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What is Medite®?

B. Turner
B. Turner

Medite® is a green building material produced by the US-based Sierra Pine Company. It can be used as an environmentally-friendly substitute for plywood or particleboard in any interior, non-structural application. Medite® is similar to medium-density fiberboard (MDF) in that it is made from finely shredded wood fibers rather than wood chips or sawdust. The fibers are tightly compressed and bound with resin to form a densely constructed sheet of wood.

Because of its dense and durable construction, Medite® is frequently used to build cabinets, furniture or wood panels. It may also be used in place of MDF for fabricating trim or architectural woodwork. Medite® can not be used in any outdoor applications because of its susceptibility to moisture and humidity. It is also not designed for structural applications such as wall sheathing, roof construction or flooring.


This material has a smooth and uniform surface that provides a good base for painting or staining. Unlike plywood, which has a rough texture that can show through paint, Medite® is even smoother and more consistent than solid wood. It is easy to cut and shape, and holds fasteners more securely than most MDF and particleboard products. Its smooth surface and enhanced strength allow it to hold up longer than MDF while requiring less maintenance. Medite® can also be used with laminate or veneer faces when making cabinets or furniture.

One of the most important benefits to Medite® is its sustainability. This material is made from 100 percent recycled materials, and is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council as a sustainably harvested wood product. While plywood and MDF are constructed using formaldehyde-based resins, Medite® is manufactured using methyl diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI), a formaldehyde-free adhesive. Formaldehyde levels are closely linked to poor indoor air quality, which can contribute to respiratory illnesses and other health problems.

Sierra Pine produces an entire line of Medite® products for use in a variety of applications. Traditional Medite® was designed for industrial use, and is being phased out of production due to its formaldehyde content. Medite® II is formaldehyde-free and was designed to replace earlier versions of this product. Medex® is designed for use in moisture-prone areas, while Medite® FR is treated with a fire-proofing agent to help slow the spread of smoke and flames. The company's newest product, Medite® 3D is designed for extra heavy-duty machining.

Discussion Comments


Medite sounds like a good material for interior construction and furniture and cabinets. The makers of Medite are heading in the right direction if this wood product is made from 100 percent recycled materials.

Medite comes in a whole line of varieties. One variety is made especially to be used in areas of moisture. Does that mean outdoors? Another variety has a fire-proofing application to slow damage by fire. A lot of progress is being made in saving some of our forest regions.


First of all, I'm wondering why the makers of MDF (medium-density fiberboard) used formaldehyde-based resins to make fiberboard. They must have known that formaldehyde could cause high levels in indoor air that could cause respiratory and other health problems.

I'm glad that Medite manufacturers uses another chemical called methyl diphenyl diisocyanate without any formaldehyde. Still, have enough studies been done to make sure that this chemical doesn't cause harm to people.

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