SAN RAMON — When choosing new kitchen cabinets, you have three basic style options to choose from: frameless, framed and inset. To help you make an informed decision, let’s look at each of these styles in further detail:
Frameless cabinets (also known as “full access” or “European style” cabinets) offer a streamlined look and several functional benefits due to their lack of a face frame. Since the cabinets’ doors are mounted directly to the case instead of a face frame, frameless cabinets have thicker cases—typically 3/4 inch. Frameless cabinets also allow for greater access, with wider drawer boxes than framed cabinets. Not surprisingly, due to these beneficial features, frameless cabinets are generally more expensive than framed cabinets.
Framed cabinets feature a solid wood face frame that’s adhered to the exterior of the case. In this scenario, the cabinet doors are mounted to the face frame as opposed to the case itself. This is the traditional style of cabinet seen in most kitchens throughout the United States.
Inset cabinets are essentially framed cabinets, but they offer more of a “finished furniture” look. The main distinguishing attribute of inset cabinets is that the doors are set within the case in order to be flush with the face frame. Inset cabinets also allow for a variety of hinge options, including concealed hinges that allow for greater adjustability.