Thank you so much for the positive feedback on the Ram's new videos for building kitchen cabinets! I'm so glad our time spent putting these videos together is worth it to you, and we are thrilled to do more for you!
A face frame is basically a frame, usually made of hardwood, in a species for the final finish of the cabinet.
While it doesn't matter what you build your carcass out of - finish wise -(hidden behind face frame and doors/drawers), the material you choose for your face frame is the finished look of your cabinet. This keeps the costs down (think about how expensive it would be to build solid Walnut cabinets!) and the labor less (you only have to finish the face frame!).
We are also huge fans of face frame cabinets because having that face frame on the front really helps sturdy up the cabinet, provide support at the front, and finish out those front plywood edges with a very durable material (I like edge banding, yes I do, but it's not the same as hardwood boards).
Another thing about adding face frames is they are MUCH more forgiving when you go to install the cabinets.
We build our face frames 1/4" bigger on each side than the cabinet, so when you line up your cabinets, all you have to do is line up the face frames. If your walls aren't square or you plywood sides are bulging out - it doesn't matter - as long as those front face frames line up.
Also, when you go to install drawers, the drawer slides are attached to the face frame and the back - so if your side plywood happens to be slightly cupped (hopefully not!) it doesn't matter. You can even install drawer slides when there are not sides! Seriously, it's slick!
And one last thing - since we place pocket holes on the outsides of the kitchen cabinets for attaching the face frame, on all but end cabinets, neighboring cabinets cover up the pocket holes. But on end cabinets, the pocket holes (and the plywood in a cheaper species than your face frame material is exposed). Well, since the face frame is 1/4" bigger on the ends, you can simply use 1/4" plywood in matching veneer (or painted as we did) to finish out those ends:
I definitely recommend face frame cabinets over frameless (or Euro Style) - and the good news is face frames are pretty easy to build! Just check out this video on how to build face frames and install them: