For architects, builders, remodelers and designers, one of the biggest obstacles in any project is balancing reality with client expectations. You must be a subject-matter expert on every aspect of your business. Even though you rely on the trades for specifics of their profession, you must be able to speak intelligently and effectively to your clients in terms they will understand.
Working with architects, builders and designers, I find there are some basic terminology and topics that are consistent need-to-knows about the industry today.
Cabinet construction is divided into two types: full access, also referred to as frameless; and face-frame construction.
Full access (European style). The technology for this type of cabinet construction was developed in Europe. A huge rebuilding effort with limited resources post-World War II brought about the technology and product for this type of cabinet. In general terms the cabinet is constructed using panels to build the box. Better-quality construction uses ¾-in. thick panel material and a captured back dadoed into the side panels. The cabinet box is doweled, glued, then case-clamped together. The cabinet door is hinged to the interior side of the panel. The term full access refers to the ability to fully access the usable interior with no obstruction. The drawer box for full-access construction typically is wider than a drawer box used in face-frame construction for a same-size cabinet. The cabinet door and drawer fronts fully overlay the box with a reveal of 1/16 in. between doors and drawers being the most common, but can vary depending on the manufacturer. Full access cabinetry is easy to install, but it depends on the attitude of the person holding the power tools.
Face frame. Check out your great-grandmother’s side board. Face-frame cabinetry is an adaptation of traditional furniture construction. Typically, 3/4 in. thick by 1 1/2 in. wide solid stock material is used to build the stiles and rails of the face frame. The sides and back of the cabinet are joined and attached to the face frame using a variety of methods depending on the manufacturer. The cabinet door is hinged on the stile. The actual cabinet door or drawer front size will vary depending on how much or how little it overlays the face frame. Inset doors are where the door is in line with the face frame.