Are you planning out your next kitchen remodel and having a hard time choosing which cabinets you want to be installed? You're not alone. The wide range of available options can make it challenging to decide.

However, making an informed decision is often better than simply choosing the cabinets you think look best.

When it comes time to pick new cabinets during your kitchen remodel, there are two primary choices - framed and frameless cabinets. It can be challenging to choose which option is best for you if you don't fully understand the difference between the two.

So what is the difference between framed vs. frameless cabinets? How can you decide which is the best option for you? Continue reading to learn everything you need to know to make an informed decision.

Basics of Framed Cabinets

A framed cabinet style is more prevalent in America. The style is created using separate face frames. This allows for easier installation, as well as adjustments of the attached doors and drawers.

On a framed cabinets' exposed side, separate skin panels must be installed on-site. Due to this, there are more options for framed vs. frameless cabinets regarding size and modifications.

Basics of Frameless Cabinets

A frameless cabinet style is found less in America but is significantly more popular in Europe. Installation is more difficult since cabinet sides are ordered fully finished from the factory. This also means the size and customization options are limited.

The upside to this type of construction is it provides more accessible storage space on the inside. However, experts recommend that more fillers be used in the design of frameless cabinets to ensure all minimum construction clearances are met.

Key Differences in Framed vs. Frameless Cabinets

To the untrained eye, these cabinets can be remarkably similar. At first glance, it may appear there are only a few style differences between the two. But this isn't accurate.

There are several critical differences between frameless and framed cabinets. A few of the most significant are discussed below.


Installing frameless cabinets tends to be a bit more complicated. This is because all of the pieces are solid and created at a manufacturing facility. Different types of hardware are also required for each style of cabinet.

During installation, framed cabinets are attached through the entire width of the face frame. This attachment method requires longer screws.

Frameless cabinets, on the other hand, are connected directly through the side panels. Comparatively shorter screws versus those used in framed cabinets can be used.


The main difference in the construction of framed and frameless cabinets is the addition of a solid wood frame. In framed cabinets, these are found between the door and the cabinet box.


Due to the slightly more complicated construction and installation required for framed cabinets, they're a little more expensive. The difference is noticeable but not extraordinary.

Accessible Storage Capacity

Technically, both framed and frameless cabinets are created using the same standard measurements. This means that they'll measure the same on the outside.

Frameless cabinets, however, will provide more accessible storage space than a framed cabinet of the same size. This means the interior will measure slightly larger and offer more space for items.

Determining Which Option Is Best for You

Knowing the key differences between framed and frameless cabinets is a great place to start. But choosing between the two can still feel overwhelming.

When considering whether to choose framed or frameless cabinets for your kitchen or living space, there are a few questions you should ask yourself. These questions are explained in detail below.

Which Option Does My Budget Allow?

The price difference between framed and frameless cabinets isn't significant. It could feel that way to homeowners who have a strict budget for their renovation project. If cost is a significant consideration, framed cabinets are a better choice.

Are a Wide Array of Customization Choices Important to Me?

Some renovation projects have particular aesthetics or themes that go with them. Other projects are more open-minded when it comes to style choices. If a wide array of customization choices are essential to you, framed cabinets are your best option.

Which Options Does My Preferred Renovator Support?

The company you choose to install your cabinets may only work with one option or the other. Most companies can install both, but it's essential to ask and never assume. Assuming could lead to disappoints with your renovation project.

How Much Available Space Do I Want?

Some people like the idea of getting as much storage capacity out of their cabinets as possible. Large families and couponers, for example, may require any extra space they can get. If this is a significant consideration for you, frameless cabinets are your best option.

Do I Prefer the Styling of One Option Over the Other?

This question is a matter of personal choice. If all other considerations are equal, you should feel free to choose whichever cabinet style you think is most aesthetically pleasing.

What if You Still Can't Choose?

If you still can't choose between framed and frameless cabinets for your next kitchen remodel, the best thing to do is consult with a professional. A home renovation company or specialty cabinet maker are your best options.

These professionals can help you determine which styling is best for your unique situation. They may also be able to provide you with portfolios that show both cabinet styles at work.

Do You Have More Questions About Framed vs. Frameless Cabinets?

Framed cabinets are more prevalent in America and require a second skin panel to be installed on-site. Frameless cabinets are more commonplace in Europe, with cabinet sides that come fully finished. Although many things should be considered, choosing between the two sometimes comes down to personal preference.

Do you have more questions about framed vs. frameless cabinets? Or would you like to inquire about either style of cabinet for your home?

Contact us today. One of our associates would be happy to answer any questions you still have. They can also discuss getting cabinets for your home if desired.

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