Overlay and Inset

Framed cabinetry includes different options on how the doors mount to the cabinet. These are referred to as overlays or insets. An overlay door sits in front of the face frame and an inset door sits within the face frame. When choosing an overlay door, different dimensions are available that allow more or less of the face frame to be covered. Full overlay is a term that indicates the doors will be as close as possible thereby covering as much of the cabinet face as possible. Insets also have options. You can select from various details cut into the edge of the face frame, such as a bead for beaded inset. Aesthetics play a large part in the decision. Each overlay and inset has a unique look and will impact the end result.

All framed cabinet options can use a concealed soft-close hinge, and inset styles have the additional option of a mortised exposed hinge in various finishes.

Frameless, or full-access cabinetry, takes the overlay and inset decision away. It is a full overlay cabinet and best suited when you want to minimize the gaps between the doors and drawers. This cabinet type utilizes a 6-way adjustable hinge that is zero clearance; however, designing a frameless cabinetry project is not without its challenges. Space needs to be allowed for proper termination of a cabinet into a side wall, and care must be taken to ensure clearances are maintained at appliances and inside corners. Frameless cabinets highlight the clean lines in the Transitional, Contemporary, and modern design styles.



Framed Full Overlay


Frameless Full Overlay


French Inset


Plain Inset


Beaded Inset


Standard Overlay