If you’re interested in installing a new vanity, you will have choices, and most homeowners will have to decide between solid wood and MDF cabinets. Both options can transform your bathroom and improve its appearance, but to make the right choice, you need to understand the differences. Although they are both suitable for use in bathrooms, there can be a wide variance in the quality of materials and manufacturing techniques used that affect the ease of use and durability of the piece. Knowing the advantages and disadvantages and how to judge quality will allow you to make an informed decision.
Medium-Density Fiberboard (MDF) is an engineered wood that is made from composite wood pieces and fibres which are held together with either a resin adhesive or a wax. A thin decorative veneer layer is then stretched around the composite plank. It is considered an economical material but is inconsistent due to variance in fibre sizes and qualities of the different woods along with the manufacturing processes used to make this material. The MDF generally found in cheaper vanity cabinets has likely been made to lower standards, glued together, and may not always the best choice because it can be damaged by moisture if water penetrates the surface. If the MDF has been made, lined and finished to higher standards, and the piece has been and built using the recognized high-quality manufacturing processes mentioned below, it may work well and last for many years before needing to be replaced.
When looking at solid wood options, there are differences here as well. Standard solid wood is all-natural real wood and can represent a variety of softwoods that are cheaper to use but have less resistance to moisture and wear. Solid hardwood is made from hardwoods like cherry, maple and oak which has been dried, cured and treated specifically for this purpose. This solid hardwood is usually the most durable and sturdy material for bathroom cabinets because lesser quality solid wood can shrink and expand with different humidity levels, leading to cracks in your cabinets. You can also come across warping, and this is why natural solid wood is ideal for drier environments and not bathrooms. Solid hardwood, however, can bend and expand with humidity fluctuations and will always revert to its original shape, so high-quality bathroom vanities are made with this material because it is ideal for bathroom furniture.
How To Identify High-Quality Manufacturing in Bathroom Vanities
The best solid wood vanities and the best MDF Vanities are manufactured using these proven techniques:
Dovetail and Secure Fastener joints, instead of using just glue and staples.
Solid hardwood framing.
High-quality and thicker cabinet and drawer linings, such as Rubber Wood, which add an effective layer of protection against moisture, instead of thin, easily damaged sheet vinyl.
Soft closing drawers offer a luxury feel and add to the durability and reduce wear and tear on the vanity.
Better quality hardware such as hinges and slides last longer and perform better than their cheaply made counterparts.
Quartz countertops provide the best mix of beauty, color variety and durability.
Professional or factory assembly rather than DIY.
The Bottom Line
For most people, visual appearance and cost are always considerations. In general, MDF vanities cost less to buy than solid hardwood vanities but likely won’t last as long. Either way, making sure to buy a high-quality, well-made vanity will add durability and enhance your enjoyment of the piece.
If you’re looking for the perfect vanity, Topoakes can help! We offer beautiful, top-quality bathroom vanities, tubs, faucets, showers and toilets at very reasonable prices and friendly experts on hand to answer any questions you may have.
Contact us today if you are looking for the best bathroom store and reliable advice in Toronto!