Green Materials Report: Wheatboard

Wheatboard under veneers

This post is part of the Green Materials Report series.  GBE is providing information on various building materials and what makes them green.  Each post focuses on one material.  We will be looking at the ingredients in the material, how it is used, what makes it green, and any green product certifications that it has earned.  We hope to develop a database of information to help consumers make informed choices about what goes in their buildings.  Enjoy the series!

Kitchen with Kirei wheatboard


Wheatboard is an MDF (medium density fiberboard) made from the part of wheat stalks that remain after the edible part is removed.  The stalks are broken down, mixed with wax and resin, and compressed into panels.  It is used in place of plywood and other MDF materials, for cabinets, millwork, furniture, and subflooring.

What Makes It Green

Wheatboard is made from a rapidly renewable resource – wheat stalks.  They grow to maturity in a growing season, and are a material that would usually be thrown away, thus reclaiming materials from the waste stream.  Using wheatboard also reduces the use of wood products, saving precious forests and natural resources.

Wheatboard under veneers
Wheatboard can be used under veneers, such as for this dresser

The resins and waxes used to bind the wheat together are non-toxic, have no added urea formaldehyde, and do not off-gas hazardous volatile organic compounds (VOCs).  [This may not be true of all wheatboard manufacturers, so verify this information before purchasing.]

Green Product Certifications

No certifications were found for this product.

An environmental product declaration (EPD) was not found for this product.

Health Product Declaration

A health product declaration (HPD) was not found for this product.


Is an excellent substrate for veneers Denser than plywood or chipboard
Isotropic (its properties are the same in all directions as a result of no grain), so no tendency to split Low grade MDF may swell and break when saturated with water
Consistent in strength and size May warp or expand if not sealed
Flexible – can be used for curved walls or surfaces Dulls blades more quickly than many woods
Stable dimensions (won’t expand or contract like wood) Screwing into the edge of a board will generally cause it to split in a fashion similar to delaminating
Easy to finish (i.e. paint) Subject to significant shrinkage in low humidity environments

Sources: Wikipedia, Kirei

Photos: Kirei