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Framed Vs. Frameless Cabinets

Posted on April 25, 2024

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. 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 house.

Additionally, Omega Cabinetry has added another fantastic option to the cabinetry collection; framed or frameless. But, what does framed or frameless mean aside from the obvious that one is framed and the other is not? It has to do with the construction of your cabinets. In this blog, our designers and remodelers break down the differences between framed and frameless cabinets so you can better understand which option is best for you!

people in kitchen

What Is Framed Cabinetry?

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 has 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.

This construction gives the cabinets more strength and sturdiness since the doors are secured to the frame. Framed cabinets have many 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.

Pros of Framed Cabinetry

  • Sturdy construction
  • Traditional aesthetic appeal
  • Wide range of customization options

Cons of Framed Cabinetry

  • Limited access to cabinet interiors
  • Prone to dust and dirt accumulation along the face frame edges

What Is Frameless Cabinetry?

A more contemporary cabinet design, frameless cabinets are the European way of manufacturing cabinets that has become increasingly 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 to cover more area. Frameless cabinets are also called "full access" because they allow more accessibility by eliminating not only the frame but the center stiles between two cabinet doors as well.


Pros of Frameless Cabinetry

  • Modern and streamlined appearance
  • Full access to cabinet interiors
  • Easy to clean and maintain

Cons of Frameless Cabinetry

  • Requires a more precise installation for functionality
  • Higher upfront cost compared to framed cabinetry

Which Is Better: Framed or Frameless Cabinetry?

This decision comes down to your personal kitchen cabinet 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?


Remodel Your Kitchen Cabinetry with Bray and Scarff

When deciding between framed and frameless cabinets for your kitchen, consider the pros and cons carefully to determine which option matches your preferences. Whether you opt for the charm of framed cabinetry or the elegance of frameless cabinetry, we have the right cabinets for you!

Explore our cabinets page to find helpful information on how to get started on your next cabinetry project with Bray & Scarff. If you have any additional questions visit one of our appliance store locations in Virginia and Maryland, or contact our designers and remodelers today to schedule a consultation.

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Framed and Frameless Cabinetry Commonly Asked Questions

Are framed cabinets more durable than frameless cabinets?

Framed and frameless cabinets can both be durable, but the longevity largely depends on the quality of materials and construction.

Do frameless cabinets have less storage space than framed cabinets?

Frameless cabinets provide full access to the interior space, maximizing storage capacity compared to framed cabinets.

Are frameless cabinets more expensive than framed cabinets?

While frameless cabinets may have a higher upfront cost, their efficient use of space and modern kitchen appeal can add value to your home.

Can I convert framed cabinets to frameless cabinets?

Converting framed cabinets to frameless cabinets may be possible but requires significant remodeling and professional expertise.

Why are frameless cabinets harder to install?

Frameless cabinets can be harder to install compared to framed cabinets because of their design and construction. Unlike framed cabinets, which have a face frame that provides structural support and helps with alignment during installation, frameless cabinets lack this additional support. As a result, installers need to ensure precise measurements and alignment when mounting frameless cabinets to ensure they are level and securely attached to the wall or floor.

frameless cabinets

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