When purchasing new cabinets or refacing existing cabinetry, there are a variety of options to consider. MDF cabinets are often a budget-friendly option that works in both kitchens and bathrooms. They are made from medium-density fiberboard that is covered with thermofoil, a thin layer of vinyl, but may be designed to resemble wood graining. If you are considering MDF cabinets for your home, be sure to consider both their advantages and disadvantages so you can make an informed decision about whether they are the right fit for your kitchen or bathroom.
Advantage -- Cost
One of the most significant benefits of MDF cabinets is their price. Because MDF is made from wood fibres, wax and resin, the cabinets are less costly than solid wood, stainless steel and other cabinet materials. As a result, they are an ideal option if you are refacing your kitchen cabinets on a budget.
Advantage -- Easy to Clean
Because their surface is made of a thin layer of vinyl, MDF cabinets are extremely easy to clean. You can clean up most stains using a sponge or a soft cloth and water. For stubborn stains, you can add a nonabrasive household cleanser to your sponge. However, avoid using harsh cleansers that contain mineral oils, ethyl alcohol or acetone, because they may damage the surface. When you've cleaned the stains, dry the cabinet off with a paper towel to prevent moisture damage.
Advantage -- Doesn't Warp
Unlike wood cabinetry, MDF cabinets are not prone to warping. When cabinets become warped, the doors may not close properly, shelves may become uneven, and they may take on an unattractive, uneven appearance. When you use wood cabinets in a very moist environment, these issues are likely to occur. MDF cabinets are an ideal alternative in an extremely humid climate or room, because you don't have to worry about them being distorted or damaged by the dampness.
Disadvantage -- High Maintenance
While MDF cabinets are fairly durable when in pristine condition, all it takes is one scratch, dent or scrape to put the cabinets at risk for further damage, because the more vulnerable core material is exposed. MDF cabinets usually can't be repaired, so it is extremely important to make sure that they do not experience even small dings or nicks. However, some damage is usually unavoidable, and as a result, MDF cabinets generally require replacement more often than wood, metal or other types of cabinets.
Disadvantage -- Heat Sensitive
MDF cabinets are extremely sensitive to heat. If you place them beside your stove, they may experience bubbling, blistering and peeling as the vinyl surface becomes damaged. In addition, coloured MDF cabinets may begin to fade or take on an unattractive yellow tint when installed beside a heat source.