Remodeling your cabinets or installing new ones might sound fairly straightforward, but homeowners quickly learn the process entails more options and complexities than most people realize. To achieve desired results, working with a skilled designer and master cabinetry maker such as Holland’s Custom Cabinets is a must.
For example, when it comes to construction, there are two main cabinet styles: American-Style Face Frame Cabinets and European-Style Frameless Cabinets. Choosing one style over the other can change the complexity of the build, the price of installation, and your customization options.
Holland’s Custom Cabinets designs, builds, and installs all of its cabinets.
- Using client budget and design criteria, we start by preparing detailed pricing scenarios for selected cabinet features, finishes and upgrades.
- Next, we create 3D renderings, mechanical 2D line drawings, and/or floorplans for client approval.
- Once the client approves the look and layout of the new cabinetry, master builders at Holland’s El Cajon, CA manufacturing facility creates each custom piece. There are no stock cabinets in our shop. Every project is handcrafted using quality materials and the industry’s most advanced machinery.
- Finally, our trained installers work closely with our in-house manufacturing team to control every facet of the installation process. We recognize that even the most beautiful, custom cabinets won’t look good without professional installation.
Choosing the right cabinet style is an important decision. Fortunately, with the U.S. housing market steadily expanding and so many homeowners building or renovating, there’s never been a better time to explore choices in custom cabinetry.
In this post, we’ll dive into the key differences between face frame vs Euro-style cabinets. Our goal is to help you fully understand each option so you can choose the custom cabinet style that’s best for your budget, home, and preferences.
What Are Face-Framed Cabinets?
We’ll begin by taking a look at face framed cabinets, sometimes referred to as American-style cabinets. The face frame name refers to the cabinet’s flat, picture-frame-like qualities. Think simple, sleek, and affordable.
As you might expect, this style of cabinet carries most of its structure in the face frame, which is typically built of three-quarter-inch hardwood lumber. Most American cabinet makers rely on this style, often installing face framed cabinets in kitchens and bathrooms. Many homeowners also favor this style because of its proven strength and durability.
Several variations for face frame cabinets exist such as:
- Standard face frame, which features a one-inch gap between the door and drawer faces
- Face frame full overlay, also known as the “Face Frame Euro,” which features a one-eighth-inch gap between the door and drawer faces
- Flush inset, where the doors and drawers sit flush “inset” into the frame.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Face Framed Cabinets
Arguably the most important advantage of American-style face framed cabinets is their strength and solid hardwood face. That’s why most homeowners and constructors tend to prefer them.
That’s not the only benefit of selecting American-style cabinets. Face frame cabinets are also flexible when it comes to positioning. Working with materials made from wood allows for almost limitless arrangement possibilities for doors and drawers.
The downside? While arrangements might be versatile and the cabinets themselves are highly customizable, if you are looking to work with cabinet materials other than wood and want a more contemporary, modern look (for example, acrylic, laminate, melamine, exotic veneers, or textured melamine), then European Construction is your first choice.
What Are Euro-Style Frameless Cabinets?
European-style cabinets, or frameless cabinets, are built with the cabinet box as the main structure. Envision cabinets that are luxurious and solid.
Instead of attaching drawers and doors to the frame of the cabinet, the installer will attach them directly to the cabinet box. Only a thin edge is applied to the box to ensure the exterior matches the interior.
Although you can order Euro-style cabinets from a catalog or online, most people have them custom-made by local professionals because they require a high level of precision and skill to construct.
Furthermore, the cabinets are usually cut, shaped, and contoured to the walls. This gives them a professional, high-quality appearance. It also requires an experienced installation team.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Euro-Style Cabinets
The main advantage of Euro-Style Cabinets is the ability to customize. You can stain, paint, and tailor Euro-style frameless cabinets to match pretty much any home’s style. When you’re flipping through a magazine looking at cabinets that exude modern luxury and perfectly match their space’s decor, you’re probably looking at frameless options.
Additionally, European frameless cabinets are built to exacting precision and are designed to be long-lasting . . . which brings us to the first disadvantage: their price.
Due to the high level of customization, durability, and detail associated with Euro-style cabinets, they’re usually more expensive than American face frame cabinets—and by a fairly significant amount. You’ll need to account for this in your renovation or construction budget.
So, which option should you choose?
How to Decide Which Cabinet Style is Best for You
Although every homeowner has different needs, and American-style and European-style cabinets are both popular options, there’s usually one big determining factor: affordability.
Considering that the average cost of the most basic custom cabinets starts at more than $2,000, it’s understandable why many homeowners opt for the most cost-effective choice.
If you have the budget to spend more for customized, high-quality European cabinets, then you might choose that path. On the other hand, if you’re working to keep costs low and you’re fine with a more standard, modern aesthetic, American face frame cabinets might be the better option. The good news is you have options!
The best way to understand which cabinet style suits your needs is to talk to a team of professionals like those at Holland’s Custom Cabinets. We recommend setting up a consultation to explore the possibilities, including the cost of each option, their benefits and features, and how each would fit into your home’s space and decor.
We Are Here to Help
One-size-fits-all doesn’t suit you, nor does it really suit any homeowner. You don’t want to pick a standard cabinet design from a magazine, only to realize it doesn’t meet your budget or your personal taste.
At Holland’s Custom Cabinets, we’re all about customization. Our team crafts tailor-made storage solutions that perfectly reflect client needs and preferences. No matter what style you choose, our cabinet systems are always made of high-quality materials and they’re built to last.
Remodeling? Building a new home? Experimenting with kitchen or bathroom options? Schedule a consultation with Holland’s Custom Cabinets today by calling our team at 619.443.6081 or sending us a message online to learn more about custom cabinetry. Beautiful cabinets can completely redefine a space, and we want to ensure you get exactly what you want.