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By HHI Staff

Hardboard is a manufactured wood product used in home construction for interior wall paneling, underlayment for carpeting and exterior siding. In its prefinished form, hardboard is sometimes used for bathroom or kitchen walls.


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Denser than particle board, hardboard is usually medium-to-dark-brown in color and sold in 4' x 8' sheets in thicknesses of 1/4" or less. Pegboard is a hardboard product that is perforated with holes

Hardboard is produced by pressing wood fibers into a dense sheet by means of heat and pressure. The natural lignin in the wood holds hardboard together. While the lignin is the only glue that is actually required, a phenolic resin and other chemicals are often added during manufacture to improve strength and moisture resistance. These additives can be bothersome to chemically-sensitive people.

Hardboard is one of the least offensive manufactured wood products but because it is made from softwoods, it can offgas terpenes and other volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Sensitive people should be tested for tolerance prior to installation of hardboard.

Sometimes a denser, tempered hardboard product is better tolerated than the standard grade, but linseed or tung oil are used in the tempering process and they can be bothersome to some people.


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Hardboard:  Created on April 14th, 2010.  Last Modified on April 17th, 2010


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