With so many are stuck in their home offices the demand for an office desk for home offices is high.
However, there are many types of office desks and of course; you don’t want to break the bank when purchasing one. There is a great variety of desks, but he the question is always “What are cheap desks made of?”
Cheap office desks are usually made of particleboard, a composite of wood- or jute chips, and a synthetic resin or another binder. This is what most computer desks are made of you can buy at Walmart or other retail stores. This is not to confuse with MDF or “Medium-density fibreboard”, which is a much studier composite material.
We will discuss both options for desks briefly here in this article.
What Are Cheap Computer Desks Made Of We Can Find In Walmart Or Other Retail Stores?
Most inexpensive office desks you can find at retail stores like Walmart and others are usually made of low-rate particle boards.
That is why these cheapest office desks are usually very light and flimsy and, therefore, will not keep standing for long.
Often these desks are L shaped to give them more stability and can be best placed in a corner space in your room.
Sometimes an l shaped desk has a metal frame. But usually, they lack some sort of storage. That’s why other than the low price and often a good style and color, they are not a good option if you want to work professionally. But it might be ok if you just want to use the desk for gaming or a hobby.
If you search a bit, you can also find cheap good quality desks for your room on Amazon. But it’s always good if you look at other users’ recommendations.
When you are shopping for a home office desk or table, don’t look only at the price, color, or style. Also, make sure it will fit your work space and also has the option for ample storage space.
WHAT IS PARTICLE BOARD THAT IS WIDELY USED FOR A COMPUTER DESK?
Well, a particle board, or as some call it, chipboard, is made of – you guessed it – particles of chips of wood that are pressed and glued together with resin and other chemicals.
That is why new particleboard furniture smells a bit until the chemicals dissolve a bit.
There are also slight differences between particleboards and chipboards. Basically, it has to do with the size of the particles or wood chips and the density of the board. But both are used for desks.
A computer desk is usually then laminated to have a solid clean surface. Others, even cheaper desks, are just painted.
Particleboards have the advantage that they are more uniform than solid wood and can be manufactured fast and inexpensive. But that also makes particle wood heavier than solid wood. At the same time, it breaks much faster.
As mentioned, there are different particleboard grades with different board densities. The higher the density, the more stable the board will be – and the heavier it will be.
WHAT ARE THE DISADVANTAGES OF A COMPUTER DESK MADE OF PARTICLEBOARDS?
- One of the biggest disadvantages is that particleboards are very sensitive to moisture.
Because of their open pores, moisture can enter the board and make it swell up, crumble, and get discolored.
That is especially true when the particleboard is not fully covered or painted.
Because of the manufacturing process, particleboards are soaked with many chemicals such as formaldehyde. This is a toxic chemical and it’s therefore of course not healthy to be exposed to it for a long time.
When you plan to sit all day in your home office you might want to think about if you want to be exposed to it every day. Even after many months, formaldehyde gas is released by particleboards that are not fully covered or laminated.
Office furniture made of particleboard is seldom completely sealed in every corner. So this is a real threat to your health.
- Another disadvantage of particleboard computer desk is that over time they sag.
You have seen that with selves made of particle board. Even after just a short time, you can see the shelves sag and bend.
- Particleboards are not as strong as other materials. Although more heavy than solid wood it breaks easily. Therefore, a computer desk made of particleboards needs to be handled with care. Especially when you have to assemble the desk yourself at home.
As mentioned before, a desk made out of particle board usually doesn’t last long.
If you move from one place to another and need to disassemble the furniture and assemble it again in another place, chances are good that the desk will get damaged.
- Office furniture made of particleboard cannot hold heavy loads such as many books or folders on your shelve.
So if you have many items and need some storage space, this might not be a good option.
WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF PARTICLEBOARD DESKS?
- Well, of course, the first advantage that comes to mind is the price.
Particleboards are much cheaper than more durable MDF or solid wood furniture. Compared to other furniture made of plywood or MDF, particleboard furniture costs less than half.
But only if you only consider the first-time purchase. Over the lifetime of your home office, a more stable home office desk might be the cheaper option as you could buy a desk more than once when it breaks.
Compared to other furniture made of plywood, particleboard furniture costs less than half.
- Particleboards have a smooth surface and can easily be glued or laminated with different decors. This can make the particleboard more durable and stable as well.
- There are many choices of particleboards when it comes to the board’s thickness or density. So manufacturers can be creative with this furniture and find the material that fits their design purpose.
- As an advantage, we might consider that particleboards are made of waste or side products such as chips and sawdust and not real solid wood.
This might be true for some manufacturers, but others also use the complete trees to manufacture particleboards as well.
- Office furniture and writing desks made of particleboards can be assembled at home. So it’s much easier to transport and ship this furniture. And this in the and also reduces the cost of that furniture.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PARTICLEBOARD AND MDF DESKS?
Particleboards and MDF boards are closely related, as they both are composite boards. But there are significant differences. Particleboards are much lighter, have a lesser density, and therefore are less stable than MDF boards.
Particleboards and MDF boards are manufactured in the same way. But MDF (medium density fiber) wood particles are shredded to a much finer degree than particle boards and then pressed hot, whereas particleboards are pressed cold.
The hot press process assures that chemicals are activated and that the MDF boards have much higher stability than the related but less durable particleboards.
So if you want to have a momentary inexpensive solution to get a table or desk for your office space, a particleboard desk will certainly do the job.
If you plan to work from home more permanently, you might consider spending a bit more to get a more stable desk version. As mentioned, office furniture made of MDF boards is one option.
Alternatively, even a solid wood desk is not too expensive.
Of course, there are countless other options, such as metal or glass desks. We will discuss them later in another article.