Choosing the Right Cabinet Type for Your New Kitchen

Whether you’re renovating your kitchen entirely or just looking to upgrade your cabinets, there are a lot of options out there on the market today. You can choose from a variety of materials and styles, as well as three main types that all have their own features and benefits to consider. The types refer to the door and drawer facings, and how they look as well as how they function. Finding the perfect balance is about knowing what each offers and taking the time to consider which best suits your needs and fits your style.

In this guide, we’ll talk about the three types of cabinets, including their features and pros and cons. We’ll also discuss some basic style considerations and how to factor in your budget (hint: it’s not as much of a focal point as you think) so that you can get the perfect new cabinets for your space. There are cabinets and designs available for all tastes, including everything from clean and modern to rustic and decorative, and more.

Overlay Cabinets

Also referred to as framed cabinets, this style of cabinet is the one where the cabinet door lays over top of the cabinet frame, as the name suggests. They don’t cover the face frame completely, leaving it a little exposed. The face frame typically consists of 1 ½” framing. Overlay cabinets are the most common type of cabinet.

However, some people prefer inset cabinets or the tighter box look you get from frameless cabinets. Overlay cabinets are often the most affordable option and they can be a great choice for a kitchen on a budget.

Inset Cabinets

Inset cabinets are, again, just as the name suggests: inset. These cabinets will have drawers and doors that are flush with the frame, creating a smooth facing, and a reveal around the cabinet door. Inset doors can have hinges that are exposed or hidden, depending on style preference. This creates a clean, consistent look.

Inset cabinets are typically more expensive, though, costing about 15-25% more than overlay cabinets. Inset cabinets have a slight back-bevel on the inside of the doors to allow them to open and close properly, while still maintaining a consistent reveal around the doors frame.

If there are any drawbacks to consider with inset cabinets, one thing might be that they do have slightly less space inside for storage. And the other thing is that the doors occasionally need to be adjusted to maintain the same reveal around the door.

Frameless Cabinets

If you choose frameless cabinets, also known as full access cabinets, you will get the best of both worlds. The cabinet doors and drawers will overlay the face frame completely, creating a tight box look. The framing will be entirely covered by the door facing, which is why they are often referred to as “frameless”. This cabinetry, again, will need hardware because the panels will be inaccessible from the sides.

Frameless cabinets offer a nice look in traditional kitchens and spaces where a more modern look is desired, but they can also fit into just about any space. People often choose this style because it offers the best of both worlds: the look of inset without the higher cost.

Style Considerations

When choosing cabinetry for your kitchen, the style will be one of your biggest considerations. Are you going traditional or rustic? Perhaps you want a clean, modern kitchen to match the rest of the style of your home. You might not even be sure what all these terms mean in regards to style. Take the time to look at sites like Pinterest and Instagram, where you will find plenty of inspiration for the best kitchen cabinet designs, styles, and more. Then, it will be easier for you to do your own shopping and understand your options because you’ll have a more tangible idea of what’s out there and what you want.

What about Budget?

There are cabinet options for all budget types. As mentioned above, overlay cabinets are the most affordable option, but you can also choose a frameless or full overlay style if you want affordable cabinets that offer a higher-end look or different design options. If, however, you really want a timeless, high-end look, inset is probably your best choice.

Just be sure to budget accordingly and consider other places you can save money to allow yourself to get the cabinets that you want. Perhaps you’ll choose the nicer inset cabinets but go with fewer specialty drawers or pick a simpler finish or hardware choice. It’s all about finding the right balance, not just getting the cheapest cabinets that you can find.

Ultimately, it’s your Choice

When you consider all of the different factors in choosing the right kitchen cabinets, you’ll be able to guarantee that you get the best-finished product every single time. Style and function should be your first concerns—no one wants a kitchen that doesn’t actually work for storage, cooking, and other activities. However, you’ll also want to keep your budget in mind. If you’re still not sure, don’t be afraid to ask us for help.

The best option is to work with professional cabinet makers that know all about the intricacies of designing kitchen cabinetry and how to make sure that you get the best of everything in your new selection. From custom colors and finishes to impressively sized storage solutions, modern kitchen cabinets offer a lot more than you think. When you choose to work with the pros, you will be able to get everything that you want, and probably more than you expect.

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