Kitchen cabinet closings
April 20, 2014 in Design Dilemma
We just paid a fair amount of money for a kitchen . They gave us two different kinds of cabinet closings in one kitchen. Some close flush and some have the center panel . I believe one is called full face . Anyway we are disturbed. Have never seen two different styles in one kitchen and we were not consulted. We asked for full face closing. They said it is because the bigger cabinet might sag unless it has a centre upright and the one above the range hood or microwave is always with a center panel. Is this true? I cannot find a photo of a kitchen with two different cabinet closures, help. We haven't made the last payment yet......
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Yikes - I wouldn't be happy either. I certainly would not make the last payment until you are satisfied. If all the cabinets could not be made with the closing you chose, you should have been told at the time you placed the order. Dig your heels in on this one and get them to make it right; otherwise, you will always be annoyed by that cabinet. I am sure you will get lots of help from expert cabinet folks on Houzz, but I want to encourage you to stick to your guns on this one!
1 Like   Thanked by germainetoo    April 20, 2014 at 7:08PM
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LM Designs
Hello germainetoo.
Don't fret yet - let's chat about the logistics of cabinet construction. OK?
There ARE 2 kinds of cabinet door "closings", as you call them.
One is full overlay where the doors/drawers cover the frame of the cabinet.
The other is inset, where the doors/drawers sit inside the frame of the cabinet.
And, there are 2 different types of cabinet construction: frameless & framed.
That said, all your doors/drawers should be either inset or full overlay, unless you agreed otherwise.
I believe that what you are referring to as a "center panel" is actually a vertical support, so that part of the frame of the cabinet shows beneath the overlay doors. Is that correct?
If so, this IS normal.
Wall & base cabinets beyond a certain width must have this center support, in order to provide stability & to prevent sagging.

I am sensing from you is that you haven't had a fully positive experience with the
cabinet distributor & that communication may have been an issue & perhaps this pushed things over the edge for you.
My recommendation is that you speak in face-to-face with the person who designed your kitchen & have them show you the manufacturer's catalog, which will illustrate the cabinets in question for you (so that you can see that it was not a mistake).
This is not only an acceptable request on your part, but should not be a big issue for them.
In fact, this should have been explained to you BEFORE you finalized your kitchen design.
However, what (I think) you are describing is not an error - just a miscommunication.

I sure hope this helps.
The best of luck to you!


PS - Can you post some pics please?
4 Likes   Thanked by germainetoo    April 20, 2014 at 7:39PM
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Dezign Studio Inc
You have chosen full overlay framed cabinetry. Thee cabinets have an option of
"butt" (cabinets without the centre stile) and the ones that do not say "butt" have a centre stile.. Certain sizes do not have the option of "butt" . Those cabinets come with the centre stile. But if the cabinets are full overlay, then the style is not prominent. normally in some manufacturers, wall 30 15 and wall or base 27 have stiles (entre support)
3 Likes   Thanked by germainetoo    April 20, 2014 at 7:56PM
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Yes, it all depends on the manufacture & cabinet dimensions.
2 Likes   Thanked by germainetoo    April 20, 2014 at 7:59PM
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My 36" wall cabinet has a stile for stability. I have full overlay cabinet doors and it is not all all noticeable.
1 Like   Thanked by germainetoo    April 20, 2014 at 8:04PM
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Okay, let me clarify. Some of the cabinets have the center stile and some do not and I now understand why.
But the ones with the center stile have doors that do not close flush. I other words they close about an inch apart leaving the stile in the center. The other cabinets close flush with the doors meeting each other. It looks weird to have two different closures in one kitchen.
0 Likes   April 20, 2014 at 8:32PM
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So some are Butt doors & some are not. Not all cabinet manufactures offer both options in all sizes. Please check with your cabinet provider. They should be able to explain it properly & show you the options or lack of in your cabinet line.
1 Like   Thanked by germainetoo    April 20, 2014 at 8:37PM
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Thanks. I have never seen two different types of closings in one kitchen, not in person, in catalogues or magazines. Thank to all of you i understand the center stile but the doors should still butt if the other ones in the kitchen close that way. does having a center stile mean the doors can't butt close?
0 Likes   April 20, 2014 at 8:56PM
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Dezign Studio Inc
Yes the doors should not have a larger gap then the other cabinets. You will have to talk to the manufacturer. Not sure which company u used. They can give u replacement wider doors. But the manufacturer has to make the final decision.
1 Like   Thanked by germainetoo    April 20, 2014 at 9:30PM
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i paid a kitchen place to design and install them so i am holding them responsible. They can fight with the manufacturer. the cabinets are star mark
0 Likes   April 20, 2014 at 10:04PM
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Hope it works out in the best interest of all concerned. All the best !
0 Likes   Thanked by germainetoo    April 20, 2014 at 10:57PM
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Joseph F. Yencho, Design/Builder
Can you post some pictures?
1 Like   April 21, 2014 at 8:05AM
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Construction Guaranteed
This is a common problem when ordering cabinets from a manufacturer. The manufacturer will supply new doors that will satisfy you and supply them to your supplier for no charge. They can be ordered larger to eliminate the gap. I'm sure they want you to be very happy and there will not be any problems at all.
2 Likes   Thanked by germainetoo    April 21, 2014 at 5:31PM
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germainetoo, if you ordered full overlay doors, then all your cabinets should have them, center stiles or not. Someone is blowing smoke up your skirt to cover their mistake, which unfortunately is not uncommon today. Make them correct the mistake.
2 Likes   Thanked by germainetoo    April 21, 2014 at 5:50PM
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That is what I feel. I have never seen this before and it bother me that they installed them and are pretending nothing is wrong. It's huge mount of money.
0 Likes   April 21, 2014 at 9:16PM
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Fred S
Pictures are necessary for this conversation because the terminology is unclear in this case. It sounds like you have cabinets with a face frame, but not full overlay. For example, on a 24" or 27" cabinet, the option may be for a single door or a double door. Since it does not need a center stile, and putting one in would make each opening only 9.5" - 11" wide (not ideal), the double doors need to meet tightly in the middle. On the outer sides of each cabinet, the doors probably fall about 1/2" short of covering the entire frame. This leaves a 1" gap between doors if you put 2 cabinets side by side. This is the reason to reproduce this same gap at the center stile. The problem occurs when you, or the cabinet designer, mixes these 'mid-width' cabinets with two doors and no stiles with the narrower single door cabinets and wider two door cabinets with a stile. Usually, there is not an option to make a double door cabinet hide the stile, but sometimes there is an option to add a fake stile attached to one door which gives a consistent gap between all the doors. This is because they do make an actual full overlay option with no gaps between adjacent cabinet doors as well. I guess they figure that if you actually want full overlay, then you can pay the upcharge to get it.
0 Likes   Thanked by germainetoo    April 21, 2014 at 9:35PM
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Curt D'Onofrio
I agree with a lot of folks above. Having a centre stile does not mean NOT having full face doors.
1 Like   Thanked by germainetoo    April 21, 2014 at 9:58PM
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StarMark Cabinetry
Germainetoo, this is Michelle at StarMark Cabinetry. Please contact me at 1-800-550-2934 and ask to speak with Michelle. You can also email me at I'm happy to address and resolve your concerns about the construction of your cabinets.
2 Likes   Thanked by germainetoo    April 22, 2014 at 9:21AM
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I want to thank everyone who answered. I am now very clear on what the problem is…to clarify -the person (company) who designed the kitchen and installed the cabinets gave us some cabinets with a center stile and some without. That is an arguable point since were were never consulted. However the main thing is that the cabinets with a centre stile have doors with a gap between them when closed, and the cabinets with no center stile have butt closures. we have never seen 2 different closures in the same kitchen area, and this is what disturbs us. I guess they are both what is called full overlay, but the ones with the center style have a gap and the other ones do not. Seems it is something we should have had a drawing of or been consulted on.
To make another point, Starmark has gotten in touch with me and is reaching out to the company who did the kitchen. Thanks everyone and Starmark!
3 Likes   April 23, 2014 at 10:27AM
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Ahearn Cabinetry Designs, LLC
"2 different closures in the same kitchen area" is indeed quite common. as the other posters have said, if the cabinet is larger than, say 36" wide, it will bear a center stile for structural integrity. the gap between doors on that cabinet will be wider. the kitchen designer should have pointed this out; however, Starmark is a great company and they will rectify the situation for you.
0 Likes   Thanked by germainetoo    April 23, 2014 at 1:29PM
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Thank you everyone for your advice - so here is what happened: We had had a by- the -way discussion as to center stiles or not when we were choosing our cabinets from the kitchen place that sold them and designed them for us. We had expressed our opinion that they are a waste of space and we never liked them when we were looking. However we were never asked by the gentleman who runs the place and designed them for us specifically if we wanted them or not. Evidently they always use them unless "otherwise instructed" So for the cabinets with pull our shelves there were, of course, no center stiles, and he thought he was doing us a favor by leaving two of the upper cabinets without them . The main point is - why would you not ask the customer which they prefer if there is any choice to be made? Most people have never deigned a kitchen before and don't know the questions to ask. When they go to a kitchen place who designs, orders and installs the cabinets and counters the customer has a right to expect to be asked what their preference is. It is yet another of many examples we have run into (at least in our area of Pennsylvania) of small minded, non designers trying to save a couple of bucks on an unwitting consumer. Starmark had nothing to do with this. The company who designed and installed was unclear with us and we are stuck wondering why we didn't just go to the Home Depot? we have a butt closing with a full front lower cabinet right next to the one under the sink with a divided false front and a center stile. It is not the end of the world but really annoying. end of story.
2 Likes   May 14, 2014 at 11:58AM
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