Due to it being so widely available, it is useful to understand the benefits of chipboard when undertaking a woodwork project. This will enable you to be aware of the best choice for your purposes.
Standard chipboard is made by bonding chips of wood and adhesive together under pressure and heat until it forms a stiff board. Besides being cheap, it is also widely available which makes it a good option for most internal woodwork jobs. This type of wood can be versatile as it comes in three different densities: normal, medium and high-density. The normal variety is cheap and easy to work with but it is also thin and rather delicate, with chips coming away from the surface; it is often used as the back panel on cupboards and chests of drawers. If necessary, it can be decorated with oil-based paint as it will soak up water-based paint. The high-density version is thicker and more rigid and ideal for use in constructing a worktop. However, getting it wet can cause irreparable damage.
Melamine veneered chipboard is ideal to use when constructing a worktop or bedside table because the coating gives it some protection and enables it to be easily cleaned. However, where the veneer comes away from the surface, it is important to rectify this straight away as exposing the board can leave it susceptible to damage. The melamine veneer also comes in a wide range of different colors which will make it easier to find an option to suit your décor.
There is chipboard available on the market that is specifically made for use on flooring and is easy to fit in accordance with the floor joists. An escape of water will result in this type of flooring soaking up the moisture like and sponge and sections will have to be removed and replaced even if water has not been in direct contact with it. However, this problem can be avoided with the use of a moisture-resistant variety which will remain strong and reduce the risk of wet rot.
Flame-retardant chipboard is perfect for use as part of a fire door as it is treated to ensure that it does not feed a fire. However, it is also necessary for it to be rather heavy and will significantly add to the weight of the door.
Wood veneered chipboard is beneficial if you want the look of wood without paying for the solid variety. However, it can prove difficult to cut as it can leave a messy edge which has to be secured with masking tape beforehand to reduce the risk of the wood veneer chipping.
The surface of the board can be made water-resistant with a plastic veneer. This type is available in many colors and can be used for a variety of different purposes. However, if the veneer suffers damage or peels away, it will be impossible to repair cleanly and will leave the board beneath open to damage.