What is an in-frame kitchen?


A recent question from one of our customers was “I keep hearing an in-frame kitchen mentioned a lot but don’t fully understand them. Can you help explain what makes inframe kitchens different to normal ones?”

Well, the article below will answer this question and more in great detail, so you’ll be an in-frame kitchen expert in no time at all.

The in-frame kitchen style

A popular style of kitchen that we produce is called an in-frame kitchen and gives a very unique look to your kitchen. An in-frame kitchen is where a frame is attached to the front edge of a kitchen unit and the doors are then placed inside the 36mm frame so that they open within it. This is a feature of traditional cabinetry that has become extremely popular again in recent years.

In-frame unit open door

Special hinges & drawer mechanisms

To allow the doors and drawer fronts to open within the frames, the units are fitted with special hinges & drawer mechanisms to allow this to happen. Basically, the special mechanisms are larger and are pushed away from the sides of the kitchen units more, so that they can reach the slightly smaller doors and drawer fronts.

In-frame soft close mechanism

In-frame drawer mechanism

How much smaller is the opening to the in-frame kitchen unit?

The frame of an in-frame kitchen is 36mm wide but as the unit sides are 18mm thick, only 18mm of space on each side and the top of the unit is lost from the opening aperture, as the frame is stuck onto the 18mm edges of the unit. The in-frame part at the bottom of the unit drops down slightly to create an unobstructed opening, see the images below.

In-frame bottom drops

In-frame door opens bottom frame dropped

How much smaller are the in-frame kitchen drawers?

As there is a frame around the drawers, the actual drawer has to be a little thinner to fit inside, 40mm thinner to be exact.

In-frame drawer

See the examples below to see the actual sizes of the drawers.

  • Standard 600mm wide drawer – 550mm outer measurement, 520mm inner measurement of usable space.
  • In-frame 600mm wide drawer – 510mm outer measurement, 480mm inner measurement of usable space.
  • Standard 500mm wide drawer – 450mm outer measurement, 420mm inner measurement of usable space.
  • In-frame 500mm wide drawer – 410mm outer measurement, 380mm inner measurement of usable space.

Do units with wireworks and appliance doors have an in-frame kitchen door?

To allow wireworks to open properly and appliance doors to open the appliance, a combination door is provided. This is the frame part and the door made into a 1 piece door. You still get the same great effect all around the kitchen and it’s unnoticeable that the door/frame is constructed slightly differently.

In-frame 150mm pullout wirework-unit


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At DIY Kitchens, not only do you get a quality rigid built kitchen but you also get it at a fabulous price too! Price your kitchen up on our site and you could see savings  of up to 50% off other kitchen quotes that you’ve had.

Take a look at our kitchen price comparison page here.

Real customer kitchens

Get some inspiration for designing your own new kitchen with over 2,000 pictures of our customers’ kitchens that they ordered from us.


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