Standard Overlay vs. Full Overlay Cabinet Doors – What’s The Difference?

When selecting that perfect door style for your cabinetry project a multitude of options present themselves.  Flat panel or raised, mitered or mortis and tenon, five piece or slab drawer fronts, and if you are considering framed cabinetry, standard or full overlay. (Inset is another option; see my previous post, Inset Cabinetry, What Does That Mean?)

The term overlay, as it pertains to door styles, refers to how much the door overlays the face frame.  Dura Supreme’s standard overlay cabinet doors and drawer fronts are sized to leave 1 1/8” of the face frame visible.  This reveal is consistent on the sides, as well as the top and bottom.  Standard overlay doors have been around for years and with improvements such as concealed hinges, they can be a stylish option and are typically less expensive than a full overlay door.

Standard Overlay kitchen cabinets from Dura Supreme Cabinetry.

While standard overlay doors were the norm, frameless cabinetry from Europe began to spill into the United States market.  The appeal was the clean look of all doors without a visible frame. Full overlay doors became the face framed cabinetry answer to a frameless look.  The doors and drawer fronts cover almost all of the face frame leaving a small ¼” reveal on the sides and bottoms of the doors. Dura Supreme leaves a1 1/8” reveal at the top of the cabinet for easier crown molding installation.  There is also a 5/8” reveal at the top of a base cabinet to allow for easier drawer access when the countertop is installed.  The effect of those small ¼” reveals creates a beautiful, seamless look.

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