Framed vs. Frameless Cabinets: Which Is Right For You?

March 1, 2017

When faced with the choice of what kind of cabinetry to select for your kitchen upgrade or remodel, one of the considerations will be whether you would like framed or frameless cabinets. Each option has a wide array of design possibilities as well as advantages. Here are some of the factors you should take into account as you choose which one is right for you.

Framed Cabinetry

Cabinets built with a framed construction are traditional in North America. “Framed” means that a 1-1/2” “frame” forms at the front of the cabinet box by the rails and stiles. This bears a resemblance to a typical picture frame on the door front, which adds dimension and character to the door front.

Why Choose Framed?

One of the biggest advantages of framed cabinetry is that the doors secure to the frame, which lends both strength and sturdiness. They can also often be adjustable, and are highly customizable offering partial overlay, full overlay, as well as inset cabinet doors. The other main benefit of framed cabinets,  is that they come in a wide variety of styles and shapes, so it’s very easy to choose the right style to achieve your dream kitchen look. The only downside is that they don’t allow for quite as much accessibility or storage space as frameless cabinets, but as the variety of style options is so large, you’re still likely to find something that works just right for your needs.

Frameless Cabinetry

In Europe, frameless cabinet construction is more common, and it has recently gained popularity in the American market for those looking for a more modern, simpler design aesthetic. Often called “full access”, frameless cabinets offer greater accessibility as there is no face frame at all. Instead, there is a thicker box construction to lend stability and strength. For frameless cabinet construction, only full overlay can be used, with hinges affixed directly to the sides of the cabinet box.

Why Choose Frameless?

There are two principal reasons why you might prefer frameless cabinets. As the construction is far simpler, they are very sleek and modern looking, so if that is your desired look, they’ll probably be ideal for you. When installed, all you see is the flat door and drawer fronts, because there is no face frame attached to the front of the cabinet box. No frame means they offer fewer options for style and aesthetic than framed cabinets, which can be customized to taste, but there are still a decent array of materials and colors to suit any contemporary, simple design scheme, which is becoming a very en vogue look for kitchens.
The other reason is that frameless cabinets also are bigger, and easier to access, than framed cabinets. Because there are fewer parts involved in the construction, drawers will be bigger, and also there is more room to access the items stored in cabinets because there is no center stile between two cabinet doors. You can also usually adjust the shelves to your liking.

What do you think? Which style do you prefer? Leave some comments below and let us know.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *