Standard Rail-and-stile Widths

Q:

Is there a standard rail and stile width for kitchen cabinet doors? I was thinking of using 2" face frame material for the door frames to save milling time, but I think it might look a bit dainty.
—Clint Barden, Asheville, N.C.

A:

There’s nothing dainty about that 2" door frame size, Clint. Merillat, the largest maker of cabinets installed in new construction, long ago settled on 2"-wide cabinet face frames and door frames (even though it tried other door frame widths such as 118 "). Merillat favors 2"-wide door frames because they use valuable hardwood efficiently without sacrificing strength. Also, that width suits many cabinet door sizes and styles without making the center panel look disproportionately small. For example, a 12" square door with 4"-wide frame pieces would have a center panel of just 4" square.

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