Solid Wood vs MDF Replacement Kitchen Doors

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This article takes a look at the differences between solid wood and MDF replacement kitchen doors.

Finding your dream kitchen door isn’t just about the colour, finish or handle, the actual materials used are just as important and something you should take into consideration before renovating your kitchen.

When choosing the right kitchen door for you, ask yourself is the material really the best for your home? will it uphold the heat and moisture a kitchen brings? Can it handle spills and how easy is it to clean?


Solid Wood and MDF Differences

Solid wood doors consist of a five piece construction and sourced from sustainable forest resources throughout Europe.

For protection, strength and finish, solid doors are usually coated with a hard wearing lacquer or oil.

MDF (Medium Density Fibreboard) is a man-made material from recyclable wood fibres – it is machine dried and pressed to produce dense sheets.


Do They Change In Heat & Humidity?

As you can imagine, the temperature in a kitchen can change dramatically throughout the day.

A kitchen can be quite cold when not in use, but rapidly heats up when you are cooking and as a result, moisture will quickly build up in the room.

Generally, MDF is a more stable material to use where temperatures change between hot and cold, and against humidity too as solid wood will expand with changes in temperature – this happens both vertically and horizontally.

If you are looking for a material that requires less maintenance, then MDF is definitely the winner here.

Although, do bare in mind that the rate in which a solid wooden door deteriorates is very slow and will last for a very long time.


Which Material Is Best For Painting?

This is a hotly contested topic. After several years, many homeowners decide to give their kitchen a face lift and paint the kitchen doors as opposed to purchasing a whole new set.

Generally, MDF is easier to paint due to its very smooth finish and you will encounter less issues than a solid wooden door.

However, solid wood does offer a natural grain and gives a stylish grained effect which many colours can look great on.

Extra work is needed for solid doors, but the few extra steps are worth it as the end result will look stunning and more authentic than MDF.

It all boils down to what finish you want and the time in which you are willing to put into the project.



Which Doors Last Longer?

Although MDF doors are generally much cheaper than their solid counterparts, this does not necessarily mean that they will need replacing sooner than a solid kitchen door.

Solid wooden doors do last a very long time, especially if they are made from oak – generally considered the strongest wooden material.

If looked after properly, you will find that a solid kitchen door will last for many years, potentially decades.

Over time, the doors will pick up little scratches and scrape marks, a solid door can easily be sanded to get rid of these but due to the makeup of a MDF, sanding cannot be carried out in the same way.

However, MDF will stand up to moisture and temperature changes better and therefore less likely to warp.



Solid Wood vs MDF

So, who is the overall winner? It sounds like we are sitting on the fence with this one, but it really does depend on exactly what you want from your kitchen and the budget you have to spend.

If you are looking to renovate your kitchen on a budget and want a variety of different shades and colours, then MDF is probably going to be your best available option.

However, if you have a larger budget to spend and fancy a more traditional looking door that will last a very long time with proper care and maintenance, then solid wood would be the option for you.