Shopping For Murphy Wall Beds #5: Types of Wood Construction

Murphy Wall Beds Construction

A very important component of custom Murphy Beds is the wood used in construction. Murphy beds can typically be made up of four types of wood materials: Particle Board, MDF Board, Ply Wood, and Solid Wood. Let’s consider each type of wood material to better understand the structure of your custom Murphy Wall Bed and what factors to consider in the types of wood construction.

Particle Board

Particle board imitates the look and feel of real wood using veneer and is made from compressed wood particles, which gives the material its name. This is found in low-end Murphy Wallbeds because it is a cheaper product – particle board keeps the bed affordable, but is not reliable for its durability and longevity. Particle board also may contain formaldehyde, and it is important to be aware of this if you intend to use Murphy beds in nurseries, or other highly sensitive spaces. More recent production of particle board does not utilize formaldehyde, so be sure to ask when purchasing your Murphy Wallbed.


MDF is similar to particle board and is used as an exterior surface wood because it is smooth and less likely to crack. MDF is a finer product than particle board because it is composed of much, much smaller wood particles. However, this smaller particle size makes MDF much heavier than particle board, so it is important to be aware of this heavier weight when calculating shipping costs, installation or moving your Murphy Wallbed.

PlywoodMurphy Wall Beds Wood

Plywood is generally stronger than particle board or MDF. Plywood is constructed of several thin layers of wood, and is known as “layered board”. The wood is generally B grade wood since individually, it would not be strong enough for use, but is stronger when layered together. Plywood does not warp, which is excellent for exteriors and interiors of a Murphy Wallbed. It is known that plywood has knots in the layers that causes structural weakness.

Solid Wood

Solid Wood is most widely used in Murphy Wallbeds because it is the strongest material available and is used in the structure. Solid wood however naturally warps and it is sometimes difficult to align wood grain patterns which may affect the exterior appearance. This is also the most expensive material because it is the most luxurious material, often oak, cherry, mahogany, birch, cedar and others.

Now that you understand what your Murphy Wallbed is made of, you may have the option to decide how the exterior surface looks if you manufacturer uses veneers.

What is a Veneer?

A veneer is a thin layer of material placed over a core so there are other benefits than if it was just solid wood. Some benefits include reduce risk of warping, look and price. There are Solid Wood Veneers and Laminate Veneers.

Solid Wood Veneers

This veneer gives you the look of any natural wood you want and has the look of real wood. The wood grain may be difficult to match so there may not be a uniform look. This is simply a thin layer of solid wood over a core panel. The core may be made of particle board, MDF or plywood. Solid wood warps over time yet gives you the quality look and feel of solid wood at a fraction of the price of solid wood. This is very heavy, so the price of your Murphy Wallbed increases as does the shipping costs.

Oil Based Finish

These are applied by hand or sprayed on so it penetrates into the wood and allows the natural grain of the wood to be more easily seen. This finish is available in many shades of color to create the look you want, or compliment your existing furniture.

Water Based Finishes

Water based finishes can also be applied by hand or sprayed on; and contains less chemicals. Water based finish is best used as a protecting agent, rather adding color.


A lacquer is a varnish that can be clear or colored. A lacquer creates a solid and lasting finish that can have many types of sheen, from matte to high gloss.


Consider paint when you want to match the color of your Murphy Wall Bed to your wall color or furniture by painting over the natural wood grain.

Laminate Veneers:

A laminate veneer is just a thin layer of wood applied over a core panel. However, this top layer does not have to be wood, it can be a synthetic material like Melamine or Formica especially if you like contemporary finishes like sleek black. However, do not pay the price of solid wood and be sure to ask if the wood is a veneer.

With this information about the different structures of a Murphy bed, invest in this piece of furniture that will be a lasting fixture in your home, that increases the value of your home and improves the flexibility of your living spaces.  Wall Beds USA prides itself on its wood craftsmanship with over a decade of experience manufacturing furniture for clients with discriminating taste. All our beds are constructed from quality materials, never from particle board or melamine, so you can have the peace of mind that you own a custom Murphy bed of fine quality with superior craftsmanship. Call Wall Beds USA at (972) 775-5119 or visit our website to create your custom Murphy Wall Bed in your favorite styles and colors. Contact us today if you have any questions!

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