Framed vs Frameless Cabinets
Updated: Aug 9
When choosing cabinets, there are two types of construction to consider: framed or frameless cabinetry. Both provide endless design possibilities and their own unique advantages. Here are some things to consider as you decide which type of cabinet construction is best for you.
Framed cabinetry is the most common cabinet type and is considered to be a more traditional cabinet style. A framed construction consists of sides, back, top, bottom, and a faceframe. This is considered a true framed construction. The most common specifications is 1/2" sides, 1/4" back with hanging rails, and 3/4" faceframe. Framed cabinets are typically considered easier to work with from an installation viewpoint than frameless.
What are the advantages of framed cabinetry?
Doors are secured to the frame - offers strength and sturdiness
Door hinges attached to the frame face and shelves, and are usually, adjustable
Available in partial and full overlay options
Inset cabinetry is very similar to a framed cabinet, however the doors and drawers actually fit inside the face frame. Inset offers what many consider a classier and somewhat more traditional look. Inset cabinets have a very smooth, clean, and more custom feel as everything sits flush. This tends to be a pricier option than overlay cabinets.
What are the advantages of framed inset cabinetry?
Clean, minimal lines
A timeless, tailored, custom look
Prevents cabinet door corners from being nicked or damaged
Historical charm – they emulate the style of a period of time
Consume less exterior space – great for small kitchens you will save an additional 7/8″ which is ideal for upper cabinetry, providing you more workspace
Frameless cabinetry is another style of cabinetry that is essentially the same as framed, just without the face frame on the front of the cabinet. Frameless construction is seen as a more modern/contemporary way to construct cabinets. Removing the face frame gives many benefits including larger drawers, full accessibility, and tighter reveals. This is an ideal type of construction for thermofoil and acryllic door styles due to the less space between doors and drawers.
What are the advantages of frameless cabinetry?
Cabinets do not have a face frame attached to the front of the cabinet box
Sleek, simple aesthetic
No center stile coming down in the middle of the two cabinet doors, providing easier access to the items inside, as well as more storage space to work with.
Shelves are typically adjustable.
Drawers tend to be larger because of the space saved by not having a face frame attached to the front.