Frontier Kitchens Logo

Getting Started: Cabinet Doors

cabinet door selection
Share This Post

How to Choose the Right Cabinet Doors for your Kitchen

Your choice of cabinet door style and color is an important design feature, setting the tone for your kitchen space. 

In our Cabinet overview, we discussed two cabinet types: frameless and faceframe cabinets. Your cabinet door selection depends on the style of cabinets you choose. 

Frameless cabinets are essentially a box with an open front, where the front edges are finished or covered. Hinges are mounted to the cabinet interior, and hidden from view when cabinet doors are closed. Frameless cabinets may be called Euro, European, or Euro-style cabinets. 

Faceframe cabinets incorporate a frame that is attached to the front (or “face”) of the case. Hinges mount to the faceframe, and may be visible when cabinet doors are closed..

3 Types of door installations

Depending on your cabinet style, you have three door installation options: full inset, full overlay, and partial overlay. 

  1. Full Inset: In this style, the door closes inside the cabinet opening, and sits flush with the front of the cabinet or faceframe. Inset doors are usually ¼” to ⅛” smaller than the cabinet opening in both height and width. This extra space is called a “reveal.”
  2. Overlay: In this style, the door rests on the front of the cabinet or faceframe. Overlay doors are easier to install, as they don’t have to be perfectly fitted inside the frame. 
    Full overlay doors cover the full front edge of the cabinet, so you don’t see the front of the cabinet box or faceframe when the door is closed. These doors allow the most access to the box of the cabinet. Since the cabinet-maker must invest extra care in making sure adjacent cabinet doors don’t hit each other, making and installing these cabinets requires more precision, and this leads to a higher overall cost.
  3. Partial overlay (also called “standard” overlay) doors cover only a portion of the front of the cabinet, so a portion of the cabinet box or faceframe is still showing when the door is closed. The wider gap between doors allows a bit more flexibility in the implementation.

Cabinet door styles

The most popular cabinet door styles are flat panel and raised panel.  

Flat panel doors have a straightforward design appeal. They offer a sleek, clean look, allowing them to blend well into a variety of design styles – whether your kitchen is modern, classic, contemporary, or traditional. 

Their recessed center panel sits slightly lower than the door frame. This style provides flexibility when it comes to design, and could be a wise choice when you are considering the option of changing the look of your kitchen at some point in the future. 

Raised panel doors have a frame and a middle panel with an edge profile, creating a groove between the door’s frame and the panel in the center. The groove provides visual definition, creating highlights and shadows to the cabinetry. This style is more often used in traditional designs.

With both styles, color,  finish, and hardware offer options that let you customize the design to fit your taste and preferences.

Learn more about how your choice of cabinet door style and color works together with your choice of cabinet options to set the tone for your kitchen space.

Frontier Kitchens has a fully stocked showroom featuring many flat-panel and raised-panel styles. We also have complete kitchen displays in Full Inset, Full Overlay, and ½” Overlay, letting you see your desired door configuration up close!


Frontier Kitchens has developed an excellent reputation in our community as a reputable, creative, and professional source for kitchen design. Our solid relationships with vendors and suppliers of high-quality cabinets and doors allow our experienced kitchen designers to create your dream kitchen.When you’re ready to meet our kitchen designers and learn how they can help you achieve the kitchen of your dreams, contact us or drop by our showroom.