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Learn The Language Of Kitchen Cabinetry


Kitchen cabinets are important. Covering a majority of the room, you want them make a statement and ultimately help you achieve the kitchen of your dreams. Choosing the right cabinets may seem like a simple task at first, but there is a lot more to consider than what meets the eye. We’ve provided a simple guide of terminology to make your journey in choosing kitchen cabinets a little easier.

Face Frame VS Frameless Hinges


Diagram : Full overlay, partial overlay, inset face frame
As you can see above, a face frame is a traditional approach to kitchen cabinet construction. A majority of kitchen cabinets use a framed structure. How ever a non-traditional approach may be right for you if you’re looking for more of a modern edge.

Full Overlay

Blue walls, blue tile backsplash, finished wood cabinet drawers
Door completely overlays the frame, covering the opening as well as the entire face of the box. Surfaces are continuous offering a sleek and finished outcome.

Partial Overlay

Sage green kitchen cabinets, granite island top, large bulb pendant lighting
Doors are mounted over the face of the frame, covering the opening completely while partially covering the finished face frame. Partial overlay is a common style amongst older homes. It can make your kitchen feel a bit out dated, but if done correctly can give off a charming, vintage look.


Marble counter, white and gray inset cabinets, gold bar hardware
The cabinet doors are set inside of the face frame instead of on top. This style is often used in cabinets lower to the ground.

Most Common Door Front Types

Recessed Panel

Recessed panel cabinet
More commonly referred to as shaker style cabinets, recessed panels are a great choice if you’re looking for simple, clean lines and a decent price point.

Raised Panel

Recessed panel cabinet
Opposite of a recessed panel door, the center panel is raised.


Slab cabinet
Slab style cabinet doors are made of one solid panel and do not involve a face frame. Slab doors are great for creating a modern, minimalistic concept.

Beaded Panel

Beaded panel cabinet
Beaded panel door fronts can provide a homey, cottage feel if warmth is what your after.

Materials Used In Cabinetry

  • Wood: Naturally occurring, solid wood.
  • Medium-Density Fiberboard (MDF): Wood product, comprised of wood fibers joined together by adhesive.
  • Particle Board: Wood particles that have been pressed and bonded with adhesive.
  • Plywood: Wood product, made by combining very thin layers of wood together.
  • Laminate: Covering for cabinets.
  • Melamine: Similar to laminate, plastic like covering for cabinets.
  • Thermofoil: Vinyl covering for cabinets.

Which style of kitchen cabinet best suits you?

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