It is simplest form; a cabinet is just a box. It usually has a back on it and sometimes a door the front and drawers, which are themselves just boxes inside.
Face frame cabinets have a frame over the front of the box. Because most cabinets are building of plywood, a solid wood face frame hides the plywood edging and provides an edge that can be fitted to the contours of an irregular wall. The face frame might be anywhere from 1” to 4” (25mm to 102mm) wide, with most common being 1 ¾ (44mm) wide. Face frame cabinets are the most traditional and commonly available cabinets.
Open a wall cabinet door (or a base cabinet without drawers) and look at the hinges. A framed cabinet has the hinge mounted on the frame, like so:
Frameless cabinets know also as European style cabinets do not have a frame instead, thin bands of wood or plastic over the plywood’s front edges. They have sleeker look and it is possible to have a clean, flat plane of just doors and drawers. However, they do require special hinges. Frameless cabinets have become increasingly popular in the United States for contemporary style kitchens.
A frameless hinge mounts on the side of the cabinet.
(European style cabinets: After the destruction of World War II, the Europeans had to quickly rebuild their homes and a system standardized kitchen cabinetmaking was developed. It is built on the idea of frameless cabinets and measurements with increments of 3.5mm)
What to look for in Cabinets:
Generally, of course, the more you pay, the higher the quality. Sometimes, though, you can find stock cabinets with custom cabinet features.
Be a knowledgeable consumer.
Open a doors and drawers and look inside. Ask questions of the salespeople or kitchen designer recommending a certain brand. If your budget allows it, you may want to step up to higher quality stock cabinets, semi-custom or use our affordable cabinet doors and refacing your old kitchen doors.
The Major difference between custom-made and special-order cabinet doors is special order cabinets are sold only in stock sizes. To change size and kitchen configurations, you have to order semi-custom or custom cabinets.