Cabinetry is an integral part of the success of all the projects at Estate Homes. The wants and needs of our clients are unique and each project has its own requirements. Our available cabinetry mix was selected specifically to meet these needs.
There are three basic types of cabinets—Face frame overlay, face frame inset door and frameless (full access):
Face Frame Overlay - This cabinet box style is usually associated with a more traditional look. The face of the box is framed with vertical and horizontal solid wood material (usually 1 ½” wide). The “overlay” door is always wider and taller than the frame opening. A ½” overlay door shows 1” of frame all around and is a more traditional look. The 1 ¼”, or full, overlay door shows only ¼” of frame all around and is generally meant to create a more contemporary look. The proponents of this type of construction feel that the frame increases the structural integrity of the box. Opponents will say that the frame limits access to the storage area and will narrow usable width of each drawer box by as much as 1 ½”.
Face Frame Inset Door - This box is built the same way as the face frame overlay. What makes it unique is that the cabinet door/drawer front doesn’t overlay the frame. The full thickness of the door(3/4”) is set into the face frame. In other words, the face of the door is on the same plane as the cabinet face frame. This style is extremely traditional but is usually 30% more expensive because of the hinges used and the care that must be taken to insure that all doors and drawer fronts fit perfectly inside the frame opening. If this is the look you’re after, the cost and limited hinge adjustment are the only negatives. The up side is that this is the only way to create this beautiful, timeless traditional look.
Frameless (Full Access) - This is sometimes referred to as European cabinetry. The difference between this and the two construction methods listed above is the fact that there is no face frame. The face of the cabinet box reveals only the side wall thickness(usually 5/8” or ¾”). The door almost completely overlays the visible side walls. The hinges used have a clearance factor which allows the cabinet door to open fully with only 1/16” of the wall revealed. You can actually open two back-to-back doors at the same time without them colliding. There really isn’t a negative here. These boxes might be a little more difficult to install until you’ve had some experience with them. On the plus side, however, are some very nice features. First, the hinges allow the cabinet faces to be almost completely covered by the doors and drawer fronts providing the true “European” look. Second, with no frame narrowing the opening, the drawer box usable width is increased. Finally, the lack of face frame offers easier access to cabinet contents.
Any of these styles can be constructed of furniture board, all plywood or completely green(environmentally conscious) materials. Drawer boxes and roll-out shelving need to be built with the strongest components available to insure durability. Solid wood with dovetail joints is generally regarded as the best method of accomplishing that goal.
Although cabinet box construction is extremely important, the actual look and feel of the room is supplied by the cabinet door style, finish color and decorative moldings. Cabinet door styles are generally divided into three types—Slab, recessed panel and raised panel. Within each group is a long list of variations. Sometimes it seems that there are too many choices but it gives our interior design department much more flexibility to create the perfect look.