kitchen remodel concept

A Guide to Cabinet Terminology

Kitchen cabinets often become the focal point of a kitchen remodels. In terms of style, material, shapes, and colors, the selection of cabinetry can vary to a great extent. KItchen interior designers use a professional terminology to distinguish and systematize all the options available to the customer. If you’re seeking professional help redesigning your kitchen, here’s a guide to some of the most popular cabinet terminology.

Cabinet Construction Types

Framed Cabinets

As the name suggests, a framed cabinet is a cabinet box that is outlined with rails and stiles, literally forming a face frame. It’s the option we recommend if you’re looking to add a visible dimension and a solid strength to the traditional-style cabinet doors. Standard doors, inset doors, full overlay or partial overlay are the best fitting types of doors to a framed cabinet.

Frameless Cabinets

On a contrary, frameless cabinets can be a great solution for modern and contemporary kitchens. The absence of a face frame gives a denser and more stable impression of the cabinets’ doors. When it comes to a door pairing, only the full overlay doors will fit since they can be attached directly to the sides of the cabinet box.

Cabinet Door Types

Overlay Cabinet Doors

Evidently, overlay refers to hiding the cabinet face frame behind the cabinet door. Full and partial overlay versions of these doors are available.

Full overlay doors cover the cabinet box completely. This is the style we imagine when we describe a seamless and streamlined modern look. Functionality-wise, full overlay doors are recommended when space is limited since they provide maximum storage and easy accessibility.

Partial overlay doors are one of the most common and affordable solutions. This cabinetry door style can cover the cabinet box evenly on each side, offering a rather traditional cabinet look.

Inset Cabinet Doors

Inset doors are attached to the cabinets’ face frame, so they fit precisely into the frame opening as opposed to going on top of the cabinet box. Inset cabinets are a better fit for large kitchens since they sometimes can make cabinets appear less spacious. On the other hand, the elegant look of the doors’ clean lines might be worth it.

Panel Types

Recessed Panel Cabinet Doors

We recommend his style for the contemporary designs, as the center panel of recessed panel cabinet doors is lower than the rest of the door and has a higher outer edge.

Raised Panel Cabinet Doors

Alternatively, a center panel of the raised panel cabinet doors is raised from the rest of the door and often features a contoured edge that gives it a specific style, definitely pairing better with the traditional interiors.


They say it’s better to see something once than hear about it a hundred times. Visit our showroom, explore the limitless variety of quality options at Granite State Cabinetry, and let us make your dream kitchen a reality! Contact today for a free quote online or call (603) 472-4080!

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