Help…My cabinet doors are cracking!

At KBIS this year, there was a lot of discussion over painted cabinets and the issues painting wood presents. There are 2 ways to make doors in the industry, Wood or MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard). There are pros and cons to both. Let’s talk about them both!

MDF Cabinets Doors

The biggest pro with MDF is that it does not shrink, contract or expand as humidity levels change. This can cause cracking with wood. Unless your home is in a controlled climate this can occur. 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. MDF does not warp or crack like wood because of this process. MDF also finishes smooth when painted. It is made from very fine particles, meaning that it does not have noticeable grain.

On the downside, MDF gets easily scratched and cannot be repaired after this. Additionally, MDF does not do very well when exposed to extreme heat or extreme moisture.

Wood Cabinet Doors

The pros with wood it is strength and durability. Solid wood is strong and sturdy. Wood can be sanded down to eliminate any damage on the surface. Solid wood is so strong that it is used to build entire buildings. Of course, different types of wood have varying levels of strength. For instance, oak is stronger and will last longer than cedar.

The big con with wood is warping and cracking. Wood tends to expand and contract with changes in temperature and humidity. The result is a tendency for warping or even cracking when exposed to temperature and humidity fluctuations. The cracking can be even more noticeable when the wood is painted.

The bottom line, is it up to the consumer to choose MDF or Wood and know the pros and cons to both!

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About the author 

Jenna Hill

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