Framed Cabinet Vs Frameless Cabinets Construction

Framed Cabinet Vs Frameless Cabinets Construction

What is Framed Cabinets Construction?

Framed cabinets are traditional, American-style cabinets that feature a face frame that allows for easy installation and door/drawer adjustments. They typically require separate skin panels to be installed on-site on the exposed sides.

These types of cabinets come in a wide range of sizes and modifications, and are the most common style of cabinets found in American kitchens. The face frame, which is around 1-1/2 inches thick, gives the cabinet a flat picture frame-like appearance and adds strength and sturdiness to the doors.

Framed cabinets are also more flexible and offer more design possibilities for a customized look. You can either create a uniform, a flush-mounted appearance by mounting the doors within the frame (full overlay) or create a unique look by revealing some of the frame by mounting the doors on the front of the frame (partial overlay).

Because the frames can be cut from one solid piece of wood the possibilities for arranging drawers and doors are virtually limitless.

Frameless Cabinets Construction

Frameless cabinets, also known as European-style or full-access cabinets, are a contemporary design that have gained popularity in American kitchens. These cabinets do away with the traditional face frame leaving just the box.

The doors are attached directly to the sides of the box giving a sleek and modern appearance. The cabinet box itself is thicker to provide stability and strength without the need for a frame. As a result of this design only full-overlay doors can be used.

Frameless cabinets typically have larger dimensions to cover more surface area and are designed to give more accessibility by eliminating the frame and center stiles between cabinet doors.

Pros & Cons Of Framed Cabinets


Framed Cabinets offer a number of pros; they provide added stability, minimal racking, more size/modification options and easy installation.

The rigid frame of a framed cabinet provides more structural support, making them better able to bear heavy loads without causing damage to the contents or itself. They also tend to rack less than frameless cabinets as the frame helps to keep the cabinet doors aligned and stable over time.

Furthermore, due to their substantial framework, framed cabinets usually have more room for accessories or modifications.

Finally, framed cabinets are generally easier and quicker to install since all that’s needed is attaching the cabinet unit or box frames together with screws before adding drawer slides or other hardware.


The main drawback of framed cabinets is that they require skins, which significantly reduce the capacity of the cabinet as well as reducing its aesthetic appeal.

In addition, due to their bulky nature and presence of frames, they tend to have less interior space compared to frameless cabinets, making it a less suitable option for larger items or bulkier items. Framed cabinets also require more assembly than their frameless counterparts.

Pros & Cons of Frameless Cabinets


Frameless cabinets have several advantages. Firstly, they provide a larger drawer box compared to the framed variety, allowing you to store more items in one single space.

Secondly, due to their lack of center stile, frameless cabinets provide full access to their interior for easy retrieval and installation of items.

Thirdly, with factory-finished sides, frameless cabinets offer a seamless appearance that makes them aesthetically pleasing as well as functional. Lastly, they are often more affordable than framed varieties and require less hardware which makes them easier to install.


The cons of frameless cabinets are limited size and modification options, leading to the need for more fillers to make them fit correctly into spaces.

These cabinets also tend to rack during shipping due to not having the extra support provided by the frame, thus making them less secure during transportation.

In short, frameless cabinets require more work compared to their framed counterparts and can be prone to structural damage during transit.

Construction Framed Cabinet Vs Frameless Cabinets

The key difference between a framed cabinet and a frameless cabinet is the addition of a solid wood face frame which is constructed from horizontal rails and vertical stiles.

This combination of wood grain directions helps to reinforce the horizontal strength of the cabinet at the front opening and minimizes an alignment issue known as racking, where the cabinet box can be tilted out-of-square.

The presence of a face frame prevents doors and drawers from not aligning properly due to misalignment issues.

Installation Framed Cabinet Vs Frameless Cabinets

Framed and frameless cabinets require different installation hardware due to the differences in their construction.

For framed cabinets, a longer screw length (typically 2-1/2″) is used due to the width of the face frame and thicker solid wood materials; Pilot holes should also be drilled into the face frames for added security.

With frameless cabinets, shorter screws of 1-1/4″ maximum are used as they attach to each other directly through the side panels. This shallow anchoring may necessitate an increased number of screw locations in order to ensure adequate security.


Related Posts

error: Content is protected !!