There are plenty of reasons to install sheet vinyl flooring, not the least of which is cost savings over other flooring materials. MDF stands for medium-density fiberboard, which is an engineered wood composite made up of wood fibers. MDF is not as strong as plywood, if you are using it for shelving/load bearing you will have to increase the thickness compared to plywood or use some other method. Particle board can also be used as floor underlayment and as a substrate for countertops. Expensive cabinets will use 3/4-inch plywood while less expensive models will use 1/2-inch plywood.
Because each veneer is glued together with adjacent plies having their grains at right angles to each other, plywood is very strong in both directions. Light-density fibreboard is 20% lighter than standard MDF and is ideal for many of the same applications as standard MDF. I haven’t had any issues related to the particle board construction (other than aesthetics). It is then re-cut into sizes suitable for laying up into plywood and coated with a phenol formaldehyde glue.
Because particle board is mainly clean natural wood, it can be disposed of (in accordance with local environmental authority guidelines) by burying it in the ground, composting, taking to landfill or burning at a temperature of more than 800 C with other wood material. Overall, the decision on whether to opt for plywood or particle board is a personal one.
If your plan includes large upper cabinets that hang from a soffit, plywood is more desirable because it’s lighter. Another advantage of plywood is that extreme cold does not affect its dimensions or strength. We usually handle ridges in the subfloor by setting nail heads with a large punch and grinding, power planing or sanding the ridges closer to flat. Particle board will not expand and contract the way plywood does in humid climates, making this a viable option if you live in an area prone to higher moisture levels. Some grades of plywood can be stained and made to look good for kitchen cabinetry.
If desired, Particle Board Underlayment can be left in place if a Floating engineered wood floor or a Floating Laminate floor system is going to be installed over it. BUT the additional height of both the particle board and the new flooring may pose a problem with doors and appliances. We recommend laying 15 lb. black felt Hardwood flooring underlayment paper over the subfloor overlapping the seams 4-6 inches to help retard moisture transfer. The coatings improve not only the surface properties of the board but also its rigidity and strength.
The cost savings is generally 10 to 20 percent for mid-grade cabinets (most high-end cabinets use plywood, not particle board). According to International Composite Board Emission Standards (ICBES), there are 3 European formaldehyde classes, namely: E0, E1 and E2. This classification is based on the measurement of formaldehyde emission levels. Plywood tends to cost more than particle board and is considered a higher-end material, often used in more expensive cabinets.