Isn’t solid wood the best choice? This is a question we’re frequently asked and you may be surprised that the answer is “not necessarily.”
Often used as a substitute for hardwoods, MDF or medium density fiber board is generally believed to be a lower quality material. However, in many cases MDF is actually stronger and more stable than hardwoods. Since it’s an engineered material with no natural grain, it can be used without worry of cracks or splitting. Because it’s easily worked by saw, MDF is often needed to produce the detailed curves found in highly ornamented furniture and its smooth, controlled surface allows it to be easily painted or applied with wood veneers.
Another consideration is cost; here, too, MDF is often a better value. Solid wood is often more expensive and sometimes is not as readily available. MDF’s smooth and even surface allows paint and veneer to be easily applied to it which allows it to replicate the finish of most popular hard wood designs at a lower cost. It is definitely a substitute, but one which provides a host of unique benefits which cannot be replicated by hard wood products.