To put it simply, a face frame is the visible trim on the front of a framed cabinet. The face of the cabinet is where the doors and drawers are located. The face frame is constructed using boards that create a sturdy framework for the cabinet’s exposed side. Typically, the face frame is made of a different material than the back and side panels, and solid wood is often used to ensure durability and aesthetic appeal.

Face frame cabinetry typically utilizes exposed hinges and overlays, as the face frame provides the necessary support for the doors and access points. Some manufacturers may even incorporate a face frame onto a frameless cabinet to maintain a North American aesthetic. By doing so, they bridge the gap between the frameless and framed styles of cabinetry.