the north face big shot Cabinet Stile Rail Dimensions

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Stiles and rails are referenced per width and thickness. Length is determined by usage, and varies from cabinet to cabinet. Cabinetmakers and designers rely on standardized dimensions to build and design cabinets. A complete understanding of dimensions regarding stiles and rails is important for aesthetics, planning and building.

Two Worlds Apart Stiles and rails are terms commonly shared between builders, cabinetmakers, designers and homeowners. The definition is simple: stiles run vertically, while rails run horizontally. The two terms refer to the cabinet face frame and the doors if the doors have a center panel. Solid or slab doors do not have stiles and rails. Individual pieces that make up a square or rectangular frame almost anywhere on the face of a cabinet are known as stiles and rails.

Just My Stile Face frame stiles for cabinets are almost always 3 inches in width. Stiles that divide cabinets in the center are typically 2 inches in width, but some custom cabinetmakers use 3 inch stiles throughout the cabinet. Modular or prefabricated cabinets often use 2 inch wide stiles for everything. The width of a stile may be altered by 1/2 inch depending on design, routing or molding. Raised panel stiles may appear to be only 2 inches in width, but in actuality have a rounded bead on the inside around the perimeter that is part of the width. The width of any stile should be continuous throughout the cabinet. If you start with 3 inch stiles, stay with it.

Riding The Rails Individual face frame rails vary in width from the top of the cabinet to the bottom. The bottom rail is almost always 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 inches in width. Center or divider rails typically measure 2 inches in width. The top rail is almost always 3 inches in width. If the cabinet is full length from floor to ceiling, such as a linen cabinet, the rails are usually the same width as the stiles typically 3 inches. The standard width for rails isn’t written in stone. Custom cabinetmakers use any width anywhere they like, but more often than not, standard widths are observed so that doors, drawers, jambs and aesthetics coordinate.

Open Door Policy Raised or inset panel doors have stiles and rails, both typically measuring 2 to 2 1/2 inches in width. Stiles and rails for doors almost always measure equally in width except when the top rail is arched which can add another 2 inches to the top rail, making it 3 or 4 inches wide on both sides of the arch. Stile and rail width for doors can change depending on the design but it rarely varies in individual doors. Doors almost always have equal width stiles on both sides, and equal width rails at the top and bottom. Raised or inset panel drawer fronts also typically have the same width concerning stiles and rails.

Thickness Stiles and rails for doors and face frames are always the same thickness, typically 3/4 inch. It’s standard for all cabinets and doors due to the fact that most cabinet grade lumber of any type is 3/4 inch thick. Occasionally, lumber is milled at 15/16 inch in thickness, and cabinetmakers use it resulting in a slightly thicker stile and rail, but the differences are hard to notice. Anything thicker than 15/16 inch is unnecessary. Economy cabinetmakers sometimes use stiles and rails that are only 5/8 inch thick, which is barely enough and should be avoided.

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