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  • Writer's pictureJonathan Lear

Framed Vs Frameless cabinets- what's the difference?

This is a question I get asked almost every time I visit a potential customer to discuss a new commission. It's usually prompted by the question "Do you want a framed cabinet look or frameless" and nearly always the customer's response is "What's the difference?". I am always more that happy to discuss the differences, however in this short blog I am going to attempt to explain the physical and aesthetic differences and their cost implications hopefully with clarity.

Framed Cabinets

Quite simply this means that all doors and drawers are fitted into a frame that is fixed to the cabinet fronts rather like a picture frame. When this style is made correctly by hand, the hinges are set neatly into the frame. From an aesthetic point of view framed cabinetry can be used in both a traditional and contemporary way and presents a very handmade, solid feel. It is often used with an added bead around the frame (like the example below) giving a traditional look or without a bead giving a more contemporary feel. From an economic point of view the exra work involved in the framed cabinet system is reflected in a higher price.

An example of framed doors and drawers used in a contemporary kitchen - a classic look that I have made many times.

Framelss Cabinets

Frameless cabinetry simply means the door or drawer is fitted directly onto the cabinet using hidden "kitchen type" hinges or drawer runners. The door or drawer then becomes the main focus of attention giving the aesthetics a clean, sleek look. This style is sometimes described as having 'lay on' doors. Economically a frameless cabinet system is faster to make than a framed system and this again is reflected in the overall price,

Which ever system you choose is a matter of personal preference and may be governed by cost, however what ever the commission, both systems are treated with the same care and attention to detail.

An example of another contemporary cream kitchen that I made, this time using frameless doors and drawers.

To find out about having some built-in furniture designed and fitted. Contact Us for a free no obligation quotation or visit our website.

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Feb 28, 2023


you are doing great research. I am a furniture reviewer too and I love your blog. My site is and this site is gonna be a good resourch to me.

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