MDF vs Solid Wood: Pros & Cons

Many people come into our store wondering the difference between MDF vs solid wood. MDF is an abbreviation for Medium Density Fiberboard. People tend to look down on MDF and automatically assume solid wood is the better choice.

MDF vs Solid Wood

Of course, solid wood, like anything has its pros and cons. The benefits of solid wood: it’s strong, sturdy, and features a beautiful natural look to it with grain patterns. If you’re looking for something to last forever, solid wood is a great choice. Each species of wood is different and some have longer longevity than others, but people are drawn to it. We love to have the authenticity of solid wood, which I completely understand. The beauty of natural wood is unbeatable.

However, wood contracts or expands when it is exposed to changing heat and humidity. Unless your home is a controlled climate, cabinets made from wood can shrink or crack over time. Something most people don’t even think about is the possibility of bug infestation in your wood. It is vulnerable to pests which means it requires some maintenance.

MDF vs solid wood


I’ve had so many people turn away the minute they hear there is MDF in a product. Man-made products are not as popular as the natural material. But why no love for this product? MDF is a high grade, composite material. It is made from recycled wood fibers and resin. It is dried and pressed to produce dense, stable sheets. Because of this process, MDF does not warp or crack like wood. And since MDF is made from small particles, it doesn’t have noticeable grain patterns. This will result in a smoother finish on the cabinets. MDF is also less expensive, which is sometimes a big selling point for some people. Depending on budget, others are willing to spend the extra money to purchase the all wood cabinets.