Temperature changes, steam, grease splashes – this is just a small list of “problems” that kitchen furniture faces. It is obvious that not every material of painted facades (regardless of the type of dye used for painting) will withstand such harsh conditions of use. The massif quickly loses its shape and dries out. Metal surfaces require constant maintenance. MDF is considered optimal for purchase, characterized by a low price and high performance properties of the front panels of the headset.
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- What is MDF?
- Advantages of kitchen facades made of MDF
- Disadvantages of MDF facades
- How does MDF differ from chipboard and solid wood?
- What should be the facades for a kitchen made of MDF – selection criteria
- Options for finishing kitchen facades made of MDF
- How to care for furniture facades made of MDF?
- A minute afterword
What is MDF?
Sheet material. The basis of its production is wood chips, which are first heated and then crushed to release a natural resin – lingin (which will be used as glue). Next, the finished mass is sent to the dryer, where excess air is removed and the humidity of the workpiece is equalized. At the final stage, it is pressed, cooled, and undergoes grinding to achieve a smooth surface and eliminate external defects.
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Advantages of kitchen facades made of MDF
The main quality of furniture made from such material is its environmental friendliness. When heated, it does not release toxins or unpleasant odors that can harm human health. The specific composition of fiberboards protects the headset panels from rotting. Resistant to pathogens and fungi, they provide all the necessary conditions to maintain room hygiene.
Among the important operational properties of MDF facades are the following:
- increased strength;
- low degree of wear;
- environmental safety;
- resistance to temperature changes;
- resistance to moisture.
They can serve up to 20 years, maintaining their shape, quality and aesthetics. The price of furniture panels made of fibreboard is significantly lower than for analogues made of wood. Moreover, the latter indicator does not in any way affect the design restrictions. Taking MDF as a basis, you can implement a variety of solutions in kitchen interior design (glossy, matte effect, metallic, imitation wood, stone, etc., etc.).
Disadvantages of MDF facades
The front panels of the headset, made of wood fiber board, are characterized by vulnerability to mechanical stress. Despite the high density of the base, they can be damaged by an impact or a heavy object falling onto the surface of the facade. Holes for fastening components of kitchen furniture must be drilled in advance. Due to the hardness of the material, it will be impossible to drive a nail or screw a screw into it right away.
How does MDF differ from chipboard and solid wood?
Compared to particle board, MDF provides opportunities for the manufacture of facades of original shapes (convex/concave). The chipboard surface is a smooth film with a textured pattern. Furniture made from medium-density fiberboard is the base, which, along with PVC and paper-resin film, can be finished with plastic, veneer, and coated with paint. Yes, it is more expensive than front panels made of chipboard. But at the same time it is distinguished by higher quality and safety of use.
Unlike wood, facades with a fiberboard base are resistant to UV radiation. They do not require complex care. It is enough just to wipe the surfaces from time to time with a soft cloth soaked in a mild soap solution. Yes, they don’t look so solid. However, with modern finishing and decorating technologies, you will not have any problems in realizing any design idea.
What should be the facades for a kitchen made of MDF – selection criteria
Fiberboards are manufactured in accordance with GOST 20400-80. In accordance with it, front panels with a headset made of such material are allowed:
- texture direction distortion up to 5mm;
- the presence of subtle risks under the film up to 8mm;
- “shagreen” with a protrusion on the front panel of the headset of no more than 0.05 mm;
- the presence of disguised chips, technological holes on the back side of the facade with a diameter of up to 6 mm (no more than 3 per 0.3 m2);
- microspots and small stripes on the surface of the film with a metallic effect.
The presented deviations are not an indicator of the low quality of the goods sold. The list of unacceptable defects includes film wrinkles, scratches, milling defects (chips, ribbing, waves on the edge). You should abandon the idea of buying a set made of MDF immediately if you find glue residues on its surface or peeling of the coating.
When choosing facades for the kitchen, you should take into account the emission class. Front panels marked E1 are optimal for living spaces. When heated, they do not emit a toxic substance – formaldehyde. Do you want your furniture to last a long time? Pay attention to its edges (they should be trimmed with aluminum or melamine plastic). Height-adjustable legs will not only allow you to install the set horizontally, but also prevent contact of its lower part with moisture when water leaks or when washing the floor.
Options for finishing kitchen facades made of MDF
The basis of the front panels of kitchen sets is fibreboard. As for their coating, it can be different: enamel, plastic, veneer, PVC film. Acting both as protection and as decoration of panels, all these materials have their advantages and disadvantages. We suggest studying each of them in more detail.
Facades finished with PVC film
Characterized by financial accessibility. The film of such sets can be painted in any tone of the RAL palette, different patterns and textures can be applied to it (see photo). Do you want her to not lose her beauty? Place the kitchen unit away from direct sunlight. To avoid the risk of damaging the coating, its surface should be wiped with a soft sponge using non-abrasive types of detergent.
Facades with decorative enamel coating
They are distinguished by a wealth of color and design solutions. Among their advantageous characteristics are heat resistance, resistance to moisture and odor absorption, and ease of maintenance. This type of furniture facades belongs to the most expensive category. Also among its disadvantages is vulnerability to mechanical damage (scratches, cracks, chips).
Shows long service life. By choosing this type of front panels, you will appreciate their chemical resistance, hygiene, and ability to retain beneficial qualities even at a humidity of 80%. At the same time, be prepared for the fact that the inside of the facades will be white. The surface of the furniture will have to be wiped after each cooking (especially if it is glossy).
Provide maximum resemblance to natural wood. Their advantages include environmental friendliness, unchanged geometry, maintainability (small scratches and other damage are sanded, and the surface is restored using varnish). The disadvantage of this finishing material is the limited design. Not allowing for a paint option, it becomes duller over time. Under the influence of UV radiation, the colors of the decorative coating may change.
Design options for painted MDF facades
Different finishing methods make the design range of kitchens with a fibreboard base even wider. Just look at the decorative treatment of the front panels of the headset with patina! The facade covering is artificially aged, and then framed with a golden or silver border along the relief elements. Through this effect, new furniture acquires the features of a noble antique. It perfectly complements the classics, as well as rooms decorated in Baroque or Provence style.
Painted facades are decorated with various decorative elements. These can be miniature frescoes, fancy ornaments, paintings. A current solution in kitchen design is photo printing. The use of such technologies allows you to make the front panels of the headset bright and original. And they, in turn, will fit perfectly into modern, high-tech and other trendy styles of room design.
Kitchen facades with 3D milling look unusual. Possessing a relief surface, they are covered with different patterns – from intertwined lines to flames and tree bark. With the help of such front panels, the headset can easily zone the room and visually eliminate its shortcomings. Moreover, they are easily combined with most materials and are suitable for integration into any stylistic solution of the kitchen and home.
How to care for furniture facades made of MDF?
The service life of kitchen units depends on the strict adherence to the manufacturer’s recommendations:
- Use soft, lint-free cloths when cleaning the panels. They will not leave soap stains on the gloss, scratches after wiping, or removing dirt from the headset’s coating.
- Avoid cleaning furniture surfaces with aggressive detergents. They can change the color of the coating and lead to deformation of the finishing material.
- Do not use polish when caring for facades. It attracts dust, making it difficult to clean furniture from dirt.
- Wipe the headset panels dry immediately after cleaning. If the coating is not sealed, moisture will penetrate inside and lead to swelling and changes in the geometry of the product.
For reference: the best way to deal with stubborn stains is to prevent their occurrence. In order not to spend a lot of time dealing with old stains, it is enough to wipe MDF facades after each use.
A minute afterword
Fiberboard front panels are the ideal design for any kitchen. They have high aesthetic value and show excellent performance. Among the latter are environmental safety, resistance to temperature changes and moisture, durability (up to 20 years, provided that the product’s operating rules are followed). However, all this is relevant for those products that are produced and sold by reliable companies. Otherwise, under the guise of MDF, you can purchase front panels made of chipboard, or be faced with a low-quality product that will become unusable after six months of use.