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How Much Weight Can MDF Hold? (All You Need to Know)

Who doesn’t love their furniture made with MDF board, right? MDF makes the furniture look stunning and the MDF made furniture enhances the aesthetics of the room.

Although MDF boards look quite heavy and rigid, you might be wondering how much weight they can hold without bending or cracking.

You might also want to know how you can strengthen your MDF wood board. Let’s find the answers to all your queries regarding the weight holding capacity of MDF.

How much weight can MDF hold?

A board of MDF can withstand up to 35 pounds per square foot on average. So, if you are using this material for making a table or shelving, then you should not put more than 80 pounds of weight on it. However, if you attach studs to the MDF board, then it can hold more than 300 pounds of weight.

MDF is not an very strong material. This is due to the fact that MDF is not a block of natural wood.

It is artificially made with raisins and recycled fibers of the wood. The artificial MDF wood sheet is then dried and pressed to strengthen the board.

An MDF board can hold up to 35lbs of weight per foot. However, the MDF with different thicknesses has different weight-holding capacities. Let’s take a look at the weight-withstanding capacity for various MDF board thicknesses.

12mm mdf:

A 12mm MDF board is quite strong and heavy. An MDF board of 12 mm thickness can hold up to a weight of 58 pounds per square foot. So, you can use this board for making furniture for day-to-day usage.

18mm mdf:

An 18mm thick MDF board is fairly thick and rigid. It can hold approximately up to 70 pounds of weight per square foot area. You can use this board for making tables, chairs, and even shelves without any issues.

25mm mdf:

A MDF board with a thickness of 25mm can hold up to 87 pounds in each square foot. The weight capacity of this MDF board is higher than most other types of MDF boards. You can use this board to make furniture for heavy usage.

1/2 mdf:

A 1/2 inch thick MDF board has a weight capacity of 58 pounds for each square foot. It can be used to make furniture in which too much weight is not applied.

3/4 mdf:

A 3/4 inch MDF has a weight capacity of 70 lbs per square foot. It can be used to make doors and regular usage furniture.

How much weight can a screw in MDF board hold?

A screw in MDF board will have a lower weight capacity than the ones that have legs or base attached to it.

This is due to the fact that the screw in boards won’t get enough support from the floor to hold heavy weight. In general, a screw in Board can hold up to 80 pounds without bending.

In case of putting weight on an MDF board, you will have to be very careful. If you apply more weight than its capacity on a screw in an MDF board, it will bend from the center and it may eventually crack.

That being said, if you add studs on a screw in MDF board, the weight capacity will increase massively.

With studs attached, a screw in MDF can hold up to 300 pounds of weight. As a result, you can use a screw in MDF boards with studs to keep heavy items without any issue.

Is MDF a load bearing?

MDF is actually not a load bearing product. The Medium Density Fiberboard or MDF is not load bearing due to the fact that it is not a naturally produced wood.

It is made by mixing resin bonded wood fibers and recycled wood fibers. After that, it is pressed and dried to make the bond between the fibers stronger.

This artificial wood has a lower weight capacity than most other types of wood. In fact, MDF boards are much softer than plywood. If you apply or keep a heavy load on the MDF board, then it will sag or bend under pressure.

Although a MDF is not a load bearing board, it can still hold enough weight without being bent.

On average, a square foot of MDF board can hold up to 35 pounds of weight. However, the higher the thickness of the MDF board, the higher the weight capacity will be.

Is MDF strong enough for shelves?

MDF is definitely strong enough for shelves. If the shelves are attached to the drywall or plasterboard, then their weight capacity is around 80 pounds.

This load capacity is enough for shelving as very heavy items are not usually stored on the shelves.

Since the MDF board is cost-effective and sleek, MDF is usually used for shelving in cabinets and closets.

However, it is not as firm as some other types of wood and it will sag after a certain period of time. As a result, when you will use MDF for shelving, you should reinforce it with wood and studs.

That being said, if you use MDF boards for shelving in your house, then you should make sure that it doesn’t come in contact with water and heat.

This is due to the fact that heat and water can cause the MDF board to warp in a short period of time.

3 reasons why MDF is not strong as well as plywood

There are numerous reasons why MDF is not as strong as plywood. It is very important to know the reasons so that you can decide which wood you should use for making your furniture.

Have a look at the 4 reasons why MDF is not strong as well as plywood:


MDF board is made by processing recycled wood fibers and attaching them using resin and wax. The combined wood material is then pressed and heated to strengthen the unit. Then again, plywood is manufactured by attaching thin sheets of veneer.

Since the MDF is an artificially processed wood board, its weight capacity is quite low. On the other hand, plywood is totally natural, so it is much stronger and has a higher weight capacity compared to MDF.


The structure of MDF is smooth, uniform, and doesn’t have any knots. On the other hand, in plywood, The grains of adjacent layers are at right angles to each other in an odd number of layers.

As a result of the strong structure, plywood is stronger than MDF.


The MDF board is made using wood fiber and resin, as a result, its weight is much lighter. Then again, the plywood is manufactured using sheets of veneer, which makes it heavier than MDF.

The higher the weight, the stronger the wood would be. As a result, MDF is not as strong as plywood.

How can I strengthen my MDF board?

MDF is an artificially manufactured board and as a result, you can strengthen it in multiple ways. While manufacturing, the MDF board is initially pressed and heated to strengthen the fiber connection.

To strengthen an MDF board you can apply a sealant to it. While applying sealant, make sure to apply it uniformly so that no residue remains on the MDF board.

The sealant will not only strengthen the MDF board but will also make it waterproof and moisture resistant.

You can attach studs to the bottom part of the MDF board to strengthen the unit. You can also glue strips flat on the back edge and the front edge on the underside of the MDF board.

How to calculate MDF weight capacity?

Calculating the weight capacity of the MDF is somewhat complicated. You will have to do it in the right way to find out the accurate weight capacity of your MDF board.

Have a look at how to calculate the MDF weight capacity:

Determine the length:

The first and foremost thing you will have to know to determine the weight capacity is the length. You can use a measuring tape to find out the length of the MDF board.

Measure the width and thickness of the board:

Then, you will have to determine the thickness and width of the MDF board. You can use a measuring tape and a scale to measure the width and thickness respectively.

Calculate the weight capacity:

The weight capacity can be calculated by multiplying the length, thickness, width, and density of the MDF board. The density of the MDF board is usually .025 lbs/in^3.

Final Thoughts

An MDF board has a moderate weight capacity as it is not a naturally made wood. The load withstanding capacity of MDF is generally 35 lbs per foot. When an MDF board is strengthened using studs, its weight capacity becomes almost 300 pounds for each square foot.