When it comes to selecting the right type of cabinets for your
kitchen, bathroom, or any other space in your home, there are many
factors to consider. One of the key decisions you will have to make
is whether to go for framed or frameless cabinets. While both types
of cabinets offer unique benefits, the choice you make will depend
on your individual needs and preferences.
Popular in the American Market
Framed cabinets have an extra overlaying structure or frame on
the front of the cabinet box (light brown in the picture).
The door (dark brown) is connected to the box using hinges that
are installed on the cabinet frame. Older framed cabinets have
much larger gaps between doors & drawer fronts where the face
frame on the cabinet box is visible.
In the US cabinet market, framed (aka face frame) cabinet
construction is the most popular method and uses a solid
hardwood constructed frame on the front/face of a cabinet. The
cabinet overlay creates a sturdy structure and can be paid with
a variety of door styles.
Face frame cabinets are generally made with solid hardwood face
frames and plywood for the remaining cabinet components.
These cabinets can either be naturally finished to showcase the
beauty of the wood or painted/stained to any number of
decorative colors to match the style of your home.
Popular in the European Market
Frameless cabinets do not have an additional face frame.
The door (dark brown) is connected directly to the box cabinet
with hinges installed on the box. They are also known as full
access cabinets, with no divider between pairs of doors or
drawers when open.
Even though face frame cabinetry is the most common in the US,
there is a large part of the market that builds frameless
cabinets. What sets these apart from frame cabinets is there is
no face frame on the front of the cabinet. This creates a sleek
look when opening the doors and drawers.
Frameless cabinet options are generally constructed using
melamine board with edge banding or veneered/laminated plywood.
These cabinets are typically painted or stained to match the
style of your home.
Note: It’s possible to replace doors on a face framed system,
however it is not possible to close the larger gaps where the face
frame on the box is visible.
Choosing the Right Framed or Frameless Cabinets
It can be difficult to decide whether to choose framed vs frameless
kitchen cabinets in your home. There are some advantages and
disadvantages to each style of cabinets.
Pros of Framed Kitchen Cabinets
There are several benefits of using framed cabinetry in your
storage or kitchen design:
frame around the perimeter of the cabinet provides added
stability and support, making framed cabinets a good
choice for heavy use areas like the kitchen. Framed
cabinets have an additional layer of hardwood that also
helps to increase the sturdiness of the cabinetry. The
cabinets are built to last.
frame around the cabinet provides space for adjusting
the shelves or drawers, making it easier to create a
custom interior for the cabinet.
There are several pros of using frameless cabinet designs:
Increased interior space:
The lack of a frame around the cabinet box means more
usable interior space, making frameless cabinets a good
choice for those who need extra storage or kitchen
Sleek, modern appearance:
The lack of a frame around the cabinet box gives
frameless cabinets a sleek, flush, and modern appearance
that is ideal for contemporary kitchen designs.
Easy to clean: The
lack of a frame around the cabinet box makes frameless
cabinets easier to clean and maintain.
Key Differences Between Framed and Frameless Cabinets
While both framed and frameless cabinets offer their own unique
benefits, there are several key differences between the two that you
should consider when you shop for cabinets and before making a decision.
Find your favorite cabinet and get started on your kitchen construction
One of the biggest differences between framed and frameless
cabinets is the amount of storage space that is available.
Because frameless cabinets do not have a frame, they offer
more storage space as the cabinet box can be used more
efficiently. This is a great option if you want to free up
space in your kitchen for cooking. On the other hand, framed
cabinets can have limited storage space as the frame takes
up some of the space inside the cabinet.
The style of framed and frameless cabinets is another key
difference between the two options. Framed cabinets have a
more traditional look and feel, making them a popular choice
for a classic kitchen or traditional design style. On the
other hand, frameless cabinets have a modern and
contemporary look that is perfect for a kitchen with a more
contemporary design style.
Another difference between framed and frameless cabinets is
accessibility. Frameless cabinets offer better
accessibility. With open cabinet fronts, it is easier to
access items inside the cabinets because there are no frames
getting in the way. This makes it easier to reach items that
are stored in the back of the cabinet, which can be a real
convenience when you're in a hurry. On the other hand,
framed options have the face overlay which can make it
difficult to access items inside the cabinets.
Framed cabinets have a solid frame around the perimeter of
each cabinet box, which provides structural support and
stability. Installing framed cabinets is a bit more complex
than installing frameless cabinets, as the frames need to be
properly aligned and secured to the back of the wall.
On the other hand, frameless cabinets have no frame and
instead rely on the strength and stability of the cabinet
box itself. The lack of a frame allows for more flexibility
in the design and placement of shelves and drawers.
Installation of frameless cabinets is a bit more
straightforward but they also need to be securely attached
to the back or sides of the wall.
When it comes to installation, both framed and frameless
cabinets require a sturdy and level base for proper
installation. For framed cabinets, the frames need to be
properly aligned and secured to the wall, and for frameless
cabinets, the cabinet boxes must be firmly attached to the
sides of each other and to the wall.
Getting Started with Your Framed or Frameless Kitchen Cabinet
We recommend either hiring or at least consulting with a construction
professional who will guide you in your cabinet installation project.
Cabinets, whether framed or frameless, aren't overly challenging to
install but mistakes in the process can lead to their shortened lifespan
or even break the cabinets.
Here's what you need to get started with installing your new cabinets:
Measure your kitchen and make a construction plan.
Before you start shopping for cabinets, it's important to
measure the space where they will be installed. This will
help you determine the number of custom cabinets you need
and the best layout for your kitchen.
Choose your cabinets.
With your kitchen measurements in hand, it's time to choose
the cabinets that will work best for your space. Consider
the style, color, and material that will complement the
overall look of your kitchen. Knowing what you want will
help you decide whether to go with wood frame or frameless
Gather the necessary tools.
Installing cabinets requires a variety of construction
tools, including a drill, saw, level, and screwdriver. Make
sure you have all the tools you need before you begin the
Prepare the space.
Remove any existing cabinets, countertops, and appliances to
clear the way for your new cabinets. This will also give you
the opportunity to repair any damage to the walls or
flooring before you start the cabinet construction and
Read the instructions.
Before you begin installing your cabinets, make sure you
have a clear understanding of our construction process and
don't hesitate to contact us if something is unclear. Pay
close attention to any cabinet safety warnings and
Getting a Quote for Framed or Frameless Kitchen Cabinets
If you would like a quote for new doors and drawer fronts, please
a list of the following:
For doors, we need width x
height and quantity of each;
For hinge boring size & location info, we need:
Distance between the edge of the door and the edge of the hinge cup
(ours are normally 5mm, other manufacturers vary and may not be
interchangeable with ours)
Diameter of the hinge cup (ours are normally 35mm, other
manufacturers vary and may not be interchangeable with ours)
Distance from the top and bottom edge of the door to the centerlines
of the top & bottom hinge cups (ours are normally 3", other
manufacturers vary and may not be interchangeable with ours)
For doors with more than 2 bores we need the distance from the
center of the top & bottom bores to the center of the middle bores
For drawer fronts, finished end panels, fillers and toekick
we only need width x height and quantity of each.
Please be sure to include a shipping address and phone number, as well
as the finish material you would like for your new cabinets.