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Face frame or frameless kitchen cabinets?

Posted by Nathan Lincoln on 11/29/2011 to Blog

The first criterion of comparing the style of the cabinets for the kitchen is whether they should include a frame. The most popular types of kitchen cabinets generally found in homes across the U.S. are the face frame cabinets. The advantage of these types of furnishings is that they include trim boards, which add extra stability for the cabinets, as the doors rest soundly on that frame. In addition, the frame also grants manufacturers more flexibility in choosing the material of construction for the cabinets. On the other hand, the drawback proprietary to the framed cabinets is that it is quite hard to fit large containers inside or install extra accessories. If you plan on simply using it as a kitchen pantry cabinet, then a framed kitchen cabinet may be the right option for you. The difference here is that most grocery and food items won’t take up too much space, and there is little need to install extra accessories or compartments.

The frameless cabinets are more popular in Europe and are ideal for homeowners that are constantly expanding their kitchen or that have a lot of utensils and appliances to store. As their name indicates, their craftsmanship does not include any framing. However, they are not as sensible and fragile as you might think, since the edges are usually covered with resilient materials built for wear and tear. Unlike the framed cabinets, their counterparts permit the installation of additional drawers and shelves. The disadvantage of frameless kitchen cabinets is that they are constructed of heavier and thicker fabrics. Although those materials are mandatory for stability, they also make moving the cabinets around a bit harder.

So how is one supposed to determine which style of cabinet would be best for them? The first question they need to ask pertains to the existing style of their kitchen. Would the presence of frame kitchen cabinets highlight the frames of other things in the room. Do you, for instance, have framed windows or crown molding? It may seem like a silly question to ask yourself (most windows have frames after all), but if the veneer of your kitchen has the potential to be changed by a frameless cabinet, it may be an aspect to consider.

You will also need to take consideration of the things you plan to put in the cabinets. With frames, it may be a little more difficult to store large or bulky items, so if you plan on storing your giant mixer in the cabinet, it may be a better idea to go with a frameless model.

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