Framed vs Frameless Cabinets

A detailed overview of the similarities and differences in framed and frameless cabinets.



There are two main types of kitchen cabinets to choose from when designing your space: framed and frameless. But what is the distinction between framed and frameless cabinets? Is one type superior to the other?

Both have advantages and offer a variety of functional and aesthetic options. Here are some variations between frameless and framed cabinets to assist you in deciding which one is best for your home project.

What Are Framed Cabinets?



Framed cabinets are sometimes known as "face frames" or "American frame cabinets" because they were invented in North America. Framed cabinets include a supporting component that lays over the cabinet construction, whereas frameless cabinets do not.

The frame is meant to give durability and strength, but it might also mean that the cabinets themselves are built of thinner materials in some circumstances. This will be determined by the manufacturer. Framed cabinets, on the other hand, can assist minimize racking, a misalignment issue that can cause the cabinet box to tilt and the drawers and doors to misalign.

Framed cabinets are more conventional and American in appearance. Face frames facilitate installation and door/drawer modification. They necessitate the installation of individual skin panels on exposed sides on-site. A framed cabinet line often offers additional dimension and customization choices.

Pros of Framed Cabinets



  • For this type of kitchen cabinets, cabinet hinges are affixed to the frame face. This allows for more robust cabinet hinges, which, when exposed, may provide artistic detail.

  • The wood frame face and 3/4" overlay give these cabinets a great vintage appeal. With the correct design, color, and accessories, framed cabinets may achieve a modern aesthetic, but they're often a better option for houses with a more classic design taste.

  • Shelves are usually adjustable, however due to the face frame, they may be more difficult to access once the installation is finished.

  • They are extremely robust because the frame offers a flat, rigid surface on which to attach the cabinet doors. The hinges are securely fastened to the face frame's hardwood.


Cons of Framed Cabinets

  • Framed cabinets have limited storage space than frameless cabinets owing to the face frame and center stile. Frameless cabinets may be a preferable alternative if you already have a restricted amount of space.

  • Framed cabinets may take longer to assemble and are more difficult to alter once installed.

  • Remember that even with full overlay cabinet doors, the face front frame will be visible.

What Are Frameless Cabinets?


Frameless cabinets, as the name indicates, lack an extra frame on the cabinet construction. As a result, they can provide a little additional storage space and simpler access. Furthermore, the cabinet material could be thicker. They often have a more contemporary appearance.

Frameless cabinets, sometimes known as 'full-access' cabinets, are made up of merely the cabinet box. Because there is no face frame linked to the cabinet's structure, you have complete access to the cabinet inside. This design style originates in Europe and is widely employed to generate a sleeker, more clean look. If you're planning a more modern kitchen makeover, this may be the preferable option because the sleeker appearance and flat drawer fronts will complement the design.

Pros of Frameless Cabinets



  • Since the face frame is removed, more internal space is accessible.  Homeowners enjoy  a wider opening for storing dishes and kitchenware.

  • Flush outside sides are standard on all frameless cabinets and an option on framed cabinets. Since the edges of drawers and doors run up against each other virtually flush, frameless cabinets have a modern, sleek appearance.

  • Since there is no face frame to work around, adjusting shelves with frameless cabinets is easy.

  • Without the need of tools, doors may be easily removed for cleaning. Simply press the rapid-release button located at the back of the door hinge.

  • A central panel that runs in the middle of the two cabinet doors is missing from frameless cabinets. Access to the contents within is simpler without the center stile, and storage space is improved.

  • A frameless cabinet's panels can be left open for open shelf storage since there is no frame enclosing the cabinet apertures.

  • The lack of a frame allows for more design and aesthetic flexibility. A frameless cabinet can be used in any style, such as traditional, transitional, contemporary, or modern.


Cons of Frameless Cabinets

  • On uneven walls, frameless cabinets are frequently more difficult to install, and top cabinets might deform. Since frameless cabinets rely only on the cabinet frame for strength, only high-quality materials should be used.

  • Frameless cabinets provide fewer size and customization choices.

  • There are no standard overlay or inset construction options. Only the full overlay is available.

  • To fulfill the minimal clearances for doors and drawer openings, more fillers are required.

  • Hinges may be less robust since they are put directly into the side panels, which are frequently made of engineered wood, rather than the face frame, which is usually composed of hardwood.



Since all cabinet types are comparable, deciding which one is best for your kitchen will most likely come down to your specific needs and prominent aspect. Framed cabinets could be a better option if you want a more traditional look and therefore don't mind compromising some storage space.

Frameless cabinets may be more appropriate if you want as much storage as possible and want a more modern appearance. Are you still conflicted on which one to apply on your home kitchen project, Oppein team can offer you professional design insights customized just for you.


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