Face Frame vs. Frameless Cabinets – What is the Difference and Should I Care?
There are two industry-standard ways of building cabinets: Face Frame and Frameless. Frameless cabinet construction has been the industry standard in Europe for many decades. Frameless kitchen cabinets were initially developed to meet the need for durable and customizable cabinetry during the home building surge in European countries that followed WWII. Face Frame construction is more traditional in North American kitchen cabinet manufacturing.
What do we mean by Face Frame construction? Face Frame cabinets are made with a wooden frame forming the face of the cabinet box and providing much of its structural strength, as illustrated here:
Frameless cabinets, also known as “Euro style” to reflect their origin, do not have this Face Frame but instead derive structural strength from greater thickness in the walls of the cabinet box and the incorporation of stretchers at the top or a solid top, as illustrated here:
Why should you care?
The principal difference is that the Frameless cabinet provides much greater ease of access because there is no frame to partially block the cabinet opening. In addition, it offers greater storage capacity since there is no frame to restrict the width of drawers or pullouts. Aesthetically, the look is much sleeker – see our featured photo that highlights a frameless – euro-style cabinet installation from Bellmont Cabinet Co.
Today, frameless cabinets account for a rapidly growing portion of U.S. cabinet sales.
Homeowners and builders are embracing frameless cabinets for their full-access storage and versatility. We at Cabinets of the Desert work exclusively with frameless cabinets. When you visit our showroom at 73700 Dinah Shore Drive, Palm Desert, you will find examples of both face-frame and frameless cabinetry so that you can see and appreciate the differences first – hand. We think you will agree that frameless cabinets provide real advantages.