Manufactured wood, also called MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard) or engineered wood, is a wood-like composite made by heating, compressing, and binding sawdust, real wood chips, and fiber together. Some furniture companies use it to make furniture, while others use solid wood. Every homeowner wants to spend their money on items that are right for their property and lifestyle. When making decisions on furniture to buy for your home, buying well-made wood pieces is the best idea since they will last the longest. Read on to understand why you should consider avoiding furniture made with MDF.
Weak & Unstable
Furniture companies often use engineered wood to make various units, such as kitchen cabinetry, wardrobes, and even bookshelves. However, it is weak and not designed to sustain excess weight. Placing heavy items on manufactured wood furniture might lead to sagging, cracking, or loss of structural integrity due to lack of adequate support.
Gaps can start to form between manufactured wood’s layers after a few years. These gaps cause the furniture to become weaker and unstable. Moreover, the screws used to hold the furniture together can loosen fast, and tightening them might split the furniture’s edges.
Chairs, tables, sofas, wardrobes, racks, and other furniture made with manufactured wood do not last long because the upper layer has thin sheets. The fact that MDF furniture is unstable and not durable explains why it is cheaper. However, buying such chairs or tables will cost you later because you will have to replace them sooner than you think.
Vulnerable to Extreme Heat & Humidity
Another reason why homeowners should avoid engineered wood units is their vulnerability to extreme heat, moisture, and humidity. Remember that manufacturers use wax and resin-like compounds to make this wood. Consequently, elements like heat and humidity cause them to expand, discolor, and warp easily.
MDF tends to swell and break when it soaks because it is not water-resistant. For this reason, keeping the furniture units near stoves, ovens, heaters, radiators, or even in kitchens and bathrooms can damage them easily. Additionally, using them outside during humid winters and hot summers is not a good idea.
Has Potential Health Hazards
Manufactured wood can potentially be toxic. The manufacturers use urea-formaldehyde resin to bind the wood and fiber together. Furniture made of this wood emits volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that will deteriorate the quality of air in the house. The off gas can also make you and your family vulnerable to different health issues.
Does Not Increase the Value of Your Home
Beautiful tables, bookshelves, or sofas can significantly impact your property’s overall value. While many people take all of their furniture from one home to the next, there are some scenarios (such as downsizing, moving cross-country or to another country, etc.) where it makes more sense to sell your home with the furniture included.
In these situations, having solid-wood furniture can actually add to the overall value of your home. Not only can high-quality furniture help close a deal thanks to a more pleasing aesthetic, but it can also command a premium as you’ll be saving the buyers the trouble of hauling or replacing their old furniture during the move.
Well-built wooden furniture is seen as a premium investment because of its durability and aesthetics. Manufactured wood furniture may not offer this advantage because they are less durable and often cheaper looking. Why should you invest any money at all in a product that will not benefit you or your home in the long run and overall become a liability?
Purchasing furniture made with manufactured wood for interior or exterior furniture is not desirable if it can be avoided. The best way to avoid the financial and health issues this man-made wood can cause is to choose real wood furniture, such as Amish furniture. These options may be a bit pricier, but they are durable and an overall better investment for the years to come.