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Looking around our website, you may have noticed that many of our bespoke products feature MDF components. What is MDF and why do we use it?

 

Above, L-R: MDF primed drawer fronts, top half glazed 4 vertical panel door with MDF panels, and a 2 panel solid oak door with MDF panels.

Medium Density Fibreboard, usually referred to as MDF, is a manufactured hardboard composite wood product. It is made from solid wood waste products such as wood pulp and wood fibres, which are glued together under extreme heat and pressure.

It became more widely known and popular thanks to the rise of DIY television shows from the 1990’s onwards, such as Changing Rooms. MDF was used on those shows because it was a relatively cheap, durable material that could be used to quickly make household furniture items like shelving or wardrobes. Unfortunately, it also gained a bad reputation, in part due to the “quick fix” nature of these TV shows, which favoured a hasty redesign of a room instead of a more measured and professional approach. It also didn’t help that most of the people on Changing Rooms didn’t like the end result of their revamped rooms. There had been MDF overkill.

However, here we are in 2015 using MDF in some of our bespoke products. The main reasons we use MDF are listed below:

  • It can be painted or stained to produce a smooth quality surface finish.
  • MDF has no grain, so it can be cut, drilled, machined and filed without damaging the surface.
  • It is dense, flat, and strong, making it ideal to use as panels in doors.
  • It is less expensive than using solid wood, so it helps us to keep our products more affordable.

As you can see, MDF is a versatile material, with a high quality painted finish, which gives our customers an alternative to our oak or tulipwood products. In our workshop, we discovered that MDF is the best material to use for panels in our Shaker Doors, due to it's high density and strength. Don't let its bad reputation put you off, MDF is a material we can trust!

My conversion to MDF began earlier than Changing Rooms, when it was used regularly on the BBC show Home Front in the mid to late 80s.

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