Cabinetry Deconstruction

From “inset” to “light rails” to “mullions” and more, there is a lot of vocabulary used on today’s cabinetry. Here is the guide to knowing many of the key terms and parts of the cabinet as they get installed in your space!

Face frame and cabinet box
The face frame of a cabinet is literally the “frame” applied to the front of the box of the cabinet. The box of the cabinet refers to the sides and back that are literally the “box” of the cabinet itself, which are typically offered in a plywood construction or a furniture board construction.

Frameless versus framed
This refers to whether or not the cabinet has a face frame or is “full access” without any lip of a frame. Frameless cabinets are literally constructed without the “face frame” that was described above.

Half overlay has a large gap between the door and the faceframe of the cabinet. Full overlay has a small (usually about 1/4″) gap between the door and the faceframe of the cabinet. Inset actually has the doors set into the faceframe of the cabinet.

The doorstyle refers to the design of the door itself. There is a wide variety of options and styles!

Mullions are the thin “window” lines to accent a glass door cabinet. They come in a variety of styles. There are almost as many mullion style options as there are glass texture options!

There are lots of different wood species (see previous blog post ) and on top of that, lots of different finish options. The finish refers specifically to the color stain or paint that’s applied to the wood itself for the final defining color of the cabinetry. Names of the finish will vary by manufacturer.

Moldings are an important part of any cabinetry project. They serve both aesthetic purposes, adding the finishing touch along the borders of the cabinets, as well as a functional purpose: most ceilings, walls, and corners aren’t straight and the small, irregular shadow lines created by the walls being off should be covered up if possible. Here are two diagrams to identify some of the most frequently used moldings:

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