Inset and Overlay

The type of cabinet construction provides designers with the flexibility to select how the door will mount to the cabinet. The doors and drawer heads can sit inside the frame, known as inset. Or they can sit over the frame, known as overlay. Ultimately, aesthetics play a large part in the decision. Each door style has a unique look and will impact the end result.


Inset doors are inherently associated with the simple and classic Shaker style that was handcrafted for timelessness. The doors and drawers are set into the cabinet face frame openings. They provide a full view of the cabinet face frame, clean lines, and a flush look to the front of the cabinet. This door style creates more of a traditional or transitional style.

Construction & Design Highlights:

Inset: Available in framed cabinet construction

Solid Hardwood Face Frame: 1-1/2” solid wood with blind mortise and tenon construction

  • Beaded Face Frame: Available with a 1/4” or 3/8” bead around the door and drawer openings
  • Plain Face Frame: Available around the door and drawer openings

1” Thick Face Frame: Available with a 3/4” or 1” thick door and drawer fronts

Soft-Close Hinges: Blum concealed soft-close (Optional: Exposed hinge in various finishes)

Maintenance: Periodic alignment adjustments may be necessary due to humidity fluctuations

Expense Consideration: Additional craftsmanship required, therefore slightly more expensive than overlay


Overlay is a term that indicates how much the door overlays the face frame. Different dimensions will allow more or less of the face frame to be exposed. A full overlay door style covers a majority of the cabinet frame, creating a contemporary or transitional style.

Construction & Design Highlights:

Overlay: Available in framed or frameless cabinet construction

Framed Cabinet Construction Overlay Options: The doors can cover the frame 1/2”, 1-1/4”, or 1-3/8”, which will allow more or less of the face frame to be exposed

Frameless Cabinet Construction Overlay Options: Full Overlay allows for the door-to-door-to-door look

Soft-Close Hinges: Blum concealed soft-close

Door & Drawer Fronts: Available in 3/4” and 1” thickness

Advantages: Larger door and drawer fronts

Choose Quality.
Choose Wellsford.

We take pride in our cabinet construction and take great care during our initial engineering to make sure that our cabinetry will live up to our lifetime warranty. Contact your Wellsford Dealer to learn more about our overlay and inset options.