What is Face Framed Cabinet Construction

What is Framed Cabinet Construction

Framed Cabinetry is considered an American styled cabinet and is often referred to as traditional cabinetry.

Framed cabinets usually feature a ¾” thick solid hardwood face frame.  1” thick upgraded face frames are available from some custom manufacturers.  The stiles and rails of the face frame are usually joined using glue with screws (most common method) or dowelled and glued.    Face frames typically are 1 ½” wide and are the area that faces outward from the front of the cabinet.  

Face frames are also where the door hinges are attached on a framed cabinet, which resembles a flat picture frame.  These frames are also routed out to capture the end panels, floor and ceilings to provide extra strength, stability and ensure the cabinet is square. 

End panels are often inset in from the edge of the face frame.  Most typically there is ¼” of an inch to the outer edge.  That is where the route is for the end panel.  Some manufacturers leave that ¼” gap between cabinets, while others apply a ¼” piece of wood on top of a ½” end to make the end flush.  Many manufacturers do offer a flush ¾” option for the ends.

Advantages of Framed Cabinet Construction:  Framed cabinets provide square cabinets with extra strength.  Framed cabinets are very durable.

Disadvantages of Framed Cabinet Construction: Framed cabinetry takes additional space which reduces the opening size when accessing the cabinet.  This leads to less storage space versus frameless cabinet construction.  Many framed cabinets also have a lip or step up at the frame which can catch doors and cups on them when removing them from the cabinet.