The Primary Differences Between Frameless & Framed Cabinetry

When upgrading or building a house, one of the most crucial investments is cabinetry. First impressions endure, and because cabinets are one of the first things your guests and family members see in your house, they may significantly influence both the charm and value of your interior. Choosing between framed and frameless cabinets might help you choose functionality above aesthetic flair.

Both provide limitless design options as well as their own distinct benefits. Here are some things to think about while deciding between framed and frameless kitchen cabinets.

1. Construction

The main difference is that the framed cabinet has a full wood face frame between the door and cabinet box.

The face frame is made up of horizontal elements known as rails and vertical supports known as stiles. The mix of wood grain orientations in the face frame contributes to the cabinet’s horizontal strength at the front opening.

Another advantage is that the installation of a face frame reduces racking, which occurs when the cabinet box is readily tilted out-of-square. When a cabinet racks, the vertical and horizontal components are not level, and the doors and drawers are not correctly aligned.

2. Price

Frameless cabinets have a few extra steps in the manufacturing process. To achieve the clean lines, the doors must be cut perfectly, and the edges of the cabinet box must be aligned perfectly to the doors. This requires more work from the manufacturers. As a result, frameless cabinets are typically more expensive than face frame cabinets.

3. Space

While both cabinets have the same amount of room, the frameless cabinet offers a more accessible area than the framed cabinet. A framed cabinet will restrict some of the front access since there is a frame around the box in the front and a stile in the middle of double cabinets. You may tuck stuff behind the frame somewhat, but this makes reaching the items within more difficult.

The interior of a frameless cabinet is completely accessible. This makes the cabinets appear larger and maybe more useful and simpler to use.

4. Installation

When properly built, there is little difference in installation. The cabinet’s frame is installed by the manufacturer, not the installer, so while a framed cabinet appears more solid, it has no bearing on the installation of the cabinets.

There are only a few variations in the installation. One variation may be the addition of shelves to a double cabinet. In this scenario, the central stile can get in the way. Thus the shelves must be installed from one side by tilting the shelf. However, because most installers are familiar with the method, this does not add much time or expense to the installation. In the United States, frameless cabinets are still considered a novel product, which means that most installers are unfamiliar with its installation.

The type of hardware is the other major distinction. Longer screws are required to keep the cabinets together in a framed cabinet since they must pass through the frame. In the installation of a frameless cabinet, shorter screws are employed.

Lower cabinets are installed by placing them opposite one another and connecting them to the side walls. The top cabinets are levelled and hung by screwing them directly into the wall or by first creating a cleat on which to hang the cabinets. In both forms of cabinets, the mouldings, end panels, and kickboards are put last.


In conclusion, there really is no right or wrong answer as to whether you should go with framed or frameless cabinets. It all depends on your individual taste, space and budget. Frameless cabinets have become a popular choice in the United States in recent years, but many people still prefer a framed look. Regardless of your decision, the cabinets must be the correct width and depth to accommodate the space in the house. They must also be installed properly to look great and last long.

Askin Cabinets can provide you with the highest quality custom kitchen cabinets on the Sunshine Coast. Contact us today to know more about our custom cabinets!