What Are Cabinet Rails?

A cabinet rail is a horizontal board or beam that attaches to a cabinet frame. A rail sits horizontally and combines the two vertical wood pieces of the cabinet. The vertical pieces of wood are known as stiles. Each cabinet has two rails and two stiles on each side. Cabinets with a rail and stile construction use the frame and panel technique. Together, the rails and stiles create a complete cabinet frame.

The cabinet rail is a vital part of the cabinet's overall construction. It provides structural support and stability, improving the overall durability of your cabinet doors. Without cabinet rails, the weight of the cabinets may be distributed unevenly. You may also struggle with sagging or bowing shelves over time. 

While rails and stiles are vital to the construction of your cabinet doors, there are variations, like slab and flat panel cabinets, that don’t use a frame and panel technique. The lack of rails and stiles helps these cabinet doors maintain a sleek, modern appearance. 

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