4 Reasons to Choose Overlay Kitchen Cabinets Over Inset Kitchen Cabinets

During a kitchen renovation, you might not give as much thought to your cabinets as you give to things like your countertops and appliances. That's a real shame, since the cabinets you choose are going to make a big impact on how the kitchen feels. When you're picking out those cabinets, there's one major decision you need to make: overlay or inset?

The difference is easy enough to understand. Overlay cabinets have their doors fitted over the cabinet; when you look at them from the side, you see the cabinet door as a separate part. Inset cabinets have their doors fitted within the cabinet to make all surfaces fit flush.

Inset cabinet doors do come with a few advantages, but here are just four reasons you should choose overlay doors instead.

1. Lower Price

One of the first things you'll notice when comparing inset vs. overlay doors is that insets are considerably more expensive. This isn't as much do with the materials needed to make them as the craftsmanship required to put them together. In contrast, you could probably handle traditional overlay cabinet doors yourself. If you're keeping to a strict budget, it makes sense to pick overlay doors.

2. More Storage Space

Because inset cabinet doors sit inside the cabinet frame, they take up space that would normally have been used for storage. It's only a couple of centimetres, but that makes a big difference in your kitchen cabinets. Go to yours now and imagine losing a few centimetres worth of interior space. You could find it harder to get everything inside.

3. No Humidity Problems

Most kitchen cabinets are made from wood, and wood swells under high humidity. This usually isn't a problem since kitchen cabinets are treated to ensure minimal swelling, but inset doors are the most likely to become issues. Since inset cabinet doors rest within the frame, even a small amount of swelling can expand the wood enough for door to meet the frame. You might find it harder to open your cabinet doors, or you might have to replace them completely.

4. Reduced Maintenance  

Even if moisture isn't something you need to worry about, it's worth keeping in mind that houses do tend to shift and settle as time goes by. Any movement will alter the way cabinet doors sit in their frames, so you may need a professional to occasionally come in and reset your inset cabinet doors to maintain their clean appearance and make sure they still open properly. That's not something you'll have to deal with when you choose overlay doors.

For more tips on kitchen renovations, contact a local contractor.