What’s the Difference Between Framed and Frameless Cabinets?

Jenny Cazares | Discovery Team | Dean Cabinetry

By Jenny Cazares

That’s a great question; I will explain the differences between framed and frameless cabinets, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of each.

How is a framed cabinet and frameless cabinet constructed?

All cabinets are constructed like a “box”. The doors will be attached to the frame on a framed cabinet, and they will be attached to the cabinet box, on a frameless cabinet.

What are framed cabinets?

Framed cabinets have a “frame” attached to the front of the cabinet. The door attaches to the frame.

What are the pros of framed cabinets?

What are the cons of framed cabinets?

  • The frame takes up some of the width of your cabinet space.
  • The width of your drawers is less than on a frameless cabinet.
  • Access to the interiors of your cabinets is somewhat impeded.
  • The frame is visible (depending on the style, it is either fully visible or partially visible).

What are frameless cabinets?

Frameless cabinets do not have a frame attached to the front of the cabinet. Hinges attach to the inside of the sides of the cabinet box. The outside edges of the doors and drawer fronts closely align with the sides of the cabinet. 

What are the pros of frameless cabinets?

  • Frameless cabinetry provides “full access” to the interiors of each cabinet. There’s no frame to impede the cabinet storage space.
  • Drawer boxes are wider, taking full advantage of the cabinet width.
  • The hinges are hidden and attached to the inside of the cabinet wall.
  • When wall and base cabinets are installed next to each other, there are very slim margins between the doors and drawer fronts. 
  • Frameless cabinets offer a very clean look and feel
  • They provide a more modern, European style.

What are the cons of frameless cabinets?

  • More fillers might be needed to meet clearances for door and drawer openings.
  • Cabinet Installation should be done by a professional who has experience with frameless cabinets. 
  • Installation needs to be precise so that everything is straight and symmetrical.

Stock, semi-custom, and custom cabinets are available in both framed and frameless options. Your cabinet partner can provide you with budgets for all three options. When you meet with your designer, they will go over all of the options for your new cabinetry. They will collaborate with you, and help you choose the option that best fits your space, your style, and your budget.