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Frameless vs Face Framed Cabinets: Choosing the Right Style for Your Kitchen

Updated: May 15, 2023


Are you dreaming of a kitchen that combines functionality and style seamlessly? Look no further than your cabinets!

Kitchen cabinets play a pivotal role in setting the tone and ambiance of your culinary haven. Are you overwhelmed by the myriad of cabinet styles available? Ever wondered about the key differences between frameless and face-framed cabinets? Which style would best suit your kitchen design aspirations?

Well, fret not! In this blog post, we'll take you on a journey of exploration as we delve into the captivating world of frameless and face-framed cabinets.

1: Frameless Cabinets

A. Characteristics

Frameless cabinets, often referred to as European-style cabinets, feature a design where the front does not include a face frame. In this style, the doors and drawers are directly affixed to the cabinet box, resulting in a sleek and minimalist appearance that exudes a sense of modernity and simplicity.

B. Construction and design features

Frameless cabinets are constructed using thicker side panels to provide stability and support, as they lack the additional strength of a face frame. The absence of a face frame allows for more accessible storage space within the cabinet, as there are no obstructions caused by the frame. Typically, the cabinet doors extend to cover the entire front surface of the cabinet, resulting in a seamless and sleek appearance.

C. Advantages of frameless cabinets

  • Increased storage capacity: Frameless cabinets offer enhanced storage capacity compared to face-framed cabinets. The absence of a face frame allows for wider cabinet openings and more usable space, maximizing storage potential. This is particularly beneficial for storing larger items and kitchen appliances, making it easier to organize and access your essentials.

  • Contemporary and sleek appearance: Frameless cabinets have a distinctively modern and streamlined aesthetic. The absence of visible face frames gives them a clean, uncluttered look that aligns well with contemporary and minimalist kitchen designs.

  • Easy access to the contents: With frameless cabinets, you'll enjoy effortless access to the contents stored inside. The absence of a face frame means there are no center stiles obstructing your reach, allowing you to fully utilize the cabinet's interior space.

  • Seamless and clean lines: Frameless cabinets contribute to a cohesive and harmonious appearance in your kitchen, creating a seamless and unified look that enhances the overall aesthetic appeal of the space.

2. Face Framed Cabinets


Face-framed cabinets embody a classic cabinetry style, featuring a front-facing frame securely attached to the cabinet box. This face frame comprises vertical stiles and horizontal rails, enveloping the cabinet doors and drawers for a timeless and charming aesthetic appeal.

B. Construction and design features

Face-framed cabinets are constructed using a solid wood frame that adds structural support and stability to the cabinet. Additionally, the frame functions as a foundation for securely attaching the cabinet doors and drawer fronts, providing stability and structural integrity.

C. Advantages of face-framed cabinets

  • Traditional and timeless aesthetic: Face-framed cabinets exude a sense of tradition and timelessness. Their timeless design and noticeable face frame add a hint of nostalgia and sophistication to any kitchen, creating an atmosphere of charm and elegance.

  • Enhanced strength and durability: The face frame adds structural strength and durability to face-framed cabinets. The frame serves as a robust base, guaranteeing durability and the ability to withstand the test of time, ensuring long-lasting performance and resistance against everyday wear and tear. This makes face-framed cabinets an excellent option for kitchens that experience heavy use or for homeowners seeking durable cabinetry solutions.

  • Variety of design options and customization: Face framed cabinets offer a wide range of design options and customization possibilities. The face frame allows for various decorative elements, such as beadboard, inset panels, or intricate moldings. These design features provide opportunities to personalize your cabinets, tailoring them to your specific aesthetic preferences and creating a unique look for your kitchen.

  • Added structural stability: The face frame provides additional stability to the cabinet structure, especially for larger cabinets or those with heavier items. The frame acts as a reinforcement, preventing warping or sagging over time.

Frameless vs Face Framed Cabinets
Frameless vs Face Framed Cabinets

Factors to Consider When Choosing Between Frameless and Face Framed Cabinets

A. Kitchen style and overall design vision

Frameless cabinets are well-suited for modern and contemporary kitchens, offering a sleek and minimalist aesthetic. On the other hand, face -cabinets bring a traditional and timeless charm that complements more classic or rustic kitchen designs. Evaluate your preferred style and ensure that the chosen cabinet style aligns harmoniously with your overall design vision.

B. Kitchen style and overall design vision

Budget is an important factor to consider when making any significant home improvement decision, and choosing kitchen cabinets is no exception. Frameless cabinets generally have a slightly higher price point compared to face-framed cabinets, primarily because of the construction method and materials involved. On the other hand, face-framed cabinets are often more budget-friendly as they require fewer materials and utilize simpler construction techniques.

C. Personal preferences and lifestyle factors

Your personal preferences and lifestyle play a vital role in selecting the right cabinet style. Consider your preferences in terms of aesthetics, functionality, and maintenance. Reflect on whether you prefer the clean lines and accessible storage of frameless cabinets or the traditional charm and customization options of face-framed cabinets.

Furthermore, consider your lifestyle and how the cabinets will effectively meet your specific needs and requirements.

For example, if you have a busy household or require ample storage space, frameless cabinets may be more suitable due to their increased storage capacity and easy access.


In conclusion, choosing between frameless and face-framed cabinets is a decision that can make or break the overall design and functionality of your kitchen. Each style has its unique advantages and considerations, and it's crucial to weigh them against your specific needs and preferences. Whether you prioritize storage capacity, design aesthetics, or durability, there's a cabinet style that aligns with your vision.

Nevertheless, professional advice and guidance are highly recommended before making a decision. Kitchen designers and cabinetry experts can provide valuable insights and help you navigate the vast array of options available. They possess the expertise to provide tailored solutions that perfectly cater to your unique requirements, ensuring that you make a well-informed and confident decision.

So, take your time, assess your needs, and explore the endless possibilities that frameless and face-framed cabinets offer!

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