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What is Partial Overlay?

Partial overlay is a style of cabinet drawer and door that refers to the amount of frame visible on a cabinetry run. The spacing between the doors and drawer-fronts of a cabinet run are the most visible and defining detail, which is why most generally manufactured cabinets are divided into these two categories: partial-overlay and full-overlay. The most recognizable characteristic of a partial-overlay cabinet run is that there is a consistent 2-inch strip of the frame visible across the entire face of the cabinets.

The doors and drawers of a partial-overlay cabinet run will overlap the frame evenly around the opening of each cabinet. This type of cabinetry design is one of the most traditional and common versions of kitchen cabinets. Because this type is so common, it is also typically the most affordable style. The precision required when hanging a partial-overlay cabinet door is more forgiving because there are no pieces that must be precisely matched. This is different from the full-overlay and the seamless cabinetry face that style achieves, which requires a high level of precision during installation.

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