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Inset or Overlay?

Inset or Overlay?

How to Choose the Right Cabinet Style for Your Kitchen or Bath

Cabinets are one of the most important features of your kitchen. They affect the look, function, and budget of your project. One of the basic decisions you need to make is the type of overlay, which is how the doors and drawers fit on the cabinet frame. Let’s compare inset and overlay cabinets, and help you decide which one is best for you.

What are Inset Cabinets?

Inset cabinets have doors and drawers that are set inside the frame, creating a flush and seamless look. The frame is exposed, with a minimal gap between the frame and the door. This style requires precise craftsmanship and fitting, as the doors and drawers need to align perfectly with the frame.

Inset cabinets have a classic and elegant look that can work well with any design style. They can also have a beaded or flush (non-beaded) frame, which adds a decorative detail to the cabinet openings.

What are Overlay Cabinets?

Overlay cabinets have doors and drawers that sit on top of the frame, covering part or all of it. There are two types of overlay cabinets: full overlay and partial overlay. Full overlay cabinets have doors and drawers that cover the entire frame, leaving only a small margin between them. Partial overlay cabinets have doors and drawers that cover only part of the frame, leaving more of it visible.

Overlay cabinets are more common and usually more affordable than inset cabinets, as they are easier to manufacture and install. 

Pros & Cons of Inset and Overlay Cabinets

Both inset and overlay cabinets have their advantages and disadvantages, depending on your needs and preferences. Here are some of the main pros and cons of each style:

Inset Cabinets

  • Refined and custom look
  • Clean and smooth lines
  • Fits with any design style
  • Beaded or non-beaded frame option
  • More expensive and time-consuming
  • Less storage space
  • More maintenance and adjustment
  • A climate-controlled house is mandatory in Florida

Overlay Cabinets

  • More affordable and accessible
  • More versatile and adaptable
  • Hidden or exposed hinge option
  • Less refined and custom look
  • More visual clutter
  • Not fit with some design styles
How to Choose Between Inset and Overlay Cabinets

There is no definitive answer to which type of cabinet is better, as it depends on your personal taste, budget, and kitchen design. However, here are some questions to ask yourself to help you decide:

  • What is the style and theme of your kitchen?
  • How much are you willing to spend on your cabinets?
  • How much maintenance and care are you willing to do on your cabinets?

By answering these questions, you can narrow down your options and choose the cabinet style that suits you best.

Call For a Consultation
Inset and overlay cabinets are two different types of cabinet construction that have different effects on the look and function of your kitchen. Inset cabinets have a flush and seamless look, while overlay cabinets have a more modern and industrial feel. Both styles have their pros and cons, and the best choice depends on your personal preference, budget, and kitchen design. At Duncan’s Creative Kitchens, we can help you design and install the perfect cabinets for your kitchen, whether you prefer inset or overlay. Contact us today to get started on your dream kitchen project!