Selecting and installing cabinet hardware

To me, cabinet hardware really is the finishing touch. Cabinets without hardware look half undressed and unfinished. Dare I write, cheap?

However, I’ve had difficulty in finding hardware for the master bathroom. This is why: the industry standard width of a drawer pull is about 3 to 3 1/2″ (measured from hole to hole). I find this an uncomfortably, small size for a drawer pull. First, it’s hard to fit anything but two fingers in this width and I wanted two sizes – one for the drawers and a slightly larger size for the cabinet.

Secondly, this size looks small on the larger sized drawers that bathrooms and kitchen now have as opposed to say, 25 years ago. For example, the overjohn cabinet we did downstairs was increased in height and we put a larger door pull (7 and 1/4″ from hole to hole) in order to compensate for this:

I unexpectedly lucked out when I found them at Andrews Lighting at a very reasonable price, about $45. The drawer pulls are 5″ and the cabinet pulls are 6″ (measured from hole to hole). They also had some matching knobs. Love it!

For the master bath, the fluting of the knob and pull, mimic some of the wood medallions I put on the cabinet. Another thing I like about this hardware family is that they are not too feminine so can appeal to both women and men, an important selling point when marketing to couples.

I also like to pick hardware that matches a theme in the room. For the kids bathroom, the light fixtures had a bit of chrome and white. I repeated that in the door pulls and toilet roll hanger. These door pulls are industry standard; the cup pulls are from Overstock.com and the handles from Lowes.

A word about installing your hardware. We were at a recent open house where the homeowner (or their paid help) put in the knobs wrong. It looked wonky and just plain wrong and crooked. I would have expected a lot more considering the price of the home! Please take your time and put your hardware on correctly!

On cabinet knobs, I aim for placement in the top corner section of the door. I like the knob to sit where the circle does not overhang the corner of the cabinet.

I also like it not to be too low from the cabinet’s corner. All of these examples have the knob too low or off center on the cabinet door.

On the overjohn cabinet, I like the tail end of the pull to sit comfortably in the corner like shown in this photo:

Placing them in the middle for an overjohn cabinet would make them too high.

Here the tail is higher then the corner and looks slightly off.

If you are putting in multiple pieces in many drawers/doors, use a jig. This is a pattern that helps you get your alignment correct, door to door, drawer to drawer.

Remember, you don’t have to be matchey-matchey, just pick things in color or shape that repeat elements in the room. For example, if using brushed nickel faucets go with the same family, or ceramic for the cabinets. Oil rubbed faucets? Try the same for the hardware. If arched cabinetry, go with arched drawer pulls; straight angled cabinetry? repeat it in the look of your hardware.

Have fun with it – it’s like choosing earrings!

One thought on “Selecting and installing cabinet hardware

  1. Pingback: Project: Transforming builder grade cabinets to Old World (ASCP Old White with Dark Walnut glaze) « Simply Rooms (by design)

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