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A Guide To Different Types Of Cabinet Doors & How To Pick One

Posted on : February 24, 2024

A Guide To Different Types Of Cabinet Doors & How To Pick One

Cabinets help maintain order in your kitchen and bathroom. They protect your belongings from dust and hide those never-ending stacks of dishes. However, their reach extends far beyond these functional aspects. With just one small change in door style, material, or hardware, cabinet doors can deeply impact the look and feel of your home.

At McClellands Contracting and Roofing, we’re here to help you personalize your home with the cabinets of your dreams. So, let’s explore different types of cabinet doors that will transform your kitchen!

Different Types Of Cabinet Doors

Cabinet doors can be divided into four broad categories based on their build. Each type has its unique attributes, beautifully influencing aesthetics and functionality alike. Let's get started by exploring these fundamental designs:

Frameless Cabinet Doors

Frameless Cabinet Doors

Also known as European-style doors, frameless cabinet doors present a sleek finish on par with modern design. Their uninterrupted facade is due to the fact that they lack any visible framing structure when close - hence the name 'frameless.' From glass to wood options and everything in between, frameless cabinet doors offer a smooth transition that is perfect for homeowners who love minimalist architecture.

Partial Overlay Cabinet Doors

Unlike their frameless counterparts, partial overlay doors display the cabinet frames around them, adding texture and dimension to a space. The popularity spike of this style lies closely knit with its affordability combined with customizable colors and finishes.

Full Overlay Cabinet Doors

Full overlay doors cover nearly all available frame areas per unit. This gives a seamless aesthetic across cabinets. These doors are an ideal pick for homeowners who want to curate a smooth, contemporary look in their kitchens.

Inset Cabinet Doors

Perhaps named as the most unique style within this list, inset cabinet doors sit flush and leveled within frames. These cabinet doors create a neat alignment throughout the area. This classic design calls for precise measurements and expert workmanship, and many interior design enthusiasts know that it's worth every dollar spent.

So, these are a few of the broad categories of cabinet doors. Apart from these, there are subcategories based on the front look of the door.

Different Types of Front Designs on Cabinet Doors

Let’s take a look at the most popular types of cabinet doors based on their front design.

Raised Panel Cabinet Doors

Recessed Panel Cabinet Doors

One of the most popular cabinet doors is the raised panel. They feature a center panel 'raised' above the outer edge of the door. The design can be accentuated via decorative patterns for those who prefer an ornate look in their kitchens or bathrooms.

The character-filled nature of this cabinetry style adds depth to your room decor while blending effortlessly within various home themes, from rustic countryside charm to modern, sophisticated living spaces.

Recessed Panel Cabinet Doors

Recessed Panel Cabinet Doors

Next on our list is the chic recessed panel cabinet doors. It features a flat center panel that's nested inside the outer door frame creating a ‘recess.’ Simplistic yet stylish, these cabinets perfectly complement contemporary or transitional interiors.

This style delivers an understated aesthetic that can compliment both minimalism and eclectic styles. It also offers a sturdy structure and it’s less susceptible to warping compared to its counterparts.

Shaker Cabinet Doors

Shaker Cabinet Doors

Now, on to Shaker cabinet doors, known for their beauty combined with functionality. Shaker cabinet doors are distinguished by clean lines forming a frame that houses a recessed central panel. This particular type of cabinet door offers an uncluttered look that stands the test of time.

Originating from the principles of practicality and craftsmanship embraced by the Shaker community, they've become increasingly prevalent in many American homes for their striped, elegant design that is adaptable across diverse kitchen layouts.

Slab Cabinet Doors

Slab Cabinet Doors

Slab cabinet doors reflect modern minimalism. These doors are characterized by a solid, flat front, free of any frames or panels. 

This door front is crafted from a single material piece, providing an uninterrupted surface. Slab cabinet doors serve as the go-to choice for homeowners who like the look of clean spaces. They're often finished in gloss or matte, offering personalization to match your interior design and color palette.

Mullion Frame Cabinet Doors

Mullion Frame Cabinet Doors

Finally, we have mullion frame cabinet doors, admired for their glass-panel elegance. These cabinet doors showcase your kitchenware collection with style. This type of cabinet door is configured with a wood framework that divides the door into various glass sections. This unique look offers visual intrigue without sacrificing functionality.

Perfect for homes with traditional aesthetics or even creating striking contrasts, this cabinet door could be the cherry on top for your home improvement project! This cabinet door style can blend timeless chic with modern-day practicality.

Factors To Consider When Choosing Cabinet Doors

As we explore different cabinet doors, it's essential to remember that their design is not solely about aesthetic appeal. It's a harmonious blend of material durability, functionality, and visual charm. Each type conveys a different feel and offers unique benefits.

#1 Cabinet Door Materials and Finishes

Cabinet doors come in various materials, each available in multiple finishes. Recognizing these options ensures you make an informed decision when selecting the ideal style for your needs.


Hardwood is arguably the most common choice for cabinet doors due to its natural beauty and durability. Oak, maple, cherry, and hickory are popular choices, offering an array of finishes from light to dark elegant tones.

Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF)

MDF is perfect for those who want budget-friendly cabinet doors without skimping on quality or style. Paired with a high-quality paint or finish, MDF cabinets can mimic traditional wood ones remarkably well.


Another favored choice amongst homeowners is plywood because of its reputation for strength and stability. A hard-wearing clear coat finish will bring out the plywood’s grain pattern beautifully while ensuring longevity.

Finally, yet importantly, there's laminate, a cost-effective alternative presenting low-maintenance coupled with sturdy performance.

#2 Customizing Your Cabinets With The Right Door Style

Every home exudes a certain character, so why not let your kitchen cabinetry reflect that? Combining personal taste with practicality defines successful kitchen design. Hence, customizing your cabinets carries paramount importance.

Crafting uniform styling across your kitchen might mean opting for raised panel doors if you love a classic look or Shaker doors if minimalistic, clean lines appeal to you more. Slab doors speak are contemporary while mullion frame doors showcase a rustic charm.

You can also mix and match different types of cabinet doors. For instance, you could accessorize Shaker cabinet doors with a few glass-panel ones for a unique look.

#3 Hardware and Accessories To Enhance Your Cabinet Doors

Hardware acts as the finishing touch, embellishing your chosen cabinet doors into statement pieces. 

Hinges, Knobs, and Pulls

These small additions instantly uplift any door design while offering ergonomic benefits. Whether traditional or contemporary, there are various types of cabinet hinges, knobs, and pulls available to align with your aesthetic preferences.

Crown Molding

Accessories such as crown molding add an ornate impression, especially on cabinets with inset or raised panel doors.

Under Cabinet Lighting

Under cabinet lighting is installed below wall cabinets. These lights can highlight beautiful countertops while providing functional task lighting.

#4 Space and Layout Considerations

Before selecting cabinet doors, it's crucial to assess the layout and space available in your kitchen or bathroom. Consider your room’s size and shape, the placement of appliances and fixtures, traffic flow, and more factors. The right type of cabinet door should complement the space and enhance its functionality without creating obstacles or visual clutter.

#5 Compatibility with Existing Decor

If you're updating your cabinets rather than starting from scratch, consider how the new cabinet doors will complement your existing decor and furnishings. Take into account the color palette, architectural style, and design elements present in your home. Choose cabinet doors that harmonize with the overall aesthetic. Bringing samples or swatches of existing materials can help with the selection process.

Upgrading the cabinets involves careful thinking about materials, door styles, and finishes. However complex this may seem initially, understanding your options ensures you’ll craft a space tailored to your expressions of personal style. Remember not to rush and enjoy each step of creating customized storage solutions for your home.

If you are looking for new cabinets for your home or are working on a home improvement project, we’re here to help!

Explore Different Types Of Cabinet Doors & Choose The Perfect Ones With Pittsburgh’s Best Experts!

At McClellands Contracting and Roofing, we’re here to provide homeowners with expert advice and interior remodeling services in Pittsburgh, PA. We have improved the look and feel of numerous homes in the area, and we are always excited to transform homes with our high quality and customized materials, finishes, and services. Our customers praise us for our quick, clean, safe, and beautiful upgrades, and we look forward to working with you too. Call us at (412) 353-5660 to book a free consultation with our experts and discuss your cabinet door installation or full kitchen remodel.

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