Worklite Buyer’s Guide

June 21, 2023

With a name like Kerfkore, you might think that dynamic, flexible curved panels are all we do, but we’re not afraid to show off our prim and proper style, either. Think James Bond ordering a martini in a jazz club. That’s our Worklite Lightweight Panels—our line of architectural panels focused on providing strong decorative appeal, staying lightweight, and straight, neat lines.

Worklite Panels consist of 3 layers, two surface layers, and a strong yet lightweight core. This composition creates a customizable substrate that can reduce weight by up to 80% compared to particleboard, plywood, or MDF.

The combination of visual appeal and lightweight opens a world of design and fabrication options. Since they’re so easy for fabricators to work with, we recommend Worklite panels for any projects that involve the “three Os”: oversized, overhead, or overweight. Worklite Panels have been utilized in a variety of architectural and interior design projects, from paneling in higher education to the set of a “Fast & Furious” movie.

Here’s what you need to know when deciding which Lightweight Worklite Panel fits your needs.

Worklite Lightweight Panel Options

Our Worklite Panels come in 2 options, each with its own unique core.

Worklite EPS Foamkore®

The Worklite EPS Foamkore core is made of expanded polystyrene, a lightweight, white foam. Made with recycled materials, it’s a sustainable and low-cost material that is up to 70% lighter than wood panels. It’s known for its low thermal conductivity, resistance to water penetration, and high compressive strength.

Worklite XPS Foamkore®

The Worklite XPS Foamkore’s core material is extruded polystyrene, a type of durable blue foam plastic. Extruded polystyrene is denser than its cousin expanded polystyrene, which makes it more resistant to temperature changes and creates a perfect, solid edge for painting. Available in sizes up to 3″, Worklite XPS Foamkore is ideal for projects that require varying thicknesses.

Worklite Lightweight Panel Face Material Options

Each Worklite Panel can be customized with a range of face materials that all maintain the signature combination of durability and usability, while creating different options depending on your project goals.

Eucalyptus Hardboard

Sourced from Brazil, the Eucalyptus Hardboard is made of 100% recovered and recycled fiber content, making it the most sustainable option of our face materials. It also offers an incredibly smooth surface for painting.

3-Ply Italian Poplar Plywood

3-Ply Italian Poplar Plywood is one of the highest-grade poplar plywood available and is the go-to face material when you need the lightest of our Worklite Panel options. It has nearly zero core voids and its high-quality veneer is perfect for finishing or staining wood grain finishes. The wood is sustainably sourced from forest farms that regrow in ten-year cycles.


Likely the most popular composite wood for woodworkers, Fiberboard is known for its smooth and consistent face. Our Fiberboard is made in the U.S. and comes readily available in 1/8″ thickness. It can also be used to create a panel with length and width extended past our standard 4′ x 8′ sizes.

Whether you need lightweight panels that are sustainable, paintable, fire-rated, or easy to edge-band, there is a Worklite product ready to make your next project your best project. Want to find out how Worklite can work for you? Talk to a Kerfkore representative today.

discover the right lightweight panel for your project. Take the quiz to find out which of our lightweight architectural panels meets the requirements for your project. Find your fit.