How to Tell the Difference Between Inset and Full Overlay Cabinet Doors

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If you can't tell the difference between one cabinet door type and another, just remember that full overlay cabinet doors rest on top of the cabinet's face frame, while inset cabinet doors rest precisely inside the face frame. See the difference for yourself in this free video on home repair instructions.

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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Chris Palmer. Welcome to Chris's Workshop. Today, we're going to talk about how to tell the difference between inset and overlay cabinet doors. Cabinet doors come in a couple of different varieties. A door can be what's called an overlay door or a door can be inset. As the words are sort of descriptive, overlay, the door rests on the outside of the face framed cabinet whereas in an inset, the door is actually inside the face frame and there's nothing on the top surface. Here's a little cabinet backup to illustrate what we're talking about. Here's the side of your cabinet, here's the face frame and here's the door. And which one is this, you guessed it, this is a full overly door that rests on the face frame. It would just swing open like that and when it's closed, comes thrust against the face frame. An inset door would be smaller, but not quite this small; but, it would rest inside the face frame. It would, it would have to be cut precisely to the even nice even reveal all the way around and again, it swings open and closes inside the face frame. They probably would add a door stop or something on the inside. It's a little trickier to build an inset door. Your tolerances are tighter. But, it's a nice clean look and some people think it's worth the effort. My name is Chris Palmer. That's the difference between inset and overlay doors.


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