TOPIC: Let's talk about MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard)

Let's talk about MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard) 1 week 4 days ago #51856

Let's talk about MDF

Medium Density Fiberboard (mdf) is a product that is used to make doors, cabinets, baseboards, and crown molding. Although technically made from wood, it's really more of a glue/wood mixture that's then pressed into whatever form is needed, comparable to heavy duty moldable cardboard. It's great to work with, and WAY cheaper that real wood. Because of how inexpensive and easy to manufacture it is, most of our "wood" materials in apartments are actually MDF.

While MDF is great for builders, we operators unfortunately have to deal with MDFs biggest drawback: it doesn't like water

As soon as it gets wet, even a little, it swells up and deforms. It absorbs liquid like a sponge, even heavy mopping can destroy MDF shoe mold. Cabinets under sinks sag and swell, even a small amount of liquid from a wet cup or jar leaves rings on MDF shelves. When I have a job coming up that uses MDF trim, I'm keeping an eye on weather reports for days prior to scheduling delivery

While this problem might be unsightly, the biggest danger is mold growth from the inevitable water leaks and floods. While pine wood baseboards can be dried out after a washing machine overflows, MDF holds moisture so well that mold growth is all but assured. Don't kid yourself, if your baseboards look like the ones in the picture, then what's behind them will be the same too.

       
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Last edit: by Amanda HIll.

Let's talk about MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard) 1 week 4 days ago #51858

This is a GREAT post, Jonathan!

Let's talk about MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard) 1 week 4 days ago #51859

MDF is great for owners/developers who plan to sell, not operate. You nailed it.
  • Suzanne Thomson
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Let's talk about MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard) 1 week 4 days ago #51860

MDF is know as [email protected] board in the home improvement community
  • Claudia Koziol
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Let's talk about MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard) 1 week 4 days ago #51861

Careful about extrapolating from your climate and making broad assumptions to others. If you are in some drier climates you can easily destroy MDF but at the very same time not have a lick of mold.
It is a great product when used correctly, and appropriately. The dimensional stability it has is all but unmatched in a conventional wood product. If mopping and glasses are impacting your trim from a normal use (Not an ice cold glass left on the MDF for an hour on a hot humid day) then it is a really good sign that it wasn't coated and sealed well to begin with. Just don't put it in the baths in most cases.
  • Miles Scruggs
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Let's talk about MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard) 1 week 4 days ago #51862

That stuff is awful!!!!!! Anytime we have to, we replace it with actual wood trim.
  • Brad Birchfield
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Let's talk about MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard) 1 week 4 days ago #51863

This stuff is crap..it is basically partical board, but not as good. There is no proper use for this stuff. It is cheap, ineffective, will inevitably have to be replaced and is a lowest bidder product. It is pretty much a polished turd. Looks pretty at first, but eventually it stinks!
  • Leah Carroll Tribou
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Let's talk about MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard) 1 week 4 days ago #51864

Great post!
  • Christy Thomes-Sanchez
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Let's talk about MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard) 1 week 4 days ago #51865

Agree! And then flooring vendors get blamed for destroying baseboards that were already destroyed!
  • Dea Malone
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Let's talk about MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard) 1 week 4 days ago #51866

Great post Johnathan...very practical info.
  • Mag Guarino
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