Framed Vs. Frameless Cabinets: Installation and Overlays

In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some of the basics on both framed and frameless cabinets for the kitchen. Kitchen cabinets come in a variety of styles and options, and one of the simplest decisions here is whether to go with framed or frameless selections.

At AWA Kitchen Cabinets, we’re proud to offer a wide range of kitchen cabinet options, from base cabinets and wall cabinets to vanities, utility cabinets and many additional accessories. We’re happy to inform you of any of the qualities you should be considering depending on your cabinet needs, budget and other factors, including whether framed or frameless options will be the best choice for you. Today’s part two of our series will look at a couple other important areas and compare these styles to help you choose between them.

framed frameless cabinets installation

Installation Themes

One of the key differences between framed and frameless kitchen cabinets is the kind of hardware and processes that will be used for their installation. Framed cabinets, for starters, attach to one another throughout the width of the face frame, a process that allows for screws to anchor themselves very deeply into their attachment points within the cabinet. For this reason, framed cabinets can accommodate longer screw lengths than frameless options, plus will generally be the most durable option long-term.

Frameless cabinets, on the other hand, attach to each other directly through side panels they possess. This means that a shorter screw length is generally used and accepted, meaning the anchoring is a bit shallower for frameless cabinets. In some situations, this will require additional screws and screw locations to ensure secure attachment.

Overlay Types

When we talk about overlays in cabinets, we’re referring to the amount of the cabinet face that’s overlapped by the doors and drawer fronts. When the doors and drawers are all closed, the visible face frame or box is known as the “reveal.” For framed cabinets, there are three overlay types available:

  • Inset: Where the door and drawer faces are slightly smaller than the openings, and recessed to align with the face frame for the largest possible reveal.
  • Standard: Door and drawer faces are slightly larger than the openings, with a slight overlap of the face frame. These reveal a bit less of the face frame.
  • Full: The door and drawer faces are longer than the openings and overlap the face frame, leaving a small reveal.

For frameless cabinets, on the other hand, door and drawer faces are nearly the exact same size as the cabinet box. This leaves a tiny portion visible, leaving a streamlined appearance where you don’t have to worry about overlays.

For more on framed versus frameless cabinets, or to learn about any of our kitchen cabinets, vanities or other products, speak to the staff at AWA Kitchen Cabinets today.