30 October 2008

The type of cabinet door is determined, not by how it looks, but by how the door fits the front of cabinet box.

1. Frameless (Full-Access/European)
Frameless cabinets have no added face frame, very popular in Europe and there’s only one option available : Full Overlay
  • The doors and drawers are mounted to the side panel of the cabinet on one side, and overlap the opposite side panel when closed.
  • Some sort of knob is necessary to open the door.
  • Hinges are concealed.
2. Framed
Framed cabinets have a face frame added to the front of the cabinet box. This style is an American standard.
Framed cabinets have some option available :

  • Inset
  • Lipped
  • Overlay
  • Full Overlay
3. Specialty
Tambour doors have their own frame and can be used on both framed and frameless cabinets.

Inset Door
  • Inset door often used to achieve a formal colonial look/rustic farmhouse style
  • Inset doors are designed to sit within the rails and stiles of the cabinet frame and flush with the front edges of the cabinet box.
  • Inset doors are only assembled to a framed construction, but the same look can be achieved on frameless cabinets using vertical pilasters.
  • Door pulls/knobs are needed to open the doors and drawers
  • Hinges exposed
Lipped Cabinet Door
  • Lipped doors are similar to inset doors in that a part of the door still sits within the cabinet frame.
  • The lipped door has a rabbet (groove) cut all the way around the door on the back edge.
  • This groove allows part of the door to rest in the cabinet and leaves the remaining part resting on the surface of the cabinet.
  • Door pulls/knobs are needed to open the doors and drawers because the door sits tight in the frame.
  • When viewed from the front, this door appears to be an Overlay door. When the door, or drawer, is opened will you see that it is actually a Lipped door.
Partial/Traditional Overlay Door
  • Partial Overlay door is the most common type of cabinet door
  • The term 'Overlay' refers to the amount of front frame covered by the door and drawer.
  • Partial overlay doors fronts are mounted on the face frame.
  • The part of the frame that remains visible is often called the reveal.
  • Partial overlay doors typically leave 1 inch of reveal on the face frame.
  • The overlay is usually a ½", with 1" of the face frame exposed (reveal). The reveal on
  • Traditional Overlay cabinets is typically 1"
Full Overlay Door
  • Full overlay doors has a smaller reveal standard Overlay and practically cover the entire reveal.
  • Full overlay doors have less than 1/8” is left on the face frame between doors.
  • Full overlay doors are also used on frameless cabinets but they can still be assembled on framed cabinets as well. Framed or frameless? Just open the door and check for rails and stiles.
  • Door pulls/knobs are needed to open the doors and drawers
  • Hinges exposed
  • Tambour doors consist of many separate pieces that are aligned together and attached to a flexible backing sheet.
  • This sheet is installed in a track which allows it to slide around a corner or roll up much like a shade.
  • Ideal for appliance garages or in any cabinet where you want the door to remain open without getting in the way.
  • Roll up models can be installed under straight or corner cabinets.
  • Tambour style can be made to look like a raised panel door, or even stainless steel.
Cabinet Door Styles add even more options to the final look of your cabinets.


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