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What is the Difference Between Frameless and Framed Kitchen Cabinets?

When it comes to kitchen cabinetry, there are many material choices with a variety of features, at a variety of price points.  With such a huge array of options, narrowing in on which type of cabinetry you want for your kitchen can be challenging.  One aspect of cabinetry many homeowners do not initially consider is whether or not they want framed or frameless cabinetry.  And, even if they have heard of these two options, many homeowners are not really sure what the difference between the two is.

Framed cabinetry is a more traditional cabinet type that is commonly seen in many homes.  With framed cabinetry, there is a small (1.5-2 inch typically) border or frame on the cabinet box that you can see around the outside of the cabinet doors.  The doors are mounted to the inside of the frame or to the frame’s side depending on preference.

Frameless cabinetry, aka Euro cabinets, have no frame on the cabinet box.  Thus, the cabinet doors attach to the sides of the cabinet box and usually cover the entire face of the cabinetry.  With this type of cabinetry, cabinets and drawers tend to be slightly larger than framed cabinetry.

While both cabinet options are a great choice, there can be some differences in durability and price. Price is typically primarily determined by the type of material the cabinets are constructed of so there is some ability to control price on that front. Fixr elaborates on this difference, “The reason that a frame is used on a cabinet is to give it support and strength. Unfortunately, this sometimes means that the cabinet itself may be constructed of weaker or thinner materials, but this is not always the case. Sometimes, a framed cabinet may be composed of ¾-inch plywood and have a frame. This is a manufacturer’s option, and with a heavier, thicker cabinet, the price increases. A frameless cabinet, because it lacks the support on the exterior edge, must be built of a more substantial material. Therefore, a frameless cabinet will have more wood and thicker sides in order to support the weight without the need for a frame.”