If you’re in the market for new cabinets, there are many decisions for you to make. To paint or stain, traditional or contemporary, and on and on. If you’ve decided to paint your cabinets, the next step will likely be deciding between hardwood and Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF) for your cabinet doors. Your first thought might be, “Isn’t solid hardwood always the best material?” You might be surprised that the answer is “Not necessarily.”
There are many benefits to solid hardwood. It is a strong, sturdy, beautiful material with a natural grain. Being that it is a natural material, it also expands and contracts when it is subjected to changes in temperature and humidity. Even when these conditions are carefully controlled inside a home, cabinet doors made from hardwood can still shrink, crack or warp. If you do choose solid wood for your cabinet doors, the conditions in your home should be well monitored.
MDF is a high grade, composite material that outperforms solid wood in some areas. MDF is made from resin and recycled wood fibers which have been pressed into solid, dense boards. MDF is a more stable material and stands up better to environmental changes than solid wood. At D&H Cabinets, we use only Plum Creek, super-refined MFD to fabricate our MDF doors and drawer fronts to ensure the highest quality available in an MDF panel.The classic “frame and panel” method for building solid hardwood doors involves connecting the four pieces of the frame (the rails and stiles) to the cabinet panel. The center panel is cut a little smaller than the frame because it will need to “float” in the frame to allow for expansion and contraction. This is known as cope and stick joinery.
MDF, because it is formed into large sheets, allows for a much easier construction method. MDF doors can be milled in one piece on our CNC router (computer-operated machinery). This one piece construction method eliminates the problem of a “crack”in the paint where the panel meets the frame in a hardwood door. One piece construction also takes much less time to completeFinally, there is a significant difference in the cost of a hardwood door vs an MDF door. Because the construction method is much simpler, and the material less expensive, MDF is typically a much better value. When you are ready to begin your cabinet project, it’s important that you know everything that is available. At D&H Cabinets, we are happy to discuss your personal preferences and needs to help you make the best decision for you!
Organizing your Kitchen Cabinet Transitional Cabinet Style

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