What are Framed Cabinets?
Kitchen Cabinets are either framed or frameless. A framed cabinet has a frame around the opening of the cabinet, about an inch and a half big, and there is a small step down to the cabinet itself. It can have an inset door (door fits in the frame of the cabinet itself), which is hard to adjust. The hinges on a full overlay door make it easier to adjust but the quality is not as good as traditional overlay hinges. Traditional overlay means the door lets part of the frame, usually about 1” show around the door. The sides on a framed cabinet are about ½” thick and the back is dadoed in. There is a hanging rail on the back of the cabinet that is either doweled or pinned, and the back of the cabinet slides into the dado and stapled. Glue is supposed to be added. The frame is usually rabbited and the side slips into the space. The side is glued and fastened with a type of corrugated metal pin. Framed cabinets are typically made of high-density particleboard and approximately ¾” thick. The shelves are the same thickness as the sides.
Some companies use plywood as an upgrade and call it “real wood”. When in reality, plywood tends to warp where high-density fiberboard does not. There are all types of real wood products and you should really look at the finish of the final product before saying one is better than the other.