Mdf vs Wood: Why Mdf Board Has-Become So Popular For Cabinet Doors

Solid wood is the winner here. This is the most common perception when it comes to comparing wood and HDF Boards. Wood is seen as this strong and sturdy material, while MDF Board is often viewed as a weak and cheap alternative. The truth is, both have their pros and cons for a kitchen remodel. Despite popular belief, wood is not always the superior choice; Therefore we introduce HDF it is much closer to Solid wood .  in some situations, HDF Board is the better material.

For homeowners who are building or undertaking home renovations, knowing the difference between the two materials and the features of each is essential. Below, we review both the HDF Board and solid wood, noting the pros and cons of each and the best uses for each material.

Solid Wood

Solid wood has been the primary material for furniture for millennia. For definition purposes, solid wood refers to natural lumber, while the term ‘, engineered wood’ refers to other types of wood-based materials such as HDF Board. While solid wood consists of wood only, e engineered wood is a mixture of real wood, veneers, fibres, resin, and adhesives.

Advantages of Solid Wood

  • Strength and durability – Solid wood is impressively strong and sturdy. If you are looking to buy something that will last for decades, solid wood furniture is perfect. Solid wood is so durable that it has been used all over the world to put up entire buildings and even bridges. Of course, different types of wood have varying levels of strength. For instance, oak is stronger and will last longer than cedar.
  • Aesthetics – In terms of appearance, solid wood is unparalleled in beauty. It has a beautiful grain that results in great looking furniture. If aesthetics and style are a significant priority for you, solid wood is, well, a solid choice. But just like strength and durability, different wood types have different aesthetic qualities. For instance, while red oak is stronger than white oak, white oak is more commonly used because it is better looking.
  • Customization – when using solid wood, furniture can be customized in numerous ways, including shape, finish, and colour.
  • Value – furniture made from solid wood tends to have more value than those made from engineered wood, though in some cases, HDF furniture can be quite pricey. For homeowners looking to get a better price for their home, adding elements of solid wood can boost up the price tag.
  • Variety – there are numerous types of wood, each differing in strength, cost, and look.   You can take a look at our project gallery for an idea of what options you may have for your cabinets. Combine this with the many varieties of stains and finishes, and you can find something highly unique for your home.


Mdf vs Wood: Why Mdf Board Has-Become So Popular For Cabinet Doors

Disadvantages of Solid Wood

  • Moisture damage – in its unfinished state, wood is not waterproof. While stronger woods such as red oak can withstand constant moisture exposure, most woods will get damaged. To protect the wood, a waterproof finishing usually has to be applied.
  • Warping and cracking – wood tends to expand and contract with changes in temperature and humidity. The result is a tendency for solid wood furniture to warp or even crack when exposed to temperature and humidity fluctuations. The cracking can be even more noticeable when the wood is painted. With time, wood makers have developed crafting methods and technologies that minimize warping and cracking.
  • Bug infestation – Solid wood is more vulnerable to pest attack than engineered wood. It requires regular maintenance and the right finishing to keep the wood well protected.

Related: The Detailed Wellborn Cabinets Guide.

What is HDF Board?

For people who prefer a cheaper but still durable alternative to solid wood, there is HDF Wood. What is HDF Wood?

HDF is an abbreviation for a type of engineered wood. The full name is High -Density Fiberboard. HDF consists of thin panels made from wood fiber, resin, and wax. When it comes to engineered wood, HDF is often considered a level above the plywood. It is denser, stronger, and more durable. For these reasons, it has almost as many applications as solid wood.

Many homeowners tend to look down on HDF Wood with the perception that it performs poorly when measured against solid wood. But as we mentioned in the beginning, both solid wood and HDF Wood have their good and bad points. There are situations where HDF is the superior choice.

Before we lay out the pros and cons of HDF Wood, it is important to note that there are varying types of engineered wood. They vary by density, size, glue type, moisture content, wood species, and thickness. The thicker and denser the HDF board is, the costlier it is.

Why do we use HDF and not MDF?

MDF is Medium-Density Fiberboard. The density just like in its name, is much lower than HDF. Due to the lower density, it is much weaker, softer, and easier to destroy. It absorbs liquid almost like a sponge, causing it to wear out very easily. HDF is fabricated like MDF, but because of the higher density, HDF is remarkably similar to wood in terms of strength and durability. Due to these reasons, when people hear MDF, they try to stay away from it. This is why we came up with the solution to produce our doors in HDF instead of MDF. The feedback from our customers state that our HDF cabinets are similar to solid wood.

Why Choose Wholesale HDF Board?

In homes, HDF Wood is mostly used in constructing cabinet doors. Solid wood cabinets will opt for HDF doors. There are several reasons for this.

  • HDF Wood does not warp or crack. HDF, like wood, expands, and contracts when there are fluctuations in temperature and humidity. But unlike Wood, HDF does not warp. This is because of the board, thanks to its structure, moves as a unit. Even with extreme changes in humidity and temperature, you do not have to worry about any damage to the cabinet doors.
  • HDF Board is made from beautiful particles meaning that it does not have noticeable grain. This results in a better and smooth finish, especially when the board is painted. If you plan to get the cabinet doors painted, we would highly recommend HDF over solid wood.
  • Easier to customize. Cabinets doors come in a wide variety of styles. There are shaker-style cabinet doors, flat-panelled doors, inset doors, raised doors, and many more. The ease of customization of HDF boards is to thank for this variety. Because of its structure, HDF Board can be cut and drilled in many different ways without any damage.
  • Some boards have better water resistance. If you plan to use HDF Board in high moisture areas like the bathroom, you can get HDF boards that have been specially made to be highly water-resistant.
  • Available in larger sizes than solid wood. If you have a project that demands a large piece of wood with no joints, HDF is the recommended choice.  Take a look at the similarities of HDF to solid wood at Wellborn Cabinets.
  • Finally, HDF is often cheaper than solid wood, but it is still as strong and can last quite long with proper maintenance.

Mdf vs Wood: Why Mdf Board Has-Become So Popular For Cabinet Doors

Related: Shaker Style Cabinets: Are They Here to Stay.

Where Wholesale HDF Board is Used

HDF finds its most common use in kitchen cabinets. Most kitchen cabinets comprise of both solid wood and HDF elements. HDF Board is usually found on the doors and interior panelling for the reasons stated above (more comfortable to paint, more convenient to clean, does not warp, and so on).

But it is not just the kitchen where HDF finds its use. In the bathroom where there is a lot of moisture, HDF is the preferable choice over solid wood. This is because it does not get damaged with humidity and temperature changes in the bathroom. When getting HDF for use in the bathroom or any other damp environment, check that it is specially made to be moisture resistant. Regular HDF boards will easily get damaged when they come in contact with water.

For fire protection, the fire retardant HDF Board is recommended. While this type of HDF is more common in commercial areas, it can also be used at home to provide fire protection, especially in places like the kitchen and bedrooms.

HDF vs Plywood

Another consideration when using HDF Board is when it is compared to plywood.  This is not necessarily a comparison you would do for kitchen cabinets, but in other construction, instances choosing plywood vs. HDF may be a choice you need to consider.

HDF can also be used purely for aesthetic purposes. An excellent example of this is wainscoting. Unlike past years when wood was the sole wainscoting material in use, today, there is a variety of materials used, including the HDF Board. HDF wainscoting can be customized in many styles and can be used in the kitchen, living room, or even bathroom.

Another area where HDF is used is in shelving. Whether it is the inside of a cabinet, an open wall shelf, or a bookshelf, HDF Wood is preferred because of its smooth surface. But be careful about placing a heavyweight on it as it can sag with time. If you plan to place heavyweights on the HDF shelving, consider reinforcing it with solid wood.

Finally, HDF is widely used as a material for both interior and exterior doors. There are specially made HDF boards designed to be stylish, hardy, and durable. HDF doors can provide more customization options than solid wood doors.

HDF Wood vs. Solid Wood: The Verdict

Both types of wood are good, and we cannot declare any one of them the ultimate winner. This is because they both have their pros and cons. There are situations where one is better than the other. But when it comes to cabinet doors, we highly recommend HDF Wood. It provides far more benefits than solid wood.

If you are in the process of giving your kitchen an upgrade, consider choosing cabinets with HDF doors. As always, we are here to help with anything. Contact us with any questions and queries on using HDF in your home.