To Hinge or not to Hinge: Choosing Your Semi Custom Cabinet Style

When you start searching for your semi custom cabinets for your new kitchen, you’ll quickly learn that you’re not only choosing between different cabinet door styles, but also different door types. Yes, each of the styles has a different look to it but you also have to take into account the look you’re envisioning for your new kitchen because some kitchen cabinet doors will let you use visible hinges and some won’t.

If you’ve been on Pinterest pinning pictures of kitchens with visible hinges, you need to read this post…

Why the difference in semi custom cabinets?

Kitchen cabinet types are either frameless or framed, and this can affect the look of the cabinet door. A framed cabinet will have cabinet doors that don’t cover the whole face frame. The doors are attached to the frame and can have hinges that show, although concealed hinges are becoming the industry norm. (At Wellborn Forest, all our semi custom cabinets are built with concealed hinges.)

On the other hand, frameless kitchen cabinets are designed so the cabinet doors cover the whole outer surface. You don’t see the face frame, because each cabinet door or drawer essentially butts up against the next one. The cabinet doors are attached to the inside of the frame, with “hidden” hinges (also called concealed hinges). Visible hinges are not an option.

What’s in a hinge?

For you as the homeowner planning your new kitchen, that means hinges can be visible or invisible. That decision is all yours, and is usually driven by the look you want for your new kitchen. Hinges, doorknobs and drawer pulls can be accessories that complete the design—but, of the three, hinges are definitely the least necessary. For example, someone planning an old-fashioned looking kitchen might want to use hinges that help to create the aesthetic. Or perhaps a homeowner wants the contrast that hinges can provide, say with black iron hinges used with antique white semi custom cabinets. But drawer pulls and knobs can achieve the look without the hinges.

Hinges can also add to your costs. A decorative (yet functional!) hinge can run you quite a bit of money, and that dollar amount is going to be times two for every cabinet door you’ll have.

Hinges mean fewer cabinet choices

Hinges won’t make or break your new kitchen design, but you should give them some thought before you start shopping for your semi custom cabinets just in case. You only want to fall in love with the kitchen door styles that will fit with the bigger picture you have in your head! So if hinges are on the must-have list, you’ll need to narrow your choices to framed cabinets and only the kind of cabinet door that can use an exposed hinge.

Those choices are getting more limited as homeowners and cabinet manufacturers choose concealed hinges more often. At Wellborn Forest, for example, we only build framed cabinets with concealed hinges. (Our Elite Series and Supreme Series cabinets feature soft close hinges as standard.)