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January 21, 2021 1 Comment

Tips for Selecting the Right Cabinet Hardware

Congratulations! You have remodeled your kitchen or bath by replacing or refacing your cabinets or updating your cabinet doors and drawer fronts. You've completed significant portions of the project, like installing countertops, a backsplash and flooring, but now you have one last tiny but mighty step to finish the job ‚ÄĒ choosing cabinet hardware. In this post, you'll find helpful tips and ideas for doing so.¬†

There are thousands of available hardware styles, so your task may initially seem overwhelming. Once you find the best fit, you'll be amazed at how it sets your cabinets apart and ties the entire room together. Remember, cabinet hardware also needs to be functional.

Cabinet Hardware Styles

Cabinet hardware comes in various styles, including traditional, modern/contemporary, country, coastal, tropical, etc. Before you think about your exciting new kitchen cabinet hardware ideas, you must familiarize yourself with the different types and styles.


Knobs are small cabinet handles mounted with a single screw and are versatile enough to fix drawers and cabinets. Knobs are easier to place on cabinets than handles because of their smaller size, and are an excellent choice for minimalist and modern-styled kitchens. The best place to put knobs is near the corner of the cabinet doors, about an inch or two away from each other. 

Knobs come in various styles, so you can create the kitchen of your dreams with your favorite unique cabinet knobs.

  • Mushroom:¬†A mushroom-shaped knob is easy to grip and aesthetically pleasing.
  • Round:¬†Round knobs are less likely to catch on clothing while you walk past.
  • Bar:¬†Bar knobs are stylish and easy to grab with wet hands.
  • Square, rectangular and geometric:These are excellent examples of modern cabinet hardware. Their geometric form creates a sense of structure and balance, accentuating modern-style kitchens.
  • Birdcage:¬†Birdcage knobs add charm with their ornate aesthetic and are simultaneously decorative and functional.¬†
  • Oval:¬†The oval knob perfectly fits contemporary and traditional kitchens.
  • Novelty: Novelty knobs are an ideal way to spruce up a themed kitchen. They can come in all sorts of shapes, fitting any motif you can imagine for your cabinets.
  • Conical:¬†Conical knobs have gentle curves and stand out on whatever cabinet door you place them on.
  • Cylindrical:¬†Cylindrical knobs can be functional accents and can come in small sizes for modern looks or emphasize cabinet door features when broader and larger.


Pulls have more space for your hands to hold on to. Sleek and modern kitchen cabinets benefit the most from pulls. If you spend a lot of your time in the kitchen, pulls are a wise choice. Their shape and stability allow them to withstand constant use. Where knobs require only one screw, pulls use two, making them firmer and more secure. Much like knobs, there are various pulls to choose from, and each has a slightly different function and aesthetic advantages.

  • Bar:¬†These narrow rails allow you to grip them from above or below. They are minimalistic, making them work with many different styles and are accessible and easy to use.
  • Cup:¬†Cup pulls have upside-down cup-shaped handles. You use them by inserting your fingers underneath them, making them a sturdy choice.
  • Finger:¬†Finger pulls allow you to open your cabinet or drawer by using a single finger. They are usually J-shaped and are easy to conceal if you want to avoid drawing attention to a pull or handle.
  • Bail:¬†Bail pulls are hinged handles mounted on a back plate and sit flat against your cabinet door when not in use.

If you can't decide which you prefer, mixing knobs and pulls on kitchen cabinets is always an option. Depending on their color and style, they can work well together to enhance your decor while simultaneously making the room even more functional. 

Besides knowing what each style does and how they complement your cabinets, there are other crucial considerations when selecting hardware.

How to Choose Hardware 

When picking cabinet hardware, you can opt for all knobs, all pulls or get creative with a combination. We've found most people select pulls for their drawers and knobs for their cabinet doors. Cabinet pulls tend to be wider and easier to open.

Pulls range from the most common size of 3" up to 10" to 12". Knobs come in different diameters, but are generally 1" to 2". They are typically less expensive and easier to install than pulls because they only need one screw. Tip:We recommend a pullfor any large cabinet door such as a pantry dooror a pull-out door (like a pull-out trash can).

Depending on the style and finish, knobs range from $6 to $10 and pulls are $7 and up, based on design and size.

Low-quality cabinet hardware is more vulnerable to wear and tear. They can scratch or stain your cabinets, and their handles quickly accumulate grime and dirt, which increases the risk of contaminating your hands and the food you touch. That's why quality and style are such essential factors.

Selecting cabinet hardware will depend on your room's color scheme, the finish on your kitchen or bath cabinets and the width and height of your cabinet doors and drawers. Taller and wider cabinets and drawers require correspondingly larger hardware. As an example, you'll usually see bar hardware with modern or contemporary cabinets like Shaker or slab style, while many people prefer arched or cup hardware on traditional or transitional cabinetry. You might have to order a few samples to find the best fit for your room. The only limit is your imagination, so don't be afraid to be bold. 

What Hardware Finish Matches Your Room?

Once you've decided on your ideal knob or pull style, it's time to pick a finish. You might find this even more challenging, because you want the finish to pop and set off the cabinets. Finishes come in many variants, including black, black matte, nickel, satin nickel, brushed nickel, gold, oil-rubbed bronze, brass, polished brass, antique brass, chrome and fashionable wood options.

Most people want their hardware to match their faucets or appliances. It does not have to be perfect, but whatever you choose, you'll want it to complement the other finishes in your room. Feel free to mix and match. For example, if you have a kitchen island, you may want it to stand out. We've seen many people with differently colored countertops, so why not try using various hardware types and styles? 

Cabinet Hardware Material 

Cabinet Hardware Material

Cabinet hardware comes in several materials, and metal is the most popular. Picking cabinet hardware material is an easier decision than color and finish, but it still plays a vital role in how you use your kitchen or bath and how long your cabinet hardware maintains its look and luster.

There are lots of options to choose from based on your style. Metal is an excellent choice for modern, traditional, mid-century and transitional-style kitchens. Glass enhances any room and is easy to match. Wood is the perfect choice for coastal and rustic homes. Crystal is a bold choice for more eccentric spaces. Stone, marble, granite and ceramic are a chic addition to any traditional-style area.

The Importance of Comfortable Hardware

While style is critical when choosing cabinet hardware, don't lose sight of function. Your cabinet hardware needs to work for you. If you find it hard to grip knobs, choose pulls instead. Comfort needs to be a vital part of your decision.

  • Rounded surfaces:¬†Rounded surfaces are less likely to scratch you than sharp, square-edged ones. When you are distracted or moving quickly, you can accidentally hurt your hand or catch your clothing on edged knobs and pulls, especially in smaller areas.
  • Neatness:¬†Some people like everything to be pristine and neat at all times. In that case, you might want to consider a round knob instead of a geometric one because it will never look out of place.
  • Regular use:¬†You will use this hardware every time you need to open your cabinet, so ensure it is comfortable and easy to use.

Installing Your Cabinet Hardware

Once you have selected the right hardware for your room, installing cabinet hardware is a fairly straightforward DIY project. Most often, people install drawer pulls horizontally and cabinet pulls vertically. There are more options with knobs, but you may prefer to center them on drawer fronts and in the bottom left or right corner of a cabinet door. 

Your cabinet hardware's size and positioning can make or break your desired look. They affect your cabinets' balance, function and aesthetics. These size and position tips will help you maximize your cabinet hardware.

  • Pull sizes:¬†Traditional and transitional pulls should be about a third of the cabinet drawer length.
  • Large drawers: Drawers larger than 18" may need more than one knob.
  • Contemporary designs:¬†Pulls at least two-thirds the length of a drawer or door work well with contemporary design cabinets.
  • Placement:¬†Pulls are best placed vertically on doors and horizontally on drawers.
  • Small knobs:¬†Smaller knobs are more appropriate for smaller drawers and doors.

Tip:Purchasecabinet hardware templates online or at your local home improvement store like Home Depot or Lowe's.

Find Top-Quality Hardware and Accessories at Cabinet Doors ‚ÄėN‚Äô More

Find Top-Quality Hardware and Accessories at Cabinet Doors ‚ÄėN‚Äô More

Cabinet hardware can be just as vital as the color or material you choose for your countertops, floors or finishes for your lighting or faucet. Even though it might be an afterthought in the grand plan of your total kitchen or bath remodeling project, it can be as critical a decision as the other, more expensive steps in your remodel. We hope this information and tips helped you choose the best cabinet hardware for your room and project.

Buy $750 or more in any combination of cabinetdoors, drawerfronts, drawerboxes or accessories and get an automatic 10% off your entire order. Discount taken atcheckout.We cannot combine discounts.Contact us anytime to find out more about what we can do for your cabinets and your home's aesthetics.

1 Response

Elina Brooks
Elina Brooks

May 09, 2023

I’m giving my kitchen a makeover next week, so I need new hardware for my cabinets as well. I appreciate your tip when you told us to consider its use and the longevity of how long it can maintain its look and luster when selecting the right material for our cabinet hardware. I’ll make sure to take note of this while I look for a nearby hardware store to shop from soon.

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