Frameless Cabinets Versus Face Frame
Here at The Cabinet Guy, LLC our standard cabinet construction is what is known as frameless cabinetry. It is also referred to as "full access," "European cabinetry" (even though it originated in the US), and "32 millimeter cabinetry." The most common cabinetry in the US is what is known as "face frame cabinetry."
The reason we offer frameless cabinetry is I am convinced that it is a far better value for the money. Here's why:
It is just as strong as face frame cabinetry
It is simpler to build
It provides full access to the storage space inside the cabinet
The drawers are 1-1/2" wider than in face frame cabinets (example: on a 15" wide cabinet the drawer in the face frame cabinet is 11-5/8" wide whereas in 13-1/8")
Drawers are also taller on frameless cabinetry because there are no horizontal rails in frameless cabinetry. Thus, for example, we can put 5- 4" high drawers in a base cabinet whereas in a face frame cabinet you only get 4 (the rails waste 6" in height) or we provide deeper drawers on 2, 3 and 4 drawer cabinets
There is no need for the big center post (typically 3" wide) between doors on a double door cabinet
Full overlay doors, the most requested style, are standard on frameless cabinets (the face frame manufacturers charge extra for this look).
The frame around the cabinet on a face frame cabinet reduces your accessible storage space by about 2"
Frameless cabinetry is greener because it reduces the amount of trees harvested for cabinet construction. A typical face frame kitchen requires about 30 board feet of wood, equivalent to about 1/3 of a tree. With frameless cabinetry you don't need this frame and thus reduce your carbon footprint and impact on our forests.
So why do face frame manufacturers continue to use this outdated type of construction? Because that's the way they have always done it and they have a lot of money tied up in equipment and don't want to make the change. They are making the same mistakes as the US auto and appliance industries were back in the 1980's when they refused to change to newer and better technologies.
If you are looking for new cabinetry I encourage you to check out frameless construction. I think you will be pleasantly surprised by the value and efficiency. For more info on frameless cabinets click here.