Finding the right design for your kitchen is not just about the colour. The actual materials you use are just as important and this is why the solid wood kitchen doors vs MDF kitchen doors debate is something that you should take into consideration when renovating your kitchen.

You might love the look of a particular set of replacement kitchen doors but is the material really the best for your home? Will it stand up to the heat and moisture that the kitchen brings? Can it handle inevitable spills and how easy is to clean?

This blog from Kitchen Warehouse takes a look at the difference between solid wood and MDF kitchen doors and helps you decide which is right for your kitchen.

Solid Wood and MDF Differences

Solid wood doors are made with a 5-piece construction and all our solid oak wood replacement kitchen doors are sourced from sustainable forests throughout Europe. They are usually coated with a hard-wearing lacquer or oil for added protection, strength and a stylish finish.

On the other hand, Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF) door is made from recyclable wood fibres. It is man-made and machine dried then pressed in order to produce dense sheets that are then transformed into replacement kitchen doors.

Our luxury shaker MDF replacement kitchen doors have the look and feel of a timber door, but their makeup means that they perform differently to a completely wooden door under certain conditions.

Do They Change in Heat & Humidity?

The temperature in your kitchen changes dramatically throughout the day. When it is not in use the kitchen can be quite cold, but it rapidly heats up when you are cooking, meaning moisture will also quickly build up in the room. MDF tends to be a more stable material to use in rooms where the temperature rises and falls pretty frequently, and it can generally hold up better against humidity than wood as solid wood doors will expand with changes in temperature – both vertically and horizontally – which can lead to damage over time. They require more care and attention, so for an option that requires less maintenance, we recommend MDF as that material certainly wins this particular battle, though it is worth noting however that the rate solid wood doors will deteriorate is extremely slow so they will still last for a very long time.

Which Material Is Best for Painting?

When it comes to deciding if you want solid wood kitchen doors or MDF kitchen doors then the issue of which is best for painting is a hotly contested topic. Many people like the doors when they are installed but after a few years, many homeowners fancy a different colour. If this is the case, they decide to paint their doors as opposed to buying a whole new set all over again.

MDF has a very smooth finish so it can generally be easier to paint later down the line and you will not encounter as many issues with MDF kitchen doors as you will with solid wood should you chose to paint over them in the future. However, one positive thing about solid wood kitchens is that they often produce a very traditional and stylish grained effect which many colours of paint can look great on. You will have to go through a few extra steps if you want to paint solid wood kitchen doors but for many people, the end result looks a lot better and more authentic.

It really depends on what style you want for your kitchen and the time you are willing to put in to achieve the results you desire.

Which Doors Last Longer?

MDF kitchen doors are often cheaper by a fair distance, however, this does not necessarily mean that they will need to be replaced sooner than their solid wood kitchen door counterparts.

Solid wood doors certainly tend to last a long time especially if they are made from oak, which is usually considered to be a stronger wood material than cedar for example. You can expect solid wood kitchen doors to last for potentially decades if they are looked after properly and protected from the changes in temperature and humidity that we mentioned early on in the post.

When it comes to maintenance, in order to allow the doors to last longer than with solid wood you can simply sand the door down to get rid of scrapes or marks but because of the makeup of MDF, this type of work is not possible. However, despite the fact that MDF will stand up to moisture and temperature changes better and is less likely to warp, solid wood doors that are properly looked after can look better over time and last a lot longer as well.

Solid Wood vs MDF

So who wins the solid wood vs MDF debate? It really depends on what exactly you want from your kitchen and what money you have to spend.

You can call us to discuss the solid wood vs MDF merits and we will do our best to advise you but it really is down to what you want in your kitchen. If you are trying to renovate your kitchen on a budget and want a variety of different shades and colours, then MDF is the best option. If you have a bit more money to spend and fancy a more traditional looking door that will last longer with proper care and attention, then solid wood would suit you better.

So really it depends on what resources you have available to you and what you want your completed kitchen design to actually look like.

What do you prefer? We’d love your feedback on the solid wood vs MDF debate! Contact us via to let us know your thoughts or to find out more information about our full range of products, including our kitchen units, accessories and mechanisms. You can also call us on 01765 640 000.