Take a walk through most furniture stores in the shopping center and you’ll see truckloads of beautifully finished hardwood furniture.
Cherry, red oak, maple and many other kind of hardwood. But when you take a closer look at any of these furnitures, you may notice that it is not made from hardwood in any way. A lot of them are made from veneered particle board.
So why would furniture factories use a manufactured product simulated to look like hardwoods?
What is Particle Board?
Particle board is a kind of wood based panel. It is actually quite environmentally friendly because it is made from wood scraps and recycled wood, bonded together with resins. It is cheaper and heavier than hardwood, but less stronger or resistant to moisture. Particle board does not take paint and stain well.
That’s why most particle boards are covered with melamine papers and veneers. To any untrained eye, furniture made of melamine particle board looks like a fine hardwood products.
Should Particle Board be Avoided?
As with all wood based panels, there is a proper situation where particle board can be applied. For instance, white melamine particle board is very good choice for office furniture and school furniture. The melamine is clean and requires no painting, and remains stable and strong for a long time.
How to Use Particle Board
Any special steps when using particle board?
For connecting two pieces of particle board, you should use adhesives and specially-designed particle board screws for holding particle board. Also the veneer or melamine covering on the particle board can chip when cut with a circular saw. To avoid this, try scoring the board with a utility knife along the cut line. You can cover the cut line with masking tape before making the cut.
Many concerns about particle board are the formaldehyde. So the saw blade tends to create very fine sawdust that contains chemicals. When cutting particle board, it’s very necessary to work in a very well ventilated area.