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Full Overlay - Partial Overlay -or- Inset Cabinets

Posted by sail-away (My Page) on
Thu, Feb 7, 08 at 15:01

I'm trying to understand the myriad of cabinet choices. I thought I'd start by asking about the full overlay, partial overlay, and inset cabinets.

What are the pros and cons of each? Price difference? Which did you choose, and why?

Thanks.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Full Overlay - Partial Overlay -or- Inset Cabinets

I think inset cabinets are lovely, but from this forum I've heard they are anywhere from 15%-20% more expensive. Someone mentioned doing inset on the uppers and full overlays on the base cabs as a compromise since the uppers are at eye level. I like the latch option available with an inset cabinet, but not sure how practical they are. My current choice is full overlay since they give a similar look but without as much cost.


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RE: Full Overlay - Partial Overlay -or- Inset Cabinets

I believe you also lose some storage room on the inset cabitnets and as caligirl said they are more expensive. Partial overlay is where you can see part of the cabinet frame and full overlay is where you dont see any of the cabinet frame. We went with full overlay, I like not seeing the cab frame plus I think you get the most storage space. Here is a very rough pic. If you look close on the uppers, you can see we had to put a spacer in between the corner cab for clearance for the door opening.


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RE: Full Overlay - Partial Overlay -or- Inset Cabinets

Mine are inset. Inset door and drawers are typical of Arts & Crafts style furniture, like Stickley and Roycroft. We wanted our kitchen cabinets to have the same look.


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RE: Full Overlay - Partial Overlay -or- Inset Cabinets

We went with partial overlay. I prefer inset, but it would have cost 50% more because it is a custom cabinet instead of a semicutom. We have full overlay in our bathrooms. I don't hate them or anything, but in some applications (e.g., right up against a wall) you must have a filler to be able to open a drawer. The full overlay is meant to mimic the European frameless look. I wanted something tradition, so partial overlay it is! Save a few $$, but not enough to make that much of a difference.


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RE: Full Overlay - Partial Overlay -or- Inset Cabinets

Full overlay seem to be the most popular, but I just went to partial because of personal preference. Another consideration is that depending on your layout, you may sacrifice space with full overlay. Example: in the old kitchen with full overlay, we had drawers at right angles to each other and had use a ring pull because with a standard knob, the drawers didn't clear each other. In the new kitchen, it's not a problem because the drawer faces aren't as wide and easily clears its neighbor.

Here's what I mean (see ring pulls)


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RE: Full Overlay - Partial Overlay -or- Inset Cabinets

To add to the mix, there is also a style called "Frameless". Full overlay, partial overlay, and inset cabinets are "Framed" cabinets. See the link below from the Kitchen Forum FAQ that explains Framed vs Frameless cabinets.

Here is a link that might be useful: Framed and Frameless Cabinets


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RE: Full Overlay - Partial Overlay -or- Inset Cabinets

My understanding is that inset cabinets are a bear to install and you need to be very skilled to do it right. I love inset but went with full overlay because I wasn't so sure if my gc would be up to it. Turns out, he probably could have handled it fine. On the bright side, I saved a few bucks and didn't have to make a decision on hinges (each and every decision seems to take me ions to make).


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RE: Full Overlay - Partial Overlay -or- Inset Cabinets

Depends on the look you are trying to achieve and your budget. Depending on what cabinet company you go with, their may be an upcharge for full overlay or inset vs. partial (typically range in price from low - partial to high - inset with full in the middle)

We will be going with full overlay on our main set of cherry stained cabinets - and inset on a couple painted cabinets that will also be distressed to give the old , antique furniture feel


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RE: Full Overlay - Partial Overlay -or- Inset Cabinets

We did inset - it was one of our big splurges and we cut back in other areas in order to afford it (no built-in fridge, waiting to buy new deck furniture...sigh...) I really like the clean look of inset.


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RE: Full Overlay - Partial Overlay -or- Inset Cabinets

If you like a classic old fashion or period look inset like in vjrnts picture above are worth the 10-15%. If a period look is not what you are after then obviously it isn't worth it.


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RE: Full Overlay - Partial Overlay -or- Inset Cabinets

I'm suffering from inlay lust and it's all vjrnts' fault!


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RE: Full Overlay - Partial Overlay -or- Inset Cabinets

Thanks for the responses so far. I hope more respond. It sounds like most of you have chosen the look you prefer, balanced by the expense involved. Good point, ckstjamj22, about the two perpendicular drawers---I wouldn't have thought of that, but it makes perfect sense when you point it out. And, Buehl, I guess I thought framed cabinets = partial overlay and frameless cabinets = full overlay. I guess that's not true, huh? So what's the difference?

Also, I'm wondering about the durability/function of the various options. For example, is the difference in usable space between the full overlay and partial overlay cabinets significant or just a small difference? I'm especially concerned about durability of the doors/drawers and hinges. I want concealed hinges, which seems to be what you mostly see these days; but I also need something durable. I have a developmentally delayed child who is like having a toddler in an adult-sized body. I swear she never sets anything down--she bangs it down. And she flings doors open and slams them shut, no matter how many times we instruct/demonstrate otherwise. I even am second-guessing my desire to install a Tapmaster, as I can just see her randomly kicking at the bottom of the cabinets. Anyway, I'd appreciate any observations you might have about how your various cabinet choices would stand up to some abuse.


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RE: Full Overlay - Partial Overlay -or- Inset Cabinets

Ha! Fern4, stop by for coffee some day and I'll let you pet my cabinets!

Vicki


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RE: Full Overlay - Partial Overlay -or- Inset Cabinets

We selected the inset style as we also wanted a period look. I just loved the aesthetic of it. It was a 10-15% upcharge. I am glad we did it. They are beautiful I have read several posts on this forum mentioning the lost space but I don't really see that as an issue at all. Our installers did say that the doors/hinges are a bit trickier to adjust.


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RE: Full Overlay - Partial Overlay -or- Inset Cabinets

I read a quote here once that resonated with me, to the effect of, "if you want the look of full overlay you may as well just get frameless cabinets". Having frameless (full access) cabinets was important to me, so I only shopped that style. You will pay a slight upcharge for full overlay doors on framed cabinets.


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RE: Full Overlay - Partial Overlay -or- Inset Cabinets

When I got my cabinets inset was a 20% upgrade from my cabinetmaker, it is now a 30% upgrade. We didn't lose any space because he makes the uppers 13" instead of 12".


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RE: Full Overlay - Partial Overlay -or- Inset Cabinets

Sail_away asked: For example, is the difference in usable space between the full overlay and partial overlay cabinets significant or just a small difference?

Um, the box is the same. The full overlay door is just bigger so that it "fully over lays" the frame. The partial overlay door is smaller, so more of the frame shows. Hope that helps.


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RE: Full Overlay - Partial Overlay -or- Inset Cabinets

Thanks everyone for your answers. I'm finally getting it straight what all of these terms mean. I now realize that the furniture in my office has frameless cabinets, but the cabinets in my current kitchen are framed. I see that the small frame in the kitchen reduces very slightly the useable space in terms of installing drawers or pullout shelves, but it's not a significant difference. I think, aesthetically, I prefer the look of the frameless cabinets. However, I also think that the framed might provide a little more strength and durability which, as I pointed out above, is a real concern in my household.

I also found a useful link which describes many of these features. There are a number of topics listed on the left side of the page which, if you click on them, provide additional information.

Here is a link that might be useful: Cabinet Information


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RE: Full Overlay - Partial Overlay -or- Inset Cabinets

There is really no fundamental difference in strength between framed and framless cabinets. Poorly-built frameless cabinets will be less sturdy than well-built face-framed cabinets, and well-built frameless cabinets will be more sturdy than poorly built face-framed cabinets.

Regarding your statement:


I see that the small frame in the kitchen reduces very slightly the useable space in terms of installing drawers or pullout shelves, but it's not a significant difference.

Some GW poster put together a comparison between frameless and face-framed and the differrence is alot more than than you would think at first. (Anyone got the link ?)

For illustration purposes they compared a 12" wide base cabinet in the two styles, and assumed 3/4" thick box construction, 1/2" thick drawer boxes, 1/2" wide side mounted slides, and 2 inch face frames. With frameless the drawers ended up with an usable internel width of 12 - 2 x (3/4 + 1/2 + 1/2) = 8 1/2" vs for face-framed the drawers ended up with an usable internel width of 12 - 2 x (2 + 1/2 + 1/2) = 6"

So if you want the full-overlay look, my opinion is you should go with frameless cabinets.

Also regarding your daughter slamming the doors, I have seen posts about something called "blumotion for doors" which attach to the hinges (which I believe must be blum brand) which eases the door closed.


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RE: Full Overlay - Partial Overlay -or- Inset Cabinets

can anyone give a per cabinet cost of their inset cabinets. We have a small kitchen, about 10-14 cabinets total, and we were quoted 26k for kraftmaid. The high end stuff, and it included a oven/pantry set up and a fridge surround. But it seems like for 2k per cabinet we should be able to get nice custom inset ones.. any ideas?


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