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What is the difference between live edge wood and manufactured wood?

Live Edge Wood Bar top

We actually get asked this question often.

Here is a brief breakdown of the difference between live edge wood and manufactured wood. The wood that we use is solid live edge wood. We purchase our live edge wood slabs directly from a wood mill that is local to us.  I am not necessarily going to name names, but Flower City Milling is one of our main lumber providers.

Most furniture stores or big box stores sell  manufactured wood or more commonly called MDF. MDF is basically made through the process of heating, gluing, and compressing wood chips and sawdust together to create a wood-like composite.  Most people know this, and some don’t care because MDF furniture is cheaper, more affordable. The problem with that is, it also doesn’t last long and you often end up chucking it to the curb and buying new pieces.

What they don’t tell you at the furniture store is:

  • Manufactured wood contains formaldehyde; a known carcinogen.
  • Manufactured wood cannot be recycled. Because of this, unwanted MDF gets sent to the landfill.

Okay so enough about MDF.

Lets tell you what is so great about live edge wood

Live edge wood comes directly from a tree, from nature. It is the natural form of wood. It is not processed or treated with harmful chemicals. Also, it is the only wood we use, it is important to our business and our values to only use natural live edge wood for all of our products. The live edge slab we use come right from nature, why would we change that? Why wouldn’t we want to enhance nature’s natural beauty and create something wonderful for your home?

Now the big question, is live edge wood more expensive than MDF? The short answer is yes. The longer answer is, live edge wood can be more expensive to purchase initially, but after you have gone through 2 or 3 coffee tables made from mdf, live edge wood doesn’t look so expensive anymore. In the long run live edge wood will outlive mdf furniture time and time again. Live edge wood furniture can certainly have a higher price tag than mdf furniture. But at the end of a few years, you won’t be kicking our furniture to the curb because it is chipped or broken.

We hope this answers some of your questions, maybe in our next post we can talk about care of live edge wood products