mdf baseboard ok?

jscozzOctober 13, 2007

We are using wood for door and window casings... but the baseboard my wife likes only comes in MDF. I would rather use wood, but am wondering if MDF will hold up to impacts as well as wood? Also, I want to stain in one room and will have to go with another style baseboard to get stain grade.

Is the MDF baseboard going to cause me any problems down the road? Will it look different (finish texture/sheen) from the wood casings around it (painted white semi gloss)?


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MDF baseboard is more resistant to dings than plastic varieties and some soft woods like pine and poplar.(Yes, I am aware polpar is classified as a hardwood, but classification has little to do with actual strength of the wood)

However, making a scarf joint---the angles cut used to join longitudinal pieces of trim are very difficult to make with NDF as the sharp edges of the scarf joint break off easily and making a coped joint for inside corners has the same problem.

If you can solve or work with those gotchas, and you prime and paint the trim(Not just paint), you should have a nice looking job.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2007 at 11:13AM
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"MDF baseboard is more resistant to dings than plastic varieties and some soft woods like pine and poplar."


MDF dings and chips much worse than either poplar and pine in the installations I see.
If you have all inside corners you can probably get away with MDF.
If you have any outside corners it is very weak and chips out.
Even a vacuum cleaner hitting the corner can cause damage.
If you want nice molding go to a real lumber yard.
The big box places get there from second rate companies that start with 1x lumber that is down to 3/4 inch.
The baseboard is thus 5/8 thick instead of 3/4.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2007 at 5:22PM
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You are correct about the outside corners.

I referred to the linear sections---and the paper type MDF---not the pressed sawdust that is sometimes sold as MDF.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2007 at 12:51AM
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