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Kitchen frameless cabinets with full overlay doors. Sizing and styling of full overlay kitchen

August 18, 2022 | Updated on: August 18, 2022

full overlay dark wood kitchen cabinets

Tired of the old look of your kitchen cabinetry? It’s probably time to do a complete makeover. If you are currently planning to renovate your kitchen, there are a lot of things that you consider before fully embarking on the project. These things include your budget, the scope of the project, materials, finishes, and other decorative elements needed to complete the look that you want for your kitchen space.

Your cabinetry takes up almost 60% of your kitchen space. Moreover, it acts as the main focal point of your kitchen. Everything around it should either complement or match to create a coherent and streamlined aesthetic appeal. Therefore, when renovating a kitchen, take note of your cabinetry. Are you going to change the style? The hardware? The paint colors? Is it best to opt for full overlay frameless cabinets or should you get your framed one?

In this blog, we’re going to be tackling more about kitchen cabinets full overlay. What is it? Is it a good idea to have these types of cabinets in the kitchen? Continue reading to find out.

What does full overlay mean for cabinets?

brown frameless kitchen cabinets with granite countertop

The world of kitchen cabinetries is not as simple as most homeowners think. However, it is not something that you should worry about as these things are easy to learn. Take the time to focus and really understand the ins and outs of cabinetry design. So, what are full overlay cabinets? A full overlay cabinet is a type of cabinet with very little cabinet face frame showing around the cabinet doors. This look gives kitchen spaces a much more minimalist, streamlined, and contemporary appeal.

What is a frameless cabinet? A frameless cabinet kitchen is just another term for full overlay cabinets. A cabinet full overlay can be sometimes referred to as frameless full overlay cabinets primarily because of their frameless appearance compared to traditional cabinets which only have partial overlays.

The doors of cabinets have a huge impact on the overall look of a kitchen. This is the reason why people who prefer the minimalist and contemporary kitchen look choose cabinet full overlay or kitchen cabinet frameless for their kitchens. Because of the fact that a full cabinet overlay lacks frames or has little to no frames at all, they appear sleek, minimalistic, and streamlined. Cabinets with full overlay are also a top choice among homeowners who live in tiny apartments and condo units who are seeking a practical design solution for their small kitchen spaces.

Kitchen Cabinets

Frameless cabinet structure

The structure of a frameless cabinet is pretty straightforward. These types of cabinets are basically composed of a box and open frameless cabinet doors. The visible front edges of the frameless wall cabinet are covered with edge banding. The frameless cabinet hinges on the other hand are attached to the cabinet interior.

A frameless base cabinet is something that you can afford. You may choose a frameless sink base cabinet as well as a frameless upper corner cabinet. Aside from the fact full overlay face frame cabinets are way lighter than framed cabinets they can be installed with ease. It reduces the installation cost.

Full overlay cabinet doors

white shaker full overlay cabinet door with golden handle

In this section, we will tackle about full overlay cabinet door. What is the variety of overlay cabinets and what is the ideal full overlay cabinet door spacing? We’re going to find all that out.

What kind of "overlay" a piece of cabinetry has is one of its most fundamental characteristics. Full overlay doors or standard overlays will be one of the first decisions made when designing cabinets.

But first, what is full overlay cabinet doors mean?

When closed, a cabinet door with a complete full overlay door will cover practically everything. This is aesthetically pleasing since when the cabinet door is closed, the cabinet box or the face frame would be entirely invisible.

Full overlay kitchen cabinet doors are deemed more affordable, and a practical solution for small kitchens. Cabinet doors full overlay are more than just a style or technique of constructing cabinets. It is also considered a design feature specifically for modern homes. Whether you are building kitchen cabinetry from scratch or planning to update a traditional one, a cabinet door full overlay is a great choice for giving your kitchen a simple makeover. 

Full overlay vs. standard overlay: what’s the difference?

Full overlay

Standard overlay

There will be a 14" expose on the sides and bottom of a full overlay door, which will overlay the same 1.5" face frame 1.25" rail. The reveal is more than 14" on the top rails because space is needed at top of cabinetry for crown molding and top of base cabinets for worktops.

The 1.5" face frame will be covered by a standard overlay door, leaving all rails and stiles with a 1-1/8" reveal underneath.


How to measure cabinet doors for the full overlay?

There are different methods of measuring for full overlay cabinet doors and full overlay cabinet door clearance. Once you have decided to update your kitchen cabinetry, you need to remove your old cabinet doors first. Next, get a measuring tape and measure the opening panel. This is necessary to determine the gap between full overlay cabinet doors. After measuring the panel of the full overlay door dimensions, measure the stiles and rails. Finally, measure the clearance, the coverage area, and the entire overlay.

Full overlay cabinet hinges

installation of hinge for a full overlay cabinet door

A lot depends on the hinges when it comes to cabinet hinges full overlay. Your cabinets and doors' overall look and performance are greatly influenced by their design and usefulness, maybe even more so than by your choice of wood, finish, and hardware such as full overlay cabinet hinges.  

You have the choice of selecting the hinge full overlay if you're starting from scratch. But before you begin, make sure to choose your hinge for a full overlay cabinet door. The early design phase should include careful consideration while choosing a full overlay frameless hinge. Making a little design adjustment to accommodate the necessary hardware is far simpler than having to start again on an ongoing project because the hardware you had originally planned to utilize isn't readily accessible. Therefore, before you start buying hinges, make sure that you have determined the type of cabinets you want to have and whether or not to go for a full overlay cabinet hinge or full overlay hinges for frameless cabinets.

What is a full overlay hinge?

In comparison to partial overlay or inset hinge types, a full overlay door hinge or a face frame full overlay hinge have an entirely straight arm, which increases the offset. As a result, the cabinet box can be totally covered by the door. Full overlay frameless cabinet hinges are also commonly known as full overlay European hinges. 

It's difficult to install conventional hinges. And if you make a mistake, you're out of luck. With Euro hinges full overlay, you just need to drill a single, sizable hole and add a few screws. The rest is error-proof if you place the hole in the proper location. European cabinet hinges full overlay are the ideal full overlay face frame hinges used in overlay cabinets. Any other type of hinges won’t just work. This type of hinge is also called full overlay concealed hinges.

Full overlay hinge measurements

The amount of door overlap on the full overlay cabinet door hinges side is referred to as an overlay. To find out, measure the width of the door, take the width of the aperture out, then divide that number in half. For instance, using 1/2" full overlay door hinges if the door is 1" wider than the opening, which means it overlaps 1/2" on either side. A 3/4" panel will be "completely" covered by a frameless full overlay cabinet hinges, whereas a 3/4" panel will be covered by a half overlay hinge. To choose your ultimate cabinet door overlay, make sure to check the door size. 

  • Stainless steel full overlay cabinet hinges 

Hinges made of stainless steel are one of the most popular hinge material choices used in overlay cabinets. A cabinet with a stainless-steel hinge offers a soft close full overlay hinges feature. Full overlay soft close cabinet hinges make the cabinets easier to open and close. Whether it is in drawers, base, or upper cabinets, having a full overlay soft close hinge will always be an advantage.

When planning to update the hardware of your cabinetry, don’t forget to check the hinges. Purchase a full overlay cabinet hinges soft close for your next cabinetry hardware upgrade for a smoother workflow between your kitchen cabinets and worktops. Soft close hinges also provide a 110-degree full overlay hinge or a full overlay 270-degree hinge. These features allow the door to close smoothly.

  • Full overlay flipper door hardware

Full overlay pocket door hardware is another type of hinge commonly utilized in an overlay or frameless cabinets. This hinge functions somewhat the same as a concealed hinge with some minor differences. A pocket door is just much more complicated to install and assemble compared to other hinges. 

  • 1/2' overlay full wrap hinge

The most popular type of overlay cabinet hinge is a 1/2" overlay hinge, which is used in face frame cabinets where the door completely encloses a 1/2" of the face frame. 1/4 overlay full wrap hinge, on the other hand, encloses a ¼” frame of the cabinet.

Frameless cabinet drawers

To cover more space, the frameless drawer cabinet and drawers are bigger in comparison to framed cabinetry. Frameless cabinet drawer slides remove both the center stiles between two cabinet doors and the frame, frameless full overlay drawers and cabinets are sometimes referred to as "full access" cabinets because they enable more accessibility.

Full overlay cabinetry design

white kitchen interior with frameless cabinets and drawers

Now, let’s talk about full overlay kitchen cabinet designs. A kitchen cabinet full overlay is pretty versatile. There’s nothing much that has changed except for the panels. In a full overlay door style, the cabinet doors are more simple, more straightforward, and minimalistic. In this section, we gathered the 5 most common cabinet door panel designs that do away with a frameless or overlay cabinet type.

  1. Full overlay shaker cabinets

A highly modern kitchen may be created by simply switching to a full overlay shaker door design and adding contemporary handles, fixtures, tiling, and counters. When thinking about a home's market value, full overlay shaker kitchen cabinet doors are the go-to option since they accommodate such a wide range of design aesthetics.

Compared to other door styles, the shaker style full overlay cabinets is more appealing to prospective house buyers. Full overlay shaker kitchen cabinets are distinguished by their sturdy all-wood craftsmanship, simplistic design, and reasonable price. Shaker full overlay cabinets have recessed panel doors and rail frame and panel construction. This is what creates the timeless, clean lines of full overlay shaker cabinet doors.

  1. Full overlay slab cabinet doors

Slab cabinet doors have a full overlay flat panel appearance and no curvature to provide the illusion that they are elevated or recessed. They are essentially flat slabs that may give your kitchen cabinets an instantly more contemporary or European design.

  1. Full overlay glass door

More and more modern kitchens are being built with glass cabinet doors. They are frequently the favored option since they let you see right into the cabinet while looking fantastic and are ideal for displaying and lighting your kitchenware and décor items in a variety of ways.

  1. Full overlay white kitchen cabinets

Of course, white cabinets will always remain a popular choice among kitchen cabinet designs. Because of the light that shines off of glossy white cabinets, your kitchen will appear extra big. The same idea underlies how mirrors appear to enlarge spaces. Even though the kitchen is small in size, it would appear spacious if it is completely white.


Article by:

Valentina Melnikova - Lead Designer at Cut2Size

Office 403.366.7411

Hi there! I’m a millwork designer and an owner of a kitchen cabinet manufacturing company. With a team of professionals, I work on designing and manufacturing high-end millwork. Combining professional designing and manufacturing skills is what allows us to develop and translate our plans into a reality through our uniqueness and exclusive ideas. Our employees are highly skilled and creative thinkers that also utilize their professionalism and experience to take millwork to the next level. I’m very familiar with the industry and I take on each project from the design to the final product. With that said, if you’re looking for design advice or technician help, you’re in the right place.