The objective of this study is to evaluate the effects of raw material type, pressure, shelling ratio and density on the surface characteristics of particleboard. The surface roughness was measured using contact stylus method. Mean peak-to-valley height (R,) was used to evaluate surface characteristics of the specimens. Measurements were taken from both sides of the specimens along and across the sand marks. The results showed that raw material type, shelling ratio, density and pressure affected the surface roughness of particleboard, statistically (p <= 0.01). Increasing the shelling ratio, board density and pressure improved the surface roughness of particleboard, significantly. Boards consisting of a greater amount of pine particles had lower surface roughness values than those of panels consisting of more beech particles. (c) 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.