Framed Vs Frameless Cabinets: What’s The Difference?



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Many builders and remodelers are only used to installing framed kitchen cabinets, in fact many don’t even know the differences between a framed and frameless cabinet. Frameless kitchen cabinets offer more storage per linear foot than framed cabinets do. Since one of the most important functions of a kitchen is to store stuff frameless cabinets really are the best choice in most situations. They also have a sleeker, more contemporary look than their framed counterparts. 

So why do so many builders and showroom only offer framed cabinets? One simple reason, habit. Framed cabinets are the most commonly used in American kitchens,it is what most contractors and designer know and have been installing for the last 30 years. That is slowly changing as companies like Bellmont Cabinetry and Dura Supreme start to become more popular. 

Frameless kitchen cabinets are sometimes called Euro-style cabinets because they are the most prominent in Europe. Ikea is largely responsible for popularizing the frameless look in the US, though their focus is on doors with a modern style. Frameless cabinets are available in a variety of styles, from traditional to contemporary to ultra modern.

Bellmont Cabinetry: Our Frameless Cabinet Line

We’re big fans of frameless cabinets because of their modern look and because they create more storage in same amount of space as framed cabinets. They are a primary focus in our showroom, and our main frameless cabinet line is from a company called Bellmont Cabinetry.


What Is a Frameless Cabinet?

Frameless cabinets do not have a face frame and instead the door hinges are attached to the cabinet box itself, as seen in the image above. Framed cabinets have what is called a “face frame” on the front of the cabinet box. This face frame is usually about 1 ½ inches and goes all the way around the opening of the cabinet. On framed cabinets, this is what the door hinges are attached to.

This may sound like a small change but it makes a big difference. Having a frame makes the opening smaller. Conversely, with a frameless cabinet, you have full access to the entire space inside.

framed vs frameless cabinets tallahassee fl

Does more access mean you have more storage? Yes! You can now use all of the available space. This makes the most noticeable difference in your drawers where each drawer box is wider and deeper.

Not only are all of your drawers bigger, but you can fit bigger items through the door openings. Plus, any accessories such as rollout trays or wastebasket pullouts can also be larger. Everything goes from cabinet side to cabinet side with minimal wasted space.

This equates to about an extra 1 ½ inches of storage per cabinet. Add that up and it is on average 5 cubic feet of extra storage or one extra 24” wide wall cabinet.

framed vs frameless cabinets tallahassee fl

Benefits of Frameless Cabinetry 

  • Bigger drawers: Wider AND deeper drawer boxes.
  • Less wasted space: Roll out trays and accessories can be the full width of the cabinet.
  • Larger openings: Can fit wider items, and they’re easier to maneuver in and out of your cabinets.
  • No center stile: When you open a two-door cabinet, there won’t be a rail coming down the middle and dividing the space.
  • Easier to remove and adjust shelving: With the face frame out of the way, there is no more having to rotate the shelf until it fits through the opening.
  • Easier to load and unload items: You can slide items in or out without them getting caught on the lip that the bottom frame creates.
  • Easier to clean: You can wipe the inside without anything getting caught on the frame.

Three Common Misconceptions About Frameless Kitchen Cabinets

Myth #1:

Frameless cabinets are only in contemporary styles.

Not True! You can put any door style on a frameless cabinet box. Here is an example of a traditional style kitchen in our Bellmont frameless cabinet line.


framed vs frameless cabinets tallahassee fl

Frameless cabinets with a traditional door style

Myth #2:

Frameless cabinets aren’t as strong.

Nope! A few things we love about Bellmont’s frameless construction are the hardwood dowels, ⅝” hanging rail, birch dovetailed drawer boxes, a captured back panel, and fully enclosed top.

Myth #3:

There aren’t as many options out there.

Bellmont has 92 different door styles ranging from traditional to contemporary. You have the option of 9 different wood species for your doors to be made out of. You can also choose from durable and easy to clean laminate doors, which is something not commonly available in framed cabinet lines.

And if none of those options are quite right, you can order a custom door and a custom paint color.

What We Love About Bellmont Cabinetry

framed vs frameless cabinets tallahassee fl

When opening our showroom, we explored dozens of different cabinet companies and tried several before we settled on Bellmont Cabinetry. We chose Bellmont frameless cabinets because they offer unique cabinet options and door styles that give us more flexibility than any other cabinet line we have worked with. There is something for everyone with 92 door style options, 9 different materials, endless color choices, and the ability to order custom.

Unlike many competitors, they allow free modifications to any cabinet size so we can design your cabinets to perfectly fit your layout. And they use the same software, meaning the design goes directly from us to their manufacturing plant so that they can design cabinets to your exact specifications.

If you are getting ready to remodel your kitchen or bath, give frameless cabinets a good look. There are many benefits and no drawbacks when compared to the framed alternative.

Thank you for reading! We’d love to be a part of your next remodel. Check out our design services page

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