Framed vs. Frameless Cabinets: Which is Best for You?

September 15, 2020

When renovating or building your Arizona dream home, kitchen cabinetry is one of the essential features that need to be addressed. For many first-time Phoenix, Arizona homeowners, this comes as a surprise. In the midst of all of the other projects that are taking place throughout the process of creating the perfect space for yourself and your family, how are kitchen cabinets considered a priority? Well, it’s pretty simple. Cabinets set the tone for how you want your space to be interpreted by guests. The colors, the trim, the framed versus frameless styles—they all need to be decided on pretty early in the design process.

For example, darker cabinet tones and sharper cabinet trims typically offer a more neutral and condensed look—often drawing on older design elements and promoting a much cozier space. Lighter cabinets with rounded corners often offer a much more casual and airy tone, promoting an open and inviting space and just generally looking more modern.

But the debate surrounding cabinet design styles goes beyond just colors and tones—now, people have to weigh the pros and cons between having framed or frameless cabinets. For design junkies, the concept isn’t new. But for those just starting to take interest in renovation topics, let’s dive into this a little more.

First, what are framed and frameless cabinets?

Framed cabinets are cabinets with a face frame that covers the front of the cabinet box. This sort of design allows for more stability for the box, ultimately creating a sturdier cabinet structure. Frameless cabinets—given away by the name—are cabinets that do not have a face frame. By removing the face of the frame, frameless cabinets have sleeker lines and cabinet doors are generally attached directly to the side of the box.

What are the advantages of framed cabinetry?

  • Framed cabinets are stronger and more durable. Thanks to the hardwood face frame, the sidewalls are anchored and much more sturdy.
  • Framed cabinets offer more versatility, thanks to standard, inset and full overlay options. 
  • More design options and alternatives are available with framed cabinets than frameless cabinets.

What are the advantages of frameless cabinetry?

  • Frameless cabinets offer more accessibility, and generally allows easier access to the cabinet interiors. This is a result of not having an inside edge of frame which would normally project into the cabinet opening.
  • Frameless cabinets have more storage space because there’s no frame, which would typically create a lip around a cabinet’s opening.
  • There is a fair amount of flexibility available in regard to design and style with frameless cabinets.
  • Frameless cabinets create more room for spacious drawers—a result of the space saved from not having a face frame attached at the front.

What is the main difference between framed and frameless cabinets?

The main difference is the construction and general structure of the cabinet frames. The face frame is made up of horizontal members or “rails,” as well as vertical supports or “center stiles.” While at New Cabinet Company we only sell framed cabinets, we want you to be as educated as possible when designing your dream home. Because at the end of the day, that is what matters most.


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