Framed vs. Frameless Cabinets: Which Design Is Right For You?

May 24, 2011

Cabinets are an important design component to multiple rooms in your home, especially the kitchen and bathroom. One important question for you to ask when selecting the design is if you should install framed or frameless cabinets. What are the differences between each of these cabinet designs?

Framed cabinets have a face-frame around the opening of the cabinet; the doors are attached so they overlap with it. The face-frame provides some rigidity to the cabinet box, helping it to remain square and sturdy. Framed cabinet construction is considered more traditional and offers style variety based on the extent to which the cabinet door covers the face-frame.

Example of the basic structure of a framed cabinet

Example of the basic structure of a framed cabinet


Frameless cabinets, or “European” cabinets, offer a bit more accessibility than framed cabinets because they are designed without the face-frame, meaning there’s no inside edge partially blocking the perimeter of the opening. The doors usually cover the front edges of the frameless cabinet entirely.

Example of frameless cabinet construction

Example of frameless cabinet construction

There are a few key differences between framed and frameless cabinetry:

  • Aesthetics – The way the cabinet fits into the room completely depends on the overall design of your home. The frameless cabinets are sleek and modern in appearance, whereas the framed cabinets feature a more classic look.
  • Strength – The framed style is stronger because the frame adds strength and stability to the cabinets.
  • Storage Space – The frameless cabinets can hold slightly larger items, as there is not a face-frame on the door; openings on framed cabinets tend to be about 2” narrower than the cabinet interior.

CAGE Design Build usually works with DeWils when a homeowner wants framed or frameless cabinets:

DeWils Designer Series draws from the strength and beauty of customary American style. A traditional, solid wood face-frame cabinet with just enough reveal to give emphasis to the stately lines of this timeless style.

DeWils Designer Series

DeWils Designer Series

DeWils Horizons Series features true European styling. Frameless cabinetry crafted with the finest quality materials and workmanship. Horizons provides a distinctive elegant feel, with minimal shadow lines.

DeWils Horizon Series

DeWils Horizon Series

DeWils also uses a variety of eco-friendly materials in their kitchen and bath cabinetry. You can read more about it on the sustainability page of their website.

Filed under: Cabinets,Design,Kitchen Design and Remodeling

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Search the Blog

Free In-Home Consultation

Call us for your free consultation today: 408.693.8109


Find Out More

houzz interior design ideas
BuildZoom Verified Badge
Member National Kitchen and Bath Association