Go Euro with a Frameless Cabinet

By HomeAdvisor

Updated June 14, 2017

Kitchen Cabinetry

A frameless cabinet is a style of cabinet that has been popular in Europe for decades, but that wasn’t introduced here in the states until rather recently. Distinct from the traditional American face frame cabinetry, frameless models rely on the cabinet box themselves to hold them together. Because of this fact, they are often considered to have several advantages over their New World counterparts. If you’re purchasing new cabinetry for your kitchen, bath, or anywhere else in your home, you owe it to yourself to look into the benefits of the frameless kitchen cabinet.

Face Frame Cabinetry

Before you start shopping around, it’s important that you’re able to identify the difference between the two most common styles of cabinetry on the market. Face frame cabinetry is most likely the cabinetry style you’re used to, and is easily identified by the spaces between the doors and drawers where the frame is visible. These cabinets consist of a plywood or particle board box held together and reinforced by a hardwood frame attached to the front.

The Frameless Cabinet

Frameless cabinetry, on the other hand, is built without the hardwood face frame. Instead they are built as a box with a back and ceiling that are as structurally sound as the sides and floor (which is not the case with face frame varieties). Because there is no hardwood frame to show off, a faceless cabinet door completely covers the box from view, and creates a seamless, contemporary appearance from door to door.

The Advantages of a Frameless Cabinet

Opinions vary on which type of cabinet is superior, and there are sound arguments put forth by both parties. However, most experts concede that if you’re purchasing cabinets made from quality materials, frameless cabinets take the cake for several reasons.

  • A Frameless Cabinet is Sturdier than a face framed counterpart. Because the entire box is made from equally solid plywood or particleboard, frameless models are stronger overall. It will last longer and weather heavy use better than a cabinet whose main structural reinforcement can only be found on the front face.
  • A Frameless Kitchen Cabinet is More Accessible. Hardwood frames don’t just reinforce, they take up valuable space at the cabinet opening. Because frameless varieties bypass the frame altogether, they also provide an extra couple inches of room where it matters most.

  • A Frameless Model has a More Open Interior. Again, because the cabinet box itself serves as the frame for a frameless kitchen cabinet, it has fewer braces and reinforcements inside the cabinet, and thus more space inside. It’s not much, and some face frame enthusiasts will argue that the difference is negligible, but when you consider how full most homeowners pack their kitchen and bathroom cabinets, it’s easy to see that every inch of space counts.

  • Frameless Cabinetry Looks More Modern. As mentioned before, frameless cabinetry is perfect for modern, contemporary home design. Because it has a slick, smooth appearance, it fits the seamless, flowing design that characterizes contemporary homes much better than face frame cabinetry.
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If you’re interested in installing frameless cabinetry in your home, you owe it to yourself to talk to a pro about getting your cabinets built and hung correctly. Doing so can be the difference between costly cabinetry that will need to be replaced after a few short years and new kitchen or bathroom cabinets that last you a lifetime.

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