Bathroom Cabinet Style

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Bathroom Cabinet Style

The bathroom cabinet style you choose for your bathroom remodel is a matter of preference.  There are three bathroom cabinet styles.  These are Full European Overlay, Partial Overlay (aka Face Frame or American Style) and Recessed.

All three bathroom cabinet styles can use decorative outside hinges or concealed inside hinges.  They can also be in lots of cabinet colors and finishes.  All of these bathroom cabinet styles can have a vanity pull out.

The most popular door and drawer design for bathroom cabinets is the Shaker style.  This five-piece flat-panel style has a frame made from four pieces and a single flat center panel for the fifth piece.  Shaker gets its name from the distinctive Shaker furniture style, which uses simple, clean lines and emphasizes utility.

Bathroom Cabinet Style
Full European Overlay

Bathroom Cabinet Style
Partial Overlay

Bathroom Cabinet Style
Cabinet Door Overlays

Cabinets constructed using real, solid hard woods, regardless of cabinet style, will significantly outlast cabinets made out of particle board, MDF, or chip board.  The thicker materials and higher quality hardware can withstand the rigors of daily use.  Do not install a cabinet constructed from particle board, MDF, or chip board.  These are cheap, low-priced materials and will not last in the high use, high moisture environment typical of bathrooms.  These low-quality cabinets can easily fool you.  The cabinets offered by home improvement stores, internet sellers, and your bathroom contractor can look identical to real, solid wood cabinets.

How do I Choose a Bathroom Cabinet Style?

The right cabinet style for your bathroom is whatever you love!  Let’s take a closer look at these three bathroom cabinet styles.

Recessed Bathroom Cabinet Style

This is the most popular cabinet style today.  Sometimes referred to as inset cabinets, recessed cabinets are constructed with the doors and drawers fit inside the cabinet frames.  They require more skill to make and install than overlay style cabinets.  Recessed cabinets deliver a very classy, elegant look with tight and consistent spacing.  There are two types of frame profiles available.  These are flush and beaded.  Recessed bathroom cabinets are built with a slight gap between the doors and drawers to allow for the expansion and contraction of wood with the seasons to prevent damage.

Bathroom Cabinet Style - Flush Frame Recessed Cabinet
Flush Frame Recessed Cabinet

Bathroom Cabinet Style - Beaded Frame Recessed Cabinet
Beaded Frame Recessed Cabinet

Recessed cabinets cost about 10-25% more than full or partial overlay cabinets because they are carefully crafted to fit perfectly inside the cabinet frame.  Clients are comfortable with the higher cost because of the richness and beauty recessed cabinets add to their bathroom.  The main advantage is their sleek, stylish, and high-end appearance.  They demonstrate a very clean and natural look.  Recessed cabinets are exceptionally pleasing to the eye.  They add elegance without extravagant cost.

Flush Frame Recessed Cabinet Style

These frames are standard on recessed cabinets.  They have square edges (no profile).  These square edges create a “flush” look to the face of the cabinet.

Left: Beaded Frame . . . . Right: Flush Frame

The flush-overlay cabinet door and drawer align on all four sides with the edges of the framework.  This gives the effect that when you look at the cabinet, you only see the doors and drawers themselves. There is no exposed surround frame like overlay cabinets.

Beaded Frame Recessed Cabinet Style

Beaded frames have a single beaded edge on the inside of the cabinet openings that create a more decorative look.  These inset cabinets have an additional decorative detail on the face frame immediately surrounding the door or drawer.  This bead or slight groove with a rounded edge is cut into the wood.  The bead acts as a “frame within a frame” to beautifully outline the doors and drawers.

Overlay Bathroom Cabinet Style

Overlay Bathroom Cabinet
Full European Overlay

The biggest advantage of cabinets built using a face frame is that it provides structural support.  The solid wood face frame keeps the cabinet box from warping over time.

Overlay or “framed cabinetry” comes in many varieties and works with any type of door style including inset, overlay, or partial overlay.  These cabinets look sharp.  Because they conceal hinges inside the cabinet box, framed cabinets have a polished look.  They are generally considered more formal than frameless cabinets and work in almost any setting.

Full European Overlay Cabinets

This is the second most popular cabinet.  Also referred to as Euro-style cabinets.  Unlike American cabinets, these cabinets do not have an exposed face frame (partial overlay).  Full European Overlay Cabinets are built with a slight gap between the front of the cabinet frame and the back of the doors to allow for the expansion and contraction of wood with the seasons to prevent damage.  This gap also allows for the hinges to function properly.  European style cabinets are more contemporary.  In America, Euro-style cabinets tend to have a more traditional look.

Partial Overlay (aka Face Frame or American Style)

Partial Overlay Bathroom Cabinet
Partial Overlay (Face Frame)

Also known as Face Frame and American Style cabinets, these are constructed with a layer of trim around the edges of the face of the cabinet.  This “face frame” is designed so that when the cabinet door is opened, the frame overlay conceals the inner corners of the cabinet box, creating a formal look.

Sometimes there is a center stile––a vertical divide between the top and bottom of the cabinet box.  Without a stile, a gap would appear between doors when they are closed.

Face Framed cabinets are usually less expensive than frameless cabinetry.  They are relatively easy to install.  Face frame cabinets are common in America and most installers know how to install them.  Recessed cabinets require more skill to make and install than overlay style cabinets.

Always Hire a Reliable and Dependable Contractor to Remodel your Bathroom

Design Build Bathroom Remodel | Best Local Contractor DAD's ConstructionAlways work with a trustworthy contractor like DAD’s Construction.  We are experts in bathroom remodeling who can manage projects in an efficient manner.  DAD’s Construction will do everything to minimize the possibility of change orders.  Our team will make sure we have all the necessary information to prepare a proposal that meets your requirements.  Rest assured that we will provide you with a detailed, by line-item contract.  We will make sure that the contents of this agreement are properly and clearly communicated to you.  If you have questions or need updates regarding your project, we will always answer your inquiries.

How Can I Receive More Information on Remodeling my Bathroom?

If you would like more information on enjoying the best bathroom, kitchen, and interior remodeling experience in Orange County, call Dan at (949) 380-0177 or at for a free in home consultation.  DAD’s serves all of South Orange County California.  This includes Lake Forest, Mission Viejo, Foothill Ranch, Portola Hills, Ladera Ranch, Irvine, San Clemente, Dana Point, San Juan Capistrano, Rancho Santa Margarita, Coto de Caza, Dove Canyon, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Hills, Newport Beach, and Aliso Viejo.

DAD’s Construction

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