What are the advantages of MDF?

Elmwood Roxborough Cabinet Door in warm concrete oyster paint

Elmwood Roxborough Cabinet Door in warm concrete oyster paint

So you read our last post about the new bregenz door and are wondering about the MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard) product. You might be asking yourself why to purchase an MDF door versus a natural wood door?  What are the advantages?

Both have their advantages but my personal favorite is that painted finishes on MDF will not crack in the joints due to expansion/contraction. 

As a dealer, we get a lot of questions when our customers see joint lines in painted cabinetry, even on our highest end lines. We make sure to disclaim it incessantly! Simply put, wood expands and contracts with its environment. That’s a given, so if those joint lines will bother you (and some customers love it, some do not care) consider MDF! You’ll be thrilled you did.

Regarding its strength and stability….

  • MDF does not expand and/or contract in moist/humid environments, which would typically cause cracking on wood doors.
  • MDF will have very minimal swelling if it gets wet.
  • The MDF that Elmwood, for example, uses is rated with a “soak test.”  After 24 hours of being submerged in water, raw MDF expanded only 4% - 6% in thickness.
  • MDF is a fantastic choice for Inset Frame cabinetry since it will not expand in moist environments, which would cause doors to rub and become difficult to open, as wood doors occasionally do.
  • Painted finishes on MDF will not crack in the joints due to expansion/contraction.
  • The density of MDF accepts hinges and screws better than more porous or open grained wood, creating a stronger hold.
  • Consistent strength throughout door construction, as opposed to natural wood.

We will have lots more information coming up on MDF, so keep watching for our blog posts.

What's your feeling about MDF?