Framed vs Frameless Kitchen Cabinets

Framed vs Frameless Kitchen Cabinets

Kitchen cabinets are essential components of any kitchen, providing both storage space and visual appeal. They come in a variety of styles, sizes, and materials, making it difficult for homeowners to choose the perfect one for their kitchen. One of the most significant decisions that homeowners need to make when selecting kitchen cabinets is whether to opt for framed or frameless cabinets. We will discuss the difference between framed vs frameless kitchen cabinets, including their construction, aesthetics, durability, and cost.

framed vs frameless cabinets

Frameless vs Framed Cabinets

Framed Kitchen Cabinets


Framed kitchen cabinets are the traditional type of kitchen cabinets, also known as face-frame cabinets. They consist of a wooden frame, which is attached to the front of the cabinet box, providing support and stability to the entire structure. The frame creates a lip around the edges of the cabinet, on which the doors and drawers are mounted. The frame can be made from various materials, including solid wood, plywood, or MDF.

Frameless Kitchen Cabinets


Frameless kitchen cabinets are more modern and minimalistic. They are also known as European-style cabinets or full-overlay cabinets. Frameless cabinets are constructed without a wooden frame, and the cabinet doors and drawers are mounted directly onto the sides of the cabinet box, covering the entire front surface. This creates a seamless and clean look that is popular in modern kitchens. The lack of a frame means that frameless cabinets are often slightly larger than framed cabinets, providing more storage space.

The Aesthetics of Framed and Frameless Cabinets

Aesthetically, framed and frameless cabinets have distinct differences. Framed cabinets are often associated with a more traditional and classic look, with their wooden frames adding visual interest and depth. They can be stained or painted to match any design scheme, making them versatile in terms of aesthetics. On the other hand, frameless cabinets offer a sleek and streamlined appearance that complements contemporary and minimalist designs. Their flat surfaces and absence of a frame make them an excellent choice for a modern kitchen, where simplicity and clean lines are essential.

The Durability of Framed and Frameless Cabinets

In terms of durability, both framed and frameless cabinets are sturdy and long-lasting, but they differ in their construction. Framed cabinets are more robust because of the frame, which adds stability and strength to the structure. The frame also protects the edges of the cabinet box from damage, preventing the wood from chipping or denting over time. In contrast, frameless cabinets have no frame to protect the edges, making them more susceptible to wear and tear over time. However, frameless cabinets are often made from thicker materials, such as MDF or particleboard, which compensates for the lack of a frame, making them durable and long-lasting.

The Cost of Framed and Frameless Cabinets

Finally, the cost of framed and frameless cabinets differs, with framed cabinets typically being more expensive. The reason for this is that the construction of a framed cabinet is more complicated, with the added wood frame requiring more time and labor to produce. Additionally, the use of higher-quality wood in the frame increases the cost of materials. In contrast, frameless cabinets are simpler to construct, with their flat surfaces requiring less wood and less time to produce. This makes them a more affordable option for homeowners looking to update their kitchen cabinets.

Framed vs Frameless Cabinets – Pros and Cons

Framed and frameless cabinets are two popular types of kitchen cabinets. Each type has its own pros and cons, which should be considered before making a final decision. Here are some of the key factors to consider when choosing between framed and frameless cabinets:

Framed Cabinets Pros:

  • Durable: Framed kitchen cabinets are very durable and can withstand heavy use.
  • Variety of styles: There are many different styles of framed cabinets available, from traditional to contemporary.
  • Easy to install: Because of their design, framed cabinets are relatively easy to install.
  • More affordable: Framed cabinets tend to be less expensive than frameless cabinets.

Framed Cabinets Cons:

  • Limited storage space: The frame takes up some of the storage space inside the cabinet, which can be a disadvantage in small kitchens.
  • Difficult to clean: The frame can make cleaning the inside of the cabinets more difficult.

Frameless cabinets Pros:

  • Maximum storage space: Because there is no frame, frameless cabinets provide maximum storage space.
  • Easy to clean: Without a frame, it is easier to clean the inside of the cabinets.
  • Modern style: Frameless cabinets have a modern, sleek look that many homeowners prefer.

Frameless cabinets Cons:

  • Less durable: Frameless cabinets are not as durable as framed cabinets and may not hold up as well over time.
  • More expensive: Frameless kitchen cabinets tend to be more expensive than framed cabinets.
  • Difficult to install: Because of their design, frameless cabinets can be more difficult to install than framed cabinets.


What is a frameless kitchen cabinet?

A frameless kitchen cabinet is a type of cabinet construction where the cabinet box does not have a face frame attached to the front of the box. In traditional cabinet construction, a face frame is attached to the front of the cabinet box, and the doors and drawers are then attached to the face frame.

Are framed or frameless cabinets better?

Some advantages of framed cabinets include:

They are generally more durable and can withstand more weight than frameless cabinets.

The frame can provide additional design options and customization, such as different types of door and drawer fronts.

The frame provides a lip on which doors and drawers can close, which can help to keep dust and debris from accumulating inside the cabinet.

Some advantages of frameless cabinets include:

They typically offer more storage space, as there is no frame taking up space around the front of the cabinet.

Frameless cabinets can be easier to install and adjust, as there is no frame to worry about.

They have a sleek and modern look that can fit well with contemporary design styles.

Ultimately, the choice between framed and frameless cabinets comes down to your personal style and preferences, as well as the specific needs of your space.

framed vs frameless cabinets Conclusion

In conclusion, the choice between framed and frameless cabinets depends on personal preference and the design of the kitchen. Framed cabinets are the traditional option, offering a classic and timeless look that complements a variety of design styles. They are sturdy, durable, and long-lasting, making them a reliable choice for any kitchen. On the other hand, frameless cabinets offer a modern and minimalist look that suits contemporary and streamlined designs. They provide more storage space than framed cabinets, but they are slightly less durable due to the absence of a frame. So frameless cabinets are typically made of thicker materials than framed cabinets to compensate for the lack of a face frame. Both options have their pros and cons, and homeowners should consider their budget, design preferences, and lifestyle when making a decision. Ultimately, the choice between framed and frameless.

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