Cabinet hardware like knobs, pulls and other handles help enhance both the look and functionality of your kitchen. These attractive pieces of hardware make it easier to open your cabinets and also prevent whatever might be on your hands from dirtying the kitchen cabinet doors or drawer fronts.
Choosing between knobs and pulls, however, takes a lot of consideration, as each type offers different advantages and suits unique styles. When making your decision, make sure the handles you pick feel natural when you handle them and mesh well with your kitchen's decor. You'll need to consider the look you're trying to achieve, your budget, the style of your kitchen, the weight of your drawers, the ease of cleaning and various other factors.
Here, we'll go over the pros and cons of kitchen cabinet knobs and pulls so you can make a more informed decision.
Knobs are one of the most basic hardware items in a kitchen, and they're easy to replace. In fact, you can often install them using just one screw. Knobs come in different shapes, sizes and materials, with the most common including marble, glass, zinc, ceramic, brass and stainless steel. Some of the most common shapes include round, square and birdcage. You also have many novelty knobs to choose from, which will allow you to express your creativity in the kitchen.
Some pros of cabinet knobs in your kitchen include:
Some things to consider if you're choosing knobs for your kitchen cabinets include:
Cabinet door pulls or handles are also quite easy to install and generally require two screws. Many lengths are available as well, although the most common length is between 3 and 4 inches. Note that it may be best to choose standard sizes should you decide to swap your cabinet handles in the future.
To determine the length you'd like for your cabinet handles, mark your cabinets using painter's tape. You'll get a visual for where to install cabinet pulls and how big yours should be.
Homeowners choose cabinet door pulls because of these pros:
Consider the following before you decide to install pulls on cabinet doors:
Deciding between kitchen cabinet knobs and pulls will depend on your personal preferences and existing kitchen features. You might choose to complement or match your hardware to your appliances or details on your appliances. Along with style, you should think about the shape and style of your cabinets:
While these guidelines should help point you in the right direction, they are not hard-set rules. It ultimately comes down to your personal preferences, your functionality needs and the style of your kitchen. If you're worried the hardware you choose may affect the resale value of your home, remember that the most popular finishes are nickel, satin and bronze.
Here are some general tips to help you choose the right hardware for your kitchen cabinets:
It's always a good idea to pick your kitchen cabinet knobs and pulls last. Here are a few good reasons why:
You should choose a hardware style you feel comfortable keeping for the long haul. While you can always change your cabinet hardware, replacing knobs with pulls or vice versa could leave behind holes where the old screws used to be. You may be able to hide these holes on painted cabinet doors, but this process can be a challenge on cabinet doors with exposed wood. Filling the holes with wood putty is an option, but hiding the holes with hardware or getting new door fronts is the best outcome.
Keep in mind that it is easier to change a knob into a handle. But going from a handle to a knob will always leave at least one hole exposed. When going from an old handle to a new handle, remember you can always use the same length screws or longer, but shorter handles may reveal screw marks.
Pulls and knobs each have ideal situations for when to use them. If you want to get the best appearance from your kitchen cabinet hardware, you should try to pair your hardware with your cabinets in the best way possible. One rule to remember is that if a hinge is present — like with a cabinet door — you should use a knob. If a side is present — like in a drawer front — you should use a pull.
You can break this rule anytime as it all comes down to preferences. Knobs provide a classy vintage appearance, and pulls are perfect for both contemporary and traditional designs. This rule comes down to practicality, as knobs make opening cabinets easier and pulls are the ideal option for sliding drawers.
The finish on your kitchen cabinet knobs or pulls doesn't have to exactly match your faucet or lighting finishes within your kitchen or bath, but they should complement each other. Having all different finishes throughout your kitchen can make the room feel unplanned. Matching these finishes will provide a cohesive look that shows you took the time to design your kitchen to have the best appearance possible.
Above, you learned that going with more affordable hardware is a fine choice in the short term because you can always upgrade later. But remember that when it comes to cabinet hardware, you do get what you pay for. While it could be wise to go with the cheaper option now, it could also be in your best interest to save up for better hardware that will look and work great for years to come.
When it is time to change your hardware, the process can be quick and easy. If your new hardware's holes line up over your existing ones, then you're in luck and may be able to do the project yourself. If you need to drill new holes, you can call a local contractor to make sure they do it right the first time. The last thing you want to do is inflict unnecessary damage on your cabinet doors or drawer fronts.
Cabinet hardware tends to look best when used in multiple places so no pull or knob is the odd one out. Therefore, it will be easier to make multiple hardware styles work if your kitchen is larger and has more drawers and doors.
If you have fewer than 20 drawers and doors in your kitchen, you should limit yourself to two hardware types. If your kitchen is smaller and has fewer than 12 drawers and doors, we recommend sticking to just one handle style or create interest in another way, such as an open shelf. While this isn't a hard-and-fast rule, it can help you create a look that is more organized.
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