Hide Wall Cabinet Endgrain (Frameless)

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Forum topic by Russell Eck posted 01-05-2016 07:02 PM 1050 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Russell Eck

165 posts in 1695 days

01-05-2016 07:02 PM

Topic tags/keywords: frameless cabinet end grain question

So I am building some frameless cabinets for my kitchen and it seems unanimous that the verticals go the full length with the horizontals sandwiched in between. I know you hide all the face end grain with iron on or face frame solids but my question is how do you hide the end grain on the bottom of the wall cabinet?

Please excuse my rudimentary drawing. I guess you could iron on thin strips but that would take away from a continuous grain across the bottom. Do people just leave it showing and assume no one will look underneath to see? But then again this is frameless cabinets not face frame where they can hide it with a large face frame extending down to block the view.

5 replies so far

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Russell Eck

165 posts in 1695 days

#1 posted 01-05-2016 07:04 PM

I also now you could minimize with a rabbet or double rabbet joint but that doesn’t completely remove the end grain exposure.

View rwe2156's profile


3280 posts in 1751 days

#2 posted 01-05-2016 07:11 PM

I supposed if you had a table or nook in the kitchen someone could look up under there.

I would just iron on the strips it won’t be that noticeable especially with undercab lighting.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

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944 posts in 1712 days

#3 posted 01-05-2016 07:39 PM

Edge-banding on that bottom edge is typical. Uninterrupted, continuous grain along the bottom of upper cabinets does not exist in frameless cabinets I’ve seen (or built).

if you want to go off-road, though, you could use thinner material for the bottom, then add a 1/4 panel that covers the whole bottom surface (edge-banding the bottom front edge after the bottom panel)

If you want to consider under-cabinet lighting, you may want to add a bottom “lip”—which would also allow a “skin” of 1/4 ply to cover the bottom edges:

-- Jerry, making sawdust professionally since 1976

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Russell Eck

165 posts in 1695 days

#4 posted 01-06-2016 03:47 PM

I guess I have never really looked under them myself to check to see if end grain was showing or not. But thanks for the info guys! I think I will just do the iron on strips.

I haven’t decided if I want to do under cabinet lighting yet. I’m doing frameless for the “modern” look, not going as far as mid-century style but a heavy influence. How common is it to extend a door like that and add a lip in a “modern” style look? I feel like I haven’t seen it to often but maybe I just wasn’t paying attention. Thanks!

View clin's profile


990 posts in 1266 days

#5 posted 01-06-2016 05:53 PM

I’ve never seen the underside of kitchen cabinets finely finished. It’s pretty hard to see them unless you bend down and look up at them, or are younger than 5 years old. So I wouldn’t be concerned about making it too pretty. Though I agree with edge banding it.

Also, for under cab lighting, consider flat LED strips. These are VERY low profile. I think maybe less than 1/8th” thick. So you don’t need as tall a lip to hide them. Though keep in mind that if the cabinets are visible from say a family room, you still need the lip tall enough so someone sitting won’t have the glare of any form of under cab light directly in their line of sight.

I’m no expert on cab styles, but as far as the lip and extending the doors over it, keep in mind that when the doors is closed, it all looks the same. However, you still want normal clearance above your counter top for small appliances. So if the bottom of the lip is that clearance, that means the bottom of the cab (bottom shelf) is going to be that much higher. Even an inch higher can make quite a difference for shorter people.

Point being, I wouldn’t make that lip any taller than needed to accommodate the under cab lighting. But in the end, there’s nothing in this that should be more exaggerated than what a typical face frame would be.

-- Clin

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