MDF versus "solid wood" for an exterior door

Old 06-07-01, 09:16 AM
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Hi - I'd like to know how MDF compares to Fir (solid wood) for an exterior door. I found some MDF panel doors that look good and seem very solid. They have solid wood inset in the
edges for screwing into, which seems to avoid the problem with screwing directly into fiber board. I was planning on painting the door, so not seeing the grain on a solid door is not a problem.

Also, the door will never get wet, due to the location.

Thanks for any opinion that you can offer!
Old 06-07-01, 10:29 PM
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Location: Arlington, WA
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The door may "never get wet, due to the location", but if it's an exterior door, it will be exposed to moisture, and have a possibly sizable temp. difference on the two sides. MDF won't stand up to those conditions. You will have a difficult time keeping it weather-stripped properly due to swelling. I would opt for a solid wood, a fiberglass, a clad steel, or some other door specifically designed to be an exterior door.
Old 06-08-01, 08:27 AM
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MDF exterior doors

Thanks for the reply!

I didn't mention it, but the door that I'm thinking about is actually sold as an exterior door (Tru-Stile brand). So, I wasn't trying to "cheat" and use an interior door, but am more concerned about how these type of MDF exterior doors hold up in real situations.


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