How to Cut MDF Wall Panels

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Tools for cutting panels

As already mentioned, MDF panels are an excellent facing material. Most often they are used to finish the office, loggia, hallway, corridor. Of these, not only walls can be mounted, but also a ceiling. They go well with wooden or plastic lining, tile.

how to cut mdf wall panels

You can also cut MDF with a hacksaw for metal. Such a tool cuts carefully and accurately, but very slowly. Therefore, it is recommended to use a hacksaw when you need to fit something. The angle grinder will cut the plate much faster. The cut is accurate, only during operation the tool forms a lot of dust. Working with an angle grinder is best on the street, or when the house is undergoing major repairs (photo 3).

Plate mounting

At first glance, installing MDF boards seems very complicated.

As already noted, the panels can be installed on glue. This is the most common and easiest option. “Liquid nails” are used, which must be applied in a thick layer from the wrong side to the MDF board. This method is suitable for flat surfaces. over, the glue consumption is very large. As fasteners, you can still use staples. Also an easy option. The construction stapler is used in this case (photo 5).

MDF wall panels: do-it-yourself installation, installation technology, tools

The decoration of any room should be carefully thought out. Design must be not only beautiful, but also functional. For example, MDF panels can subsequently be washed; they will not quickly become dirty and age. In addition, this material has additional advantages.

The finish may be ideal for which MDF wall panels are used. Do-it-yourself installation is quite simple. No special knowledge is required here. So the layman will cope with the work.

This is a fiberboard, for the manufacture of which very fine chips are used. Production requires high pressure and temperature. In order for the chips to stick together in one mixture, carbamide resins, which are considered the connecting link, are added to it.

MDF wall panels (do-it-yourself installation can be done even by an amateur) are used for covering vertical surfaces in residential and office premises. Other types of material can be used for the manufacture of furniture, arranging partitions, laying flooring. Very often, acoustic systems are made from plates. The thickness of the material reaches 4 mm. There are some conditions for storing these products: humidity. not more than 70%, temperature. not higher than 25 degrees.

Material benefits

MDF paneling has some advantages:

1. High level of resistance to moisture. Some types of materials can even be used to decorate a bathroom.

2. Good durability. The plates are well pressed.

4. Resistance to temperature changes, biological effects. Mice will not be able to gnaw such a skin.

5. Ease of handling and use. You can cut the material with an ordinary jigsaw or circular saw.

6. Good soundproof qualities.

7. Products keep heat well. as well as paintable, laminating, varnishing.

8. The ability to create original designs.

9. Facilitated panel cleaning.

MDF wall panels, which do-it-yourself installation only after assembling the necessary tools, are made of natural material, so they are environmentally friendly.

Product disadvantages

Among the disadvantages of this material are the following:

These disadvantages are not significant with proper use of the material.

What types of plate mounts exist?

Before attaching the MDF panels, you need to understand the connection methods. They are as follows:

  • Thorn groove. This is the simplest type of locking element fixation. Stacking is done butt-to-butt. A feature of this installation is the need for a base made of metal profiles or a wooden crate.
  • Groove groove. Special training is also required here. The wall will need to be strengthened with p-shaped profiles.
  • Glue. This method is used quite often. However, the panel should be lightweight, and the wall should be perfectly flat. For work, a special adhesive composition is required. Naturally, dust and dirt await you during the installation process. But if you have a small room at your disposal and the availability of free centimeters is important, then it is better to choose this method.
  • Profile. It allows you to align the base and attach large-format products.

What tools are needed to work?

If you purchased MDF wall panels, do-it-yourself installation should be done only after all the necessary material and fixtures are ready. You will need:

  1. Building level.
  2. Reiki for the construction of the lathing.
  3. Bench square for the correct determination of the angle.
  4. Plumb line.
  5. Drill, as well as a special nozzle for twisting screws.
  6. Hammer and pliers.
  7. Electric jigsaw for cutting panels.
  8. Special fasteners.
  9. Screw, self-tapping screw in the required quantity.

These tools should be enough for mounting panels. Other tools may be required to prepare the surface.

Varieties and features of panels

In order for the finish to last a long and high quality, it is necessary to choose the right facing material. There are such types of panels:

  • Ordinary. They have high strength, but do not have much protection against moisture. Therefore, such products can be used for wall cladding in dry rooms: hallways, living rooms, bedrooms.
  • For rooms with high humidity. Such MDF panels for the kitchen are suitable. It is in this room that moisture often accumulates and there are temperature extremes.
  • Heavily loaded. They can be mounted in bathrooms, as they have the highest level of protection against the harmful effects of moisture.

Naturally, one should not lose sight of the decorative properties of MDF boards. Thanks to the different designs and colors, you can work wonders. For example, to make the room visually larger, use light or white panels. To get an original and unique interior, it is worth paying attention to the material with an individual design pattern.

Features of surface preparation

Before attaching the MDF panels, it is necessary to prepare the base. In principle, this is not difficult to do. To get started, remove the previous finish or its fragile parts. If the basis for fixing the plates is a wooden crate, then you will not need to align the wall. It should be pre-marked.

The glue method requires a perfectly flat surface. If the defects or level differences are small, then you can apply the usual plaster mortar. Naturally, the walls will then need to be primed in order to maximize the adhesion with glue.

Most often, a wooden crate is still used. It is not difficult to do it. Reiki are installed vertically and horizontally. The distance between them should not exceed 30-40 cm. A screw, self-tapping screw or nail is usually used to fasten the rails. Please note that all wooden elements should be treated with a special antiseptic.

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If metal profiles are used for the crate, then the space that remains between them can be filled with mineral wool or other insulation. In addition to maintaining heat, you can provide additional sound insulation.

Mounting Features

The interior decoration with MDF panels has a certain sequence:

  1. Fastening the first panel. It is screwed at the inner corner with the help of screws. If necessary, trim the slab in length. Since each panel has a comb, it will have to grind a little. For additional fixation, metal fasteners are used.
  2. The following strips need to be screwed up close to the previous ones. On the side of the side groove, the product is fixed with additional fasteners.
  3. Installing the last panel. If necessary, it is cut in width. This element is attached to the crate with screws.
  4. Next, you need to repeat the above steps for each wall. After completion of work on the top edge it is necessary to establish a narrow plinth. It is fastened with nails or self-tapping screws.

As you can see, you can handle this work yourself.

Useful Tips

MDF panels are in great demand. However, improperly mounted material can degrade the interior of the room. Therefore, try to comply with the recommendations of specialists.

For example, when laying slabs, always use a plumb line and a building level. This will help you attach the products evenly.

You can sew with such material the entire wall or part of it. For example, you can only fasten panels at half the height of the base. This will make it possible to use additional finishing materials, as well as diversify the interior.

If there are small irregularities on the wall, then small pieces of plastic can be placed under the wooden slats. They will strengthen the crate. That’s all. Let your home be beautiful and unusual. Good luck

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What is MDF

A room with wall decoration from MDF panels

Video: How to Cut MDF Wall Panels


MDF is a panel finishing material obtained from woodworking wastes by dry hot pressing of fine chips. When heated, a substance called lignin is released from the wood, which acts as an adhesive. The structure of MDF resembles felt from wood fibers. The main advantage of such panels is their high moisture resistance. As a result, they are often used for cladding walls, floors and ceilings in rooms with high humidity, for example, in a bathroom or in a bathroom. However, due to its attractive appearance, such decoration is often widely used in halls and offices. The surfaces faced with MDF in the corridor and on the loggia also look great. The cost of the material compared to the tile is low, while the walls will turn out perfectly smooth.

If you decide to install the panels with your own hands, then first you need to prepare the necessary tools and materials for the job.

What will be needed for installation

For high-quality finish of MDF walls, you will need the following materials and tools:

  • Insulation (mineral wool, penofol, polystyrene or extruded polystyrene foam). We will consider each species in more detail a little later.
  • MDF panels. There are many models that differ in thickness, color and structure, so the choice is yours.
  • Laths or galvanized profiles for installation of a lathing. Width and thickness are 40 and 20 mm, respectively. The length is selected depending on the size of the wall.
  • Self-tapping screws are needed for fixing panels to the crate.
  • Kleimers are special elements necessary for fastening panels to each other and to the crate. Often available with panels.
  • A plumb line is a nut or any other small metal object tied to a fishing line or thread.
  • Building level.
  • Yardstick.
  • Pencil or marker.
  • Plane.
  • Metal corner (bench square). It will be required for cutting pieces of panels for slopes.
  • An electric jigsaw is used for sawing MDF. You can also use a hacksaw for metal or a circular saw. The latter, due to its compactness, is very convenient to use. She can cut both wood and metal. just changing the complete circles.
  • Hammer drill with concrete drill.
  • A screwdriver, drill or screwdriver with a nozzle for screws.

Toolkit in the photo

Wall preparation

Preparing the walls before installing the crate

Before starting facing work, you must make sure that the room is suitable for the installation of panels. If strong swelling of wall-paper, drywall, or peeling of plaster is visible on the walls, then you should first clean them of old finishing materials. Also, do not forget about skirting boards and decorative corners (if any) used to hide the joints of walls and ceiling.

Useful advice: It is advisable to remove the old finish completely, that is, to the main wall. So you save on fasteners and reveal hidden surface damage.

When the walls are cleaned, you can go directly to the installation of the lathing under the MDF panel, but first, let’s find out what its varieties exist.

Types of lathing

The most popular technologies for installing wall panels from MDF today are:

  1. Wooden crate. This design is easy to do, and it does not require a large number of fasteners. However, the wooden crate needs to be pre-impregnated with a special tool in order to prevent the appearance of fungus, rot, and also mold. If the room has high humidity, then use a wooden crate in this case is not worth it.
  2. Lath made of galvanized profiles. Often, metal structures are used as a plasterboard crate, although they are quite suitable for facing MDF walls. But for the formation of the skeleton on the floor, galvanized profiles are not suitable, due to the low strength. As for the ceiling, a construction made of light metal, and not of a bar, is just suitable.

The installation of lattice structures made of metal and wood has several differences. For example, when using galvanized profiles, their fastening should be performed only by means of powerful and long self-tapping screws. The use of dowel nails in this case does not make sense. the tenacity between the profile and the fastener itself will be lost.

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The most important point on which the strength of the fasteners and the entire structure depends on is fixing the body of the self-tapping screw or dowel-nail (with a wooden crate) at least 35 mm in the wall. For example, if the thickness of the rail or profile is 20 mm, and the MDF of the panel is 10 mm, then the depth of the groove under the seat socket and, accordingly, the fastener should be about 65 mm, or better, more. The diameter of the fasteners is selected in the range from 4 to 6 mm, depending on the density of the wall. The stronger it is, the smaller the diameter of the self-tapping screw should be. All fasteners are equipped with a special socket. When drilling a groove, the diameter must be compared with the diameter of the body of the landing nest, and not its head, otherwise the margin of safety will be insufficient.

Installation of a wooden structure

Installation of a wooden crate

We begin with the installation of uprights. We install rails in each corner in pairs. so that they form a right angle, as well as along the edges of door and window openings along the entire height of the room. To make the racks take exactly vertical position, use a plumb line. Now in order:

  1. We attach the rail to the wall and draw it on either side with a pencil or marker.
  2. We make holes for fasteners using a hammer drill with a drill for concrete. For structural strength, the drilling pitch should be in the range of 0.4 to 0.5 m.
  3. We drive the slots into the holes for the fasteners and make notes of their location on the rack itself.
  4. We drill holes in the rail with a diameter slightly smaller than the fixing one.
  5. We install the racks in place using self-tapping screws or dowels-nails.
  6. In the same way we install horizontal bars. The step remains the same. Do not forget to draw slopes with slats.
  7. At the end, the ledge elements at the joints of the structure are removed using a planer.

Metal base mount

The procedure for mounting the structure of galvanized profiles is completely similar to the above. First, the racks are placed in the corners of the room and in the places of the openings for marking the walls. After, holes are made for fasteners and the installation of vertical profiles. As racks profiles like UD are used. In marked places, in accordance with a step of 0.4-0.5 m, horizontal profiles of the CD type are inserted into them. After the crossbars are attached to the uprights and the wall. Between themselves, the elements of the metal structure are connected using conventional screws. As mentioned earlier, such a crate should only be fastened to the wall with powerful fasteners (dowel nails will not work).

Useful advice: for cutting metal profiles, it is recommended to use an angle grinder or a hand saw with the appropriate nozzle. Efficiency jigsaw even with a file for metal is much less.

About thermal insulation

The installation of the crate is completed, but before proceeding with the installation of the MDF panels, the walls should be insulated. This will save a lot on heating the room, as well as increase its thermal insulation. In addition, heaters additionally prevent the formation of mold, fungus and moisture in the voids of the crate. It is recommended to fill the cells in the crate with one of the following heaters:

  • Penofol is a relatively new multilayer insulation material, which consists of polyethylene foam and polished foil with a reflectivity of 97%. It is fireproof, environmentally friendly, has good sound insulation and low vapor permeability.
  • Mineral wool. The material has gained great popularity due to its high thermal insulation and moisture resistance.
  • Styrofoam. Air is the best heat insulator, and this material consists of 98% of it. All this thanks to the polystyrene granules that are formed in the foam during the production process. The material is characterized by high moisture and vapor impermeability.
  • Extruded polystyrene foam. This type of foam is obtained by melting with extrusion. A sealant is not cheap, but it fully justifies its price. The material has excellent thermal insulation, as well as a high compression ratio. Therefore, it is often used to warm floors.

Installation of this heat-insulating material is very simple:

  1. From the roll of insulation, in accordance with the size of the cells (step crates), sheets are cut.
  2. After that, they are attached to the wall using construction foam or silicone glue.
  3. The resulting protrusions of the mounting foam are removed using a clerical knife.

After warming the walls, we turn to the most interesting thing. the technology of wall cladding with panels.

Installation of MDF panels

Laying the product should start from the corner. The installation procedure is as follows:

  1. We attach the panel to the corner and check whether it fits snugly on the crate. After we evaluate the evenness of the surface using the building level.
  2. If all is well, from the side of the corner over the entire height of the structure we fasten the panel with screws to the crate.
  3. Subsequent planks are connected using kleimers, which are inserted into the groove of the panel. It is advisable to fix these staples with nails to the crate.
  4. In the groove of the first corner panel we push the crest of the next. In this case, it is necessary to control the density of their fit. If gaps are found, you should slightly cut the crest of one panel with a knife and try again to put it in place.
  5. We fasten the MDF bar to the crate using self-tapping screws along the entire height of the structure.
  6. Next, the installation process is repeated.
  7. The last panel must be pressed all the way to the penultimate one and fixed at the free edge with screws.

Important: If the last plank does not fit in the remaining space, then you can still carefully shorten the width using an electric jigsaw.

Slope Finishing

This procedure is similar to installing panels. In addition, when decorating slopes, there are two options for decorating. The first is the installation of the panel along, the second. across. If the slope is small and its width does not exceed 1.8 widths of the finishing panel, transverse sheathing is performed. With wide slopes, you can resort to any of the methods.

Useful information: slopes cross-trimmed with alternating dark and light tones have an excellent view.

The furniture gives a finished look to the finish, thanks to which you can hide the corner joints between the panels. Good to close the flaws folding corners. From the inside, glue should be applied to them and firmly press the product to the lining in the corner. To hide the joints with the floor and ceiling, you can use the baseboard.

Video instruction for working with wall panels

As you can see, there is nothing complicated in installing MDF panels, and you can do this work without the help of a construction wizard. We hope that our article will help you to produce high-quality decoration of the room, which will not only warm your house, but also last for many years.

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Do-it-yourself installation of MDF panels on the wall. step-by-step guide

MDF panels are one of the most affordable and easy-to-install finishing materials for wall decoration. It will require a minimum of components, a little skill and a desire to beautifully decorate the room. Well, and, of course, the most important thing is our instruction for the installation of slats.

After decorating the wall with MDF panels, it may look like this. Pretty, isn’t it?

What are MDF panels

MDF or MDF (Medium Density Fibreboard) is a wood-fiber board produced by dry hot pressing. The raw materials used are fine-grained sawdust of industrial wood species, binders and some additives that provide the material with ductility and relative moisture resistance.

MDF boards are convenient in that they can be produced in any thickness, easily processed, cut, milled, faced. Therefore, wall panels with a thickness of 6 to 16 mm are produced from them. The width of the products varies from 12 to 37 cm, the length is from 2.4 to 3 m. The surface is most often decorated with plastic or paper-resin films with a design for the texture of wood, natural stone, ceramic products, fabric, leather.

MDF panels are equipped with a tongue-and-groove joint system, that is, on one side of the bar there is a spike, and on the other a groove. As components, manufacturers (Kronostar, Soyuz, Kronoshpan and others) produce thin external and internal corners from the same material with a decorative surface like wood, stone and other materials.

The spike-groove system allows you to connect the panels firmly and without gaps

The main way to install panels is frame or adhesive. The first is more complex, but reliable. The second requires a more thorough preparation of the foundation, respectively, time, labor and material costs can increase significantly.

What will be required for the installation of MDF

For the installation of DIY MDF panels, you need the following set of tools and accessories:

  • Panels and accessories made of MDF or plastic (corners external, internal, finishing F-, P- or T-shaped).
  • Steel U-shaped profiles for gypsum plasterboard and accessories for the formation of the frame. An alternative is a bar 30×50 mm, 40×40 mm, 40×60 mm, etc.
  • The primer strengthening for concrete or impregnation antiseptic for wood.
  • Self-tapping screws for metal or wood, nails or special clamps.
  • Insulation (isolon, polystyrene, mineral wool, EPSS and others).
  • Hacksaw with canvases on wood or jigsaw, scissors for metal.
  • Tape measure and construction pencil.
  • Gyro level and metal corner.
  • Hammer, screwdriver or drill. As an alternative, you can use a construction stapler or Liquid Nails glue.

Step-by-step instruction

Consider the most common way to install panels with your own hands on the wall. frame. The bottom line is that from the wooden battens or steel profiles for gypsum plaster, a “skeleton" is formed on the walls, to which decorative lamellas are subsequently attached.

In the case of mounting MDF-plates on the frame, the wall does not need to be carefully plastered, puttyed, evened, and removed the old coating in the form of wallpaper or paint.

Mineral crumbling bases (concrete, plaster, brick, cement) can only be treated with a deep penetration reinforcing primer, wooden ones with fire-retardant impregnation or non-washable antiseptic primer to prevent the development of mold, fungi, bugs.

Installation of MDF is performed in the following order.

Step 1. Preparing the walls

The surface must be treated with a protective and strengthening composition. If necessary, fix a thin insulation with plastic dowels or a building stapler. ordinary or foil-foamed polyethylene (Isolon, Penoizol), EPSP up to 7 mm thick (Pufas, QS) or others.

At this stage, work is also carried out with wiring and other communications. The outputs of sockets, switches, cables are marked.

Step 2. Frame formation

The main rule when installing the slats with your own hands. logs or profiles are attached perpendicular to the direction of installation of the panels. As a rule, MDF is mounted vertically, so the rails must be fixed horizontally.

First of all, you should check the evenness of the wall with a level and mark it. Especially protruding sections are preferably squeezed, the pits and depressions should be marked with a pencil, so that when installing the crate in these areas, put thin plates of fiberboard, chipboard or plywood for alignment.

First, a frame is formed around the perimeter of the wall. The lower and upper beam or profile is installed at a distance of 3-5 cm from the floor / ceiling. Between them, the elements of the crate are placed in increments of 40-60 cm. Metal guides are fastened with metal screws or anchors, for wooden battens, nails, dowel nails or wood screws can be used.

Lathing device example

Along the perimeter of door and window openings, the crate is mounted with an indent of 3-5 cm from the edge. The distance between adjacent profiles should be kept standard. 40-60 cm.

Around the door and window frames, you can install additional battens for strengthening the rigidity

Between the elements of the finished crate, you can install insulation boards. mineral wool, polystyrene, extruded polystyrene foam and others.

Step 3. Installing panels

MDF needs to be carefully cut in size beforehand. Installation starts from the corner. The panel is attached to the wall, the verticality is checked by the hydraulic level and fixed from the side of the ridge to the crate using small nails or special clamps. The next lamella is inserted with a spike into the groove of the previous one until it stops and is fixed on the other side with hardware. In a similar way, the remaining panels are mounted.

Klyammer reliably fixes the lamella to the crate, although you can use small nails for this.

After finishing the work, the corners and edges around the windows and doors are decorated with MDF fittings. Folding corners made of MDF or plastic are fixed with the help of glue "Liquid nails", "Titan" and their analogues.

Initially, a corner from MDF is not a corner at all, but a bar. Depending on the type of angle (internal or external), it is bent in the right direction

Excess adhesive must immediately be removed with a damp cloth. The upper part can be hidden under a decorative plastic or polyurethane cornice, from the bottom, do-it-yourself skirtings are mounted to match the color of the floor or wall covering.

The coating of the MDF panels is ready. It is recommended that you use a vacuum cleaner or a slightly damp cloth to remove dust and dirt. Do not use rags abundantly dampened with water, abrasive and aggressive detergents to avoid damage to the surface of the plates.

Detailed video installation instructions for MDF panels:

Adhesive method for mounting MDF slats on the wall

With the adhesive installation method, more stringent requirements are imposed on the base. The surface must be firm, even, dry. It is advisable to completely remove the remnants of old coatings, then prime with a adhesion improver.

On the back of the panel, glue is applied in zigzag movements, then the strip is applied to the wall and pressed. The next lamella is also lubricated with glue, connected to the previous one and pressed. After installing all the elements, the corners and edges are decorated with corners, cornices, the rest of the fittings.