Cabinet Overlays: Understanding the Difference

When designing a kitchen or bathroom, two of the most basic features of the cabinetry is its door style and "overlay". Both affect the overall appearance of the cabinetry and style of the room.

Door Styles

There are two types of doors and drawer fronts, slab, and 5-piece. The slab door or drawer front is exactly what it sounds like, a solid slab of wood that is not customizable other than species and finish. However, the 5-piece doors and drawer fronts are customizable in profile, specie and finish. Bayer Interior Woods currently has 18 standard door styles that can be found here.

We also have a "Design-a-Door" program, which is fully customizable. The “Design-a-Door” offers thousands of different options, as the possibilities are endless! The 5-piece drawer fronts will always match the door style. The only variation from the door would be the stile and rail width depending on the size of the drawer front. You can also pair any door with slab drawer fronts to achieve a classic look. The picture below shows the three-overlay options side by side.


Understanding the Different Overlay Options

There are three types of overlay options: full, standard, and inset. These options offer a look anywhere from sleek and modern to traditional. Any of these options will look great in your dream kitchen and/or bathroom. Another design option in your kitchen and bathroom is the door and drawer front style.

Full Overlay

The doors in the full overlay option completely cover the cabinet face providing a flat cabinet with no gaps. Full overlay cabinets offer a sleek and modern design like inset cabinets. The appearance of full overlay cabinets is high-end, warm, and chic. The picture below is also a good example of 5-piece drawer fronts. As you can see the drawer fronts are made of style and rails with a panel instead of a flat, solid slab.

Standard Overlay

The standard overlay option overlaps the frame by 3/8” and reveals 1 1/8” of the face frame exposed on all sides. Standard overlay cabinets offer a traditional style. These cabinets fall in line with the classic look that the traditional style incorporates. This picture is an example of our slab drawer fronts with our doors. The slab drawer fronts along with the standard overlay have a very classic look.

Inset Overlay

For inset doors and drawers are set into the cabinet frame and fit flush with the face of the cabinet when closed. Inset cabinets give off a sleek and modern design, which can appear high-end and trendy. Much like full overlay cabinets the appearance of inset cabinets is luxurious, warm, and chic. As you can see in the picture below you can also have slab and 5-piece drawer fronts on one cabinet. Combining the two gives the cabinet the high-end look that inset cabinets generally have.

How do you decide which to use?

Now that you know what the overlay options are, how do you choose which would be best for your project?  The construction and function are virtually the same for all three options and make for an elegant kitchen or bathroom. The only functional difference between the three options is the amount of storage space. Full and standard overlay offers the same amount of storage because the doors sit directly on the face frame while inset offers the least amount of storage because the doors are set into the face frame. The option really comes down to what look you prefer.

 There is no wrong answer when it comes to picking cabinet overlay options or door styles, it comes down to the aesthetic you are going for. From finish to species to the hardware you truly can achieve whatever style you are looking for.

To view these options in person, call Bayer Interior Woods at 1-800-392-9664 to schedule an appointment and visit our showroom.