When it comes to choosing cabinets for projects such as new construction or remodels, one can often get caught up in the look of the cabinets. Visually speaking, the cabinet doors and their style, along with the finish, are the most noticeable part of a cabinet. Of course, everyone wants the most visible part of the product to look fantastic, and while the outside appearance of cabinets is very important, the box itself and how its constructed should not be overlooked. For this first in a series of blogs, I’m going to “de-construct” cabinets and discuss the different elements that we use to manufacture Dura Supreme Cabinetry.

Framed vs. Frameless

Cabinetry is divided into two categories when it comes to construction methods – Framed and Frameless – and Dura Supreme Cabinetry offers both. Why offer two of them and what’s the difference? Let’s take a moment to break each one down and get a closer look at their construction method in more detail.



The construction details for a traditional framed kitchen cabinet from Dura Supreme Cabinetry's semi-custom to custom premium product line, Crestwood Cabinetry. Get the product specs here.

Crestwood Framed Cabinet

Frameless cabinetry construction details for Bria Cabinetry by Dura Supreme. European-inspired design with a luxurious finish. Dura Supreme’s Bria cabinetry features frameless (full-access) construction inspired by European cabinet-making, blending high-tech with high-fashion sensibilities. Frameless construction optimizes for full access to the interior and storage, while its diverse array of styles speaks directly to the imaginative homeowner in need of specific function and elegant design. Learn more about the construction details for this kind of kitchen cabinetry.

Bria Frameless Cabinet

Framed Construction

Framed cabinets are a common construction American manufacturers use. This style of cabinetry has a solid wood “frame”, typically 3/4″ thick by 1.5″ wide,  dado-ed to the top, bottom, and sides of the cabinet box. The frame is what the door hinges attach to as well as adding to the overall structural stability of the cabinet box. The frame extends past the cabinet box on the sides 1/4″ on the outside, and 3/4″ on the inside of the box. The doors for this style of cabinet can either overlay the frame or sit inside the frame. Dura Supremes’ framed cabinet line is named Crestwood Cabinetry.


A dado joint on a cabinetry face frame and box with a furniture board end panel. Cabinetry construction details of Dura Supreme Cabinetry.

Crestwood Cabinet with unfinished end.

Frameless Construction

Frameless cabinets are a very European style of construction and are often called “full access” due to the fact there is NO face frame applied to the cabinet box. In this style of manufacturing, the cabinet doors are hinged to the cabinet side and overlay the box itself, thus only a full overlay door style is available. Dura Supreme’s frameless line is named Bria Cabinetry.

A close up of frameless cabinet construction.

Framed Cabinet Overlays

When working with framed cabinets you have a few options to choose from when it comes to the door overlay. Overlay refers to how much the cabinet doors cover or “overlays” the face frame of the cabinet. With our Crestwood framed cabinets you have three styles to choose from – Standard (Partial) overlay, Full overlay, or Inset.



Compare kitchen cabinet door construction types. Standard Overlay, Full Overlay, and Inset cabinetry doors.

Framed overlays are a more traditional style of overlay, with Full Overlay being the more popular of the three.

Standard Overlay

A Standard Overlay door, sometimes referred to as partial overlay, overlaps the face frame only 1/2″ leaving 1″ of the face frame exposed. This was the standard door overlay for American cabinets after the turn of the century and remained popular up until the last 20 years. The cost of this type of overlay is typically less than any other due to the fact there is less material needed for the sizes of the doors. While its popularity has waned its cost savings are still something to consider.

A luxury kitchen with traitional styled cabinets using standard overlay door construction for a classic look.

A beautiful traditional design in the Oxford standard overlay cabinet door style.

Design by Drexel Building Supply of Wisconsin

A color palette inspired by nature in a new kitchen remodel featuring Dura Supreme Cabinetry. This kitchen design features standard overlay cabinet doors.

The Sierra Standard Overlay door was designed for the kitchen island with Holland on the perimeter.

This classic two-tone kitchen remodel uses traditional overlay cabinet doors with raised panel styles. The 2-level kitchen island has a dark stained wood finish while the perimeter cabinets are painted bright white.

An updated two-tone kitchen designed with Oxford Standard Overlay door style.

Design by Creative Kitchen Designs | Anchorage, AK

Full Overlay

Full overlay doors overlay the face frame 1-1/4″ leaving just 1/4″ of the frame showing. The smaller reveal is the most popular trend in framed cabinet design as it works so well with many transitional as well as traditional door styles. More care needs to be taken into account when designing with this style of overlay as there needs to be adequate clearances for doors and drawers to open properly when adjacent to other cabinets.

This stylish master bath uses Dura Supreme Cabinetry’s Marley door in the full overlay.

Design by Dillman and Upton | Rochester, MI

A remodeled kitchen with a modern take on the Old English interior design style. This design features deep blackish navy blue painted cabinets around the cooking space and on the wood hood surrounded by light stained cherry cabinets and wood accents. The kitchen cabinets use a framed construction method with full overlay door that have a flat panel style.

Middleton Full overlay was used for this English inspired kitchen design.

A bright kitchen design with white painted full overlay cabinet doors with a shaker style. The kitchen island and the corner floating shelves are accented with a dark stained wood. Pale blue accents are shown in the wall paint and glass mosaic backsplash tiles.

A classic two-tone kitchen design using Arcadia full overlay cabinet doors.

Design by Ispiri Home Remodeling | Edina, MN


So, technically, an Inset door doesn’t actually overlay the face frame like the previous door styles, but it is considered an overlay style. Inset cabinet doors actually sit inside and flush with the face frame, lending itself to early American styled furniture. Because the frame is exposed you will now have the whole 1-1/2″ face frame revealed. This overlay is more costly than the others but it is a showcase of true craftsmanship; The doors need to be sized perfectly so as not to rub the frame when you are opening and closing. 

An elegant modern farmhouse kitchen design with sleek framed kitchen cabinets with inset cabinet door construction. The kitchen cabinetry is shown in an off-white painted finish with a classic shaker inset door style.

A mix of traditional Inset cabinetry doors with modern conveniences shows off this stunning kitchen remodel.

Design by Mariotti Building Products, Old Forge, PA

This charming kitchen features our Hudson Inset door in Rock Bottom Curated Paint.

Design by Bath + Kitchen | Alexandria, VA

A beautiful mix of traditional inset doors with modern floating shelves.

Design by Plain & Posh Interiors | Westmont, IL

Frameless Cabinet Overlay

With frameless cabinets the overlay will always be full due to the fact there is no face frame. Because of this, the door sits directly on the cabinet box and the reveal around the cabinet doors is much tighter; only 2mm. Also, the ends of the cabinets will always be flush due to the fact there is no face frame attached to the box.

Frameless cabinets can be used for both contemporary and traditional door styles. Since the reveals are so tight between the doors/drawers, you will need to be sure there are adequate clearances for them to open and close properly.

A two-tone transitional kitchen remodel with white painted frameless cabinetry and a medium gray painted kitchen island with seating and a kitchen island sink. The modern white painted wood hood is surrounded by wooden floating shelves. Frameless cabinets can be used for both contemporary and traditional door styles. Since the reveals are so tight between the doors/drawers, you will need to be sure there are adequate clearances for them to open and close properly.

A transitional two tone kitchen design with our Kendall door in Bria frameless cabinets.

Design by Anissa Swanzy of SKD Studios | Newport Beach, CA

This dreamy lake house kitchen captures the home’s lake shore lifestyle with watery blue walls, shiplap ceilings, nature-inspired wood and white painted cabinetry, and natural stone accents. The kitchen design uses a natural off-white paint color contrasted by a light white washed stain on Quarter Sawn White Oak cabinets.

A beautiful beach home with frameless cabinets in Craftsman and Silverton door styles.

A soft contemporary frameless design featuring Cherry cabinets with the Camden slab door style from Dura Supreme Cabinetry.This modern kitchen is warm and inviting with is soft brown stained wood cabinets.

A soft contemporary frameless design featuring Cherry cabinets with the Camden door style.

Design by Jeremy Sarcoz of Heartwood Designs | Sedona, AZ

Note that one cabinet construction style is not necessarily better than the other. Both offer the quality and durability that one would look for in a cabinet and the options each one has available will vary from one line to the other. When choosing which one to go with it will come down to personal preference as well as budget which your local Dura Supreme Designer can go over with you.

Look for my next blog where we will continue to deconstruct our cabinets. Until then, be well!

Stacey Lindstrom the National Training Manager for Dura Supreme Cabinetry and blog author for the Dura Supreme Cabinetry Blog.

Stacey Lindstrom is the National Training Manager for Dura Supreme Cabinetry. Stacey has a degree in interior design and over 25 years in the kitchen and Bath industry. She has worked in all kinds of business platforms, from small dealers to online design and sales, and has worked with 20.20 Design software since 1997. Her first venture working with Dura Supreme Cabinets was way back in 1995, creating hand drawings for a dealer showroom. In the last 10 years, she has had her work showcased on episodes of Kitchen Crashers and Bath Crashers, as well as season 15 of Big Brother. As much as she loves designing spaces for clients, Stacey enjoys training and educating on product and design as well, and draws from her own expertise as well us blunders over the years to help Dura Supreme and its dealers.

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