Choosing the appropriate cabinet doors for your kitchen is a big decision. After all, they are a key aesthetic component in your kitchen, so the style you pick will have a big influence on the entire look of the space. However, the sheer amount of options available can be bewildering.


Furthermore, after you have decided on a cabinet door style, maintaining and repairing your cabinet doors is another issue you will have to deal with. So to assist you in deciding which cabinet door to choose and how to properly maintain and repair them,  this article will provide a handy reference on the right cabinet door styles and maintenance that you need to know. Continue reading to find out more!

Cabinet Door Types

Regarding how the door fits into the entire cabinet, there are three main types of cabinet doors: inset cabinet doors, partial overlay cabinet doors, and Full overlay cabinet doors can be further classified into either framed or frameless. 

In addition, there are various methods to how modern cabinet styles are designed. These designs will be discussed later, but first, let’s define the three main cabinet door styles.

  1. Insert cabinet door
    Inset cabinetry has doors and drawers built inside the slots in the cabinet structure. With only a little separation or spaces between cabinet parts, this cabinet design allows a clear sight of the cabinet frame.


    • Advantages of Inset cabinet door
      Sleek design, flush inset doors, and elements that can transform the appearance of a typical cabinet with a complete overlay door are all available with inset cabinetry. Inset cabinets allow you to customize the design with personalized inserts to create a particular style that compliments your home’s decor. Inserts can be beaded or non-beaded. A beaded inset design is built into the cabinet door frame, creating a great artistry edge accent.
      Inset cabinets can be customized in various ways, including color and treatment options, moldings, and decorations, creating stunning custom cabinets that pay homage to the legacy and simplicity of traditional design.
    • Disadvantages of Inset cabinet door
      Inset cabinets might be more expensive. The time and craft necessary to construct inset cabinets raise the final cost by thousands of dollars. Furthermore, inset cabinets might be problematic in humid environments. Wood doors and drawers can swell and adhere in sweltering temperatures, making cabinets difficult to use and possibly wearing away the surface in tight locations.
    • Maintenance and Repair of Inset cabinet door
      The humidity in the rooms must be between 30 and 55 percent to keep your inset cabinets working.

      You should adjust the cabinet’s hinges so that they continue to function effectively when the wood eventually moves and warps due to changes in the environment.

      When the cabinet’s hinges have moved deep, the border of the wood contacts the hinges before the door closes. This issue results in a door that is constantly slightly ajar. To fix this problem, you can place a little piece of veneer or even cardboard beneath the edge of the hinge that has moved way too far or deep in the mortise.
  2. Partial overlay cabinet door
    This kind of cabinetry is among the most popular and commonly used cabinet doors. A partial overlay cabinet door refers to the degree of frame exposed on a cabinetry run. The most apparent and distinguishing aspect of a cabinet run is the distance between the doors and drawer fronts, so most commonly constructed cabinets are categorized into partial overlay and full overlay. The most distinguishing feature of a partial overlay cabinet run is that a 2-inch strip of the frame is evident throughout the full face of the cabinetry. The hinges on partial overlay doors can be covered or visible. Partial overlay doors are the only sort of cabinet door that does not require hardware, making them more visually adaptable than the others.

    • Advantages of Partial overlay cabinet door
      Partial overlay doors often include a significant storage capacity. In addition, because this cabinet door is so popular, it is also usually the least expensive. Finally, since there are no elements that must be exactly matched in a partial overlay cabinet door, the accuracy required while installing a partial overlay cabinet door is much more lenient. This design element contrasts the full overlay and continuous cabinetry face achieved by that specific design, which necessitates a great degree of detail during assembly.
    • Disadvantages of Partial overlay cabinet door
      One of the issues encountered when using a partial overlay cabinet door is that the vertical strips required between doors can be restrictive. Furthermore, partial overlay cabinets doors also have the aesthetic problem of appearing to dot the surface of your cabinets rather than delineating them.


    • Maintenance and Repair of overlay cabinet door
      Make sure to clean all exteriors and interiors with a moist towel to remove dust after installing partial overlay cabinet doors, then dry quickly with a dry cloth. When cleaning away dust and dirt, be cautious not to scratch the surface.

      You can fix an outdated and problematic door hinge on a partial overlay cabinet door by removing the door or hardware. First, remove the obsolete cabinet doors, hinges, latches, and other hardware with a screwdriver or an electric screwdriver. After that, set a combination square at the 2-inch mark to locate the new hinges. The hinges and hardware should then be attached by creating pilot holes and screwing the hinges in place. Finally, you must install the cabinet doors.
  3. Full overlay cabinet door

    Full overlay cabinet doors, often known as Euro-style doors, are similar to inset doors but are less expensive. They enclose the cabinet face with no gaps greater than 1/2″ anywhere on the cabinet face, giving the flat cabinet look like inset cabinets. Full overlay doors are considered a mid-range form of a cabinet door concerning price, even if they demand high craftsmanship. The hinges on these doors are normally hidden. Full overlay doors, like inset doors, provide a smooth and seamless aspect that gives a constant aesthetic throughout the kitchen. Full overlay doors, like inset doors, must be opened using hardware or equipment such as cabinet handles and drawer pulls.


    • Advantages of a full overlay cabinet door

      Full overlay cabinets provide the most storage with plenty of room for large cookware like pots and pans because they are not positioned within the cabinet frame. The vertical stile on the cabinet face frame is removed from full overlay double doors, allowing for more storage space and quicker access to kept objects. Furthermore, full overlay cabinet doors provide a more compact and minimalist appearance. Because the whole impression is smooth, full overlay cabinets also give a cohesive front. This appearance contrasts the partial overlay cabinets prevalent several years ago, which exposed the cabinet face frame between the doors and drawer fronts. Finally, complete overlay cabinets are much less costly since they require less construction expertise. They are a useful solution to inset cabinets for those on a budget.
    • Disadvantages of a full overlay cabinet door
      Full overlay cabinet doors have the disadvantage of requiring hardware. Because you probably will not be able to put your fingers between the doors of full overlay cabinets, you will need to use knobs or pulls. There are also visible edges on a full overlay cabinet door. The uncovered portions of the doors and drawers are more likely to be scratched or blunted in time.
    • Maintenance and repair of a full overlay cabinet door
      Periodic exterior and interior maintenance, which only takes cleaning with a wet cloth and drying, is needed for accurate and proper full overlay cabinet care. First, remove any oil, grease, or general soil utilizing a clean cloth wet with a fresh mixture of mild soap and water. After rinsing, dry thoroughly with a clean, moist cloth. Spills should be wiped up as soon as possible. Long-term contact with spills, such as food, water, or other substances, can result in significant staining or corrosion to the surface of your full overlay cabinet.

      When it comes to unfastened full overlay cabinet doors that are not closing properly, the easiest method to figure out how to fix cabinet hinges is to figure out what is causing the problem in the first place. For example, slack cabinet doors might result from loose hinge screws on the cabinet and doors that have relaxed, stripped hinge slots that are too wide or large for the screws, or the cabinet door collapsing due to its weight being too much for the present hardware.

      Open the cabinet door to check if a cabinet hinge is loose. Secure and tweak the bolts on the cabinet hinges with a screwdriver. Shut the door and inspect the tightness and position. Repeat tightening cabinet door screws until the door is not unfastened anymore and until it shuts securely. If the problem is stripped hinged holes, remove the hinges from the cabinet and store the door with the hinges connected in a secure location. Soak wooden toothpicks in wood glue. After soaking, insert as many wooden toothpicks as possible into the cabinet hinge slots. Make the toothpicks flush with the cabinet by breaking them off. Attach and screw the hardware back into place once the adhesive has dried.

Cabinet Door Styles

Now that you are familiar with the three main types of cabinet doors, it is time to learn the most common cabinet door styles and how to maintain and repair them if ever damages occur. Below are the different cabinet door styles that you should be acquainted about:

  • Shaker cabinet door style
    The square depressed panel on the door distinguishes Shaker cabinetry, the most popular kitchen cabinetry design nowadays. With its simple, sleek lines and emphasis on functionality, Shaker furniture gave it its name. While many traditional methods have waned in popularity over time, the Shaker style has only grown in popularity.

    The Shaker cabinet style is famous because of its versatility. It is considered the simplest form of cabinet door style. Shaker cabinets are well known to work in classic and contemporary kitchen designs. Shaker cabinets can take on a modern style with countertops and subway tile backsplash or a rustic one with a wood countertop.

    Although the initial form was simple, several modifications have arisen, including those with somewhat curved sides. Furthermore, Shaker cabinets can be integrated with flat-style drawers or have complementary drawers with depressed panels.

    • Proper care of Shaker cabinet doors
      To maintain your shaker cabinet, pour half a cup of water, half a cup of cabinet cleaner, and half a cup of wood cleaning or vinegar into a spray bottle. This mixture should be sprayed all over your cabinets. Cleaning one cabinet at a time is necessary. To get rid of the cleaning solution, you can wipe the cabinets once or twice using a sponge that has been rinsed with water. Using a delicate cloth or napkin, dry the cabinets.

      Even if your cleaning mixture is gentle and safe for painted or varnished wood, it might harm hinges. You might not want your hinges to rust and become useless. To eliminate filth and dirt from the metal, wipe your hinges with a clean, soft microfiber. If that does not work, spray a drop of water onto your towel and clean the affected area. You have to make sure to dry it with a dry towel, though.
  • Glass cabinet door
    The usual wooden center panel is changed with glass in glass cabinet doors. This change gives you a perfect chance to demonstrate your favorite kitchen dinnerware. These cabinets are commonly used in more current, minimalist, modern kitchen designs because of their sleek, simplified appearance.

    Glass cabinets are ideal for tiny spaces because they create depth and dimension and make the room look bigger. Clear glasses also make it easier to locate items. Stained glass and diamond panels are two examples of cosmetic improvements in a typical glass cabinet door.

    Unlike bare and open shelves, glass cabinets provide the extra benefit of shielding your dinnerware from dirt and oil. However, the glass will still have to be wiped and polished from time to time. In addition, cooking that can produce smoke and grease can build up on the glass, leaving a noticeable film or slight discoloration on the surface. Glass cabinet doors should not be opened or closed too forcefully, as this can shatter or damage them. However, using strong and high-quality glass and hardware with a soft-close mechanism can help avoid this problem.

    • Proper care of glass cabinet door
      Maintaining glass cabinets clean and maintained can be more challenging than preserving and cleaning typical wood cabinets. You must clean your glass cabinet doors frequently if you want them to seem completely new for years or decades to come. You must also note that smudged and foggy glass will result from using low-cost, low-quality glass cleaners. An appropriate glass cleaner to preserve your windows sparkling is also a crucial element for proper care. Furthermore, polish the glass with the right materials. A cheap cloth will not be able to clean your glass front and can even harm your cabinet door face. Hence, you should make an investment in quality microfiber cloths or super soft washcloths.

      More importantly, you have to shut your cabinets carefully and properly to avoid banging them, resulting in broken glass or damaged hinges and frames. It will also help if you choose high-quality and sturdy cabinet door hardware.


  • Slab cabinet door
    Slab doors, also known as flat-paneled cabinet doors, are a simple, streamlined style that works quite well in modern or contemporary kitchens. This style, which has been common in Europe for years, is now gaining popularity in other places such as America. Wood and the more cost-effective and adaptable laminate are the most common options for this cabinet door style.

    One of the biggest benefits of flat-paneled cabinets is the ease of cleaning and refinishing. They are also perfect for showing handles, drawer pulls, or any other hardware you want to employ because of their plain layout.

    Slab cabinet doors are among the cheapest priced alternatives due to their ease of production. However, the price will vary depending on the base wood, finishing and polishing, hardware and equipment, and other considerations.

    • Proper care of slab cabinet door
      Clean your slab cabinet doors regularly by wiping them with a moist towel and then drying them. Wet a clean towel with a newly mixed mild soap and water to remove any oil and grease. After wiping the slab door cabinet, dry thoroughly with a soft dry cloth. Any spill should be wiped quickly because long-term contact with spills, such as water, food, and other substances, can result in irreversible staining or deterioration of the surface of your slab cabinet. In addition, you must not use harsh cleaning agents, powerful detergents, or aggressive liquids. These cleaning agents have the potential to degrade the manufacturer’s protective coating. It is also important not to damp towels over the cabinet. Excess humidity and water will cause the slab doors to warp. 
  • Arched cabinet doors
    Arched cabinet doors, often known as cathedral cabinet doors, have a curve design on the upper portion of the cabinet frame. The pattern on the door will be cut with a specialized cutter by an expert craftsman. The arch is considered purely decorative and can be utilized to balance out the higher center panels. This kitchen cabinet type provides a kitchen a genuine rustic feel.

    If you are looking for a cabinet style that is a little more trendy and modern, an arched cabinet door might not be the best option. Furthermore, the issue regarding framed cabinet doors is that they are usually utilized in partial overlay cabinets, which means they cut your storage space due to a larger width of the frame on both ends. When it comes to moving interior shelves, the border of a partial overlay cabinet can be a hassle. If you were considering roll-out racks and shelves, the edge would make it more difficult for you to relocate them.

    • Proper care for arched cabinet doors
      Oil and grease accumulation can harm cabinets and ruin the appearance of your arched cabinet door. To eliminate the buildup, wash down your cabinets with a microfiber sponge. You should moisten the sponge with lukewarm water and use it to clean your cabinets once each week or more often, depending on how much activity occurs in the kitchen. If water alone is not enough to wipe down the cabinets, add a few drops of mild detergent soap to the water. Wood cabinets should be wiped down in the wood grain direction. Then, use a gentle towel to wipe away any remaining water from the cabinets.(Source:

Final thoughts: 

Your kitchen will be a priority whether you plan to renovate your home or sell your home in the future. The various cabinet doors you select are one method to create a stylistic impact. You have two options: go for a more conventional style or something more modern. However, there are many things to consider about kitchen cabinet doors, such as cabinet types and styles.

So, if you have already chosen your specific cabinet door type and style, another factor you should consider is how to maintain and care for them properly. Hence, the things discussed above should serve as your guide to ensure that your cabinet door does not only serve its purpose to you but also should last you for the years to come. 


  1. Cabinet Doors N’ More. 2019. 5 Types Of Kitchen Cabinet Doors. Retrieved from: Retrieved on 1 April 2022. 
  2. Cliq Studious. 2020. Cabinet Door Types and Styles. Retrieved from: Retrieved on 1 April 2022. 
  3. Degnan Design-Build-Remodel. 2018. Kitchen Cabinet Doors – Full Overlay, Partial Overlay and Inset. Retrieved from: Retrieved on 1 April 2022. 
  4. Kitchen and Bath Design. 2019. Cabinet Maintenance for your New Kitchen. Retrieved from: Retrieved on 1 April 2022. 
  5. Laurysen. 2017. Kitchen Design 101: Popular Cabinet Door Styles. Retrieved from: Retrieved on 1 April 2022. 
  6. Laurysen. 2021. Guide To Kitchen Cabinet Door Styles, Types, Materials & Installation. Retrieved from: Retrieved on 1 April 2022.
  7. Wolf Home Products. 2021. Your Guide To Choosing Cabinet Door Styles. Retrieved from: Retrieved on 1 April 2022. 


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