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Framed vs. Frameless Cabinets: What Is the Difference?

Dec 13, 2021
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There are a few design elements besides the door type and stain that you might not know to consider when deciding on the cabinetry for your kitchen. One of the primary factors that people often overlook is whether to get framed or frameless cabinets. Once you learn what the difference is between framed vs. frameless cabinets, it becomes apparent how significant of an impact the two styles can have on the stability and overall look of the cabinetry.

Framed Cabinets

People often refer to framed cabinets as American cabinets. This is because they’re most popular in the US. These cabinets have thick wooden frames that create space between each cabinet door. So, when looking at the cabinets from the front, you see the door and frame. Despite the space that you sacrifice from the thicker wood, homeowners like framed sets because of their added stability. Framed cabinets are typical in more traditional kitchens.


The biggest advantage of framed cabinets is the increased stability they offer over frameless ones. This benefit is due to the thicker wood in the frame’s construction. Additionally, the cabinet doors attach directly to the frame.

Frames are also great because of the variety they offer when designing. With the traditional method of attaching the doors to the frame, the cabinets lay flush. However, for a unique look, you can attach the doors to the front of the frame so that they become partially overlayed.


However, using more wood does come with its drawbacks. Besides the extra material costs, you’ll lose cabinets space due to the broader frames. Also, if you’re looking for a seamless kitchen, this design isn’t for you. Even with the overlay, the frame will still show through.

Frameless Cabinets

Frameless cabinets are a modern, European approach to kitchen design, where the frames are small and hidden behind the doors. This type of frame is sleek, making it the obvious choice in many contemporary kitchens.


The most significant advantage of a frameless cabinet is its slick layout. With trends favoring a minimalistic, Scandinavian style, homeowners constantly search for ways to insert these influences into their designs. Also, you can increase your cabinet space up to around 10 percent with the extra room gained using fewer materials during the frame’s construction.


Frameless cabinets, though, don’t come without their drawbacks. Due to the use of less wood when making them, they’re less stable than the framed designs. Also, since the installation is more challenging, you can typically expect to pay more for the remodel than you would with framed cabinets.

Now that we’ve answered the question, “What is the difference between framed and frameless cabinets?” you can decide which one is suitable for your house. If you’re searching for high-quality frameless kitchen cabinets for sale to install in your kitchen, explore the selection at iCabinetry.

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