Benefits Of Solid Wood Kitchens: Why Choose Oak Cabinets Over MDF?
Whether you are starting from scratch or refurbishing an existing kitchen, you may find yourself evaluating the pros and cons of oak versus MDF. When it comes to solid wood kitchens, we are certain that our high-quality oak units triumph over cheaper MDF alternatives in any scenario, for the following reasons:
The first thing you will notice about our cabinets is the beautiful character of solid oak. If your preference is for doors finished in our hard-wearing lacquer treatment, you will enjoy timber that is not only well protected but also shown off to its true potential, with the naturally stunning and unique grain pattern on full display. This eye-catching grain can be seen throughout the cabinet carcass, not just on external surfaces, with no worry of veneer peeling away as seen in solid wood imitations. If you decide to opt for a painted finish – from our ‘Signature’ or ‘Bespoke’ ranges – our frontals are carefully coated with high-quality paint in such a way as to highlight the gorgeous texture of the timber underneath.
The aesthetics of real wood cannot be beaten – but it’s the quality of this natural material that really sets it apart. It is easy to identify the reliability and hard-wearing characteristics of solid oak the moment you handle it; this durable surface really is built to stand the test of time.
Easy to work with and repair
Oak is far easier to customise and repair than any manmade alternative. Cutting MDF or plywood will expose the small pieces of wood chips (or panels of thin wooden board) glued together inside, necessitating the purchase of new finishing materials to resurface the raw edge. Inadvertent damage will create the same unsightly finish. By contrast, cutting or customising solid wood cabinets is hassle-free: the cut edges simply need to be gently sanded and a small amount of lacquer applied. The beauty of furniture made of solid wood is that the material is consistent throughout, making repairs far quicker and easier.
MDF is produced from many tiny pieces of wood, bonded with wax, resins, and glue. Similarly, the thin sheets of wood veneer in plywood are fixed together with strong glue. Because of this, both these alternatives to solid oak contain a high level of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which contain a number of chemicals that can be hazardous to health. We therefore particularly recommend oak cabinetry for family households, as it does not contain the large number of chemicals that are found in MDF and plywood. What’s more, all of our painted finishes are provided by quality paint manufacturers, Farrow & Ball, and are both water-based and low-VOC – meaning that our wooden cabinets are environmentally-safe and family-friendly.
Resistance to water ingress
Due to the nature of solid wood, it is far more resistant to water damage. Comparatively, due to its internal structure, MDF is relatively easy for water to penetrate, making it much more susceptible to rotting if left in damp/humid conditions.
All our solid wood cabinets are constructed from European oak, which has been sustainably sourced and supplied with a full chain of custody; better still, our oak is FSC-certified and comes from forests with established replanting programmes. This type of certification/documentation is simply not possible with MDF: there is no way to determine the origin of the wood or guarantee quality. To find out more, why not read out Environmental Policy page?
If you would like to test the quality of our cabinets in person prior to purchase, please feel free to order one of our cabinet samples. We offer miniature carcass panels and doors that are exact replicas of those used in our full-size cabinets, allowing you to ‘try before you buy’ in the comfort of your own home.