Kitchen Design

A Guide to Cabinet Styles

Kitchen and bath renovations tend to come with a long list of detailed decisions. From hardware and countertop edge profiles to fixtures and flooring.. the list goes on. Out of all the purchases you have to make during a kitchen or bath remodel, your cabinets are usually going to be the most costly, so you want to be sure to get it right.

One question you need to ask yourself is, what type of cabinetry do you want in your kitchen or bath. There are a few different styles of cabinetry that are available. When I say style I am not referring to the door details or the color, I am referring to the construction of the cabinet itself. The most popular styles of cabintrey construction are inset, partial overlay and full overlay. These different construction styles can make a huge difference in the outcome and functionality of your design and should be considered before finalizing your cabinet choice.

Framed Standard Overlay Cabinets

Thomas Built Custom Cabinets

Framed partial overlay cabinetry, or standard overlay, are constructed with a face frame on the front of the cabinet box that the hinges and doors attach to. The doors only cover a portion of the face frame leaving most the the frame exposed between drawers and doors.

Partial overlay cabinetry is typically less expensive than full overlay and inset cabinetry. There is more material involved in the frame work, however, there is less material used for the door itself, which is typically one of the most expensive parts of a cabinet.

Partial overlay cabinetry also allows for more “wiggle room” in the construction of the cabinet. The doors on these cabinets can be adjusted in multiple directions allowing for some forgiveness in the construction and installation process.

I see this cabinet style being replaced in a lot of remodels. They can feel outdated and less streamline, especially if you have selected a raised panel door style. I also would not recommend this style cabinet if you plan to stack cabinetry, the exposed face frame can become very obvious in a design with a stack.

Fabuwood Metro Java Cabinetry

Overall, partial overlay cabinetry still looks great and they are on the more affordable side. However, if you are going for a minimal or custom appearance I would consider opting for an inset or full over lay door. If you are considering partial overlay to save cost on budget, consider them for bathroom vanities and laundry rooms. Usually, when you are dealing with a “stock” or ready to assemble cabinetry line, partial and full overlay is what you will find for construction options.

Framed Full Overlay Cabinetry

Framed full overlay cabinetry is a great option for a more modern kitchen. The construction on these cabinets differ because the door covers most of all of the front face frame. These cabinets are still affordable, although a bit more than a partial overlay cabinet, and they look sleek and modern.

Full overlay cabinets can appear more streamline to the eye and make the cabinetry feel less blocky. Shaker and flat panel door style look great in this style of construction.

The best thing about full overlay cabinets is that they are available in most ready to assemble cabinet lines, which makes them very affordable for your kitchen renovation. If you are looking for a middle of the road cabinet that still looks high end I would highly recommend considering a full overlay construction.

Inset Cabinetry

Inset cabinetry is becoming very popular. It is typically full custom and has a very minimal and clean appearance. With inset cabinetry the door is inset into the face frame so that they are flush. Because of this, there is a higher attention to detail during construction and very little room for error.

The clean appearance of inset cabinetry is great for spaces that you want to keep minimal and clean. This style cabinetry is considered high end and is typically 15%-30% more than the other options for cabinet construction.

Inset cabinetry also looks stunning with flush mounted appliances and paneled in refrigerators and appliances as seen above.

If you are looking for a high end design, you love the look, and it is within your budget I would consider inset cabinetry. Although honestly, I believe the full overlay cabinet looks just as nice and does not come with a custom cabinet price tag.

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