Face frame or frameless?
The debate over cabinet construction is timeless.
Like asking chocolate or vanilla,
each cabinetmaker has a preference.
Debate over cabinet con- struction styles – face frame or frameless – seems to be never ending.
While frameless construction
dominates in Europe and Canada, and
is often called “Euro style,” U.S. cabinet
manufacturers still emphasize face-frame construction, although frameless
is gaining ground in the U.S. recently
with urban chic trends.
Here are the pros and cons from the
viewpoints of some custom cabinetmakers and the experts at Cabinotch. Innovators of a patented cabinet box system,
Cabinotch offers both face-frame and
frameless lines, so they’re well positioned
to see both sides of this perrenial debate
on construction techniques.
Frameless or “full-access” cabinetry
Frameless construction goes by lots of
names. Because of its European roots in
the 32mm cabinet construction system,
some people call it Euro or Euro-style
construction. In an effort to promote
one of frameless construction’s main
benefits for the consumer, many cabinet
manufacturers, including Cabinotch,
have begun calling frameless “
Bob Buckley has long been an outspo-
ken advocate for frameless construction
since the days when he adopted it for his
own custom cabinet shop in Tennessee.
He even wrote a book about how he man-
ufactured cabinets in the 32mm system.
Today, Buckley works as a Cabinotch
the ease and engineered design benefits
of full-access cabinets.
“Full-access cabinets can take on a lot
of different styles, from high contempo-
rary to traditional, as ornate or as sim-
plistic as you like,” he said. “In addition,
customers appreciate the clean look, full-
access functionality and approximately
20 percent more storage space.”
Full-access offers several benefits
specific to custom cabinetmakers and
installers too. With no face frame, there
is one less thing to make, sand, assemble,
finish, and worry about cracking. “Re-
moving any of the finish time can be a
huge boon to throughput, so completely
removing the frame altogether is a pretty
big deal,” Buckley said.
Jay Miller of H WC Custom Cabinetry,
Although face-frame kitchens like this one can come in a variety
of styles, they tend to be more traditional in the United States.