Mdf Vs Wood Crown

 
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Old 10-07-2008, 09:13 PM   #1
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Mdf Vs Wood Crown


What do you like better MDF or Preprimed wood crown molding.? What are the pluses and minuses? also how long to aclimate to the house compared to preprimed?

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Old 10-07-2008, 09:45 PM   #2
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Re: Mdf Vs Wood Crown


I've never used it but my instinct says that it will sag over time.

I'm all for recycling but it needs to be done much better.

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Old 10-07-2008, 09:58 PM   #3
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Re: Mdf Vs Wood Crown


I've never used it either.
Nailed to studs and joists (or nailing block) and adhesive calk. Will it still sag?

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Old 10-08-2008, 05:52 AM   #4
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Re: Mdf Vs Wood Crown


We no longer use any MDF products. Recently we finished a basement for a client who requested that we replace a bit of damaged MDF baseboards in the upper 2 floors. In total, we replaced over 250 lf of swollen baseboards on the interior of the home. Some of it was related to a spraying cat but we found no evidence of the cat in other areas.

In another situation some damn fool builder built all of the decorative columns on the front porch with MDF. You can imagine what it looked like.

In yet another basement, the client insisted that we use 3/4" MDF to box in around a few fixed windows. It was swollen and had to be replaced before we could go from trim carpenter to painter.

Here in Atlanta, I think our humidity is just to high to use this product. I will not be surprised when MDF becomes the next class action lawsuit following in the footsteps of "LP siding."
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Old 10-08-2008, 06:10 AM   #5
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Re: Mdf Vs Wood Crown


I personally agree with wood, however maybe a lot of your dislikes for MDF have more to do with misuse of MDF. MDF is not for areas that run the chance of getting wet especially a basement. But lets face it, pine could have the same problem of molding if it gets wet.
As far as sagging, I have never had any problems with it and personally I like using MDF for some applications. To me the cost to the customer helps in some situations to get the job. There are some precautions that you have with MDF that you dont have to worry about other materials such as you should always wear a respirator when cutting and sanding as the MDF is treated with phemeldahide which becomes a breathable dust when cut! I have got terrible headaches when cutting this without. I always use MDF when doing crown around cabinets and I have jobs that are going on 10 years without any issue.
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Old 10-08-2008, 06:22 AM   #6
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Re: Mdf Vs Wood Crown


I have used it in the past quite a bit. I got tired of the extra work to fix a spot should the outer skin of the MDF peel or chip off. I try to use pre-primed wood or just prime the wood myself before install. Depends on the clients budget. Most of my work is in 350K homes and up. Matching existing trim in most cases so I do not find a lot of MDF. I also use MDF for some top trim of freestanding painted furniture.
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Old 10-08-2008, 07:11 AM   #7
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Re: Mdf Vs Wood Crown


How does Titebond (& other water based glues) work with MDF joints? How do you repair the outer skin on MDF?
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Old 10-08-2008, 10:14 AM   #8
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Re: Mdf Vs Wood Crown


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Originally Posted by stp57 View Post
How does Titebond (& other water based glues) work with MDF joints? How do you repair the outer skin on MDF?
Steve
Titebond holds well, you just have to use alot of it, mdf is dry. If the mdf gets damaged, I've always used bondo to patch it.
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Old 10-08-2008, 04:36 PM   #9
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Re: Mdf Vs Wood Crown


Personally I hate working with MDF especially bulges around nail holes, outside corners never seem to look right but most of all the dust when cutting this stuff. I do agree that the price point is sometimes very attactive for the customer but I try as hard as I can to convince them wherever possible to use FJP
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Old 10-08-2008, 06:42 PM   #10
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Re: Mdf Vs Wood Crown


MDF is for the birds. Whenever possible I will insist on wood.
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Old 10-09-2008, 12:25 AM   #11
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Re: Mdf Vs Wood Crown


out west where it is dryer and people are poorer you hardly get to use anything but mdf. People around here see hemlock trim and usually decide to clear coat it. (Hemlock and oak are my least favorite lumber choices for trim applications). If you learn the nuances of mdf it can be a very easy product to use because of how flexible it is. The bulge around nail holes have to be sanded down and spackled/sanded at least twice to make it look good.
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Old 10-13-2008, 02:47 AM   #12
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Re: Mdf Vs Wood Crown


If it ain't broke don't fix it. Wood will always give you better results than MDF. Primed finger jointed poplar for the difference in cost will give you better results, less paint prep and return trips for material failure out weight MDF in nearly every case.
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Old 10-13-2008, 04:11 PM   #13
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Re: Mdf Vs Wood Crown


MDF, for me, is for paint-grade built-ins w/ face frames and not much else.
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Old 10-14-2008, 08:55 PM   #14
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Re: Mdf Vs Wood Crown


I don't mind the MDF trim in certain areas....like crown, In fact I installed it at my folks house...been up about two years now...no sagging or anthing. I used Tite-Bond Molding and Trim Glue on it and that stuff seemded to work really well. The glue was a bit thicker so the MDF ate up less of it. MDF crown is easy to put up and being so high it hardly ever gets beat up....down low I like to stick to wood where I can...
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Old 10-17-2008, 06:59 PM   #15
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Re: Mdf Vs Wood Crown


MDF crown isnt coper friendly. For all other uses, I could deal with it, if I had to
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Old 10-20-2008, 08:37 PM   #16
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Re: Mdf Vs Wood Crown


I feel like stirring the pot a little bit tonight. I think MDF is great for painted trim applications especially when large size moldings are being used. If it has been handled properly when it gets to you it should be straight and uniform, which can not be said for paint grade wood especially finger-jointed. I agree you have to learn to work with it, but once you do it is pretty simple. I would not recommend it for for your basic, thin trim, then you will think you are working with spaghetti. If it is installed correctly there should not be any problems with it sagging. Sharp profiles on casing and outside corners on base can be problems though. Coping is a breeze. Fine blade in a jig saw and maybe a rasp or file, money every time. If you have a good drywall sub.
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Old 10-20-2008, 08:48 PM   #17
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Re: Mdf Vs Wood Crown


Quote:
Originally Posted by toolwiz93 View Post
Coping is a breeze.
I'd rather cope real wood than I would MDF. O/S corners are easier to work on crown with wood. I'm just not a fan of MDF, especially when working with cabinets!
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Old 10-31-2008, 07:34 AM   #18
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Re: Mdf Vs Wood Crown


Here in Minnesota, builders can buy soft maple and yellow poplar for paint grade trim, directly from the mill, for about the same price as MDF or primed FJP at the lumberyard or big box.

Great stuff to work with:
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Old 10-31-2008, 12:44 PM   #19
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Re: Mdf Vs Wood Crown


I envy the choices you have bass. I hear the the local mill that used to sell direct disappeared some time ago when big corp macdonalization kill the mom & pops here in southern Cali.

Nowadays you can't even easily find FJP in a bunch of profiles that used to popular just 8-10 years ago.
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Old 10-31-2008, 12:53 PM   #20
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Re: Mdf Vs Wood Crown


I used MDF for some rounded and built up molding I put into my cabin several years back and am very pleased with the product. Price point is far cheaper than poplar or else I would have used the wood.

Great to work with... smooth and straight but does require quite a bit of painting and finishing.

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