First, kitchen cabinet “overlay” is the term used for the way the door of the cabinet sits on the frame. RTA kitchen cabinets (as with other types) come in three basic overlay styles. The three styles are inset, partial overlay, and full overlay.
Inset Kitchen Cabinet Doors
This style is reminiscent of more than a century ago, when the cabinet doors were normally mounted flush with the face frame. The hinges are usually visible when the door is shut. Each door’s hinges are mounted on the inside of the face frame, or even right on the face, for some styles.
This mounting style gives a pretty traditional look to a kitchen, and really goes well with some cabinet lines which are all wooden, giving kitchens a more classic look. This style has smaller drawers and reduces space inside the cabinets slightly. This isn’t a big problem, especially if you utilize something like Rev-A-Shelf accessories to bump up the amount of available storage space you can use.
Partial Overlay Cabinets
This was the next evolution in cabinetry, and is considered to be a more American style. This style, as the name implies, has the doors and drawers partially overlaying the frame, but with some of the face frame visible and the openings completely covered.
Partial overlay cabinets are very common, and we carry a lot of lines here at RTA Cabinet Store that are of this overlay style. It is a very beautiful look and also allows for a great-looking face frame to show through.
Full Overlay Cabinets
Full overlay cabinets are also called Euro-style cabinets. This type of construction has the drawers and doors completely covering the face frame. The doors and drawer fronts create a continuous surface, giving a more uniform look to your cabinets.
This style also allows for more space inside the cabinets, which is to be expected as the style came from Europe, where typically space inside apartments, for example, is at a premium. The one disadvantage to this style is in corners, where opposing cabinets on a corner could collide. Otherwise, we love this style of overlay, not only for the space, but for the modern look it gives a kitchen.
We hope this helped you learn a bit more about some of the great cabinet lines and how they differ. But before you make a move to buy your new kitchen cabinets, be sure to download The Consumer’s Guide to Kitchen Cabinets and our free bonus reports, The Kitchen Remodel Survival Guide and Our Top 12 Most Popular Design Ideas.