What is a Partial Overlay
Most manufactured cabinets fall into two distinct categories: partial overlay and full overlay. The term overlay refers to the amount of visible frame on a given cabinet style. As opposed to full overlay, a partial overlay refers to a style of cabinets in which there is a measurable space in between the doors and drawer fronts.
On a partial overlay cabinet, cabinet drawers and doors will overlap the cabinet frame evenly. Partial-overlay cabinet design is one of the most timeless kitchen cabinet styles. Due to its popularity, partial-overlay cabinets are often less expensive than full-overlay cabinetry. When assembling partial-overlay cabinetry, the assembler has more leeway since the pieces do not have to fit precisely as they would with a full-overlay cabinet. Partial-overlay cabinets are more affordable, leave more room for errors, but do not achieve the more modern and custom appearance you found in full-overlay cabinetry.