Wood Choices

At Hide-A-Way Doors, all of our products are made from Real Wood, never MDF! Bookcases are made from cabinet grade plywood, the case molding, trim, faceframes, threshold, and jambs are made from solid wood. We offer six types of wood that we have in stock. Choosing the right type of wood for your door will depend on preference and the type of finish you decide is right for your order. Each species of wood have their own characteristics, some are good for painting, others are better for staining.  We do take custom orders for types of wood that we do not have in stock, so be sure to contact for a quote on any special material requests.


Paint Grade: Made from finger-jointed pine, paint grade is the lowest grade we carry. Paint grade comes primed white from the manufacturer and has some imperfections. Less as dense as other woods we provide, paint grade scratches and dents easily. Units shipped unfinished may need more coats of primer as the joints are glued and sanded smooth which does remove some of the primer. We do not apply a primer for DIY finishes.


Paint grade does not take stain.

Not available on mirror doors

Pine: or Pine Select has very few, if any knots and can be painted or stained (with the use of softwood conditioner). Pine is very soft and scratches and/ or dents easily. Clear pine is somewhat inexpensive and for the most part, is readily available.

​Not available on mirror doors


Poplar: *Poplar is harder than pine or paint grade but is still considered softwood. Poplar accepts paint very well and is stronger than pine but has dark color variation making poplar not optimal for staining. Poplar is readily available but slightly more expensive than pine. 

(ply materials not available in poplar, plywood used is supplemented with birch, trim/ faceframe components are made from poplar)

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Alder:  Sometimes referred to as Knotty Alder is a relative of Birch. Alder has a reddish-brown tint with a fairly straight grain pattern. Knots and checks are common with Alder, so people looking for a rustic looking door choose Alder. Alder, because of the rustic knotty look, doesn't accept paint all that well but does look very good stained or clear coated.

(ply materials not available in Alder, plywood used is supplemented with birch, trim/ faceframe components are made from Alder)


Red Oak: Oak is an extremely hard, readily available, and dense hardwood that has very few if any knots. Oak has uniform grain patterns and stains extremely well. Oak has very porous wide open grain patterns therefore Oak Does Not Accept Paint and is better stained or clear coated.


Maple: Maple is commonly known for two different types, Soft or Hard Maple, we use soft maple because it is readily available and is easier to work with than hard maple. Maple has smooth, tight grain patterns making it excellent for painting. Maple is very strong and doesn't dent or scratch as easy as pine or poplar. Maple has fine grain patterns and even colors throughout making it perfect for woodworking projects & cabinet making. Maple takes stain extremely well making it perfect to stain. Maple can be stained to look like other more expensive wood like hickory, walnut, or cherry. Maple can also be painted.

Custom Wood Orders: The materials we list as stock items are commonly used and readily available. When requesting a custom wood species for your project it's best to check with us first. While we can

normally get most species, there are several things to consider. 

     1. Lead time: ordering a custom material means we do not keep it in stock. The timing it takes for us to receive a custom wood from our suppliers will take no less than a week, sometimes longer. When placing a rush order with a custom wood species, the rush guarantee will start the day your order arrives at our facility. No refund for missing a rush with special order materials is provided.

     2. Plywood supplement: While we can get most types of hardwoods, the plywood which makes up the body and backing of a bookcase door is usually not available in uncommonly used wood. There are options to have sheets custom made for some uncommonly used wood types, however; the cost can exceed $500 per sheet. In most cases, we will supplement the bookcase and backing with a like species. 

Real Wood




Real Wood Vs. MDF & why Hide-A-Way Doors uses only Real Wood

A word from our founder and CEO: 

I've been in construction for over thirty years and have held an A+ rating with my contracting business since it began in 2006. I have worked for all types of people with all types of budgets over the years and found that everyone has one major thing in common, they want to know that their project is being built correctly and that the materials being used are not cheap in quality. We never used MDF in any of our building projects because it just does not hold up as well as real wood; extra money we could potentially make by using MFD wouldn't cover the costs of a warranty issue in the future, therefore, we avoided it entirely.


When I started the hidden door company I brought my knowledge of custom building into the bookcase door designs, using only the finest real wood materials. Our competitors would like you to think that real wood warps in high humidity areas, with a level of neglect that might be true, however; houses are still made from real wood in some of the most inhospitable areas. Your kitchen & bathroom cabinets, walls, floors, roofs, and regular interior doors are all still made from real wood. Caring for one of our doors is the same as if you ordered kitchen cabinets or wooden floors; when they arrive, bring them inside to acclimate to the local climate. 

Aside from personal preferences, there are things to consider when choosing Wood vs MDF


Question: What is MDF? 

Answer: MDF or Medium Density Fiberboard, is essentially leftover sawdust glued and pressed into usable sheet goods. The bonding chemicals used in the making of MDF sheets are usually urea-formaldehyde, which is toxic. In most cases a man-made veneer is glued on the MDF sheets to make it appear like real wood.

Question: Why do some companies use MDF?

Answer: Some companies use MDF as means to maximize their profitability. MDF is far less expensive than real wood.

Question: What about durability?

Answer: It's no secret that MDF does not hold nails or screws very well (essential in cabinet & furniture building), it's dense therefore 

MDF is very heavy, does not hold up to dampness (molds easily), plus it is far weaker than real wood and lasts a fraction of the time real wood does. 

Question: What about the look of MDF vs Real Wood?

Answer: There is no question about that either, mother nature can not be beaten when it comes to the beauty of real wood. MDF veneer is man-made and uniform looking which doesn't have a natural look to it, whereas real wood has unique grain patterns which give a naturally beautiful look to your door. 

More reasons not to use products constructed from MDF? Bad for the environment 

In a recent study, the EPA reports that because of the high levels of urea-formaldehyde (UF) resin in the glue used to produce MDF boards

making it difficult to recycle and raising environmental and financial concerns for landfills.

A Competitor's Customer Ratings

This person rates our competitor at 2 out of 5: For the price I paid for this door was not very happy most of the door was made with the fake wood along with the trim..

This person rates our competitor at 2 out of 5: This is a great concept but I was disappointed by the quality.

This person rates our competitor at 1 out of 5: Just not good quality

This person rates our competitor at 2 out of 5: Not great quality very disappointed prefabricate particular board...

This person rates our competitor at 2 out of 5: These are very expensive doors for what you get. As far as I can tell the majority is made using a veneered MDF construction.

Are you sure you want to spend all the money on a door made from MDF?

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A Final Thought about MDF

Before making a final decision on which company you want to build your door, ask yourself; "if MDF really is better, cheaper, and more readily available than real wood, why wouldn't Hide-A-Way Doors just use MDF, and why are their competitors trying so hard to discredit products made from real wood?"

The Hide-A-Way Door's Pledge

As owner and CEO of Hide-A-Way Doors, it gives me great comfort in knowing that our doors shipped all over this great country are built using only the finest real wood materials. It is so important to me, that it is my pledge to you that MDF will never be used in any of the structural components of our doors. We know very well that Real Wood costs more than MDF, so it is also our pledge to buy our materials in bulk to receive the best prices we possibly can and forward those savings on to you, our most valued customers!