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Is MDF or Solid Knotty Alder Better for Your Modern Geometric Barn Door?

Wednesday January 4th, 2023

When ordering one of our modern geometric barn doors you are given the choice between MDF and knotty alder wood. This can be confusing if you do not understand the difference. MDF and knotty alder are very different from each other. Each one has unique benefits depending on the look you are trying to create.



MDF stands for medium-density fiberwood. MDF is created using recycled wood fibers. It is machine dried and pressed to produce a single, smooth sheet. MDF is a great option for hot, humid states because it is less affected by changes in the weather. Since MDF is so smooth, it is only available for paint grade. Since there is no variation, a stain would simply be absorbed and lack the luster and interest that solid wood provides.

Knotty Alder

Knotty alder wood has knots of different sizes throughout it. This option shows the grain and color variations in the wood, making it perfect for a stain grade. Choosing knotty alder wood for your modern geometric barn door is more expensive since it is additional work for our craftsmen. If you are looking to use a stain on your modern geometric door, knotty alder is the route you want to go. If you plan on painting your door, MDF will be the better option for you.

Spot the Difference


From the side of either piece of wood, you can see a slight variation. With the MDF, you can see the layers of fiberwood. With the knotty alder, you see the wood grain. Same with the pictures of the CNC routed MDF and knotty alder doors. You can see the difference from above. The MDF is perfectly smooth, making it ideal for a paint grade, while the knotty alder’s wood grain creates variations in color.
If you need any help deciding on which one would work best for you, give our service team a call. They would love to help!

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