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Creation Cabinetry: 5 Need to Know Cabinetry Terms

Creation Cabinetry has been in business since 1986, which has given us ample time to learn a thing or two about cabinetry and the terminology that surrounds the trade. While discussing building and design details with customers, we often find that the terms we throw around aren’t recognized by homeowners – after briefly explaining what everything means, though, people tend to pick up on things rather easily.

In an effort to foster a quick and simple design process, this blog entry will be focused solely on the terminology that cabinet makers use when discussing plans with homeowners. After reading this post, you’ll feel confident that you’re on the same page with your designer when they refer to things such as standard overlay, full overlay, inset doors, beaded inset, and frameless cabinets in conversation, as those are the terms that we’ll be covering.

Standard Overlay

This refers to the amount of space that is shown between doors and drawers on the face of the cabinet frame. Standard overlay displays a good portion of the frame between the doors. It’s not uncommon for standard overlay doors to come sans hardware, as there is enough space between the doors and drawers to simply use a finger to open them; this isn’t always the case, though, as homeowners often opt to utilize hardware.

People who prefer the look of traditional cabinetry are more likely to opt for this style when designing a kitchen.

Full Overlay

While standard overlay is great for homeowners that prefer a traditional look, full overlay caters to the people that long for something just a little bit different.

Full overlay is a style that reveals very little of the face frame, meaning the doors are practically the only thing that you’ll see when looking at the cabinet. For the most part, this type of design allows the owners the option to remove the center stile in the cabinet, which makes it far easier to store large items like blenders and crock pots inside – Creation Cabinetry, unless instructed otherwise by the homeowner, avoids center stiles in the construction of our cabinets.

Inset Doors

With standard and full overlay doors out of the way, we can now turn our attention to inset doors and the functionality associated with them. Inset doors, unlike the styles previously mentioned, reside within the frame of the cabinetry, meaning the front of the doors and drawers are flush with the face of the cabinet’s frame.

This option, while incredibly clean and sleek, is often more expensive.

Beaded Inset

The aforementioned inset doors share nearly every aspect of beaded inset doors except for, you guessed it, the beaded portion! The bead adds elements of interest to the cabinetry without additional millwork to the actual door face. This supplies homeowners with a look that will leave their guests mesmerized.

Frameless Cabinets

The process used to assemble frameless cabinets is a bit different than the build of traditional cabinetry, as the hinges of the doors have to be mounted on the inner sides of the cabinetry instead of on the frame. This offers homeowners greater access and functionality within the cabinet, which is why frameless cabinets are sometimes referred to as full access cabinets.

If you have any further questions about the terms mentioned in this post, or just cabinetry questions in general, feel free to reach out to Creation Cabinetry at (610) 562-4700. You can also contact us via Facebook or email at!

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