A Look at Solid Wood Vs MDF

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The most popular materials for furniture are MDF and solid wood. What is MDF? What are the advantages and disadvantages of solid wood? Why should you choose MDF? This article contains all of the necessary answers. 

Solid wood is made from real wood and is known for its durability and natural beauty. It can be sanded and refinished multiple times, and it can last for decades with proper care. However, solid wood is also more expensive than MDF and can be affected by changes in temperature and humidity. There are a lot of imitations and fakes because of its high cost. Use caution and the following hints to spot true, solid wood furniture.

There are several ways to identify solid wood furniture:


  1. Look at the edges of the piece: Solid wood will have a uniform color and grain pattern on all edges, while veneered or laminated wood will have a different color or pattern on the edges.
  2. Look at the weight: Solid wood is denser and heavier than veneered or laminated wood.
  3. Tap the surface: Solid wood will have a solid, dull sound when tapped, while veneered or laminated wood will have a hollow sound.
  4. Look for a solid wood label, if the furniture is sold in a furniture store, or check for manufacturer's information to confirm if it is made of solid wood or not.


It's worth noting that some furniture can be made of solid wood but still have veneered or laminated surfaces, so it's important to check all of the above rather than relying on just one method. 


MDF, on the other hand, is made from wood fibers that are glued and pressed together. It is less expensive than solid wood and is more stable in terms of expansion and contraction due to changes in temperature and humidity. However, it is not as durable and cannot be sanded or refinished as many times as solid wood. (MDF wardrobe idea link)

Some benefits of MDF include:

  • Consistency: MDF has a uniform density and is smooth on both sides, making it ideal for painting or veneering.
  • Stability: MDF is less likely to warp or split compared to solid wood, making it a good choice for humid environments or areas with fluctuating temperatures.
  • Cost-effective: MDF is typically less expensive than solid wood, making it a budget-friendly option for furniture, cabinetry, and other building materials.
  • Versatility: MDF can be cut, drilled, and shaped easily, making it a suitable choice for a variety of applications.
  • Environmentally friendly: MDF is made from recycled wood fibers, which are a byproduct of other wood products industries.

In summary, solid wood is more durable and has a natural beauty, but is more expensive, while MDF is less expensive, but not as durable. 

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