Recognizing the differences between cabinet construction types, materials and quality will help you understand the wide price variance in the kitchen cabinet market.
There are two main types of cabinet construction offered to US consumers today: framed and frameless (Euro style). Each has structural and stylistic advantages and disadvantages. Other construction options include ready-to-assemble (RTA) cabinets and refacing cabinets with new fronts only.
The type of cabinet construction you choose will be based on your design preferences, the length of time you intend to be in the home, and the expertise of the cabinet installer. Since this is a long term investment in the most expensive and probably most used room in your home, you will want to consider each factor carefully.
When comparing framed vs frameless construction, the most important considerations are box construction, materials used, quality of the finish and drawer box construction and assembly. These are the areas where cabinets first show wear and tear, including damage during installation.