Full Overlay or Inset?

theanimalaMay 19, 2009

Down to the final hour on ordering our cabinets. Going to do the perimeter in a soft white, island cabinet in an ebony maple. Was planning on full overlay, but found out we can now do inset for the same price (no standard uplift). We are going for a modern/traditional kitchen, clean lines, nothing fancy or ornate. Any thoughts on which to go with?

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palimpsest

I love inset, but you lose a bit of storage since the door sits flush with the frame, not in front of it: 3/4" of an inch of depth, but can make a difference.

The drawers will be narrower because the sides of the drawers sit inside a door that sits inside the frame, not overlapping the frame.

If the kitchen is small, it will mean less storage. It is a very claasic and clean look. Overlay is a bit more "mondern" and with regard to the # of lines--overlay doors almost touch over the stile, while an inset door meets the stile. One vertical line versus two.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2009 at 8:17PM
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janedibber

huge fan of inset cabinets.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2009 at 8:17PM
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erikanh

That's a great deal to get inset at the same price as full overlay! I chose inset cabinets because I had my heart set on that vintage look. Also, I have a fairly large kitchen so I didn't have to worry so much about the loss of space inside. That being said, if you don't feel strongly about wanting the look of inset cabinets, I'd advise to stick with the full overlay and gain those extra inches.

Good luck!

Erika

    Bookmark   May 19, 2009 at 8:18PM
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theanimala

Well, I do love the look of inset. I didn't plan on it as I was expecting it to cost too much. One good thing going for us (and bad $$ wise) is the kitchen in quite large, so the slight loss of space won't be a huge issue. To cover the loss on the upper cabinets, I can make them an inch bigger for only $500 more, so that's not a huge cost to help offset the space loss. I was just concerned being a slightly contemporary style, but I think some modern door pulls will make up for it.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2009 at 8:31PM
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kateskouros

keep in mind you won't be getting any easy-glide (blum) type drawers with inset. that said, i don't care, i LOVE inset! my kitchen is also large so no big deal with slight loss of storage.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2009 at 8:57PM
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twogirlsbigtrouble

If I could have had inset for the same price as my full overlay, I would have gotten the inset. Keep in mind with inset, you may have gapping issues as time goes on. As long as that doesnt bother you, Id go for it.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2009 at 9:00PM
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kateskouros

keep in mind you won't be getting any easy-glide (blum) type drawers with inset. that said, i don't care, i LOVE inset! my kitchen is also large so no big deal with slight loss of storage.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2009 at 9:08PM
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peace_rose

Do tell us what company you're getting them from. I love the inset!

    Bookmark   May 19, 2009 at 9:13PM
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buffalotina

I am thinking of inset doors because I want a period kitchen look and I am told too that cabinet makers right now are giving good deals. I would actually get overlay drawers so the space issue there is null. I am thinking that inset doors don't make you lose that much cabinet space but I am thinking twice about a center stile that you would have on double door cabinets. Right now I am hitting that stile all the time taking heavy dishes etc in and out and the paint chips. I am worried I would ruin the new finish on my cabinets with a center stile. That issue would rule out inset doors. Can anyone comment or input on this issue?

OP: I think if you do want a more contemporary look I don't see the point of the inset doors, even if they are a free upgrade right now. They are most definitely an old fashioned look, IMHO.

Good luck!

Tina

    Bookmark   May 19, 2009 at 9:14PM
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sombreuil_mongrel

"keep in mind you won't be getting any easy-glide (blum) type drawers with inset."
Huh? Can you explain that? Blum sells the brackets to mount their Tandem (self-close capable) glides for inset cabinets. Maybe the cabinetmaker you worked with didn't know about them.
Casey

    Bookmark   May 19, 2009 at 9:16PM
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peytonroad

I have full overlay-MAKE SURE THEY ADD FILLERS beside the cabinet doors in the areas you don't want the doors to hit. I believe there is a special hinge that won't allow the door to open more than 90 degrees. I have a terrible problem with this. Also the corners of the kitchen will need at least 1.5 inch fillers so the doors don't hit the cabient hardware of the middle cabinet. Ugh I have this issue now and regret that my KD did not use fillers.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2009 at 10:08PM
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morton5

theanimala, would you be getting a frameless cab with your full overlay doors? If you get a frameless cab, your storage is much better with overlay-- way more than 3/4" per drawer. Plus, you would have better access-- since there is no frame, it is very hard to jam a drawer with the contents. If you would get full overlay with a framed cab, you are losing space anyway, and in that case should just decide which look you like better.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2009 at 10:57PM
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annes_arbor

You can absolutely have blum hardware on inset drawers. I have it on all of mine.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2009 at 11:31PM
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Fori is not pleased

Love inset, but passed knowing we overstuff drawers and don't get things in right...picture forkmarks above your lovely inset silverware drawer and that's what we wanted to avoid. Alas...

    Bookmark   May 19, 2009 at 11:56PM
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erikanh

I have blum glides on all my inset drawers too! And I carefully planned the space in all my drawers so none of them are overstuffed.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2009 at 12:13AM
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alice462

I, too, have inset and have Blum glides on all drawers....love them, not soft-close, though. And, also have plenty of room in all drawers/cabinets for storage -- planned with storage in mind so everything has its place and interior space is not an issue.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2009 at 6:15AM
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pirula

I also have inset doors and drawers with the wonderful Blum glides. It's completely doable.

I must be the only person in American though, who hates the self close feature, and I took all the doohickeys out of mine. I only care for it on the trash/recycling pull outs. The glides however, are superlative.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2009 at 7:23AM
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eandhl

You have been offered a really good deal. Of course I am a big fan of inset.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2009 at 7:33AM
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theanimala

The full overlay cabinets are framed, so I am not loosing much going with inset as I would still have the frame to deal with. FYI, the cabinet brand is Shiloh, and they just started selling inset about a month ago. My KD says that eventually they will start charging more for inset but as of now it is a no cost upgrade.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2009 at 8:51AM
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buffalotina

Pirula, Just wondering why you don't like the soft close feature. I don't want to pay more for it if there are issues.

Thanks.

Tina

    Bookmark   May 20, 2009 at 11:47AM
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fern4

buffalotina, a faceframe cabinet doesn't have to have center stiles for double-door cabinets, does it? I had faceframe (with lipped doors) in my old kitchen and there were no center stiles.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2009 at 11:54AM
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erikanh

fern4, you're right, not all inset cabinets are made with stiles on the double doors. Mine have no stiles:

P.S. I really like my soft close drawers.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2009 at 12:10PM
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buffalotina

Thanks for the information about double doors! I was thinking I had to have a center stile for double doors with the inset doors. That makes me feel better about inset all over again - there is so much to learn about cabinets and kitchens. I do not know what I would do without this site. I had better not post any more because I am worried I will say something that is all wrong.

erikanh - I have seen your kitchen pics and it, and the HOOD are gorgoues. Remind me again what cabinets you used, if you don't mind.

Thank you!

Tina

    Bookmark   May 20, 2009 at 12:16PM
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igloochic

I have blum with my inset as well. If you're worried about the space (it's not that much of a loss) take the uppers to 5" and add toe kick drawers :) Worked for me!

    Bookmark   May 20, 2009 at 12:17PM
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erikanh

Tina, they're Crown Point cabinets.

Please please don't worry at all about posting something "wrong" ... this is a place for exchanging ideas and information. I didn't even know what an inset cabinet was before I started lurking here!

Erika

    Bookmark   May 20, 2009 at 12:23PM
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amela

Palimpset, I just don't understand the loss of space with inset, no stile cabs. You wrote: ...you lose a bit of storage since the door sits flush with the frame, not in front of it: 3/4" of an inch of depth..
If the door is in front of the frame, it is just the door that is larger than the opening of the cabinet, isn't it? That would leave the interior of the cabinet the same size as the inset. Please straighten out my confused brain!

    Bookmark   May 20, 2009 at 12:57PM
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erikanh

amela, with an inset door, you lose space inside that is equal to the thickness of the door since the door sits inside the frame. So if you look inside my cabinets, I can't fill it with items all the way to the very front edge because the door would hit them. If you look at this photo, you can see the magnet which is placed 3/4" back from the front edge of the cabinet.

Hope that makes sense.

Erika

    Bookmark   May 20, 2009 at 2:14PM
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amela

OH! I get it now! I was thinking width, not depth loss. Thank you Erika for completely setting me straight so easily. How did you know I am such a visual learner that I needed the magnet to understand? Thank you!

    Bookmark   May 20, 2009 at 2:49PM
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fern4

Buffalotina, you made me laugh out loud! I keep learning and unlearning, all of which makes me, and you, very paranoid indeed!

I've got plans with my cabinet maker to have what he calls "modified inset" which is rails and stiles everywhere except between the groups of drawers. Well, there's face frame between the very top drawer in each bank and the bottom ones but no face frame between the groups of drawers below. And apparently there are some serious cost savings by dropping the exposed hinges (a big bummer). So, this is my attempt to be less modern without incurring all the costs of inset/face frame.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2009 at 3:50PM
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buffalotina

fern4- Oh good, I have worried in a few places that I said something out of place on this forum. But I don't know what I would do without it! I like the sound of your drawers in the stack with no face frame.

I talked to a local cabinetmaker and he is quoting me on inset doors but with overlay drawers. I think like fern4 I might drop the exposed hinges - I like the idea of the blum soft close and really I am not sure it is essential for me as I am going to have mainly drawers and it is a small kitchen so I would only be losing a few exposed hinges.

This whole cabinet thing is so difficult - and then there is the price to consider!

    Bookmark   May 20, 2009 at 6:21PM
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eandhl

If you are going with a custom line or completely custom they make the uppers deeper.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2009 at 6:41PM
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buffalotina

erikanh - That is a really nice cabinet interior. You said Crown Point right? Is that the interior of a glass front cabinet - it looks like the inside is completely finished. I got a quote from them and need to wait to see how it compares with other options around here. But the insides of yours look so nicely finished.

Tina

    Bookmark   May 21, 2009 at 7:40AM
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erikanh

Hi Tina,

Yes it's Crown Point and that is indeed a glass cabinet. Here's the whole piece:

The interior of the regular cabinets is unpainted wood, also pretty. Let me know if you'd like to see a photo.

Erika

    Bookmark   May 21, 2009 at 10:36AM
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kompy

Another fan of inset here!

Manufacturers USUALLY will make the wall cabinets a bit deeper to make up for that lost space at the front.

For instance:
Medallion Platinum series: 14" deep uppers
Plain & Fancy inset: 12.5" deep uppers
Showplace inset: Your choice of 13" or 14" deep uppers
Holiday inset: 14" deep uppers

If you are getting inset, always make sure the uppers will fit your plates!

Also, with inset, you have less clearance issues. If designed creatively, you can actually get larger drawers than with full overlay (ie. turning corners).

Kompy

    Bookmark   May 21, 2009 at 10:38AM
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