All my favorite kitchens have frameless kitchen cabinet doors. Can I use my existing cabinet boxes and just add cabinet doors and hidden hinges to achieve that look? I am thinking I might need to somehow remove the front frame panel from the cabinet boxes. How much should I expect to pay a contractor to do that?
Demi R. ~ Tacoma, Washington
Hi Demi, In the world of construction and remodeling just about anything is possible. There are trim carpenters and custom cabinet shops that can do things that would amaze you, they still amaze me and I have been around them for over 25 years. I would think that with the rich history of woodworking in the area, Tacoma, Washington would have quite a few contractors who could do what you want.
The big question is whether it is worth it, or if you should just do a partial kitchen renovation and install new kitchen cabinets. I don't know what type of cabinets you have now. If they are from a prominent cabinet manufacturer that is still in business, then it may be possible to purchase full overlay cabinet doors and drawer fronts to match your existing cabinets. Possible, but in all likelihood not probable. The interior frames you are referring to are the rails and stiles of the cabinet frame, and removing them without harming the rest of the cabinet is going to be a slow, time consuming job. Where they are removed the cabinet frame will probably need to be refinished, as that area of the cabinet wasn't exposed before. Your drawer slides will probably need to be relocated also.
You could just install new full overlay cabinet doors and drawer fronts, and leave the rails and stiles as they are. You would have the frameless look that you like when the doors are shut, and most people wouldn't know the difference even if they opened the doors.
I think my recommendation would be to install new cabinets. I believe you are going to have a tough time finding new doors and drawer fronts to match your existing cabinets, unless you plan on refinishing your existing cabinets. By the time you have a custom cabinet shop make new doors and drawer fronts, and redo the fronts of your cabinets to accept them, you could probably install new cabinets unless your existing cabinets are very high end. I don't know the size of your kitchen, or how many base and wall cabinets you have, but it wouldn't surprise me at all if it cost several thousand dollars to redo your existing cabinets, which could go a long ways towards paying for part or all of a new set of kitchen cabinets.