Plywood vs MDF - Loft Flooring

Soldato
Joined
9 Aug 2004
Posts
7,793
Location
Milton Keynes
Putting down some flooring in the loft, due to lots on insulation I have put some xtra 2x2" planks Parallel down at 10" apart and then put bits of 12mm ply board on top, this has worked so far and easily holds my weight.

I have now run out of ply. So i went to wickes and had a look and its a fair bit of money and then i saw mdf lot cheaper.. so would mdf be as good? The guy at the store said it was a lot better as less flexing but surely cheaper=worse..

So ply or mdf fr flooring and also 9mm or 12mm thick?
 
Man of Honour
Joined
17 Oct 2002
Posts
50,290
Location
Plymouth
The big problem with MDF is that it's rather unpleasant to work with much of the time, despite it's cheapness.

Some of the chemicals used to bind it are rather unpleasant, and they can leech out of the board. It also creates a large amount of dust which again isn't good for you. Mask etc is vital when working with it (not just when cutting it).

http://www.lalena.com/Audio/FAQ/MDF/

Personally I'd use plywood, it's a little more expensive but a lot less unpleasant.
 
Soldato
Joined
9 Jan 2003
Posts
20,772
Location
Cornwall
use plywood, treat it properly with preservatives etc and it will last AGES
MDF does flex less, but its more prone to snapping whereas plywood will flex but not brake (we did tests on this back at school ages ago) so whereas ply will just snap at xxx pressure, ply will take way more before it brakes
 
Associate
Joined
23 Mar 2006
Posts
960
Dolphs taken the words outta my mouth, it leaches awful chemicals into the air for years following installation, for that alone plywood for the win.
 
Associate
Joined
14 Jan 2003
Posts
1,126
Also MDF is damn heavy and an 8ft x 4ft sheet while not to difficult to pick up is annoying to work with until you have it cut up into workable sizes.
 
Soldato
OP
Joined
9 Aug 2004
Posts
7,793
Location
Milton Keynes
Okay fair enough MDF sucks..

Now another question.. As the breams are 10" apart what thickness can i get away with.. for putting things on and me walking over (12-14st) at the moment the 12mm doesnt move at all so.. 9mm? 6mm? or just be on safe side and get 12?
 
Soldato
Joined
18 Oct 2002
Posts
4,225
How does the price of 3/4" chipboard compare?

I'm pretty sure that it's used quite extensively in flooring out lofts.
 

SCM

SCM

Associate
Joined
20 Jan 2004
Posts
672
Location
Fife, Scotland/Hell
Mr Joshua said:
How does the price of 3/4" chipboard compare?

I'm pretty sure that it's used quite extensively in flooring out lofts.

I was about to say that myself as thats usually the flooring used.

As to cost think it was less than the prices quoted above by the OP for similar areas. Think my dad paid about £3-5 per just over 1m sq m a few months back.

SCM
 
Man of Honour
Joined
11 Mar 2004
Posts
76,632
MDf is the best for lofts, just buy big sheets and cover the entire floor. Just screw directly onto the joists. Cheap, strong and easy to work with. Much better than plywood. As long as you cut it using a mask, then health and safety is fine.
 
Soldato
Joined
7 Aug 2004
Posts
10,772
IM WORRIED NOW :eek: :D

Just put in a makeshift desk in my room made of MDF, bolted it to stairs banisters (they run round the area of the stairs, thus placing MDF ontop of them makes a 'table')

Strong as an ox, but it smelt aweful for 2 days after I soaked it in varnish, looks great,but I hope all these nasty chemicals didnt come out when I varnished it........man it smelt wrong as well,lol
 
Soldato
Joined
28 Mar 2005
Posts
13,678
Location
Drunken badger punching
If there's any chance of it getting wet, don't use MDF if you're not going to treat it. Plywood is more flexible and I'd imagine the better material for laying across natural timber joists due to it's similar expansion characteristics.

Thickness? 12mm. 9mm seems too thin to me. I read that it's a good idea for a mininum of 19mm thk for joists 24" apart, and 16mm for 18" apart. 12mm defo imo.
 
Soldato
Joined
18 Oct 2002
Posts
4,225
Combat squirrel said:
Strong as an ox, but it smelt aweful for 2 days after I soaked it in varnish, looks great,but I hope all these nasty chemicals didnt come out when I varnished it........man it smelt wrong as well,lol
I wouldn't worry too much unless you're around the dust day in day out. A friend of mine (joiner by trade) is making a massive model railway using MDF that's been varnished for the baseboards.
 
Soldato
Joined
6 Feb 2004
Posts
3,428
Location
Norfolk Broads
Go to a builders merchants and ask for Sterling board. It's basically plywood but the glue used is waterproof, they use it for flat roof's etc. It has a coarser finish than plywood but would perfect for the job.
 
Soldato
Joined
19 May 2004
Posts
2,877
ste_bla said:
Hmm guess plywood then as it would need cutting..

shame its twice the price :( ..

it is more expensive for a reason, mdf is made from the waste from joinery and logging companys, and as there is gonna be a shortage of timber worldwide this year plywood is gonna get more expensive still (mainly due to china). alot of joinery companys in the uk operate on break even for the products they make and the profit comes from the waste they sell on.
 
Top Bottom