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Community and Q&A

MDF moulding

user-831496 | Posted in Green Products and Materials on

I am looking for an MDF moulding for interior trim that is safe for the chemically sensitive. I did see a link for Sierra Pine moulding on your site but unfortunately it is not available in New York. Any suggestions? Is it even advisable for someone who is chemically sensitive to use such a product?

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  1. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #1

    Here's some information from the BuildingGreen Web site:

    "Medium-density fiberboard (MDF) is usually manufactured from sawmill waste and a urea-formaldehyde (UF) binder. Formaldehyde, a known human carcinogen, offgasses from UF binders and can be especially problematic for chemically sensitive individuals."

  2. user-659915 | | #2

    SierraPine has numerous distributors in NY, here's the link:, go to distributors & sales in the sidebar, click on find a distributor, choose NY in the drop-down.

  3. user-831496 | | #3

    Thanks. I spoke to the rep from Sierra Pine. The moulding is not available east of Denver. I can have it fabricated from panels. I was thinking that I would find more choices of mouldings with no added urea formaldehyde but I'm not so sure they will be easy to find and I worry about the other ingredients too. After looking at all the information I think solid wood is the choice for me.

  4. Danny Kelly | | #4

    Why do you want to use MDF so badly - use real wood. We use Koetter Woodworking - they have a complete line of custom profiles, FSC certified and can get finger jointed poplar - paints great and is very affordable. I believe you can get points for LEED-H for the FJ trim as well.

  5. user-831496 | | #5

    I've already decided to go with the poplar. I didn't want MDF but the builder has been trying to persuade me that I don't have to worry about expansion and contraction and he claims it looks much better. I think some of the issue is that it costs a little less.

  6. dsmcn | | #6

    I've been doing high-end finish work for 30 years and I love mdf. The flexibility afforded by 1/4" through 1" x 10' sheets, and the affordability of wide dimensions, plus the stability, plus the ease of gluing up any kind of profile or curve, plus the finish when painted... all make it unsurpassed.
    I've always used a mask when working with it but I have become sensitive. I can smell mdf a mile away. In my own home I simply prime it on four sides, and on the ends during installation, and then I can breathe easy.

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