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MDF vs Natural Wood

MDF and Natural Wood

What are the main differences?

MDF (medium-density fiberboard) is an engineered wood product that compresses wood fibres and resin at high temperatures and pressure, while natural wood is harvested directly from trees. Here are some main differences between the two:

  1. Strength and Durability: Natural wood is generally more substantial and durable than MDF. Natural wood can better withstand wear and tear, impacts, and moisture damage. MDF, on the other hand, is susceptible to swelling and warping when exposed to moisture.
  2. Cost: MDF is typically less expensive than natural wood, making it a popular choice for budget-conscious consumers. However, natural wood can vary in price depending on the species and quality.
  3. Appearance: Natural wood has a unique and authentic look that cannot be replicated with MDF. Wood grain patterns, knots, and colour variations give natural wood its distinct character. MDF has a more uniform and consistent appearance.
  4. Environmental impact: MDF is considered more environmentally friendly than natural wood because it is made from recycled wood fibres and does not require cutting down trees. However, MDF production involves chemicals and can emit harmful gases.
  5. Workability: MDF is more accessible to cut and shape than natural wood. It is also less prone to splitting or cracking when drilled or screwed into. Natural wood, on the other hand, requires specialized tools and expertise to work with.

The choice between MDF and natural wood will depend on the specific needs and preferences of the user, as well as the project requirements and budget.

Natural wood

Natural wood has been used in furniture production for centuries and is still popular today. Here are some ways in which natural wood has been used in furniture production:

  1. Solid Wood Furniture: Solid wood furniture is made entirely from natural wood and is known for its durability and beauty. Some common types of solid wood used in furniture production include oak, maple, mahogany, cherry, and walnut.
  2. Veneer Furniture: Veneer furniture is made from a thin layer of natural wood that is glued to a substrate, such as MDF or plywood. Veneer allows furniture makers to use rare or expensive woods as a decorative surface without the high cost.
  3. Carving and Sculpting: Natural wood is a popular material for carving and sculpting furniture details, such as chair legs, table aprons, and decorative motifs.
  4. Joinery: Joinery connects two or more pieces of wood together without using nails or screws. Joinery techniques, such as dovetail joints, mortise and tenon joints, and finger joints, are commonly used in furniture production to create strong and durable connections between wooden pieces.
  5. Finishing: Natural wood can be finished in various ways to enhance its beauty and protect it from wear and tear. Standard finishing techniques include staining, painting, varnishing, and waxing.

Overall, natural wood is a versatile and beautiful material that has been used in furniture production for centuries. Its durability, beauty, and workability make it a popular choice for furniture makers and consumers alike.


MDF (medium-density fiberboard) is popular in furniture production due to its versatility, affordability, and durability. Here are some ways in which MDF has been used in furniture production:

  1. Cabinet Construction: MDF is often used to construct cabinets, such as kitchen and bathroom cabinets. MDF is a stable and durable material that resists warping and cracking, making it ideal for use in areas with high humidity.
  2. Shelves: MDF is a common material for making shelves because it is easy to cut and shape and can support heavy loads without sagging.
  3. Bed Frames: MDF is sometimes used in the construction of bed frames. It is a strong and stable material that can be shaped into various designs.
  4. Tabletops: MDF is a popular material for table tops because it is smooth and uniform in texture, making it easy to paint, stain or finish. It also resists warping and cracking.
  5. Wall Panels: MDF is often used for wall panels, such as wainscoting and beadboard. It is easy to install, and it can be painted or finished to match any decor.

MDF is a versatile and affordable material that has found widespread use in furniture production. Its uniform texture, strength, and durability make it an attractive alternative to natural wood in many applications.