What Is a Frameless Kitchen Cabinet?

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I talk to a lot of custom cabinet makers. One of my frequent questions to them is, “What percentage of your business is face frame versus frameless cabinetry?”

The responses of course, varies per cabinet maker, but more and more I am hearing them say frameless construction.

Why’s that? The main reason is speed. Many are craftsman and can certainly do various customer requests like inset cabinetry or face frame cabinetry, but ultimately they can do more in less time without cabinet face frames.

Other larger cabinet shops use CNC machines (Computer Numerical Control) to produce the cabinets in bigger quantities. Frameless construction is often used in this case.

What is Frameless Cabinetry?

Often called Frameless, European, Full Access or 32mm, this style of cabinet construction is often thought of as a European way of manufacturing and mass producing cabinets.

Due to its more contemporary and modern look, the frameless cabinet construction has become a really popular choice for American homes too.

The frameless style of cabinetry eliminates the face frame and creates more accessibility.

Just like face frame cabinetry, frameless is common in kitchens, closets, garages and in many hospitality and commercial spaces as well.


  • More material combinations like glass, textures, colors, etc. are often used
  • Frameless is “European” contemporary driven design
  • More combinations for drawers and doors
  • Great cabinet choice for closet, garage, laundry and kitchen
  • Gain more cabinet space without the frame on the face


  • Joinery is key to solid construction and squareness
  • Pocket-Hole screws are used to join panels
  • Hinge plates and hinges attach to inside of the cabinet box
  • Slides attach to inside cabinet walls
  • Laminate can be used for rigidity
  • Can be made from 3/4″ pre-finished maple ply
  • Edge banding is needed for unfinished frame edges
A Frameless Cabinet Style
A Face Frame Cabinet Style

Storage Organizer Benefits of Frameless Cabinetry

Using frameless cabinet construction makes the cabinet opening slightly bigger.

Frameless cabinet also eliminate the cabinet stiles. This make it easier to fit pull out storage organizers like trash storage or cookware organizers within base cabinets or functional organizers in upper all cabinets.

Ease of installation is also key when talking about storage organizers. The frame of a face frame cabinet can be a little difficult for some to get the exact dimensions correct.

When we install slide out organizers, getting the right dimensions of both the cabinet and the product is crucial.

Many storage accessory brands will sometimes list two dimensions for their products. One for a frameless or “full access” cabinet opening and another set of dimensions for a face frame cabinet opening. This makes it easier on the installer.

Bottom Line?

If you’re after more of a contemporary look, frameless cabinetry is the way to go. This is the style of cabinetry you’ll come across in European design influenced companies like Ikea.

It can be more affordable and easier to work with. Overall, it’s a great choice for kitchens and both residential and commercial spaces.

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