MDF molding is a popular molding option. Compared to solid wood molding, MDF molding is much less expensive. The lower price accounts for its popularity. Considerations other than price are important as well when comparing the two.
MDF molding has a uniform size and shape. This uniformity eliminates the need to spend time searching for uniform pieces, as required when using solid wood molding. Wood has natural bulges and imperfections, so solid wood molding is, at times, warped and inconsistent in size and shape. On the other hand, MDF molding is machine-made, so lack of uniformity is not an issue.
Ease of Installation
MDF molding requires more care during installation than solid wood molding. Because MDF molding bends, it is easier to install on walls that are not perfectly flat, but it does require support during installation to prevent breaking. Solid wood molding is lighter and does not bend like MDF molding, so support is not required. Additionally, MDF molding produces large quantities of dust during cutting, so it requires cutting outdoors for adequate ventilation.
MDF molding is more prone to damage from nicks and dings than solid wood molding. Another consideration is that MDF molding does not tolerate moisture well, so it is not a practical option for high-moisture areas or baseboards. Wood molding has a tendency to split, unlike MDF molding, which does not.