Types of Hardboard and Their Uses
This versatile material is made frompulp which is forced into sheets under high pressure. There are several types, although when most people mention hardboard they have only the standard varieties in mind.
This has a finished face on one side only and a rough mesh texture on the reverse. It is made in thicknesses ranging from 2 to 12 mm. The most common, 3, 4 and 6.5 mm, are fairly easy to obtain in sheets of 610 x 1220 mm, 1220 x 1220 mm, 1830 x 1220 mm and 2440 x 1220 mm and in 6 ft 6 in x 2 ft 6 in sheets for doors.
Most shops and timber merchants cut to size, but sometimes their cutting is inaccurate and out of square. Ask for a piece slightly oversize, so that you can trim it yourself. Ready-cut standard sheets are usually true and are up to 3 mm bigger than the stated sizes.
Your requirements may make it cheaper to buy a crate containing 20 or more sheets.
This is a much softer board which is often used as a surfacing material for wall partitions. One of the best-known boards, Sundeala, makes an ideal notice-board because it takes drawing-pins easily.
This board has been impregnated with oil to make it hard and water-resistant. It is useful for lining walls and ceilings in outbuildings. Another of its uses is as a finished flooring, over either boards or concrete. Thicknesses and sheet sizes are as for standard hardboard.
Each side of the sheet has a finished face. It is made in 2440 x 1220 mm sheets and is available in cut sizes. It is generally available only in 3 mm thickness although it is also made 2-12 mm thick.
The standard sheet sizes are 610 x 1220 mm, 1220x 1220 mm, 1830 x 1220 mm and 2440 x 1220 mm, usually 3 mm thick but thicknesses of 4 and 6.5 mm are made.
Except for pegboard, which is commonly single-faced standard hardboard, the sheets are usually double-faced. The perforations can be a simple series of holes or slats at regular spacings, or can form more complicated patterns.
Many of these sheets are oil-tempered.
This is frequently used for wall or bath panelling. It is standard hardboard with a factory-painted surface, often with tile or plank patterns embossed. Some of the paints are plastic-based and are extremely hard-wearing.
Plastic-laminate faced hardboard
These hardboards are faced, on one side only, with melamine or PVC. They are often used for sliding doors and are decorative and easily cleaned. They are not suitable for worktops or any surface which will be subjected to harsh treatment.
Moulded and embossed hardboards
These are mostly 3 mm thick sheets with patterns embossed into one face. The patterns include reeds, woven texture, leather-grain, bamboo, tile patterns, grooves and linen-fold. All are obtainable to order.