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What is a 1/2″ Overlay?

1/2" OverlayA 1/2″ overlay literally means that all the drawers and doors of a cabinet run will extend half an inch over the frame. This is a classic styling for cabinetry and leaves about two inches of exposed frame in between cabinet doors. It is important to be clear when referring to the overlay as half inch because this term can easily be confused with another reference known as “half overlay.” Half-inch overlay and half overlay are not interchangeable terms because the latter is commonly used to describe the middle of a run of cabinets where the doors share a common single partition wall. Half-inch overlay will be designated by following the half with a quotation mark or “in.” abbreviation.

Traditionally constructed cabinets incorporated a visible frame in the design of the façade. Today, the option to cover the entire frame is growing in popularity. However, the 1/2″ overlay stills gives a uniform look when properly installed. An added versatility inherent in the 1/2″ overlay design of cabinetry allows for the choice between using door handles or providing a beveled grip into the cabinet-door’s edge, which is an option not available in other overlay schemes because of the reduced amount of accessible area around each door’s edge.

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