What is the Difference Between Frameless and Framed Cabinets


You might hear kitchen and bath designers talking about Frameless cabinets for your new construction or remodel project, but what are those and what difference does it make to you the homeowner?

Frameless cabinets (sometimes called European, or Full Access style cabinets) are built without a face frame. They will have minimal space between the doors and drawers and maximize interior storage and drawer space. Frameless cabinets panels are put together using wooden dowels and glue and the back of the cabinet is dadoed into the top, bottom, and sides of the box.

Most Cabinetry in the United States is “Framed” vs “Frameless” but the Frameless is catching on quickly.

frameless current by crystal cabinets in this traditional kitchen remodel


  • Frameless cabinets give you 10-15% more usable space. You have more storage space in the same footprint.
  • The gaps between all the doors and drawers in your kitchen or bathroom are uniform which gives you a highly stylized look.
  • The sides of frameless boxes are “flush finished” meaning that there is no seam when viewed from the side. To get this in framed cabinetry, you have to have the cabinet specially modified – usually at a cost. The flush finished end on frameless cabinetry gives your cabinets a furniture-like appearance.
  • Frameless or “full access” cabinets do not have a face frame and rely on the cabinet’s construction for stability. Door hinges attach directly to the sides of the cabinet box and shelves are usually adjustable. Frameless styles offer greater access, however, only full overlay doors can be used.


Framed is the more traditional construction type, with rails and stiles forming a “frame” at the front of the cabinet box.  Framed cabinets attach door hinges to the frame face and shelves are usually, but not always, adjustable.  Inset, partial, and full overlay door styles can be used with framed cabinets.

Framed cabinetry utilizes a solid wood “frame” that is dado-ed to the top, bottom, and sides of the box. This frame actually extends beyond the width of the box and covers up a small portion of the inside of the box interior. Framed cabinetry gets its structural integrity from this frame.

Framed is a better choice for those who don’t need to worry about the room and who want the frame to show between the doors.

In the end, the choice of which type of cabinet will work best for your needs will be a decision you will make with your expert designer at JM Kitchen & Bath Design.

Call the closest showroom with any questions about your cabinet style options or to schedule your free consultation.

We have Four Colorado Locations to Serve You

JM Kitchen & Bath Design – Denver
2324 S. Colorado Blvd
Denver, CO 80222
(303) 300-4400
Showrooms Hours: Mon-Fri 9:00 am-5:00 pm, Sat 9:00 am-3:00 pm
*Appointments are encouraged, however, walk-ins are always welcome.

JM Kitchen & Bath Design – Castle Rock
1375 Caprice Drive
Castle Rock, CO 80109
(303) 688-8279
Showrooms Hours: Monday by Appointment Only, Tues-Fri 9:00 am-5:00 pm Saturday 9:00 am-1:00 pm *Appointments are encouraged, however, walk-ins are always welcome.

JM Kitchen & Bath Design – Colorado Springs
4557 Austin Bluffs Pkwy
Colorado Springs, CO 80918
(719) 596-9990
Showroom Hours: Monday-Friday 9:30 am-5:30 pm Saturday 10:00 am-2:00 pm
*Appointments are encouraged, however, walk-ins are always welcome.

JM Kitchen & Bath Design – Arvada
Arvada Market Place
7390 W 52nd Ave, Suite A
Arvada, CO 80002
(720) 674-6880
Showroom Hours: Monday – Friday 9:00 am – 6:00 pm Saturday 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
*Appointments are encouraged, however, walk-ins are always welcome.

Call any of our locations or click here to have one of our designers contact you or to schedule a showroom consultation.