Correct depth for frameless cabinets (2023)

In a long discussion, the woodworkers share observations, opinions and experiences about frameless cabinet dimensions. December 14, 2005

To ask
In 20 years in the market, this is the first time that a customer has asked me for a frameless frame. So I have some stupid questions.

The cabinets themselves are actually 23 1/4" deep and the door takes up the last 3/4" for a total of 24", correct?", 1/4"?

I'm building a tall pantry with a pair of doors at the top and a three-drawer bench at the bottom. I think I would keep the drawer fronts slightly inside the full width to match the doors above because the Euro hinges require an inset 1/16"-1/8" from the outside edge of the cabinet.

forum answers
(Wardrobes Forum)
From contributor F:
I don't work without a frame these days, but it's the same thing. 24" net depth cabinet. 25" deep countertop overhangs doors from 1/8" to 3/16". Yes, the drawer fronts would be sized in width to match the width of a door or pair of doors that line up with it. In terms of components, I think if you build a bench that's at least 36" tall, you'll have it covered.

From the original questioner:
Does this mean that when cutting plywood I can't get two strips out? 24"+24"+1/8" > 48". When building frameless cabinets, do you ask for 5' wide tiers instead of 4'? Or do you cut your stock to 23 7/8" (plus the edge thickness)? Then you can get your two strips from your cover. Same with standard 12" tops - this means you only get 3 strips instead of 4, how would you do this in FF lockers? In lower cabinets, do you use a solid top or just strips across the front to complete the box look?

From contributor J:

The best thing to do is run out and find Danny Proulx's book "Building Frameless Kitchen Cabinets". It's a complete manual on how to build them and will answer any questions you might have. While you're away, buy an English tape measure/measure. Fastcap has an excellent.

(Video) How To Make Frame-less Kitchen Cabinets - DIY Cabinets

Depths: I go with 600mm/23 3/4" to get two rips/sheet. Top: 300mm/11 3/4". I don't work on 25" counters as all the work I do is usually stone or solid surface and custom fit. Solid tops are best, but you can do slats front and back.

From contributor F:
I think you have problems on the trailing ends unless you use thick edge banding in multiples of 24" and 12" plus saw cuts. If you use an applied frame and a finished panel edge, this is no longer an issue.

In all other parts of the enclosure, it is the thickness of the back of the enclosure to allow joining of two base enclosure slots and 4 wall enclosure slots of a standard 48" wide sheet.

I find most manufacturers use 3" or 4" wide stringers on top of base cabinets instead of a solid top, especially on a sink cabinet.

From the original questioner:
Thanks. Finished ends are always a bit of a problem anyway. You always need a bigger piece to be able to do wall tracing on the FF stands. So that wasn't really an issue.

From Contributor C:
I hate to disagree, but the finished cabinet depth should be 24" including the thickness of the door, with the counter depth of 25" coming off the full 1 inch. He was correct in his initial dimensions of a 23 1/4" box with a 3/4" port. Go to any kitchen dealer and look at all the showroom settings and it will dispel any doubt in your mind who to believe.

From the original questioner:
Well... conflicting answers. I tend to think that a total depth of 24" would be fine as long as there is a door or drawer front. If it were an open bookcase style cabinet, I think the box itself would be 12 or 24" deep. . Okay, clean me up now. Can anyone measure one and confirm the depth? I don't have any real cabinet dealers near me that I can quickly assess.

From Contributor K:
I thought basic cabinets needed to be 24" to accommodate appliances. I used to think that on islands and peninsulas it was okay to build a 23-1/4" base plus a 3/4" back panel until I had to put in an interval mount. Needless to say, it didn't fit. I needed the whole 24".

From contributor U:
I build my bases 23 3/4" deep and tops 11 3/4" deep, plus trim (0.020) plus doors (13/16") with a 25" countertop.

(Video) Stop trying to use every inch

From contributor G:
We build 95% frameless. Our base cabinet sides are 23 1/8" (tracks), plus 1/8" for bumpers, plus 3/4" for the front. 24" overall depth from front of door/drawer to rear from the cabinet. On base cabinets, we maintain a 1/4" gap from the top frame (counter bottom) to the door/drawer front. We also use frames instead of a full top, and they are 4 1/2". This gives us added strength and allows us to use two holes 64mm apart to screw into the stretcher (leaving approximately 1" from the edge of the stretcher to the center of the hole).

We make our top 15" in general, but that's where I'm probably a little different. I don't think 12" (leaving about 10" inside) is deep enough in the top. We also make 26" tall cabinets to allow for countertops. die on the sides. For finished tips, we use split applied tips, mostly reinforced up to 1 1/2" thick. We also make split supports.

Do collaborator Y:
"I thought base cabinets needed to be 24" to accommodate appliances"

You're right. 23 3/4 is used by stores that cannot get large plate products.

From contributor G:
A 24" cabinet in front of the doors/drawers will fit the appliances perfectly. We do this all the time and have no problems. Without a frame, the appliances sit flush with the door/drawer front. frame, sit flush with the front of the face frame.

From contributor Q:
The base cabinet box I build is 24" deep, plus 3/4" for the door or drawer front. My countertop overlap is 3/4", for a total of 25 1/2" in the base cabinets. Wall cabinets, box is 12" deep plus 3/4" for door.

From contributor M:
I've always built my bases to 24" with 3mm edging. I haven't paid much attention to performance because I nest my pieces and then cut them on the panel saw. I think it will put shelves, baseboards, and stretchers where I can't get another 23,875". Around here we use 25.5" countertops and have no problem. For clearance I use 3/8" (10mm) between the top of the drawer and the countertop. And I'm sure it will go up, but I use 3mm (1/8") spaces between the doors/drawers. I take the outer box width and subtract 3mm from the door size, or 1.5mm on each side. When you put two boxes together you have a gap of 3mm.

This has made me think about reducing the width of the sides if it doesn't get in the way of the devices. I believe that in carpentry there are two types of struggles. One between the frameless frames and the face, and the other when the frameless guys try to say how it's done!

From contributor A:
Real European frameless cabinets have these dimensions:
Base - depth 550 mm.
Upper part - depth 340 mm.
Door/drawer front 19mm.
Bench 600mm.

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From contributor M:
What are you using for the height of the base? Toe size? I think we would have problems using 550 here. I think we have bigger sinks and appliances.

How do you handle stretchers for the front of a sink? What door/drawer sizes for base units do you use? I'm looking for combinations like 1) 1 drawer over 1 door, 2) 3 drawers and 3) 4 drawers. I've been using 157mm for the top drawers, but it's too narrow to fit through the bandage. So I've been making them out of 320mm, taping them on all sides and then ripping and splicing the new edges together. How are you all?

Your collaborator D:
What if the ports are not 3/4 or 19mm? I've seen cabinets with 1/2" doors and drawer fronts. What about recessed doors and fronts? Do you end up with 1.75" of counter overhang?

From Contributor C:
Total cabinet depth, including door or drawer front, should be 24". If fronts are not 3/4", adjust cabinet depth accordingly.

From the contributor OR:
I mostly do frameless for kitchen cabinets and I think some guys get a little carried away with the details. As I also tend to install myself, I know that a stove usually sticks out about an inch from your cabinets (custom or store-bought), a dishwasher has a lot of space behind it, a fridge sticks out a few inches and not many people are making more compactors. Countertops are molded and depths can be varied, so even though the standard is 25-1/2", there's room to play.

That said, my cabinets are 23-1/2" deep with 13/16" solid wood doors or 3/4" thick plywood and about 3/16" bumpers. Usually about 24-1/2". An eighth of an inch won't kill you anyway.

From contributor E:

One thing to add to the post about dishwashers with space in the back. I thought so too, until a customer purchased a new built-in dishwasher that was designed to be installed so that the front of the door was flush with the front of the front of the cabinet. They need every part of the 24 inch to install to get this look.

From contributor A:
If your cabinets are only 24" deep, including doors and drawer fronts, you cannot install a Subzero 700 Series refrigerator in them. These are fully built-in refrigerators and require cabinets that are 24" deep to operate. Some other gadgets are similar.

(Video) The Main Cabinet Hinge Types Explained || Concealed / Euro / Kitchen Hinges - Vid#72

From the original questioner:
It's actually the fridge that goes into this kitchen. And they actually suggest a 25" deep cabinet, not 24". 95% of the time the fridge cabinet is a special item and most non-custom cabinets don't even offer this type of box.

There seem to be three ways to think about building frameless cabinets.
1. True European design: 550 mm (21 5/8") at the bottom and 340 mm (13 3/8") at the top.
2. Standard: 12" and 24" depths, including door/drawer.
3. Extended pattern: 12" and 24" boxes, then add doors/drawers.

I see reasons to use all three methods. True European if you are on the big lake; 24" total if using standard 25" prefab countertops; and the extended standard if you are building a fully custom styled kitchen with new modern appliances that require a total interior depth of 24" and have access to custom countertops.

I will build somewhere in between. My boxes will be 23 3/4" deep, so they will have 3/4" doors/drawers at the top. This will require a countertop that is 25 1/2" deep. The only reason I chose this depth is for the dishwasher. If I didn't have this in the cabinet line, I would have chosen a full depth of 24". Thanks again to everyone for their contributions.

From Collaborator I:
You hit him in the head. There's a post here about what a custom cabinet is. This is where dimensions come into play. If you custom build, you need to build what will work for the client, the space and the appliances. And while the appliances are supposed to be the same, they're not. It never hurts to have an extra 1/4" behind them to hook things up or to keep from squeezing a hose that will burst three months from now.

From contributor T:
There really isn't a "pattern" but here is a typical vertical section of a lower kitchen cabinet that I thought might help. You can modify the shapes and materials to suit your standards.

Click here for full size image

From the contributor OR:
In fact, most if not all subzeros require a side panel as they are designed to be flush mounted. You want your side panel to be deeper than your stands, however, so the countertop dies into the panel without overhanging it.

From collaborator X:
I've been building frameless for about 15 years. I started with the standard dimensions and soon learned that American dinnerware doesn't necessarily fit in a European tall cabinet. Now I make all 13 1/2" tops, 24" bottoms (25" counter) and 25" tall units. I make face frames for many of the built-ins, e.g. warming drawers, microwaves, ovens, etc. Refrigerators have their own side panels and pilasters, depending on design and space requirements.


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