Ask a Pro: Cabinet Construction Style


Take a moment and run through your mental remodel checklist. Martha Stewart Living wall paint in Cornbread: check. Stainless steel appliances that will produce the perfect roast: check. Family photos, fresh flowers, and personal ephemera: check. But have you given any thought to cabinets? The style of cabinet construction can factor more heavily into a space’s overall look and feel more than one might think. With a little planning and foresight, this seemingly small detail can help the cabinets become a supporting player in your interior design and help show off your most priceless treasures.

Overlay: The 1/2 inch overlay (pictured above) and full overlay construction are the most common and economical construction types. The doors are mounted outside the face frames and overlay the frame on all four sides. There can be a space left between the doors and drawers to allow for a natural finger pull, if so desired, thus eliminating the need for knobs or pulls. The full overlay leaves a smaller 1/4 inch gap between the doors and drawers, requiring knobs or pulls.

Frameless: Also known as “European” or “Euro” style, it is constructed without a face frame. This style maintains an even smaller 1/8 inch gap between all doors and drawers, virtually covering the cabinet box and giving the Frameless style a clean, contemporary look. Knobs are required for base cabinets and optional for upper cabinets. This style is often used in a rather minimalist approach and lends itself to rooms with long, sleek lines.

Inset: Largely considered to be the most elegant of cabinet construction, this style comes at a moderately higher cost. The name “inset” describes how the doors and drawers fit inside and flush with the face frame of the cabinet, allowing you to see the full width of the frame. Beaded Inset is a variation which includes a beaded detail on the frame surrounding each door and drawer. Pulls or knobs are required with this construction. This style of cabinetry construction is rather versatile, but seems to find its niche in rooms with a modern feel.

Does one of these options stand out to you? Check out more beautiful designs over at Precision Cabinets and Trim and choose the style that best fits your home.

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