When designing a new or renovated kitchen, the cabinets are perhaps the most crucial feature of your design. They can make or break your kitchen in terms of style and functionality, so it’s a big decision you want to get right.
For a long time, framed cabinets were the default choice for many kitchen designers, but recently, frameless cabinets have come into style and are nearly as popular as framed. If you’re plotting out a new kitchen and want to know more about frameless and framed kitchen cabinets, you’ve come to the right place!
Our helpful guide breaks down framed versus frameless cabinets and the benefits of frameless cabinets for you and your kitchen.
Framed vs. Frameless Cabinets
Before we can get into the benefits of frameless cabinets, let’s compare them with framed cabinets so you can understand the critical differences between these two cabinet styles.
Framed cabinets are a classic, vintage style that never seems to get old. Whether we knew the term for them or not, we’ve all seen and used framed cabinets before, as they’ve been the dominant style for most of our lives. Plus, framed cabinets have a tremendous amount of style flexibility thanks to a seemingly limitless amount of door and drawer styles.
Because of their anchors to hardwood face frames, framed cabinets are quite sturdy and reliable. If installed properly, they can last a long time without needing replacement. If they fall out of alignment, you can adjust framed cabinets without much effort.
On the other hand, frameless style cabinets have only recently become popular in the US. Over the past decade or so, they’ve slowly grown in popularity to the point where they’re nearly as commonplace as framed cabinets. Since frameless cabinets originated in Europe, some refer to them as Euro-style. Still, many call them modern or contemporary cabinets, as those are the designs where you most commonly find them.
Frameless cabinets are referred to as such because they don’t feature face frames. Instead, the door and drawers of the cabinets rest directly across the edges of the cabinet boxes, with the door hinges anchored to the sidewalls, usually hidden from sight.
One of the reasons frameless cabinets became popular is the variety of styles and construction. People commonly use frameless cabinets in modern or contemporary designs. Still, you can also style them for retro or vintage designs thanks to the variety of doors you can apply, from slab to raised panel, shaker, and more.
Some even use different materials for the doors and drawers of frameless cabinets, with some of the most interesting materials used including laminates, glass, and even metal construction.
Advantages of Frameless Cabinets
Now that we understand how frameless and framed cabinets are different, what are the advantages of frameless cabinets?
Greater Storage Capacity
Frameless cabinets, unlike framed styles, don’t have to create a lip around the cabinet, which means you get more space. It may not seem like much, but you’ll be amazed at how a few more inches here and there can make your kitchen feel much larger.
Suppose you’ve got large, restaurant-quality appliances, such as juicers, pasta-makers, or food processors. In that case, frameless cabinets will give you more space to store them so that you’re not scrambling and shuffling around other items to find storage. Plus, since there’s no difference in the amount of space frameless cabinets take, you’re not sacrificing additional space in your kitchen.
Sleek, Seamless Style
One of the big reasons frameless cabinets have become so in-style is the boom in popularity of modern and contemporary kitchen designs. The flat, flush doors and drawers of frameless cabinets offer clean and elegant lines for a sleek look that’s ideal for modern and minimalist aesthetics.
If your mantra for your kitchen design is “less is more,” then frameless cabinets will likely pair perfectly with the rest of your kitchen.
The modern style may be what put frameless cabinets on the map, but what has given them staying power in kitchen design is their style flexibility. Designers can use frameless cabinets in vintage, industrial, or transitional styles thanks to the versatility of their door styles, from shakers to raised panels. Frameless cabinets are almost like a blank canvas for your kitchen design!
Easy To Adjust
Many designers and homeowners like frameless cabinets because of how easy it is to adjust them. The flat doors allow you to not worry about working around the face frame, so adjustment is much simpler compared to framed cabinets.
Unlike framed cabinets, frameless cabinets also give designers the chance to go in a different direction and use open shelves. Open shelves are a trendy look currently, as they add to an open feeling in the kitchen and make accessing your items stored on shelves easier than ever.
Plus, you can use different materials such as glass with open shelves to make your design stand out. Consider frameless cabinets with open shelves if you want to try something different!
Simple To Mount Shelves
There’s a center stile in framed cabinets that can make mounting the shelves a bit tricky. There are no center stiles with frameless cabinets, so mounting the shelves is a breeze. It’s also why some refer to frameless cabinets as full-access cabinets.
Should I Get Framed or Frameless Cabinets?
Now you know all the advantages of frameless cabinets, but should you get them for your kitchen? It depends mainly on the tastes and preferences of the individual, but there are many reasons why frameless may be your best choice.
Frameless cabinets have a style versatility that allows you to incorporate them into your kitchen, whether you’re going for a modern, transitional, or vintage aesthetic. If you want a modern look, it’s hard to imagine frameless cabinets not being your best choice for a sleek and minimalist appeal.
Plus, frameless cabinets have practical advantages as well; they offer more storage space, which is ideal if you’re working with a small kitchen and need to maximize every inch you have. They’re simple to install, and you can adjust them after the fact if you decide to make changes. Also, they’re virtually the same when it comes to price against framed cabinets, and it’s easy to find affordable and stylish frameless kitchen cabinets online.
Now that you know the advantages of frameless cabinets, which will you choose for your new kitchen? Whether you want a vintage, industrial, or minimalist-style kitchen, we think that you’ll find frameless cabinets afford you the best opportunity to stretch your creative muscles and come up with a one-of-a-kind kitchen design!