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Inset vs. Overlay Cabinets

Most homeowners think of door style and color when considering the type of cabinets they prefer for their kitchen builds and remodels, but cabinet makers also use door positioning to create various styles. Let’s explore the differences between inset vs. overlay cabinets, so you can choose the ideal type for your kitchen renovation. 

The Difference Between Inset and Overlay Cabinets

When choosing the style of your new kitchen cabinets, you have three options for the cabinet doors: 

  1. Inset cabinet doors fit in line with the cabinet frame to sit flush, leaving the frame completely visible. Because inset doors don’t protrude from the cabinet, installers add door handles or push-to-open systems. 
  2. Partial overlay cabinet doors rest on top of the frame, overlapping it by roughly half an inch. Because this style leaves spaces between the doors, they don’t require opening hardware. 
  3. Full overlay cabinet doors are set on top of the frame and cover it completely, leaving only the doors visible when closed. This type of cabinet door includes hardware or an integrated door pull for easy opening. 

The best choice for you in the inset vs. overlay cabinets debate depends on your design preferences. For example, if you prefer cabinet doors without knobs or handles, you may choose a partial overlay cabinet design or a full overlay with routered finger pulls.

Benefits of Inset Cabinets

The advantages of choosing inset cabinet doors for your kitchen remodel include:

  • Adaptable appearance: The streamlined look creates a smooth, sleek appearance that complements traditional and modern styles.
  • Hidden hinges: Installers can use hidden hinges with inset cabinets for a clean look and soft door closing options.
  • No sharp edges: Because these doors don’t stick out, there are no sharp corners and edges, which is ideal if you have babies or small children. 

Benefits of Full Overlay Cabinets

Homeowners in 2023 are looking for ways to make their kitchens stand out and reflect their aesthetic preferences. Though we don’t often think of cabinet handles and drawer pulls as distinctive kitchen features, they actually have a lot of influence on the overall look of a kitchen.

As hardware becomes more distinctive, homeowners have started to mix and match colors and styles to create a unique look.  

Benefits of Partial Overlay Cabinets

The pros of choosing partial overlay cabinets include:

  • Classic appearance: Some homeowners prefer the classic look of partial overlay cabinets, while others view it as outdated. You may select this type if you want a rustic, traditional kitchen. 
  • Lowest cost: These cabinets tend to have the lowest price due to easier manufacturing and installation. 
  • No hardware requirements: Partial overlay cabinets provide opening room around the doors, so they don’t require knobs or handles.

Realize Your Kitchen Dreams with Elite Cabinetry & Granite

When choosing between inset vs. overlay cabinets, you can trust Elite Cabinetry & Granite with your cabinetry installation. We work with top cabinet manufacturers like Woodland Cabinetry, Crown Cabinets, and more to offer our clients unmatched customization choices. 

We begin every kitchen cabinet project with a free kitchen design. When you work with our kitchen designers in Denver, you can expect excellent customer service and design services throughout your kitchen renovation. Call us today at 303-722-3700 or contact us online to schedule a consultation. 

For all your kitchen & bathroom remodeling needs.