Inset Face Frame Kitchen Cabinets
What is a Face Frame cabinet
Inset face frame is a style that goes beyond standard classification. It is a different animal. It could be modern/ transitional or classic - depending on the design.
It has a face frame
The doors are flush (inset) with the frame
It takes time to build it
How face frame cabinets are built
Inset Face Frames aren't that easy
One of the features of inset framed cabinetry is the continues run of cabinets for as long as the job site permits. I would say that is the main distinction of true inset face frame cabinets. Let me explain:
When there is a space 75" , a proper inset job would be to build 1 face frame cabinet with three 23" wide sections with 1 face frame. Ofc it makes it very difficult to build, finish, delivery, and install - that's why the extra cost, but it worth it.
How much face frame kitchen cost?
A midsize framed kitchen cost around $50,000 - $60,000 but depending on the features can go up much higher. Normally, A frameless kitchen of the same layout takes x3 less time to make it. In other words - I can build 3 frameless kitchens ( about $25,000-30,000 each) or 1 inset face frame kitchen in the same timeframe.
Frames for kitchen cabinets
Here on the picture is a frame that is a separate part and on the other picture the frame is attached to the cabinet. The frame is spray-painted separately. This method of construction is very time consuming and requires exceptional precision and accuracy with 3/32" tolerances. There's no adjustments for the doors - so everything must be perfect or it won't fit.
It's not that one is better then the other - it's just 2 completely different styles.
You can read my resent blog post about frameless vs framed kitchen cabinets.
A proper face frame cabinets should have 2 very distinct features:
1) The end gable/panels or you can call it cabinet sides should be integrated into the face frame with a miter joint, see below:
There should be no seams of any kinds regardless of the material used: stained wood or painted MDF. Lower cabinets, upper cabinets, range hood cabinets, pantries, etc. - all cabinets should be like that. Yes, it is difficult to do but the results well worth it:
Make sure you check this when choosing your face frame cabinets.
2) Another feature of true inset face frame cabinets is the method of attaching the face frames. The cabinet edge should be 3/8 to 1/2 inside the frame to provide support for doors and drawer fronts. It also makes it look better and more high-end.
A face frame kitchen consists of 2 major parts: Cabinetry and face frames.
A very simplified production schedule would look like that:
First we make the cabinets and install drawer glides, pull-outs etc.
Than we make face frames (removable) and attach it temporary to the cabinetry.
After than we make doors and make sure it fits with 3/32 tolerances.
Than everything is disassembled and doors with frames go the the finishing area.
After everything is spray painted (or stained) all the parts we put together at the shop