How to Select Hardware for your Cabinets

When you’re planning a new kitchen or bathroom, you probably think about the big stuff: the countertops, the cabinets, the appliances, the flooring. But we’re here to remind you that the little details can make a BIG difference- particularly the cabinet hardware. 

Hardware can have a huge impact on the look and feel of the room, which is why we often recommend replacing hardware as a quick upgrade when you aren’t able to remodel. So when you’re planning a new kitchen/bathroom, or a re-design, don’t let your hardware be an afterthought. Here are a few guidelines to help you select the right hardware for your room.

Narrow down your cabinet style is the first step in selecting cabinet hardware

Narrow down your cabinet style first

The style of cabinet hardware you pick will depend a great deal on the style of your kitchen, and the cabinet door style you choose.  Traditionally styled cabinets with intricate drawer front faces call for traditional hardware; where a simple flat faced cabinet will look best with minimal, streamlined knobs and pulls.  Some contemporary cabinets don't require hardware at all. Instead, they'll have built in grooves on the edges of door, or a special drawer mechanism that is 'push to open.' Although you may opt for a slim tab finger pull as a simple sparkle at the edge of the cabinet drawer and door. Country styled kitchens, beg for cup pulls; and recessed hardware can make for a particularly elegant, or industrial look.  

mixing metals with cabinet hardware 

Consider the other metals in the room

When selecting the finish for your hardware, use the rest of your room as your guide. For some people, matching hardware to appliances may be particularly important. If you like everything to coordinate (appliances, lighting, faucet, sink etc), consider the whole room when you pick the color of your pulls. Or, mix and match your finishes! We've seen plenty of kitchens with brass pulls and stainless appliances. There is no design rule to follow. The world is your oyster!

Test out cabinet hardware for comfort and use

Type and Comfort

There are so many options when it comes to hardware. The biggest decision is if you want knobs or pulls, or maybe a combination of both.  Again, there is no rule of thumb. This is strictly based on your desires and tastes.  When making your selection, you should consider the profile of your doors and drawer fronts. Although you may love cup-pulls, your drawer front depth and space may not allow for it. This will require you to pick a different handle or knob for this space only, or for the entire room. 

In our showroom, we tell our customers to grab and touch our displays and hardware boards. This is the only way to see what piece of hardware fits your hand, and feels comfortable.  If you are more particular, you may want to visit our showroom first, or you can see if the manufacturer has a sample program set up (Ours do!  Read until the end!) 

💡Tip: Knobs are the easiest when it comes to a future refresh. You will only have one drilled hole to contend with.  Another knob can easily be put in its place, or drill a second hole for a new handle.  

Placement for Cabinet Hardware

Get the placement right

Once you've found a style of hardware you love, in a color that suits your needs, there's the issue of where, on the door and drawers, to install them. We'd suggest seeing what is comfortable for consistent use for all those that use the room. And then use your eye to make the final choice.  There are some guidelines to consider, but just know these aren't hard fast rules that need to be followed:  

Knobs 

Hanging knobs on a flat-front cabinetry is pretty straightforward. You'll want to have your contractor position the knob in the bottom corner (for upper/wall cabinets) or top corner (for lower/base cabinets) of the door. They should be placed equidistant from both sides of the cabinet. The exact distance will obviously depend on the look and size of your knob. Test one or two before you drill a whole kitchen worth of holes. 

For knobs on a cabinet with a style (Shaker style cabinets, we are looking at you!), allow the stile to be your guide for installing the knob.  If the knob is too large to fit in the corner where the two styles meet, then drill the hole centered to the vertical stile, aligning the knob with the top of the intersecting horizontal style.

Cabinet Hardware, Knobs

Pulls

The same rules apply as with knobs: center the pull on the vertical stile, with the bottom of the pull even with the top of the horizontal stile. However, when it comes to pulls there are a few things to keep in mind. 

  • The first being, ask your designer what is the smallest drawer front you will be working with, within your design.  A small 9" base cabinet will give you a small drawer front you will need to find a pull or knob for.  If the drawer face is a 5 piece drawer front, it will effect the amount of space you have for mounting, if you are mounting in the center of the drawer.    
  • If you have a mitered door, we suggest not drilling within or too close to the joint.  This may cause unnecessary dress to the joint and end up causing damage over time. 

These aren't hard and fast rules - you may want to adjust them depending on what looks best for your cabinets and hardware- but it is a good place to start. 

Handles and Pulls for Cabinets

Drawers

There are a few options for installing hardware on a drawer.  Usually drawer pulls (or knobs or cup pulls) are centered on the face of the drawer.  In a more modern kitchen, you may choose to hang them closer to the top of the face. For shaker styled drawers, you can install the hardware in the center of the drawer OR centered on the top rail. Whatever you like best, just make sure that you're consistent across all the drawers.  Sometimes two knobs or pulls are used on a drawer that is longer than two feet.  However, if you have two pulls, you will have to use two hands to open the drawer every time.  You may want to opt for a larger pull on these cabinets and keep one hand free.  💁

choosing cabinet hardware for your drawers

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Sample Hardware Program 📢

So you found a piece of hardware that seems to meet all of your requirements. That's great! Why haven't you ordered?  We understand it can be unnerving to place an order without seeing the hardware in person, felt the quality, nor got to see it against your cabinets. Here's where our hardware sample programs save the day! Most of the hardware manufacturers ADirect offers, have sample programs in place.  You can get a sample FOR FREE, you'd just have to pay shipping. Sound the trumpets! This is fantastic news. Want more details? 

Free Sample Hardware

Berenson Hardware
  • Choose up to 5 sample knobs or handles, up to 6" long for FREE.
  • Just pay $4.99 shipping per piece.

A complimentary sample clip ships with every Berenson sample order. This innovative clip allows you to slide hardware samples directly onto cabinets, giving you an early look at the final product before the commitment of drilling holes! Watch it in action in this video.

Top Knobs Hardware
  • Choose up to 3 sample knobs or handles, up to 7" CC for FREE.
  • Just pay $5 shipping fee per sample. 
  • Crystal knobs do not qualify for sample program

If ordering more than one sample, the additional samples must be different part numbers. The samples will be shipped using USPS. Samples are not returnable or refundable. 

Atlas Homewares
  • Choose up to 3 sample knobs or handles, up to 7" long for FREE.
  • Just pay $5 shipping fee per sample. 

If ordering more than one sample, the additional samples must be different part numbers. The samples will be shipped using USPS. Samples are not returnable or refundable. 

Jeffrey Alexander & Elements
  • Choose up to 3 sample knobs or handles, up to 7" long for FREE.
  • Just pay $5 shipping fee per sample. 

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All of these companies are great!  They have 97% of orders in stock, and normally ship the same day!  If you need any further assistance in choosing hardware, or purchasing a sample, do not hesitate to contact us.
We are here Monday through Friday 8:30-5pm EST waiting for your call!   Happy Accessorizing!

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