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Framed vs Frameless Cabinets

When it comes to kitchen cabinets, you have two main styles to choose from. But what are the differences between framed vs frameless cabinets? And is one type better than the other? Here’s a breakdown.

Cabinets are often one of the biggest investments of a kitchen remodel. So choosing the right style for your home is a key decision. So how do you know whether framed or frameless cabinets are right for you? First, let’s take a look at the differences.

framed vs frameless cabinets

Framed Cabinets

The way they’re constructed is the main difference between framed vs frameless cabinets. Framed cabinets have a supporting feature that lies over the cabinet structure in order to support the box, whereas frameless cabinets do not.  

The frame is there to add more durability and strength, but in some cases this can mean the cabinets themselves are made from thinner materials. This will depend on the manufacturer. However, framed cabinets can help reduce racking, an alignment issue that can cause the cabinet box to be tilted and the doors and drawers to misalign.

One more consideration: the added 1″ or so wood frame structure on framed cabinets can slightly reduce storage space.

framed cabinets
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Pros

  • Can be easier to install
  • Several material options to choose from, including solid wood, MDF, particle board, and laminate
  • Frame should add strength and durability

Cons

  • Slightly less storage space
  • Difficult to customize after installation
  • Separate skin panels need to be installed to cover seams on exposed sides
  • Cabinets may be made of thinner materials

Frameless Cabinets

As the name implies, frameless cabinets do not have an additional frame on the cabinet structure. Because of this, they can offer a bit more storage space and easier access. And the cabinet material itself may be thicker. In terms of style, they typically have a more modern look.

If you’re planning a more contemporary kitchen remodel, this may be the better option for you, as the sleeker look and flat drawer fronts will complement the design.

frameless cabinets
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Pros

  • Cabinet sides are flush finished so there are no seams on the sides
  • Can provide a bit more usable storage space
  • Can provide a sleeker, more contemporary look
  • Easier to clean

Cons

  • Due to the lack of a face frame, frameless cabinetry relies on the construction of the cabinet for support and stability
  • Typically fewer styles and material choices are available

Cost

As for the price, both framed vs frameless cabinets are comparable in cost. Frameless may be slightly higher in some cases due to material, manufacturer, or design, but the difference is generally in the 5%-10% range.

Which is right for you?

Since both cabinet styles are relatively similar, choosing the right one for your kitchen will likely come down to your personal needs and design preferences.

If you’re going for a more traditional look and don’t mind giving up a bit of storage space, framed cabinets may be the better option.

If you want as much as storage as possible and have a more contemporary design in mind, frameless cabinets may make more sense.

Are you thinking about a kitchen remodel? We’re happy to discuss your project. Simply schedule a conversation with us!

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