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The Cabinet Center / Blog  / Choosing Cabinet Door Styles Inset vs. Overlay

Choosing Cabinet Door Styles Inset vs. Overlay

When it comes to redesigning your kitchen to create your dream home, there can be an unexpectedly large number of decisions to make. In some cases, you may already know exactly what fits your creative vision – like including all stainless steel appliances. In other cases, it may be small details that you know will make a big difference, but haven’t quite considered yet – the styles of your cabinet doors may be on this list. If you’re in the process of planning your remodel, you have a few different options when it comes to your cabinet door styles – namely, inset versus overlay. If you’re not sure which style you prefer, here are the key differences between the two, and a quick guide to help you choose the perfect cabinets for your dream kitchen.

Inset doors, as the name suggests, sit flush inside the frame of your cabinet and are perfectly level when closed. For this reason, they do require knobs or pulls in order to open the system, which can be custom chosen to fit the design scheme of the rest of your kitchen. Inset cabinet doors offer the benefit of being able to choose between hidden or exposed hinges, depending on your preference for the overall aesthetic style of the cabinet system. Inset cabinets can add a beautiful and refined touch to the overall design aesthetic of your kitchen, given their smooth and clean appearance, but that does come with a price markup – inset cabinets cost approximately 15-30% more than their overlay counterparts. It is also worth noting that because the door sits inside the frame, it can reduce the overall storage space your cabinets offer as well. However, if storage isn’t a concern, especially in larger kitchen, inset cabinets can be a subtle design choice that makes a big visual impact.

Overlay doors, by contrast to inset doors, completely cover the face of the cabinetry instead of sitting flush inside. With full overlay doors, this provides a somewhat similar aesthetic appearance to inset doors, but can save you a bit on the total price tag. It is possible, however, to also request partial overlay doors, which are the most common and friendliest on the budget. As an added benefit, if you want to avoid using knobs and pulls for a more minimalist design style, you’ll be able to skip them while still being able to open your cabinetry, which can add a stunning effect to any kitchen. Plus, in addition to saving money, you’ll also save space with slightly more storage options than inset cabinets.

Each kitchen is as unique as the owner of the home who designed it, and your cabinets are a very important piece of that puzzle. If you still aren’t positive which choice is right for you and your home, please reach out so we can help you truly build the kitchen of your dreams.

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