Where do I get a rigid queen-sized board for a foam mattress
May 15, 2007 11:10 AM   Subscribe

Where do I get a rigid sheet of plywood, plastic or thick particle board to go under my queen sized (60" x 80") foam mattress?

I'm in the Los Angeles area. I realize I can go to home depot and get a big sheet of plywood, but would prefer not to have to cut it to size myself if there's a simpler option. (Would actually prefer non-plywood, as hardened/thick particleboard or plastic sheets seem a bit easier to manage and move around without getting splinters and the like)

If relevant, a half-length sheet (60" x 40") would also be just fine.
Also if relevant, I'm trying to prevent the (3" memory foam on top of 6" polyurethane foam) mattress from sinking in the middle. It's currently sitting on a box spring. While I didn't think the material beneath the foam would matter much, I stuck some sheets of cardboard under my side of the bed, and noticed some improvements in rigidity (on my side of the bed), so it seems like this may well help.
posted by sirion to Shopping (15 answers total)
Most hardware/wood supply stores will cut pieces to order for you. They may charge by the cut, with a couple cuts thrown in free in some cases.

Their willingness to cut for you may also depend on the material—some stores refuse to cut particularly splinter-y sheets, such as lattice.
posted by cortex at 11:18 AM on May 15, 2007

(Not that you're looking for lattice, but as an e.g.)
posted by cortex at 11:18 AM on May 15, 2007

most sheet goods either come in 5'X5' or 4'X8' sizes, so to completely cover the bed, you'll need two sheets of something.
posted by machaus at 11:22 AM on May 15, 2007

60 x 80 is wider than the standard sheet size (48"x96"). Is it posible to do this in 2 pieces (60x40) ? Trying to get oversize single sheets can be expensive and difficult.

Alternatively, can this be done with 2x4 slats? I've done many futons this way in standard bedframes. It works quite well. If you use cedar 2x4s you get a nice perfume as a bonus.
posted by bonehead at 11:24 AM on May 15, 2007

I think Home Depot's policy is you get two cuts free (maybe reduced to one now?) and then some nominal charge thereafter. But if you go during a non-peak period and you aren't a total dick, I don't think you'll be charged. At least, I've never been, and I've done projects where I've asked them to cut a piece of plywood or MDF down in two dimensions.

Anyway, definitely do go to a good independent lumberyard if you can find one, but if you can't, Home Depot would probably work.

Even if you settle on fiberboard or some other non-plywood product, I'd bring some gloves to carry it; that stuff can still cut you if you grab an edge wrong (I've cut the web between by thumb and forefinger on a piece of MDF and it's unpleasant, like a jumbo papercut).
posted by Kadin2048 at 11:26 AM on May 15, 2007

The Home Depot on Sunset, as well as the other 'depots in town sell both half sheets of plywood, as well as quarter sheets of plywood. They're already cut, and tagged for purchase.

They also sell Masonite (which is a 1/4" card-board like, but really hard material) as well as MDF (medium-density fiberboard, aka, really hard sawdust and glue) in the cut sizes already.

Masonite seems like it's perfect for what you're trying to accomplish. It's really hard, but structural enough to firm up a bed.

If you have the patience, they'll also cut to a custom size any sheet material in their lumber department. The patience part comes into play as you find someone that's competant and knows what they're doing.
posted by donguanella at 11:34 AM on May 15, 2007

I've seen masonite used under beds before. Not for memory foam, but to increase stiffness. It has a nice surface finish and nice eges, but is pretty thin. It's not as rigid as MDF, but it's easier to deal with.
posted by smackfu at 11:39 AM on May 15, 2007

Do you know that you can also purchase bed boards for just this purpose?
posted by amro at 11:44 AM on May 15, 2007

I know you don't want to cut, but I think this is an elegant solution.
This is what I did for my quuensize, using 1/2" plywood:

I took a standard 4'x8' sheet and marked it thusly:
|__ ..... . . .|
| . |__ .. ... |
| . . . |__ .. |
| . . . . . |__|
(ignore dots-trying to line up in preview)-
Vertical lines=96"/5=19.2"
Horizontal lines=48"/4=12"

| .. |__ .......... |
| . .... |__ ...... |
| . . . .. . |__ .. |

Result= 60"x77"

It supports well.
posted by MtDewd at 12:08 PM on May 15, 2007

nthing Home Depot. I built my bed out of plywood, and got it all cut there - the one on Jefferson, although I've had work done at the one on Sunset too. They do plywood in quarter, half and three-quarter inch thicknesses. Also, they do it with a nice finish for a little more cash, so that you're not using that nasty construction type.

The golden rule for all this I've found is to do it late late late at night when there's no-one around. Lugging 4'x8' sheets of plywood around, getting in line, and then getting the dude to do a bunch of cuts on a Saturday afternoon will quite definitely incur brian damage.
posted by The_Partridge_Family at 1:16 PM on May 15, 2007

Use plywood. You don't want to use MDF/OSB/Ranger board etc. because the moisture that will travel down will turn them back to sawdust/chips. Also MDF is pretty weak and much heavier than plywood of equal thickness.

Having said that, and if I didn't have access to woodworking equipment I'd use slats made out of radius decking spaced 3-4 inches apart. 10' stuff could be cut, by hand if necessary, with no waste. And it'll allow the foam to breath. I've seen several foam mattresses over solid ply with mildew in the centre.
posted by Mitheral at 2:05 PM on May 15, 2007

PS: Slats are a lot easier to move than a sheet of plywood.
posted by Mitheral at 2:51 PM on May 15, 2007

I've assembled and disassembled a couch-loft which used plywood pieces. The stuff can be heavy. I recommend wood slats (Ikea will sell them to you, but they're easy to make on your own). If you do go with plywood, consider cutting it into thirds, so the pieces are a little more manageable.
posted by lorimt at 3:02 PM on May 15, 2007

I'd also recommend the slatted base from Ikea. We used that under a mattress for years, and they roll up easily if you need to move.
posted by saffry at 5:20 PM on May 15, 2007

For your board, I would say that you just need to cut a 4'x8' sheet of plywood (or whatever) down to 4'x5', and run it across the width of your bed. Your feet/legs don't need the extra support.

In the long-term, maybe look for bed frames that don't need a box spring (or, you know, just toss the box spring and sleep on the floor)
posted by misterbrandt at 6:26 PM on May 15, 2007

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