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Does MDF Warp? (Why and How to Prevent Warping)

Who doesn’t like to use MDF to build kitchen cabinets, door parts, furniture, and laminate flooring, right? This wood is manufactured using recycled wood fibers. It delivers sharp edges without any tear out.

That being said, before using MDF, you might be wondering if MDF wood would wrap. If so, you might want to know why MDF wraps. Let’s find the answers to all your queries regarding MDF wrapping.

Does mdf warp?

MDF is a high-quality, rigid, and composite material. This type of wood is usually made using resin and wood fibers. MDF wood is dried and pressed to make the sheets more rigid and dense. As a result, MDF doesn’t warp. However, if external factors are applied to the MDF, it can warp or crack.

MDF is a high-grade wood made with recycled wood fibers. To make this wood rigid and denser, it is pressed and dried. As a result, this wood doesn’t easily twist or crack.

MDF can twist when external factors like heat, paint, humidity, and water come in contact with the wood. Let’s find out which factors can cause an MDF to warp.

With heat:

A sheet of MDF needs to be sealed or stored in the correct way to maintain its structure. If the MDF sheet comes in contact with heat, it would warp. With heat, the MDF will not only bend but can also eventually crack.

When wet:

Just like most types of wood, the MDF wood is not waterproof. It can’t withstand water very well. When wet, a sheet of MDF will get twisted and the wood sheet can also get cracked.

When painted:

MDF will not warp if it is painted properly. By painting your MDF sheet, you can prevent external factors like water and heat from damaging the wood and twisting it. However, if the MDF is not painted in the right way, it would still warp.

Over time:

MDF wood sheet doesn’t warp after a certain period of time like the regular wood dose. This is due to the fact that the texture of this wood is small particles. MDF wouldn’t also split or crack over time.

In humidity:

MDF will expand and contract if the humidity in the treason is higher than usual. If the expansion and contraction of the MDF sheet occurs at a high rate, it will get twisted. So, in humidity MDF can warp.


MDF is moisture-resistant but not waterproof or heat proof. When a MDF sheet is kept outside, it will directly come in contact with water and heat, which will eventually cause it to bend and split.

So, MDF will warp if it is placed outside for a long period of time.

In garage:

A MDF sheet will not warp when it is kept inside a garage. This is because when it is kept in a garage this wood sheet wouldn’t come in contact with water, sunlight, or heat.

Does 12mm moisture resistant mdf warp?

Although a 12mm moisture resistant MDF is one of the best types of wood, it can still warp. This is due to the fact that in a piece of MDF wood sheet, there is a difference in moisture content.

The difference in moisture content will make the wood sheet expand and contract nonuniformly, which causes the MDF to twist. When the 12mm MDF warps, it can eventually crack.

A 12mm moisture resistant MDF is a very heavy wood. A sheet of 12mm MDF usually weighs around 20kg. When it comes in contact with heat or water, it can warp even though it is moisture resistant.

That being said, you can prevent the 12mm moisture resistant MDF from warping by painting it properly and uniformly. You can also prevent it from warping by storing it in a closed place like a garage or a room.

Does mdf warp less than plywood?

MDF doesn’t warp less than plywood. Plywood is more flexible than MDF wood sheets. Unlike MDF, plywood can be twisted gently to produce curves.

However, plywood doesn’t expand or contract even when it comes in contact with water or heat, as a result it doesn’t warp.

MDF isn’t a flexible type of wood. It is made using wood fiber which is then pressed and dried to make it more rigid. When this wood sheet comes under high temperatures and water, it will start to curve and finally warp.

To prevent the MDF from warping, you will have to take precautionary measures. If heat and water comes in contact with the MDF wood, it will get twisted.

As a result, you will need to paint the wood sheet or store it in a closed room to prevent it from coming in contact with those external factors.

Why does mdf wrap?

A sheet of MDF wood can wrap for numerous reasons. It is very important to know the reason behind why a MDF wraps so that you can prevent it from occurring effectively. Have a look at why MDF wood sheet wraps:


MDF is not a waterproof wood. When a sheet of MDF comes in contact with water or is wet from other liquids, the moisture content in it won’t be uniform. As a result the wood sheet will start to crumble and will eventually wrap.

If the MDF wraps due to water, it can be quite difficult to bring it back to its original state. So, you should prevent the MDF wood from coming in contact with water if you don’t want permanent damages.


MDF wood is not high moisture resistant. If the humidity in the space in which the MDF is stored, the moisture level in the MDF sheet will become nonuniform. The difference in the moisture level within the MDF will make it bend or wrap.


MDF doesn’t go very well with heat or high temperatures. When a MDF sheet comes in  contact with high temperature, it will start to wrap from its sides. If the MDF wraps more than what it can withstand, the wood sheet will begin to crack.

How do you remove warp from MDF?

Removing warp from MDF is somewhat complicated and difficult. You will have to remove the warp from the MDF sheet in the right way carefully so that you don’t damage the wood.

Let’s have a look at how you can remove warp from MDF.

Place the woods:

Place two pieces of wood of size 2×4 with at least 1 feet distance between them on a table or a workbench.

Set the MDF wrap face upwards:

Set the MDF wood sheet on the two pieces of wood in such a way that the warped curve faces upwards.

Put weight on it:

Then, put a weight on the center of the MDF. While putting the weight, make sure to get one which the MDF wood sheet can withstand and wouldn’t crack.

However, ensure that the weight is heavy enough to press the wood downward.

Check the progress:

After placing the weight, check the wood every hour to see if the curve has become flat.

How do I stop my MDF board from warping?

Stopping your MDF board from warping is not as complicated as it may seem to you at the beginning. It is much easier than removing the warp from the MDF board. You can prevent the MDF board from warping with a little bit of effort and time.

Let’s find out how you can stop a MDF wood board from warping and cracking.

Store the MDF board properly:

MDF is not a natural wood. A MDF board will bend when it comes in contact with heat, or water. By storing the MDF board in the right and proper way, you can stop it from warping.

While storing MDF, you should make sure to keep it above the ground. You should use at least three supports to prevent the risk of bending.

If the ground on which you will be placing the MDF board, you should place polythene on the ground before placing the board. However, you should always try to keep the board in a dry and well ventilated space.

Apply Sealant:

The moisture level of an MDF board is 8 ± 3%. If the moisture content of the MDF board changes by only 1%, 0.35% thickness will change.

If you apply sealant on the MDF board, the moisture won’t be able to affect the MDF boards’ moisture content, preventing it from warping.

Use moisture-resistant MDF:

The moisture-resistant MDF board will not bend if the humidity level of the region is high. This is due to the fact that in the moisture resistant MDF, the moisture level within the board remains constant.

Final Thoughts

It is less likely for an MDF board to warp. It can happen if there is a difference in the moisture content within the MDF sheet. The difference in the moisture content can occur due to external factors such as water, and heat. The best way to prevent MDF from warping is by applying sealant.