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Making Sense of Kitchen Cabinet Terms – Understanding Cabinetry Differences

Mar 12, 2013  -  No Comments

Kitchen Remodel Excel Builders Minneapolis MNRemodeling your kitchen is a daunting task on its own, but add to it a whole new language filled with construction and cabinet terminology that you’re not familiar with and you may feel even more overwhelmed.

Last week we shared with you the differences in cabinetry door styles, and this week we want to educate you on some common cabinetry terms, making that conversation with your contractor and/or cabinet associate just a little bit easier to follow.

Framed vs Frameless:

  • Framed cabinets are the most common of cabinetry styles.  A framed cabinet has a front frame around the cabinet opening to which the door is attached.  These are the most popular type of cabinets in the U.S. and are easier to install than frameless cabinetry.  Framed cabinets are available in traditional and full overlay styling (explained below).
  • Frameless cabinets, also referred to as European-style cabinets, have no front frame. The doors are attached directly to the sides of the cabinet. Frameless cabinets are more modern in style, and offer unobstructed access to the cabinet interior because there is no front frame.

Full Overlay vs Traditional Overlay:

Overlay is the amount of the front frame covered by the door and drawer.
The reveal is the area of that front cabinet frame that is exposed, can be seen.

  • Full Overlay Cabinets – Full overlay doors cover all or most of the face frame.  By using slightly larger doors & drawers, the door and drawer design become more prominent, and thus produce a very small reveal. The use of door/drawer pulls is required (since there’s no room for fingers). This type of overlay construction is more often associated with the European or frameless look, but can be used on framed cabinets as well.
  • Traditional Overlay (or No Overlay) – With a traditional overlay, the door and drawer front are smaller, to partially reveal the face frame of the cabinet.  The door and drawer are sized well for easy access to being opened by finger pull if desired.  This type of overlay construction is associated with a more timeless and traditional look.

Wood Grain vs Wood Species:

  • Wood Grain is the pattern and texture produced in any given wood.
  • Wood Species refers to the different types of hardwoods or softwoods. Examples are maple, oak, cherry and hickory.

Hopefully these few basic cabinetry terms will help you make sense of the differences in cabinets as you discuss plans with remodelers and read descriptions online or in display stores!

Contact us here at Excel Builders if you have questions about your own kitchen remodel or cabinetry replacement process.  We’re here to make your kitchen renovation or home remodel project (of any sort) an organized, enjoyable experience.

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