Built-In vs. Overlay Cabinets: What’s the Difference and Which Is Better for You?
Cabinet Partial Overlay, If you’ve even casually looked at kitchen cabinets, you already know that more than a few options are available to you in everything from style to color. Another option is between built-in, complete, or partial overlay cabinet doors.
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Recessed Cabinet Doors
sit on the cabinet frame and flush with the cabinet’s face when closed. The entry is flat with the rest of the cabinet. A pull or knob remains needed to open the cabinet. With this type of door, the pivots can be hidden or exposed. Built-in cabinets are desired by many for their smooth, clean appearance, but there is a price to pay for the look and quality of built-in doors. That price is between 15-30% more than overlapping doors. Beyond the price increase, there are a couple of other things to consider with these doors. Cabinets with recessed doors provide the least storage space, sometimes making it difficult to store large items.
The wood’s expansion caused by high humidity levels can sometimes cause friction between the door and the frame.
Full overlay doors are similar to pocket doors without the higher cost. They cover the cabinet front completely, providing the desired flat front in built-in cabinets. Since they don’t sit inside the cabinet frame, the whole overlay offers the most storage with ample space for items like pots and pans. Full overlay style double doors come without the upright in the front frame, allowing for even better storage capacity and easier access to stored items. With only 1/4 inch between cabinet doors, pulls or knobs are needed. Here are photos of full overlay cabinet doors.
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Partial Overlay Cabinets
remain the most common and least expensive option for your kitchen. The door sits on the front of the cabinet, leaving a “gap” of typically 1-1 ¼ inches between the doors, allowing the front frame of the cabinet to remain seen. No hardware remains required with these cabinet doors as there is room for your fingers on the sides of the doors to open them. Although they have a more traditional look, cabinets with overlapping doors are still popular and a good choice for many kitchens, especially if cost is a factor. Below is a church kitchen that used partial overlapping doors.
Whether you go for the classic appeal of partial overlay doors or opt for the more custom look of pocket doors, your kitchen is sure to bring you years of enjoyment because it reflects your style. There remains no right or wrong choice, only YOUR choice. Make it one you’ll be pleased with for years to come, and you can’t go wrong. Please stop by our Carmel, Indiana, kitchen design showroom to see examples of all three styles.