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Understanding Overlay, Reveal, & Gap

  • An overlay is the portion of a door or drawer front that overlaps the frame/box on each side.
  • The Reveal is the amount of face frame you see around the cabinet door/drawer front when closed.
  • A gap is the amount of opening between doors, drawer fronts, and/or face frames, usually 1/8” or less

In Face Frame construction with overlay doors, the overlay is usually measured in INCHES such as
1/2″, 3/4″, 1″, and so on. This overlay is set by the hinge on the hinge side and is usually repeated on all
sides of the door. Inset doors, on the other hand, have a “gap” (as it is called in the industry) between the
inside of the frame and the door’s edge. This “gap” is usually 3/32”-1/8” (2-3 mm) in width and determined
solely by the cabinetmaker and hinge hardware. It is important to know the capabilities of the hardware
when determining overlays & gaps for calculating actual door sizes required.

In Euro/Frameless construction, the overlay is commonly listed in METRIC terms, usually in millimeters
(mm). In Euro or frameless applications, you will hear terms such as full overlay, half overlay, or inset.
In these applications, full overlay is 18.5mm (11/16”), half overlay is 8 mm (5/16”), and inset is 2-3 mm
(3/32”-1/8”). We ONLY accept door sizes in inches to a precision of 1/16”. We do not typically see inset
doors in Euro/Frameless construction.

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