Framed vs. Frameless Cabinets: Which Is Right for Your Kitchen in Knoxville?

Just as the walls, floors, and backsplash make your kitchen, so do the cabinets. It can be difficult to choose the best cabinets for your kitchen, especially when they come in various shapes and sizes. One of the many customization options you have comes from framed vs. frameless cabinets.

When anyone needs a kitchen remodel in Knoxville, TN, Master Remodelers stands out with high-quality designs and impeccable construction. Our team of experts can help you choose between framed cabinets and their frameless counterparts. This article will reveal some of the key differences between these two cabinet styles.

framed vs frameless cabinets

Framed Cabinets

Framed cabinets, also called “American style” or “face frame,” started in North America. This type of cabinet has a frame around the face, or opening, of the cabinet box. You attach the doors and drawers to the frame instead of the cabinet’s body.

Although framed doors can come in various styles, some door overlay options allow you to see the face frame of these cabinets. The doors often appear separate from each other, even on the same cabinet box. This happens because the frame can cause a noticeable border or space between the doors.

The face frame does more than change the appearance. Manufacturers usually make the frames from hardwood instead of the engineered wood of the cabinet body. This difference exists so the hardwood can strengthen the box while the box itself gains extra water resistance and remains lightweight.

Frameless Cabinets

Unlike framed cabinets, frameless options have all doors and drawers connected directly to the cabinet box. Therefore, another name for frameless cabinets is “full access” because the frame can take up some space while frameless options do not. Frameless cabinets originated in European countries, now almost entirely made using denser, stronger engineered wood.

Because of smarter construction, North American countries began adopting frameless cabinet styles. Of course, they could only do this several years after the revolution of kitchen cabinet use, which started in the 1920s.

Nowadays, many households in and around Knoxville, TN, consider frameless cabinets more modern and sleeker than framed options. This stylistic idea exists despite the fact that frameless cabinet boxes tend to be thicker than their framed counterparts, allowing them to account for the lack of frame support.

Framed vs. Frameless Cabinets in Knoxville, TN

So, knowing the cabinet construction difference between these two styles, which option works better for your kitchen? The answer depends on the typical pros and cons of each type of cabinet and what aesthetic you want to present. Let’s address these questions by comparing certain aspects of these cabinets.

Design Flexibility

If you want a cabinet with various designs, you may want to choose framed cabinets.

Framed cabinet doors have more support from the face frame. Even so, frameless cabinets also allow you to have different door overlay options with newer, stronger door hinges:

  • Inset: The doors attach within the gaps of the face frame, making the door flat to the surface of the frame. They offer the least amount of space for storage.
  • Partial Overlay: The doors attach in front of the gaps in the face frame, leaving some space between and around them to show the frame. They offer more storage space than inset doors.
  • Full Overlay: The doors attach to the frame, almost completely covering it from view. They offer the most storage space because the doors do not hinder most of the inner storage. The only hindrance comes from the center stile supporting the frame.

Frameless cabinets used to only have the full overlay option because it doesn’t have a frame for the doors to attach to. However, as noted, you can have a partial overlay or inset door on frameless cabinets due to newer door construction developments.

Even so, you often get the most out of your frameless cabinets when you use full overlay doors, so the design flexibility isn’t quite the same. Meanwhile, framed cabinets have had different door overlays for a long while.

Many door styles also seem more consistent with framed cabinets than the common slab door seen on many frameless options. However, more Knoxville home and business owners now prefer using different styles, like Shaker, arched, and glass-ready doors. Still, they are a bit behind the game compared to framed cabinets and their larger variety of doors already available on the market.

Storage Space

Between framed vs. frameless cabinets, frameless options have more storage space.

Framed cabinets do take up some room and often need a center stile to support the weight of the frame. The structural integrity of the cabinet box depends on the stile and frame. Of course, with newer construction and material thickness, some framed cabinets offer removable center stiles so you can place objects and then replace the stile for support.

If you don’t want to replace and move stiles around, you can get a frameless cabinet for more storage and less hassle. Many modern properties in Knoxville, TN, use frameless cabinets because of how much storage they provide.

Hinge Visibility and Durability

If you prefer hidden hinges, go for frameless cabinets. However, if you like to show your door hinges off, you should choose framed options.

Frameless cabinet door hinges attach directly to the inner side wall of the cabinet box. They can generally only connect here to ease the installation process when putting them in kitchens and bathrooms.

Because the hinges can only attach to the cabinet box, they tend to be weaker than their framed counterparts. The screws can only go so deep into the material, though they can last a long while if you take care of them.

Framed cabinet door hinges attach to the face frame instead of the cabinet box, giving you more hinge options. Many vintage hinges were partially visible on the outside, connecting the door to the frame. Therefore, they often included decorative aspects you can still get if you prefer a traditional look.

For a more modern yet just as sturdy option, framed door hinges can hide inside the cabinet. Some options attach to the frame only, while others attach to the frame and the inner cabinet wall for extra security.

Installation Difficulty

Frameless cabinets put a high emphasis on installation perfection. Additionally, they tend to be heavier and have more water resistance than their framed peers. So, it’s no surprise that frameless cabinets can be a bit more difficult and expensive to install in North American households.

Even so, an expert team can install frameless cabinets in your kitchen cleanly and concisely. When you have trustworthy designers on your side, you can look forward to the extra storage space with fewer worries.

Meanwhile, most Knoxville properties, especially the older ones, already have framed cabinets, so adding a stylish new set usually doesn’t present any issues. Although they have a hardwood face frame, the rest of the box can afford to be lighter engineered wood. You can generally expect lower labor costs with framed cabinets.

Learn More About Framed vs. Frameless Cabinets in Knoxville, TN

We’ve only just scratched the surface of the framed vs. frameless cabinets debate. Whether you want more details before choosing your cabinets or you need help matching backsplashes with kitchen cabinets, contact Master Remodelers. Our expert team has helped Tennessee property owners customize their cabinet options with top-quality and durable installations for over 20 years.

Call Master Remodelers at 865-458-0416 or visit our contact page to start designing your dream cabinets in your Knoxville property today.

Vince Thompson