MDF… Many people may have heard it come up in conversations about cabinets or furniture but aren’t exactly sure what it is, or how it’s made. Well, let’s delve into what it is and the differences between MDF and real wood.
MDF stands for medium density fiberboard, and it is a high-grade composite material made from recycled wood fibers and resins. It is then machine pressed at a very high pressure level to produce dense, stable sheets of MDF. Because of the pressing procedure of MDF there is no grain or knots in the finished product. MDF requires less maintenance than real wood, but also is more susceptible to damage from humidity and water; such as warping and swelling. Another downside of MDF is that is contains urea-formaldehyde; which is a known human carcinogen (any substance or agent that tends to produce a cancer) and can cause eye and lung irritations when being cut, drilled, or sanded.
Real wood is naturally more beautiful than MDF because of the grains and knots that can be seen in it. It is also a stronger and sturdier product. However, a downside to real wood is that it is generally much more expensive than MDF. So, real wood will give you an appearance of affluence and elegance, but at a price.
At the end of the day, from what I’ve read and researched, the technology of MDF has progressed quite a lot and you can receive quality products that are made of MDF. With that, if budget is not much of an issue, real wood will give your project a “unique to you” look with presentation and class.