Drafting and Engineering Services for the Woodworking Industry

Cabinet Door Overlay Explained

Door Overlay-

Doors and drawers can be mounted to the front of cabinets in various ways in order to achieve many different looks.  How much the door covers or overlays the cabinet face frame, and the manner in which it does so, is referred to as Door Overlay.  The three most common door overlays are illustrated below.

Standard Overlay Cabinetry – The face frame of the cabinet is partially exposed and hinges may or may not be visible.


standard overlay cabinet face frame cabinet

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Face Frame Inset Cabinetry – The cabinet face frame is completely exposed, as are the hinges.  The doors and drawer fronts are mounted inside, or Inset from, the face frame. The edge of the face frame itself may or may not have some detail to it. A small bead around the inside  exposed edge of the face frame is a common option and offers a nice bit of detail.


inset face frame cabinetry

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Full Overlay Cabinetry – None of the cabinet face frame is exposed and the hinges are not visible.


full overlay frameless cabinetry

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Frameless Cabinetry or European Style Cabinetry – In this construction method there are no face frame components used and the cabinet case component edges are finished to match the cabinet doors.  With the doors and drawers closed frameless cabinetry appears identical to the Full Overlay, face frame cabinetry.

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