The Complete Guide to Kitchen Cabinets Part 2

Rachel Strong

Rachel Strong

May 23, 2019

If you read last weeks article, you should be all caught up on understanding cabinetry box dimensions, types, materials, and even some cool features you can add to your cabinetry. If you didn't get a chance to read it, you can catch up by reading link to last weeks blog post. This week, we will help you understand all things style. Cabinetry doors are limitless when it comes to style options, but there are a few factors to consider about spacing and door hinge and appearance.

First, we can start with overlay style, it's nothing complicated but can make a big difference in the look and feel of your kitchen cabinets.

Overlay Styles

Traditional Overlay: Traditional overlay cabinets are the cabinets you've seen your whole life. They have a cabinet door, that is smaller than the cabinet and leaves a small frame around the entire door, including in the middle between each door. Traditional overlay cabinets are usually more cost-effective and give your kitchen a very classic look. With the traditional overlay cabinets, you have the option to open your cabinets without hardware since your fingers can fit between the cabinet doors to open them.

Full Overlay: This again is the door option, it would mean that the door covers the entire box behind it, not leaving any gaps or spaces between one to the next. You can have a full overlay framed cabinet or a full overlay frameless cabinet, but it doesn't make a huge difference.

Inset: An inset door, is the opposite of an overlay door, in that the door is actually set inside of the cabinet frames. This provides a clean, hidden look since each door and drawer is cut to fit inside of the frame. By doing this, it eliminates the doors that stick out from the cabinet and instead leaves you with a seamless and flat option.

We then come to the crossroads of framed or frameless cabinets, they both serve different purposes as far as looks and styles go, but function exactly the same!

Framed: A framed cabinet simply means that you can see the cabinet box frame behind the door on the cabinet, or that a frame exists on the cabinet. The other option would be a frameless cabinet which relies on a different type of hinge to open the doors, along with the fact that there is no frame installed on the front of the cabinet.

Frameless: Frameless cabinets literally speaking, don't have a frame, which means that the door covers the entire box, from side to side. This leaves you with a much fuller looking cabinet. Frameless cabinets are what you would usually see at IKEA where there is no space from one cabinet door, to the next. This option is very modern and trendy.

We can see how the combinations of the above options could be tricky, for example, you couldn't have a frameless cabinet with inset doors and drawers, because there is no frame for them to be in. You also couldn't have a traditional overlay frameless cabinet, for the same reason, there would be nothing to mount the door onto.

Door Style Options

Slab Doors: A slab door is very self-explanatory. As you can see in the drawing, this is the simplest of cabinet door options, but also possibly the cleanest and simple looking. Most all frameless cabinets are used with slab doors, to give the appearance of one flat surface. Often times MDF, Laminate, and Duraform cabinets have a slab option since it is easier to wrap the hard plastic around fewer shapes. This option will give you the most modern and sleek look in your new kitchen.

Raised Panel Doors: A raised panel door, has a piece of wood attached to the frame, that comes out as deep as the frame, creating dimension. Many different routering styles are available on these, leaving you with the option to be as extravagant as you'd like. These are seen as the most classic option and are typically installed on a framed cabinet.

Recessed Panel Doors: This door style is also referred to as a shaker style door, it is clean looking and easy to make. Shaker style cabinets are very classic and go well in the "country chic" style homes. They have a simple and flat rectangular frame, with a single piece of flat or beadboard wood installed as a panel in the middle.

Mullion Doors: a Mullion is a vertical bar between the panes of glass in a window. These doors have different sections made of wood and filled with glass. Mullion doors can have different patterns and styles and be very detailed in the complexity of the wooden decor.

Open Frame Doors: Open frame doors don't have anything in the middle, it is simply the frame. Typically this area is where many different types of glass can be installed, but open framed doors leave you with the option of filling them with any material.

Between this and last weeks post, I hope you were able to learn all of the information you might need to know about kitchen cabinets. If you have any questions or would like one of our design professionals to take a look at your kitchen, feel free to give us a call. We have a team of design and construction professionals waiting to work with you on your next remodel project. Call us at 512-542-9790 or schedule your consultation today!

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