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What is a Center Stile?

A center stile is a strip of wood or metal that vertically divides a doorway or cabinet opening. It is used to support the weight of the frame and may be removable.

A center stile is often found in large double doors or wide cabinet spaces. Unlike rails, which are horizontal, a center stile provides vertical support. It is usually placed in the center of the opening to help support the frame’s weight. Center stiles were originally used to keep cabinets and doors from sagging. However, carpenters now use more durable materials for construction, so center stiles are not always necessary. Center stiles are still used for an old-fashioned appearance, and they are often designed to use with latches, deadbolts or shelves. Since center stiles can interfere with storage, removable designs are available. There are also center stiles that can be modified to use with pullout drawers or organizing racks.

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