Cabinets are the backbone of the kitchen (though you might also say it's the face but hey we could argue body parts all day long). Although there are many decisions to be made, such as material, wood species, finishes, door styles, embellishments, and so on, the truth is more options mean the more customized your cabinets can be to your specific taste and needs. And more customized means more showing off in front of Susie down the road. If that hasn't completely sold you, our cabinet gallery takes away any stress of choosing by letting you scroll-through and easily compare the various styles without you ever leaving the sofa (which is way prettier than Susie's sofa, just sayin').
We're happy to announce that our friends over at Omega Cabinetry have added another fantastic option to the list; framed or frameless. And what do more options mean for you? Say it with me, "More customized!" But wait, what does framed and frameless mean aside from the obvious that one is framed and the other is not? Well it has to do with the construction of your cabinets. We help break it down below so you can find which option is best for you!
Framed cabinetry is the traditional way American cabinet manufacturers have built cabinets and what you will find in a typical kitchen today. As the word suggests, the face of framed cabinets have a 1-1/2 inch frame resembling a flat picture frame. The door is then attached to the frame which adds dimension to the door front.
The main advantage to this construction is that it gives the cabinets more strength and sturdiness since the doors are secured to the frame. Framed cabinets are also more flexible since they have more design possibilities for creating a customized look. You can create a uniform, flush-mounted look by mounting the doors inside the frame (full overlay) or get a little risk-ay and reveal part of the frame by mounting the doors to the front of the frame (partial overlay). Since some frames can be cut from one solid piece of wood, the different arrangements of drawers and doors are limitless.
A more contemporary cabinet design, frameless cabinets are the European way of manufacturing cabinets that has become increasing popular in the American kitchen. The concept is simple - the face frame is eliminated and just the box remains. The doors are attached directly to the sides of the cabinet box for a clean, modern look. Without the frame, frameless cabinets rely on a thicker box for strength and stability. Since the doors can only be mounted to the sides of the box and cover the entire cavity, only full-overlay doors can be used. The cabinets and drawers are comparatively larger than framed cabinetry in order to cover more area. Frameless cabinets are typically called "full access" because they allow more accessibility by eliminating not only the frame but the center stiles between two cabinet doors as well.
Which Is Best For You?
This decision comes down to your personal kitchen needs. Framed cabinets are advantageous for kitchens with lots of cabinet space where extra room isn't needed. They are also best for those who prefer a traditional look, decorative hinges, flexibility for door options (inset, partial-overlay, or full-overlay), and want to keep hinges hidden through glass cabinets. Frameless cabinets are a better option for smaller kitchens in which every inch matters. They offer a modern look, more drawer and cabinet space, and no center stiles that get in your way. Plus you get to seem wildly exotic when you tell your friends you went with the European style.
So which would you choose?