Is Full Overlay same as Euro Style?

jdezFebruary 4, 2014

I am working with a custom cabinet maker. Now picture Uncle Jesse from the Dukes of Hazzard with a longer beard and this is what he looks like but he is a very well respected cabinet maker and business man in the area. When I was telling him what I want, I told him I wanted full overlay doors and he looked at me like I had horns growing out of my head. So, I showed him some pictures on my phone and he said, "Oh, yeah, I've built those before. We call those Euro-style cabinets." He went on to explain that the cabinets have less framing and different kinds of hinges. So, are we talking about the same thing or do I need to describe what I want in some other kind of way?

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Euro style cabinets usually refer to frameless cabinets, if I am not mistaken. The type of overlay (partial or full) refers to how much the cabinet door covers the cabinet box or frame. For a framed cabinet, the full overlay almost completely covers the frame and box where as the partial overlay reveals more of the frame. Euro or frameless cabinets have to be full overlay, as there is no frame on the front of the cabinet. You may want full overlay, but you need to specify whether you want regular framed cabinets or frameless.

Hopefully an expert will chime in. I'm sure they require different hinges.

Here is a link that might be useful: overlay types

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 9:36AM
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Also believe "euro style" means frameless.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 10:39AM
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If you want this guy to build you frameless cabinets, do be sure that he has the equipment and the expertise to do so. They're not any harder to build, but they do require different tools and training. The tools are expensive and most cabinet shops don't have both sets of machinery hanging around. Check first.

He can build you full overlay doors regardless. That doesn't require anything out of the ordinary for him and they can be used on both framed and frameless cabinets. I'm a little concerned that he thinks full overlay automatically means euro-style cabinets AKA frameless. I'm a big fan of frameless, but not built by someone who doesn't crank them out on a regular basis and with the appropriate machinery.

Maybe this will help. This first photo is of our old framed cabinets with partial overlay doors. Notice how the door is attached, the hinge, and the lip around the opening. That's the frame. (Ignore the roll-out. It was retrofitted and I originally took this photo for a different purpose.)

Now look at our newer frameless cabinets. Again, I took this photo for a different purpose, so ignore the other stuff. Notice that there is no lip around the opening and that the hinges are very different from the ones on the framed cabinets. Some people really don't like this kind of hinge, but if you have frameless, this is what there is. Personally, I like them. Among other things, they allow you to adjust the way the door sits in the opening in three directions, up, down, and in-out.

This is the point in your project where it is critical that you make sure you understand exactly what is being offered/said. The more you are really clear in your planning, the better the outcome will be. Framed, frameless, full or partial overlay or inset, these are all valid choices. Just be sure that you and he are clear on what it is that you want. There are things you can decide about later like knobs/pulls and the backsplash, but there are things that need to be decided long before demolition. Floor plan and cabinetry are the biggies.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 11:30AM
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lcskaisgir, thanks for the link, it was very informative.

mdln, thanks for your clarification also.

suzannesl, thanks for all the info. I can't see your pics at work, our IT Dept blocks photobucket for some reason but I am interested to see the difference. I really don't have a preference on the frame/frameless thing. I get your point completely and that is why I posted here because I am not sure that we are really understanding each other. As common as full overlay is on GW, Houzz, etc, it is not that common around here, so I don't know if it is just that we are using different terminology or if we are talking about two entirely different things.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 12:55PM
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Suzannesl, I was finally able to get home and see the pictures. I can see where the frameless would have some advantages.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 8:03PM
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My rule of thumb is that if you have a small kitchen and space is at a premium, seriously consider frameless. My kitchen just barely makes the "Small Kitchen" category on the Finished Kitchens page. If your kitchen is at least the high end of "small," or better yet, "medium," either face frame or frameless will do; choose by what else you like about either style. I'll be interested to see what you finally choose, but don't rush!

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 8:33PM
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