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What's Behind Door Number Three: A discussion of door styles

May 8, 2018

Anyone who has undertaken a renovation or built a new home understands the myriad of decisions involved--especially in the kitchen. The room where most of your budget is spent has endless possibilities. What type of appliances? Sink? Countertop? Lighting? Back splash? Kitchen shape? Cabinet style? Color? Construction? Door Style?

 

Door Style? Yes, this seemingly simple question has a lot to do with the overall design, feel and cost of the kitchen. What are your options? Inset, full overlay or partial overlay doors. What do these terms mean? I'm glad you asked!

 

Door Number One: Inset doors are doors that recede into the cabinet, giving a very clean look. There is only about 1/8 of an inch around the door or drawer front.  These doors were originally used in built in cabinetry in the 1920's and have risen in popularity in recent years; simply type in "inset cabinet door" on Pinterest and watch your screen explode. These doors are beautiful! So why would you not choose inset doors? Because of the detail required to craft an inset door, the cost will typically run 15-30% higher than overlay or partial overlay doors. In some climates, high humidity can affect the expansion of an inset wood door, causing it to stick. Also, the depth of the door will take away from the overall interior space of the cabinet or drawer by about an inch. Not much space, but it could mean your larger plates won't fit inside your cabinet.

However, if you can overcome these obstacles and can't help but swoon when you see inset doors, go for it. The look is timeless, clean and classic. Inset doors are here to stay.

 

Door Number Two: Full overlay doors can almost mimic the look of inset doors. The door covers most of the face frame of the cabinet, still giving you a clean look. You'll also get back that inch on the interior of the cabinet taken up by an inset door. Full overlay doors also eliminate the vertical stile on the face frame used in partial overlay cabinets, making it easier to reach and remove items. Usually, there is about 1/4 of an inch between doors on a full overlay cabinet. Many people choose full overlay to keep the clean-line look without adding the cost of an inset door. 

Door Number Three: Partial overlay doors are probably something you have lived with in your lifetime. They are the most common and least expensive door option. The door rests on the face of the cabinet with usually a 1-1 1/4 inch gap between the doors, showing the face frame of the cabinet. Sometimes cabinet hardware isn't even added because there is enough room between the door and the frame to open the door. The benefit of a partial overlay door is it's traditional look and lower cost.

 

Now that you know your options you can choose the style that is right for you. What would you choose? Would love to see pics of your latest build or remodel in the comments!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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