Today we are going to look at which is a better material for kitchen cabinets: MDF vs Real Wood.
With over 40 years experience, Cerwood are your kitchen cabinet material experts.
Here you will learn the advantages and disadvantages of both MDF and real wood. Let’s get started!

MDF vs. Real Wood Kitchen Cabinets



To start, what is MDF and what is solid wood? MDF is actually an abbreviation for Medium-Density Fibreboard. Solid wood is essentially the natural wood, unprocessed, while MDF is the engineered wood which is a mixture of wood, fibres, veneers, resin, and adhesives. There are many varieties of MDF, varying by size, density, glue, type, wood, etc. Typically, the thicker the MDF, the more expensive.

mdf vs real wood

Real Wood 

MDF is engineered wood

Real Wood

Advantages of Solid Wood

1. Strength and durability

Real, solid wood is known to be very strong and durable. Solid wood furniture has been shown to last throughout the years which means you won’t have much upkeep or maintenance. It is important to note that some types of wood last longer than others.


2. Customization

Because it’s available in many different sizes, shapes, colors, and finishes, real wood allows lots of options. You can customize your real wood kitchen cabinets in many creative ways. 


3. Aesthetics

Real wood is beautiful. It has natural grain that gives any piece of real wood furniture detail and dimension. Different types of wood offer you different looks.


4. Value

Because of the longevity and natural form of real wood it has a higher value than MDF. If you’re looking to increase the value of your property, solid wood elements are the way to go.


5. Variety

As already mentioned, there are a number of types of wood and they each have different looks, costs, and strengths. You have a variety of options to choose from when you use real wood cabinets.

Disadvantages of Solid Wood

– Moisture damage

– Warping

– Bugs


Advantages of MDF

1. Withstand Warping and Cracking

Unlike real wood, MDF doesn’t warp or crack if exposed to moisture, which makes it more durable in that sense. This is a big reason MDF is commonly used for cabinet doors.


2. Smooth Finish

Because MDF is made of fine particles and fibres, it is a smooth finish for painted cabinets. If you plan to paint your cabinet doors, MDF is probably a good option.


3. Customization

MDF is easy to customize. Whether you’re looking at shaker-style cabinet doors, flat paneled doors, raised doors, or another style – MDF is easy to customize. MDF is also easy to cut and drill.


4. Water Resistant

Because MDF is engineered, you can get specific types of MDF that are even more water resistant than others. This is especially useful for cabinets under sinks, in bathrooms, etc.


5. Cheaper

MDF is also cheaper than real wood, but when used in kitchen cabinets, it is just as strong. With proper maintenance and upkeep it can actually last a long time.


6. Available in Larger Sizes

Lastly, MDF is available in larger sizes. If you need a large piece with no joints, it will be easier to find since MDF is available in larger sizes than solid wood

MDF is easy to customize

Disadvantages of MDF

– Easily scratched

– Cannot be repaired

– Does not do well in extreme heat

– Not able to be stained

custom cabinetry

Cerwood offers the best workmanship and quality kitchen cabinets

Cerwood – Your Kitchen Cabinet Experts


If you are looking for a high-end kitchen at a reasonable price, contact Cerwood. You can partner with Cerwood to get the right cabinets for you at a price you can afford. Our expertise means our designers can suggest affordable solutions that you might not be aware of.



Cerwood is a local, family-owned and operated business that truly cares about our customers. Having succeeded in the custom cabinet maker business for over 40 years is proof that our team is the best in the area, and that our customers happily recommend us to their friends and family members.

“…We would recommend Cerwood & Family to anyone looking for a high end kitchen, at a reasonable price! We absolutely LOVE our kitchen!”
– Cathy and Steve B.

Read More Testimonials


Cerwood manufactures all of our custom cabinets locally in our New Hamburg facility. That means that you can feel good about supporting your local economy. It also means that you won’t have to wait longer for your finished cabinet doors and drawers to be shipped to you from a distant manufacturing plant, and you won’t be paying extra in your total cost to cover the high cost of shipping. Contact Cerwood today to get your free estimate for an affordable kitchen remodel.