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Ask a Designer: Framed vs. Frameless


What’s the difference between framed and frameless cabinetry?

Terry: In America, we make furniture and cabinets with a face frame on it, which is about an inch and a half to an in inch of face frame that runs around the outside front of the cabinet so that you end up having a little bit of area behind the face frame where things get lost. Frameless cabinets are also known as full access cabinets. There is nothing on the outside of the cabinet; it’s just basically a box. All of the decorative elements are attached to that box. The Europeans started that construction. They use man-made materials for that, typically. That’s because in Europe, they save the woods for the exterior of the cabinet were account. They don’t have much wood over there as we do here.