I am building cabinet doors for a cabinet we inherited from a friend. The cabinet has a 3/4" face frame around the caracasse. I am investigating different hinges, but I am not sure what the difference is between "full overlay" and "half overlay" hinges. What's the difference?

  • Why are you looking at this style of hinge when you have face frames? They will be virtually impossible to mount on a face frame. You received one good answer to your question, but I'm guessing you're no closer to making a hinge selection. Try a google of "face frame hinges"
    – Ast Pace
    May 25, 2015 at 17:14

1 Answer 1


Rockler has a great guide on understanding hinges.

Full overlay hinges are for individual cabinets or the cabinets on either end of a run of cabinets.

full overlay hinge

(Image from Rockler, but original page has been deleted)

Half overlay hinges are intended for pairs of doors in the middle of a run of cabinets, where two doors have their hinges mounted on opposite sides of a shared middle partition.

half overlay hinge

(Image from Rockler, but original page has been deleted)

Although the images above illustrate a frameless cabinet, the concept is the same for a face frame cabinet--though depending on your design you may get to choose whether or not you want to use half overlay with face frame cabinets.

If you are unsure what you need, many vendors of high-quality hinges are happy to spec exactly the hinges you need based on the specs of your cabinets.

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