In the kitchen, MDF wall panels are most often used for finishing the apron, but often for partial or full wall cladding. In this article we will talk about how to choose the right material, and how to install a kitchen apron from MDF with your own hands. In addition, here you will find 25 photo-examples of MDF application in the interior.
Characteristics, pros and cons
So, briefly about the material:
- MDF boards are made from woodworking industry waste. As a matter of fact, it is a small shaving which is pressed with an astringent substance, lignin, "wood glue". It turns out that MDF is much more environmentally friendly than its relative DSP and has an emission class of formaldehyde E1, that is it is as safe for health as a natural tree.
- Wall panels are sold fully ready for installation: veneered, laminated or painted.
- Apron for kitchen from MDF is more often laminated, of standard sizes: 4x2440x60 cm. For wall sheathing it is necessary to look for wall panels of greater length. For example, Egger offers a panel length of 2700 cm.
What is a good apron for kitchen from MDF? We can name at least eight of its main advantages:
- Resistance to moisture and humidity. The tree in this criterion strongly loses MDF.
- Strength - panels easily withstand random shocks due to their high density.
- The installation of panels does not require careful leveling of the walls, it is possible to install them quickly and easily, unlike tiles and glass.
- Ease of care. Washing panels from MDF is much easier than glass, wood or tiles with numerous seams.
- A lot of design possibilities: you can choose for your kitchen imitation wood or stone, pick up the material in the tone of the countertop or use panels with photo printing. The photo below shows an example of a "marble" apron from MDF (leaf).
- Low price compared to wood, stone, granite or agglomerate.
- Wall panels can be installed with a clearance (i.e., a crate), which will allow them to mount wiring or ventilation under them.
- If you trim the MDF panels not only "working", but also other walls, the kitchen will become quieter and warmer.
But this material has its drawbacks:
- First, MDF panels are afraid of high temperatures, so it is not desirable to fasten them near the gas stove. Overheating material can deform.
- Secondly, MDF has a weak point - this is the butt. If they are open, they should be protected from moisture and mechanical damage.
- The third disadvantage is the instability to scratches and damage by sharp objects. No, if you lightly hit the walls with a knife nothing will happen, but if you forcefully hamper, the decorative top layer is likely to peel off.
- And finally, the last negative is the lack of naturalness. No matter how high-quality it was to print on melamine film, MDF panels will still lose to natural wood or stone.
How to choose the MDF panel for the kitchen?
- MDF is worth buying from well-known manufacturers who have all the relevant quality certificates and value their reputation. For example, it could be the Russian Kronospan or the German Egger. It is better to overpay for the brand than to run into poor-quality material of insufficient density and high emission of formaldehyde. In the store, do not hesitate to ask for documents confirming the originality of the plates and their compliance with the emission class of formaldehyde E1.
- Of course, before going to the store you need to make appropriate measurements and understand how much material and how long you need to buy. For example, for U-shaped, angled or a long kitchen will have to buy at least two sheets. If you are confident in your measurements, then the exact size of the material can be ordered directly from the store. Otherwise, the exact material is adjusted at home.
- As for the thickness, it is better to choose 4 mm thick MDF: this material is more resistant to moisture and wear, but at the same time it does not interfere with the installation of kitchen cabinets.
- Wall panels should be chosen taking into account the design of the headset and kitchen interior. You can navigate through the color and texture of the facades, countertops, as well as the floor, kitchen furniture and curtains.
- Keep in mind that if you choose a light apron, then the kitchen will visually seem bigger, if it's dark, then the space will become more chambery, cozy.
Below are photos of examples of light aprons from MDF:
- In addition, keep in mind that on dark walls dust, grease spots and water splashes are very noticeable.
- Choosing a wall panel with photo printing for finishing the apron, do not forget that too variegated designs can overload the interior of the kitchen. Bright flowers, types of megacities, fruits and vegetables will be an excellent accent only if the facades of the headset and the situation as a whole are very laconic as, for example, in this kitchen project.
If in the interior there are already colorful curtains or, say, wallpaper, then from the apron with photo printing it is better to refuse in favor, for example, the traditional imitation of a tree.
- When buying a panel with photo printing, it is worth to find out on what technology the image was applied to MDF. There are four basic technologies:
- Apply directly to the plate with ink. In this case, the price is minimal, but the durability of the picture is not high.
- The image is applied to the film, and it is adhered to the MDF.
- The picture is printed on acrylic, and then it is glued to the panel.
- Hot facing: the image is applied to the plate, and then it is opened with a varnish and protected with a special thermoplastic layer.
The price in the last two cases is higher, but the quality of the panels is different for the better.
On the next video you can see a small crash test of an apron from MDF with photo printing on acrylic:
But the video of the crash test of an apron from lacquered MDF with photo printing:
Installation of kitchen apron from MDF
Step 1. First, mark the wall and calculate the amount of material. If you did not order cutting the apron to the desired size, then you need to do it yourself with a jigsaw.
- Please note that under the hood you need a panel of greater height. Often in this area, not MDF is installed, but a neutral background material is used, for example, a metal or glass screen or a tile. Below is an example of MDF protection in place above the plate with clear glass.
Step 2. After the panel has already been cut to the required size, it must be prepared for installation and cut out all the necessary holes in the places where the outlets are installed. As a rule, about 3-4 rosettes are installed near the work area, and their location should be accurately measured, then outlined and cut.
Step 3. Next, install the mounting plate - it will serve as a "support" for the MDF-apron. However, if the lower pedestals of the kitchen set are already installed, then a backup will not be required.
Step 4. The fourth stage is the installation itself. Fasten the panels with glue or screws. Each technology has both opponents and fans. And we'll look at both, so you can decide how to install the wall panels yourself.
Mounting on self-tapping screws
Mounting with self-tapping screws allows you to quickly replace the panel if necessary. The fastening itself provides for marking the sheet for self-tapping screws: one fastener each 500-600 mm. Holes in the wall must be done in advance, insert the dowels in them, and then screw in the screws, pulling the plate as fully as possible. Screws of screws can be hidden with special decorative caps.
With this method of installation, no holes are needed: just enough to prepare the holes for installing the outlets. The adhesive is purchased in a special tube. It will also require a gun for glue, with which it is much easier to apply. The glue is distributed on the back of the slab, horizontally, every 20 cm. The apron with glue is applied to the wall and fixed by special spacers for 14 hours.
Step 5. The joint between the apron and the curbstones is then treated with a sealant and covered with a plinth. After that you can proceed with the installation of sockets, rails or sinks.
You can see the process of installing the apron for the kitchen from MDF with your own hands in the following video:
And the last question that interests buyers of kitchen aprons from MDF - the price. The cost of full-size panels with photo printing height of 60 cm is 1500-1800 rubles. Variants with imitation of brick, wood, stone, tiles will cost in the range of 800-3000 rubles, depending on the thickness of the material (2 or 4 mm). Also, during installation, you will need a special mounting glue, and this is another 250-300 rubles. for packing.