite issues. Contains toxic termite-control chemicals and formaldehyde glue. Limited water resistance. Weakened glue will cause delamination.
Suitable for : General-purpose doors and furniture in low humidity.
Suggestion : Increase ventilation after installation. Have constant termite control and mold prevention procedures to ensure the plywood will not decay.
Made from Portland cement, cellulose fibers, minerals, and other additives. Intense heat and pressure are applied to the mixture to form various types of sheets.
Pros : Durable. Low maintenance. High resistance to water, fire, mold, and termite / insect infestation. Low moisture movement. Non-toxic. Multipurpose usage in ceiling and wall systems. A perfect substitute for plywood in furniture, with a better quality of finish.
Cons : Currently not very well-known by carpenters however craftsmen use traditional woodworking tools.
Suitable for : Ceilings and wall partitions. Doors and finished furniture. Heavy-duty exterior cabinets. Best choice for damp areas like kitchens and bathrooms, or areas that require extra cleanliness, such as bedrooms, the baby’s room and public space, such as hotels, schools and hospitals.