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Framed Vs Frameless Cabinets - What's The Difference?


When choosing cabinet doors for your refacing project, you'll need to know whether you are working with framed cabinets or frameless cabinets. That will determine things like the type of hinge you'll need, boring, how it's hung, and even what type of door will look best.

In this article, we'll describe the differences so that you'll have a better idea of what you need.

Let's Start With Framed Cabinets

Framed cabinets have long been a mainstay in cabinet design and work well with just about any style of cabinet door. A framed cabinet will a framed face on the front of the cabinet that is used for mounting the door.

The frame will extend beyond the edges of the cabinet box resulting in what is called a reveal. There are three different ways to mount doors on framed cabinets and each will impact the amount of reveal.

The first mounting type is partial overlay. This means that the door is mounted so there is a small reveal.

The second type is full overlay. This type of overlay almost completely covers the frame leaving almost no reveal.

The final type is inset. With this mounting type, the door is mounted flush inside the frame leaving the entire frame exposed.

Now Let's Look At Frameless Cabinets

Frameless cabinets, also sometimes referred to as "European Cabinets" or "Full Access Cabinets" are still relatively new to the US. They present a clean look that goes well with shaker style or slab doors.

Because there is no frame, the doors will be attached directly to the sides of the cabinet box with hidden or "European Style" hinges. This makes them automatically flush and adds to the clean, modern look of this style of cabinet.

Wrapping Up

Now that you know the main differences in framed and frameless cabinets, you should be better informed when making a decision on what door style will work best with the type of cabinet you have. 

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