What's the Difference: Framed vs Frameless Cabinet Doors?

Choosing between framed vs. frameless cabinets is one of the most important decisions you will make. You can find doors to suit both options at The Door Stop, so we are not trying to sway your decision in one way or another. We're simply trying to help you choose the best cabinets for your space and design. With that in mind, consider both sides of the debate over face frame vs. frameless cabinets.

Cabinets Framed vs. Frameless - A Quick Breakdown

Think of a cabinet as a wooden cube with one side missing. Framed cabinets, also known as American style cabinets, attach a frame around this opening and then attach the cabinet door to the frame. That way, when you close the cabinet doors you see some space between them (the frame), covered in either a complementary or contrasting design. The exception is full overlay doors, which still attach to the frame but cover it up completely by design.

Frameless cabinets, also known as European style cabinets, don't have a frame around the opening. The doors are attached to the interior side of the cabinet and sit flush with one another when closed. When you look at the cabinets you only see the doors instead of the cabinets underneath framing those doors. Some people gravitate toward this look while others prefer the alternative. That's why the debate between framed and frameless lives on.

Designing with Face Frame Cabinets vs. Frameless

Despite being called American and European styles, homes throughout all 50 states use both styles. Frameless cabinets have become much more popular in recent years among homeowners and designers looking for a clean and simple look. They fit nicely into a modern design, but with the right styles and finishes they can complement any design. Framed cabinets are similarly versatile. Since they create a contrast between the frame and the door, they offer exciting design potential and fit into almost any look a creative mind can conjure. Also keep in mind that with replacement cabinet doors, you can replace any style you have now with something that reflects your true tastes and current trends.

Framed vs. Frameless Cabinets - Pros and Cons

Before making your final decision, compare the pros and cons of both options:

  • Framed - The frame makes the cabinet especially sturdy, helping to prolong the life of the cabinet and extend the investment. However, the frame takes up a small amount of the cabinet opening, making it a little harder to access everything inside.
  • Frameless - Without a frame or a piece of wood down the center of the opening where double doors meet, these cabinets offer full access to the interior. Losing the frame also makes them a little weaker, but cabinet makers compensate by using thicker wood for the cabinet boxes.
  • Find Doors for Any Kind of Cabinet at The Door Stop!

    Add a stylish touch to your home with our high-quality cabinet doors from The Door Stop. We offer a variety of custom-built cabinet doors that will refresh any living space. Order your custom cabinet doors today! If you have any questions email us at sales@cabinetdoors.com or call us at 800-342-1010.

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    This video shows how to measure cabinet openings and the calculation for cabinet door overlay. How to calculate Cabinet Door Overlay.

    Here is a video with tips on Measuring cabinet openings, Finishing and Hanging your doors, and using hinge adjustment for final alignment of the doors. Cabinet Doors 101: How to measure openings, install hinges, hang and align doors.

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