Cabinet Construction: What are Frameless Cabinets?

Cabinet Construction: What are frameless cabinets?

The aesthetic feeling of your kitchen can be affected by the design of the cabinets. Whether you like the contemporary or traditional design, the way your kitchen cabinet box was constructed can dictate the whole look of the kitchen.

When choosing kitchen cabinets, you will encounter two types of construction—framed and frameless cabinets. Framed cabinetry is the traditional method of how cabinet boxes are made. It resembles a photo frame that has a 1-½ inch wide frame on each of its sides. Also,  its doors are attached to the frame of the cabinet.

Frameless cabinets, on the other hand, literally have no frames. Other than that, here are more information about its appearance, space, installation, cost, and durability and quality.


Going for frameless cabinets will help you achieve a contemporary or modern aesthetic of your kitchen space. Frameless cabinets are constructed in a way that the door is directly attached to the cabinet box. The face frame is removed, and only the cabinet box remains. This means that when the cabinets are closed, only the flat door and drawer doors can be seen. Your kitchen cabinets will look sleek, seamless, and neat.

They are called “full-access” cabinets because of removed frames and center stiles. This allows a larger interior and larger opening to store your plates, pans, and pots.  This also allows larger drawer boxes, compared to framed cabinets with the same width and height. The additional 1-1⁄2 frame in framed cabinets minimizes your storage space, as well.

Frameless cabinets only offer one type of overlay, namely full overlay. This means that the door covers the cabinet box reveal entirely. These cabinets are also made with thicker wood to ensure stability. Manufacturers use ¾” thick wood in constructing these cabinets.


As mentioned above, the space inside the cabinets is comparatively larger than in framed cabinets. The frame and center stile in framed cabinets block your access to the goods inside the kitchen cabinets.

With frameless cabinets, you will have full access to the goods inside your kitchen cabinets. This makes the cabinets larger in storage, even if they have the same measurements as framed ones. They are easier to use too!

Frameless cabinets can increase storage space by 10%. This is ideal, especially if you have a small kitchen space. Because, again, without the frames and center stile, you can store more bulky items like large pots, pans, bowls, and plates.


Compared to framed cabinets, frameless cabinets will require different installation hardware. Again, in frameless cabinets, doors are directly attached to the cabinet box. Considering this, the screws needed are shorter compared to those needed in framed ones. This also requires a number of screws to ensure that the cabinets will not be damaged even after many years of usage.

You can do the job of installing the cabinets with simple portable tools that are already available in your toolbox. You’ll need a drill, screwdriver, and a stepladder. But if you’re not confident with your skills, then hire a handyman to do the job.


The cost of your frameless cabinets highly depends on the materials, design, and finishes used in constructing them. Since frameless cabinets use thicker wood for the lack of center stiles and frames, they usually cost more. The average price for frameless cabinets used for 10×10 kitchen spaces is around $2,320.

Framed cabinets are more difficult to install, thus requiring a handyman. This means increased costs in labor. Also, take into consideration your location. Your local cabinet gallery may cost less than those offered in big-box stores. Some online stores also offer good quality cabinets at almost 50% cheaper prices than regular stores.

Durability and quality

Image by Solomon Rodgers from Pixabay

Homeowners are always concerned about the quality of the items they buy, especially when they are big-ticket items like kitchen cabinets. These cabinets have to survive the wear and tear. You don’t want to purchase the low-quality ones if you abhor repairing your kitchen cabinets from time to time.

The reason for frames in cabinets is to give more stability for the cabinets. However, this can also mean that framed cabinets are made with thinner and low-quality wood, compared to frameless cabinets.

Frameless cabinets lack support because the center stile and frames are removed. To compensate for the lack of support, cabinet boxes of frameless cabinets are made with thicker wood and have more screws attached to them.

Thus, it is important to choose only the best materials for your kitchen cabinets. Work with only the reputable handymen and manufacturers to ensure that your cabinets are made and installed with precision and quality.


Choosing whether to have framed or frameless kitchen cabinets are up to you. The difference between the two is the construction and appearance. So, if you want sleek, seamless, and neat kitchen cabinets, then get frameless cabinets.


Tags: cabinets, kitchen, storage

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