What is MDF?
MDF, or medium density fiberboard, is a high grade, engineered-wood composite made by heating and pressing wood fibers together with glue and wax to create a tightly bonded board. While the glue bonds the wood fibers together, wax is used to improve moisture resistance. Because MDF is composed of wood fibers, there are no visible wood grains, rings or knots, making it an ideal surface for painting. Thus, MDF provides a strong and highly durable product that is commonly used in the manufacture of cabinets and furniture. At HDI Cabinetry, all wood products are CARB Phase 2 compliant as described below.
What is LDF?
MDF should not be confused with LDF, or low density fiberboard known simply as ?fiber board,? a lesser quality product made from smaller wood fibers including saw dust that is generally not acceptable for use in cabinetry and other high-quality wood products.
HDI Cabinetry does not use LDF in any of its products.
What is Carb Phase 2 Compliance?
CARB Phase 2 refers to California’s composite wood products regulations, the most stringent regulations at limiting formaldehyde emissions. CARB Phase 2 requires that formaldehyde emissions are maintained at levels that are considered harmless to health. All HDI products are made from CARB Phase 2 compliant woods including our painted cabinetry that contain MDF.
Why is MDF Preferred on Painted Cabientry?
There are a couple reasons why MDF is preferred on painted cabinetry.
- Because it is so smooth, it provides a great surface for painting.
- There is no visible grain, knots or other variations on the surface of MDF; therefore, these natural wood irregularities do not show through the paint.
- It is less prone to swelling compared to wood.
- Wood contracts and expands due to changes in humidity. While MDF will do the same, it does not move nearly as much as wood. As a result MDF doors are far less prone to paint cracking, particularily in areas of higher humidity.
MDF and Possible Water Damage
Some have unwarranted concerns that this material will absorb and deteriorate when soaked in water for an extended period of time; however, MDF used in Harbour Series’ painted finishes is unlikely to incur water damage for several reasons.
While it is true that MDF may be susceptible to swelling due to water damage, some have unwarranted concerns that this material will absorb and deteriorate when soaked in water for an extended period of time; however, MDF used in Harbour Series’ painted finishes is unlikely to incur water damage for several reasons:
- The wax used in production of MDF assures that the product is water resistant
- The surface of our doors is painted; thus, sealing the material from exposure to water.
- Once installed, the doors and frames in which MDF is used are raised several inches off of the floor and is unlikely to be soaked in water for an extended period of time.
- MDF is much more resistant to water damage than is LDF due to its density.
MDF is a great material to work with, but there are some misconceptions about it. It is often confused with lesser quality material. MDF is the material of choice for painted product, as it provides the smoothest finish, it has minimal imperfections and it does not swell or contract as much as wood.
Rest easy, knowing that all HDI Cabinetry product is backed by our 10 year warranty and guaranteed to last.