When choosing the right moulding type, building companies or homeowners can choose to use MDF mouldings or wood mouldings. Although you can determine your needs based solely on cost, this is usually not the wisest choice, because most renovation or construction projects require long-term consideration of related costs, such as product durability as an investment. In general, hardwood offers many options for finishing-it may be stained, clear finish or paint. When using MDF, paint is the only option and is necessary to properly seal the product. In addition, choosing to use hardwood will extend your design and profile to countless custom designs. However, MDF is usually only available in a limited number of stock profiles. To help you determine the product that suits your needs, Goodwood can provide the benefits of wood and the adverse effects on MDF, and we strongly recommend the use of wood moulding in most construction projects.
MDF (Medium Density Fibreboard) is similar to particleboard in a way. Because it is made up of many small fibrous wood bundles instead of a solid piece of wood, most people will automatically think that this is environmental friendly because it can use wood waste, but the chemicals used in the binding process are actually very harmful. Usually resin and formaldehyde are used in the bonding process, which is called carcinogen. Formaldehyde will undergo a chemical reaction, leading to continuous out-gassing for a long time (months or even years).
Usually, sealing it with paint can alleviate this problem, but it cannot completely solve it. All MDF should be sealed and painted before installation to reduce the possibility of these serious problems. MDF used today is not a sustainable product. It is usually not recyclable, so once used, it will remain in the landfill and continue to release these harmful chemicals, which may have adverse effects over time. Most wood products contained formaldehyde, but no formaldehyde was added to wood. Therefore, MDF is not your best choice in terms of fulfilling environmental responsibility.
The base structure of MDF looks strong and solid, but it is usually not as strong as wood mouldings. Woodworkers and installers must be very careful when cutting MDF, because it will quickly dull the blade and may cause the miter saw to encounter problems with unclean cutting. Perfectionists are not too keen on the final appearance or the installation process, because MDF often bends or dents when nailed, which looks messy and is much more difficult to handle than wood. The installation of MDF usually requires more sanding and filling. Since MDF is made of fibers-basically bonding many fine wood fibers together-due to the simple nature of the product, dust from sanding will increase, the site needs more cleaning. It may take a lot of attempts to professionally install MDF mouldings parts without any bumps, warping, misalignment, cracking or uneven surface, which actually causes more waste in the process.
Compared with MDF, the most important and easiest to measure benefit of using wood mouldings is its wear over time. Solid wood is more durable and lasting than MDF in many ways. Contrary to MDF, the natural fibers in wood can be more durable on nails and other fasteners, while MDF usually loosens over time after installation. MDF mouldings are not waterproof, and usually swell when they get wet, and your investment is easily damaged by water. General durability can also be a problem of scratches, chips or dents-this material is less dense than most woods, so it can easily look worn out in a short period of time without the need for care and protection. In terms of durability, wood mouldings tend to have greater resilience-the hardness of wood mouldings will allow for a lot of wear before they become noticeable, and over time, they can usually be trimmed to look like new.
If you have pets, choosing wood instead of MDF is a much smarter choice in terms of investment. Accidental scratches always occur, especially for children or animals, and know that your investment can avoid daily use and accidents, so you can rest assured when deciding to use wood. Although usually more expensive than MDF, wood mouldings will last longer under better conditions and have proven worth investing in the next few years. Most importantly, wood will look more professional than MDF, thus providing you with a rich look in the coming years.
Which is suitable for You?
Although the benefits of wood mouldings far outweigh the positive aspects of MDF, since each project has different requirements, and your needs may change over time. Consider using wood to avoid headaches in the future-we recommend using wood in most installations. Although MDF is cheaper in cost, this cheap quality is passed on to the product itself. Although MDF is easy to dent, breaks easily when drilled or nailed nearby, and is not environmentally friendly, it can provide a low-cost solution for projects that do not require high-quality or long-lasting durability.
If you plan to use MDF in construction projects, please consider discussing with Goodwood experts before purchasing. Our team can help you gradually understand the potential outcomes of your space and weigh the environmental factors that may affect things over time. Our team is well versed in all things about mouldings and can guide you in the overall search for the best choice.
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