You are currently viewing Framed vs. Frameless Cabinets: 3 Key Differences

If you’re just starting to look at cabinets, you may be wondering what it means to have framed vs. frameless cabinets in your kitchen or bathroom.

Framed cabinets are a common choice in the United States, while frameless cabinets are more common abroad (i.e. in Europe).  However, frameless cabinets tend to have a more modern look.  As such, they’re marking their way into more American homes—including those in NEPA.

If you’re trying to decide between the two options, keep reading to learn about three of the key differences between the two styles.

1. How the Cabinet Looks

With framed cabinets, a frame is added on the front edge of the cabinet box and then the door is attached to the frame. This creates a small gap between the door and the frame when a cabinet is observed from the side.

With frameless cabinets, there is no frame added to the front of the cabinet. Instead, the door is mounted to the interior side of the cabinet.  This creates a flush look across the front of the cabinet.

Look at these examples from our friends at Showplace Cabinetry.

Examples of Framed Cabinets:

Close up shot of brown framed cabinets in a kitchen island


White kitchen framed cabinets with island


Framed style brown wood kitchen cabinets


Examples of Frameless Cabinets:

Brown frameless kitchen cabinets with white countertops


Kitchen island with brown frameless cabinets


Grey frameless kitchen cabinets with white countertops

2. Available Space in Double Cabinets

For frameless cabinets – since a frame is not added to the front of the cabinet box, that means that the doors for double wide cabinets simply meet in the middle. There is no traditional divider that separates the cabinet into two spaces.

This can offer additional storage space for larger items, and gives a more open and spacious feel when looking inside the double cabinets.

3. Longevity of Cabinets and Materials Used

Without the frame for the door, some of the sturdiness for the cabinet overall CAN be compromised. However, a quality cabinet maker will take this into consideration and use thick and strong materials to help ensure the strength and longevity of the product.

Installation matters, too.  When choosing frameless cabinets, it’s important to work with a company who has experience in installing these types of cabinets to ensure you receive a high quality end product.

Which Should You Choose?

There’s truly no “right” or “best” option – it’s mostly a design and style choice for your home. Stop by our showroom to talk with a designer who can show you full-size kitchen samples of both styles to help you choose what feels right for your new or remodeled kitchen. We’re open 6 days/week in Old Forge.

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