Frameless Cabinets vs. Framed Cabinets

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The appearance of your kitchen cabinets sets the mood for the rest of your kitchen. Whether you choose a conventional or modern aesthetic, the style and construction of your cabinet box will determine how the space will appear.

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There are two styles of kitchen cabinets to choose from when designing your space: frameless and framed. Both have benefits and provide a variety of design and aesthetic alternatives. Here are some differences between frameless and framed cabinets to help you determine which is ideal for your project.

What are Frameless Cabinets?

Frameless kitchen cabinets

Frameless cabinets, sometimes known as ‘full-access’ cabinets, are made up entirely of the cabinet box. Since there is no face frame linked to the cabinet’s structure, you have complete access to the cabinet interior. This design style began in Europe and is widely employed to generate a sleeker, more contemporary look.

The idea is simple: the face frame is removed, leaving only the box. For a clean, modern appearance, the doors are fastened directly to the cabinet box’s sides. Frameless cabinetry relies on a thicker box for stability and strength because they lack the frame. Only full-overlay doors can be utilized since they can only be fastened to the sides of the box and cover the whole hollow. To cover more surface, the drawers and cabinets are bigger than in framed cabinetry.

Pros and Cons of Frameless Cabinets

Frameless shaker cabinets


  • There are no seams on the cabinet sides since they are flush finished.
  • Can offer a little extra useable storage space. Since these cabinets lack the center stiles that run down the centre of larger cabinets, they provide more storage space.
  • Simpler to clean
  • Create a sleeker, more modern appearance
  • Drawers in frameless cabinets are typically larger, and shelves are moveable because there is no face frame to contend with.
  • The absence of a frame provides for greater design and aesthetic freedom. A frameless cabinet can be utilized in any style, including classic, transitional, modern, and contemporary.
  • Because there is no frame surrounding the cabinet apertures, the doors of a frameless cabinet can be left open for open shelf storage.
  • Doors may be simply removed for cleaning without the use of tools. Simply push the fast release button on the rear of the door hinge.
  • Frameless cabinets lack a central slat that runs along the center of the two cabinet doors. Without the central stile, access to the goods within is easier, and storage space is increased.


  • Frameless cabinets are often more difficult to install on uneven walls, and top cabinets may distort. Because frameless cabinets rely exclusively on the cabinet box for sturdiness, high-quality materials must be utilized.
  • Frameless cabinets offer Less size and modification options
  • Finally, hinges may be less stable since they are installed directly into the sidewalls, which are often made of engineered wood, as opposed to the face frame, which is typically constructed of hardwood.

What Are Framed Cabinets?

Framed kitchen cabinets

Framed cabinets are also known as “American style cabinets” or “face frame” because they were invented in North America. This cabinet style is a fantastic choice for your bathroom or kitchen redecorate. The front side of the cabinet – the cabinet face — is framed, as the name implies. Instead of the cabinet box, the drawers and doors are mounted to the frame.

A framed cabinet is easily identified by the visible trim boards that are utilized to clearly reinforce the cabinet box’s structure. These boards are often constructed of hardwood, whereas cabinet boxes are typically made of engineered wood, which is less susceptible to water degradation and easier to install due to its reduced weight.

Pros and Cons of Framed Cabinets

Framed kitchen cabinet


  • Cabinet hinges are affixed to the frame face for this sort of cabinet. This enables for more dependable cabinet hinges, which can offer artistic detail if exposed hinges are used.
  • Shelves are normally movable, however because of the face frame, they might be more difficult to reach once the installation is complete.
  • These cabinets have a lovely classic look thanks to the oak frame face and 3/4″ overlay. Framed cabinets can attain a contemporary style with the right design, color, and accents, but they’re typically a better fit for households with a more classic design style.


  • Due to the face frame and center stile, framed cabinets have less storage capacity than unframed cabinets. If you already have a limited amount of room, frameless cabinets could be a better option.
  • Framed cabinets might take longer to erect and are more difficult to adjust after they have been installed.
  • Bear in mind that even with complete overlay cabinet doors, the front frame will be apparent, so keep this in mind while planning your future kitchen.


Both cabinet styles are similar, deciding which one is best for your kitchen will most ultimately come down to your individual kitchen needs and preferences.

Framed cabinets may be a better alternative if you want a more classic style and also don’t mind giving up some storage space.

Frameless cabinets may be a better option if you require as much space as feasible and want a more modern appearance.

There are benefits to both solutions, however, in the end, both framed and frameless cabinets will provide a durable and strong structure on which to rely. If you’re still undecided about which choice to choose or need general assistance with your kitchen redesign, contact our design team.

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