Cabinetry is one of the most expensive elements of a remodeling project. Many people dismiss the need to become informed about their choices because they assume that all cabinetry is the same, or that the only thing that matters is how great it looks when the project is complete. But at Mingle we know you will be making a significant investment in your cabinetry, and we want you to enjoy your new cabinets for many years.
Regardless of where you ultimately purchase your cabinets, we encourage you to be an informed consumer. Construction techniques, wood species, and finish all play a major role in the durability and longevity of your cabinets. The following articles are intended to provide you with a basic understanding of these concepts.
The Mingle kitchen and bath design team is available to answer any questions you may have after reading these articles and assist you in determining the right cabinetry for your project.
In cabinet construction and making, there are two different styles of cabinet boxes:
Framed cabinet boxes have a face frame, to which the cabinet door is attached. Framed cabinets can support a variety of door styles.
Frameless cabinet boxes have no front frame. These cabinet boxes are usually thicker for added stability. The only door style available on a frameless box is an overlay door. Frameless cabinets are sleek and seamless.
As the name suggests, frameless cabinetry does not have a front frame. The frame relies on thicker box construction for stability. Frameless cabinets do not have a center stile coming down in the middle of the two cabinet doors, providing easier access to the items inside, as well as more storage space to. Without a face frame, the only door configuration available is a frameless overlay door with reveals of ⅛”. This creates a sleek seamless look making frameless cabinetry a popular choice for transitional and contemporary designs. This is an example of a frameless cabinet door.
Framed cabinets have been the most common type of cabinetry manufactured in the United States. In addition to top, bottom and side panels, the box of a framed cabinet has a face frame on the front. The face frame helps to keep the cabinet square during shipping and installation and provides strength and stability. The face frame is constructed of solid wood while the rest of the box, depending on the cabinet line, can be made from engineered furniture board or plywood. In framed cabinetry, the door hinges and drawer glides are secured to the face frame as opposed to the side panels. This is an example of framed inset cabinetry.
In a standard overlay style, the doors are slightly larger than the cabinet opening, exposing more of the cabinet's frame. The most apparent visible difference is the wide space between the doors and drawers. Small cabinet doors and wider spacing make it the lowest cost cabinetry configuration.
In a full overlay style, the doors typically have about 1/8” reveal from the edge of the cabinet. This style leaves very little frame exposed, so when the cabinets are joined you hardly see any of the frame. The smaller opening requires a tighter manufacturing tolerance making them a little more expensive than standard overlay.
An inset door is recessed into the face frame creating a flush front on the cabinet requiring very tight tolerances. Due to the hand-crafted manufacturing process, this style is usually only available in a custom cabinet lines and typically is the most expensive option. Inset doors are often considered more desirable because they look more like furniture than cabinetry.