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How Much Does MDF Weigh?


An important consideration when choosing materials for woodworking, home renovation, or DIY projects is weight.

Unsurprisingly, the heavier the material, the stronger the supporting structure must be to keep it securely in place and prevent collapse.

Medium-density fiberboard, or MDF, is renowned for being particularly heavy.

How heavy is MDF in reality, though, and is it significantly heavier than alternative engineered sheet materials such as plywood?

That’s what we’ll be answering in this article.

A 1/2″, 4′ by 8′ sheet of MDF weighs around 58 lbs (or 25 kg for an equivalent 12mm thick, 2440mm by 1220mm metric sheet). MDF is denser than softwood plywood (37.5-50 lb/ft³ versus the plywood’s 28.75 lb/ft³), making it much heavier. Lightweight MDF is available with a density of about 32.5 lb/ft³.

Whether you’re working with imperial or metric MDF, keep reading to find helpful reference tables of the weights of standard MDF sheet sizes and thicknesses. We’ve also included a handy MDF calculator to help you figure out the weight of custom sheet sizes too.

How Heavy Is MDF?

As mentioned, MDF is renowned for being heavy, especially versus other sheet materials such as plywood or OSB (oriented strand board).

In larger sheets, even a slight increase in thickness can significantly increase the weight of MDF.

From how much a sheet weighs in both imperial and metric measurements to why MDF is so dense, we’ll touch on everything you need to know about the weight of MDF in this section.

Let’s get started.

How Much Does a Sheet of MDF Weigh?

For those in the United States, or for anyone who prefers working with imperial sizing, here’s a summary of the approximate weight of a standard 4-foot by 8-foot MDF sheet across a variety of thicknesses:

MDF Sheet Weight – Imperial Sizing

MDF Sheet Thickness

Approximate MDF Sheet Weight

(4′ x 8′)

1/8″

14.5 lbs

3/6″

22 lbs

1/4″

29 lbs

7/16″

51 lbs

1/2″

58 lbs

5/8″

72.5 lbs

11/16″

80 lbs

3/4″

87 lbs

15/16″

109 lbs

1″

116 lbs

1-1/8″

130.5 lbs

1-1/4″

145 lbs

1-1/2″

174 lbs

For those residing outside of the United States, or for anyone who prefers working with metric sizing, here’s a summary of the approximate weight of a standard 2440mm by 1220mm MDF sheet across a variety of thicknesses:

MDF Sheet Weight – Metric Sizing

MDF Sheet Thickness

Approximate MDF Sheet Weight

(2440mm x 1220mm)

2mm

4.25 kg

3mm

6.25 kg

4mm

8.25 kg

6mm

12.50 kg

9mm

18.75 kg

12mm

25 kg

15mm

31.25 kg

18mm

37.5 kg

22mm

45.75 kg

25mm

52 kg

30mm

62.5 kg

38mm

79 kg

Is MDF Heavier Than Plywood?

Like MDF, plywood is another common engineered sheeting material that is highly versatile.

Plywood is manufactured from thin veneers of wood, with each layer cross-grained and glued at 90-degrees to the piece below to give the wood its trademark stability and strength.

Several varieties of plywood are available, and each has different properties suited to various applications.

MDF is generally heavier than plywood, particularly versus softwood, hardwood, and premium baltic birch plywood variants. Pressure-treated plywood is one type of plywood that tends to be heavier than MDF, however.

Here’s a summary table that shows how much MDF weighs versus comparably-sized plywood sheets:

MDF Weight vs. Plywood

Sheet Type (1/2″ Thick)

Approximate Sheet Weight

(4′ x 8′)

MDF

58 lbs

Medium Density Overlay (MDO)

37.5 lbs

Softwood Plywood

40.5 lbs

Hardwood Plywood

46.5 lbs

Baltic Birch Plywood

48.75 lbs

Marine Plywood

49.25 lbs

Pressure Treated Plywood

78 lbs

Why Is MDF So Heavy?

MDF is so heavy because it is particularly dense, with a typical density of 37.5-50 lb/ft³ (600-800 kg/m³).

Without wishing to get too technical, the more dense a material is, the heavier it’ll be for a particular volume (or for a particular sheet size, in the case of MDF).

This is demonstrated below:

how much does mdf weigh article image - image showing the effect of density on weight

©designua/123RF.COM

Let’s look at a 1/2″ thick, 4-foot by 8-foot sheet of MDF as an example.

It’ll weigh around 58 lbs based on MDF’s density of 37.5-50 lb/ft³, whereas a similarly sized spruce plywood sheet would weigh approximately 41 lbs, given that spruce plywood has a much lower average density of 460 kg/m³.

Why Is MDF So Dense?

MDF sheets typically consist of 82% wood fibers, with these mixed with various resins and waxes and bound together using heat and pressure.

It’s the sheer quantity of these wood fibers that not only give MDF many of its benefits, for example, its smooth surface, lack of knots, and paintability, but also its high density and subsequent high weight.

Another contributing factor to MDF’s higher density is its lack of voids. The tiny wood fibers in MDF create a more consistent internal structure versus cheaper plywood, with these voids lowering the density and weight of these boards.

Higher-quality MDF will contain a higher content of wood fibers, which increases overall density. The type of fiber used also plays a part, with hardwood fibers leading to a higher overall density than softwood fibers.

These minor adjustments in the ‘ingredients’ of MDF are relatively common between manufacturers, hence why MDF sheets of the same size can have different densities (and why we quote a density range of 37.5-50 lb/ft³).

It is possible to alter the density to a larger degree, though, to the point where the material is no longer referred to as standard MDF.

By doing so, manufacturers can enhance some of the properties of standard MDF for specific applications, for example, creating lighter sheets that are easier to install or stronger sheets that are more durable.

For example, on the lighter side of things, Hanson offers so-called Ultralight MDF which has a density of 32.5 lb/ft³ (520 kg/m³) that results in a much lighter MDF sheet.

Conversely, high-density fiberboard, or HDF, is a popular alternative to MDF that packs in more fibers to offer a stronger and harder alternative to MDF. Because of this, HDF can weigh as much as 56.2 lb/ft³ (900 kg/m³).

The Disadvantages of MDF’s Weight

If you’ve worked with MDF, you’ll understand how heavy it feels, especially in larger or thicker sheet sizes.

Here are a few of the disadvantages related to MDF’s weight:

  • Because of its increased weight versus other sheet materials, such as plywood, MDF often requires a stronger, bulkier supporting structure that can be more expensive, complex, and take longer to build.
  • MDF sheets can be harder to lift and maneuver, especially in larger sheet sizes and if you’re working by yourself.
  • MDF is prone to warping under its weight in longer spans if you don’t provide adequate support. The weight can also lead to cracking or splitting in certain situations.

MDF Weight Calculator

Need to work out how much a sheet of MDF weighs in either imperial or metric units?

Check out our handy MDF board weight calculator:

MDF Weight Calculator

Enter the dimensions of an MDF sheet below to work out its weight:

Total Weight = 0.00lbs / 0.00kg
Important Info
* Use whole numbers for inches. For example, 1/8″ would be 0.125, and 1-1/4″ would be 1.25. Click the button below to show a table of common MDF imperial thicknesses as whole numbers.

  • Replace this…

    …with this.

    1/8″

    0.125

    3/6″

    0.1875

    1/4″

    0.25

    7/16″

    0.4375

    1/2″

    0.5

    5/8″

    0.625

    11/16″

    0.6875

    3/4″

    0.75

    15/16″

    0.9375

    1″

    1

    1-1/8″

    1.125

    1-1/4″

    1.25

    1-1/2″

    1.5

Based on an MDF density of 600-800 kg/m3, we’ve opted for the average at 700 kg/m3 for this MDF weight calculator.
This calculator is designed for indicative purposes only. It shouldn’t be used where exact calculations are required.

Quick Reference Information

MDF Weight per m²

For those in the United States, or for anyone who prefers working with imperial sizing, here’s a summary of the approximate weight per square meter of standard MDF across a variety of imperial thicknesses:

MDF Weight Per Square Meter – Imperial Sizing

MDF Sheet Thickness

Approximate MDF Weight Per m²

1/8″

4.88 lbs/m²

3/6″

7.40 lbs/m²

1/4″

9.75 lbs/m²

7/16″

17.15 lbs/m²

1/2″

19.50 lbs/m²

5/8″

24.39 lbs/m²

11/16″

26.91 lbs/m²

3/4″

29.26 lbs/m²

15/16″

33.66 lbs/m²

1″

39.02 lbs/m²

1-1/8″

43.90 lbs/m²

1-1/4″

48.77 lbs/m²

1-1/2″

58.53 lbs/m²

For those residing outside of the United States, or for anyone who prefers working with metric sizing, here’s a summary of the approximate weight per square meter of standard MDF across a variety of metric thicknesses:

MDF Weight Per Square Meter – Metric Sizing

MDF Sheet Thickness

Approximate MDF Weight Per m²

2mm

1.43 kg/m²

3mm

2.10 kg/m²

4mm

2.77 kg/m²

6mm

4.20 kg/m²

9mm

6.30 kg/m²

12mm

8.40 kg/m²

15mm

10.50 kg/m²

18mm

12.60 kg/m²

22mm

15.37 kg/m²

25mm

17.47 kg/m²

30mm

21.00 kg/m²

38mm

26.54 kg/m²

MDF Weight per m³

You only need to look at MDF’s density to work out the weight of the material per m³. After all, the density of MDF is a calculation of the material’s mass per unit volume.

MDF weighs approximately 37.5-50 lb/ft³, which equates to around 600-800 kg/m³ for metric users.

This higher density makes MDF much heavier than other popular sheet materials, such as spruce plywood, which has a density of around 28.75 lb/ft³ (460 kg/m³).

As mentioned above, we typically state a range for the density (or weight per m³/ft³) for MDF because the density tends to vary between manufacturers depending on the quantity of wood fibers used and whether the MDF contains hardwood or softwood fibers, for example.

So, even though two sheets might have the same dimensions, their final weight could vary due to the difference in their densities.

It’s possible to get variations of MDF that have much lower or higher densities, as mentioned above. For example, Ultralight MDF weighs around 32.5 lb/ft³ (520 kg/m³), while high-density fiberboard can weigh as much as 56.2 lb/ft³ (900 kg/m³).


Final Remarks

It’s no secret that MDF is particularly heavy, resulting from its higher density versus many other engineered sheet materials, such as plywood.

MDF’s high density stems from the quantity of wood fibers packed and compressed into each sheet using heat and pressure and the lack of voids in the material’s internal structure.

Because of its increased weight versus other sheet materials, MDF can require a stronger, bulkier supporting structure that can add complexity and expense to your project.

The increased weight of MDF also makes it harder to lift and maneuver, especially in larger sheet sizes and if you’re working by yourself.

We’ve included handy weight tables above that you can use to check the approximate weight of both metric or imperial sheet sizes, and you can use the calculator to figure out how much MDF weighs in custom sheet sizes, too.

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