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Ask the Expert: What is the difference between frameless, framed, and inset cabinetry?


When you are remodeling or designing your new kitchen, you may have several questions as you work your way through the process. Seigle’s designers are experts and would love to help you out! In this series, we will be taking your excellent questions, and our skilled team members will provide answers based on their years of experience.

Today we wanted to answer a common question about cabinet construction styles: What is the difference between frameless, framed, and inset cabinetry? Seigle’s designer and sales consultant Bailey Pinsky answers this very good question below. Since she knows you are excited to get going on your remodel, she answers in swift bullet-point style.

Cabinet Construction

1. Framed Cabinets:

  • Most common and traditional style.
  • Stiles and rails of cabinet create a 1-1/2” face frame at the front of the cabinet box.
  • Comes in two varieties: Partial and Full overlay. As the names imply, partial overlay reveals a large potion of the frame. (Pictured above.) Full overlay has larger drawers and doors creating a “frameless” look with the ease of installation of a framed cabinet.

2. Inset:

  • Door is flush with the face frame of the cabinet.
  • Unique, high-end look

3. Frameless Cabinets:

  • Modern Style.
  • No face frame on cabinets.
  • Hinges are installed directly into the sides of the cabinet.
  • Maximize storage potential
  • Can be a bit more challenging to install.

Thank you, Bailey, for the clear and concise answer!

Do you want more expert answers? We’ve previously asked:

How much room do appliances need in my kitchen design?

How big should an overhang be on an island or breakfast bar?

Do you have a question to submit? Feel free to contact us with your questions below!

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