Face frame is a reference to a framed cabinet’s trim boards that are visible on its face. The face of a cabinet is the visible end where the drawers and doors are accessed. The face frame is comprised of boards that form a rigid skeleton for the exposed side of the cabinet’s box. The face frame will typically be made from different material than the cabinet’s less noticeable back and side panels. By using solid wood to construct the face frame, a cabinet’s accessible side maintains an appealing look and structural strength.
A face frame cabinetry run will typically utilize exposed hinges and an overlay. The trim boards that comprise the face frame are strong enough to support the weight of doors and various methods of access. Some manufacturers will bridge the frameless and framed styles of cabinetry by adding trim boards to the face of a frameless cabinet box in order to preserve the North American aesthetic of a face framed run.