Framed kitchen cabinets vs. frameless kitchen cabinets

There are two types of kitchen cabinets available on the market: framed kitchen cabinets and frameless kitchen cabinets. Recently we have seen a surge in American made frameless cabinets on the market. I would guess this is due to the need for a lower price point and the consumer desire to purchase domestic cabinetry. An American made frameless cabinet may bridge the gap between Chinese Imports and traditional American framed cabinets. If you budget falls somewhere in between the 2 then frameless may be a great option for you. Or it simply could mean a trend change for a sleeker more European looking kitchen. Either way, there are many things to consider both aesthetically and structurally when deciding on a framed or frameless kitchen cabinet. I believe both types of cabinets have beneficial features. It all depends on your budget and the look you are tying to achieve- this is largely an aesthetic decision. Each has it's pros and cons...scroll down to see my summary, hopefully it helps you choose!

Below is an example of each type:

Framed-Partial overlay Featured Above-Aristokraft

Framed-Full overlay: Featured above: Dynasty Omega Loring Door Style Cherry Smokey Hills

Framed- Inset overlay (beaded or non beaded opening) Featured Above-Omega/Dynasty Ultima Door Style Beaded Inset Maple Oyster

Frameless Featured above-Eudora Homestead II Ginger Vintage


    • Pros:
      • Additional structural integrity of ¾ solid wood face frame
      • Face frame can be dadoed into box of cabinet for added strength
      • Different styles can be achieved- full overlay, inset, beaded inset
    • Cons:
      • Smaller drawer interiors
      • Less access to interiors
      • ½ space between cabinet doors when joined
      • Pros:
        • Full access interior openings, larger interior drawer sizes
        • Sleek, Modern or “European” look
        • Virtually no space in between cabinets
      • Cons:
        • Less structural integrity
        • Cabinet can skew
        • Weight of doors directly on cabinet box