When choosing between MDF cabinet doors and maple solid wood, MDF is the growing market. More uniform than other materials and less susceptible to production issues, MDF is made from a single solid piece which prevents cracking and distortions from joints, although sharp lines clean edges cannot be achieved. To understand the drawbacks of MDF you must first understand how it’s made.
Large thick sheets of MDF are placed on a CNC mill, where grooves and doors are cut off of a large block. This is where CNC encounters its first issue because sharp edges get diluted into curves. This causes the second problem of preventing PVC coating from clinging onto the inside edges and its arches.
In terms of durability, the biggest issue with MDF is its inability to repel water. The ‘plastic’ layer on top of the MDF has an exposed seam where water can get trapped and cause the material to swell. Solid wood does not swell when in contact with moisture, though the integrity of the paint may be jeopardized.
For the same cost, solid wood doors are a better investment for its durability and ability to achieve linear and distinct edges, unlike MDF. The downsides of Solid wood doors are greatly Exaggerated, if assembled correctly solid wood doors can stand up to the test of time without any issues.