What is a Face Frame?
A face frame is a structural element of a cabinet or piece of furniture that is used to reinforce and support the front of the cabinet or furniture. It is typically made from wood and is attached to the front edges of the cabinet or furniture carcass.
The face frame consists of vertical stiles (uprights) and horizontal rails (cross-members) that are joined together with mortise-and-tenon or dowel joints. The face frame provides a solid frame around the edges of the cabinet or furniture and serves as a mounting surface for the cabinet doors and drawers.
The use of face frames was common in traditional American-style cabinetry, and is still used in some modern cabinetry styles as well. The main advantage of a face frame is that it provides additional strength and stability to the cabinet or furniture, as well as a traditional, classic look. However, it can also reduce the amount of storage space inside the cabinet or furniture, as the frame takes up a portion of the interior space.
Some modern cabinetry styles, such as European-style cabinets, do not use face frames, opting instead for a full-overlay design where the doors and drawers completely cover the front of the cabinet. This creates a clean, modern look with no visible gaps or seams, and maximizes the amount of storage space inside the cabinet.