Cabinet Doors. Inset vs Overlay
When remodeling your kitchen, one of the decisions that you need to make is whether you would like inset, full overlay, or partial overlay cabinet doors. After describing each of these kitchen cabinet door styles, we’ve listed their pros and cons.

Inset Cabinet Doors

inset kitchen cabinet doors

Designed to provide a custom and smooth appearance, inset cabinets feature doors that are set into the frame of the cabinet. So, when the drawers, doors, and frames are closed, they sit flush within the face of the cabinet.


These types of cabinets are known for their clean lines and higher-end look. Many homeowners prefer inset cabinet doors because they don’t draw as much attention due to their smooth appearance. If you would like other aspects of the kitchen to be the focal point, inset cabinets may be the way to go.


Of course, nothing in life is all good, right? Although there are many benefits to inset cabinet doors, there are also some cons.

Let’s start with the cost. Inset cabinets can be expensive, but they may be worth the price depending on your preferences.

These kitchen cabinets require door knobs or handles because they are flushed within the frame.

Also, because the doors are set into the frame, there is less storage space.

Does your home have high levels of humidity? Keep in mind that high humidity levels could cause the wood to expand, which will result in rubbing between the cabinet door and frame.

Full Overlay Cabinet Doors

Full overlay cabinets doors can be summed up in one simple sentence: They are the opposite of inset cabinets doors.

Not satisfied with this short description? Ok, we’ll keep going!

full overlay kitchen cabinet doors

Contrary to inset cabinets where the doors sit flush within the frame, full overlay kitchen cabinets doors are designed to completely cover the cabinet face.


A streamline and sleek look but with a lower price tag.

There is more storage space available because they are not set within the frame.


These kitchen cabinets need handles or door knobs to open them up, but is this really a con?

Partial Overlay Cabinet Doors

partial overlay kitchen cabinet doors

The most common type of kitchen cabinets are partial overlay cabinet doors. Featuring more of a traditional look, partial overlay doors are positioned on the cabinet’s face with a one inch gap between each door. The face of the frame will be seen with this popular cabinet style.


For those who are on a tight budget, get excited because this is the least expensive cabinet option.

They don’t require hardware since there is a finger space between the cabinet doors to grab and open them.


Partial overlay cabinet doors do not look as high-end and sophisticated as other options.

For All Of Your Kitchen Cabinet Needs, Trust Maryland’s Top Kitchen Designer!

Based in Crofton, Maryland, Morgan Building & Remodeling is an excellent kitchen designer that is here for all of your cabinet needs. Our amazing kitchen remodeling services are always available to homeowners who live in the surrounding areas: Crofton, Gambrills, Odenton, Severna Park, Davidsonville, Annapolis, and Millersville. For more information about our kitchen remodeling services, make sure that you give us a call today!