The kitchen is often the heart of the house, so you want to make sure yours aligns with your style and needs. One key part of your kitchen is cabinet hardware, which can change the appearance and functionality of your cabinet doors and drawers.
While updating and installing hardware might seem tricky, it's often much easier than you think. Explore our guide below to learn about the kinds of cabinet hardware and how you can install pulls, handles and other hardware on cabinets and drawers properly for a beautiful space.
In a kitchen, the term “cabinet hardware” refers to the knobs, pulls and handles you might have on your cabinets. This hardware allows you to open and close your cabinets and drawers. Several styles and options are available, and the result has more of an impact than you might think.
For example, cabinet knobs are easy to grab and add a classic finish to your cabinet doors and drawers. In comparison, handles add to a kitchen's sleek and sophisticated design. These options come in various styles and thicknesses, allowing you to choose the perfect option for your kitchen's design and your needs.
While you can install cabinet doors that don't require hardware at all, you may want to consider hardware anyway. Here are some functional and practical reasons why installing hardware is a great idea:
Installing hardware allows you to add your personal touch to your kitchen. Simply updating the kind of pulls or handles you use for your cabinets can change the atmosphere from a cozy cottage kitchen to a sophisticated modern space.
Whether you're cooking or eating in your kitchen, it can become a messy space. When your cabinets don't have pulls, it can be hard to properly open them, especially when you need something and your hands are dirty.
With cabinet hardware, it's easy to open and close cabinets and drawers without getting food residue all over the cabinet. Then, when it's time to clean, all you have to do is wipe down the hardware.
A complete kitchen renovation can be time-consuming and expensive. If you're interested in giving your kitchen a visual and functional upgrade without having to undergo a full kitchen remodel, consider replacing your cabinet hardware. This quick change can go a long way in helping your space look brand new.
Picking hardware for your kitchen is both a design and functionality decision. The result must work for you and your kitchen but also fit your style and personality. Here are some points to consider when choosing between the types of hardware for your kitchen.
If you're completely renovating your kitchen, leave your hardware selection for one of your final decisions. This way, you can use the rest of your kitchen's design to inform your choice. The colors and materials used in your kitchen can help you select cabinet hardware that aligns perfectly with your overall design.
While your kitchen cabinet hardware doesn't have to match your kitchen's other elements exactly, it's recommended to maintain a similar theme between components like faucets, lighting and hardware. The result will give you a cohesive look.
Consider some of the finishes that knobs, pulls and handles come in:
If you have any other patterns in your kitchen, such as in the tiles or wall design, think about reflecting them in the shape of your hardware. For example, you might choose oval or rectangle knobs or arched or recessed handles, depending on your kitchen's other design features.
Overall, feel free to add touches of your unique personality by using hardware in interesting colors and designs — just make sure its overall look corresponds with the rest of your kitchen so you create a put-together look.
One of the many advantages of cabinet hardware is that it's fairly easy to change or upgrade later. Suppose in a few years or months, you decide you prefer another design. In that case, you remove your existing hardware and replace it with a new option that better fits your needs. Often, it's as simple as unscrewing the old hardware and screwing the new option onto the cabinet.
Of course, your cabinet style will influence which kind of hardware you select. A more traditional cabinet style might call for simple knobs that don't distract from the classic appearance. In comparison, modern cabinets that provide a minimalist look could benefit from sleek stainless steel bars to hone in on that contemporary feel.
Ultimately, you should evaluate your current cabinet style and focus on hardware options that would complement it, not distract from it.
Once you choose your hardware, it's time to install it. Alongside a drill, you'll need the following items to install your new knobs, pulls or handles:
Ensure you have some adhesive putty on hand. You'll want to temporarily place your hardware on each cabinet before you install it to ensure you have the right spot before making a hole. You can try different locations to see which is the most comfortable and visually appealing for your kitchen.
There are different ways to create holes for hardware in your kitchen cabinets or drawers. Ideally, you want the result to be the same throughout your kitchen, so creating highly similar holes in the same places is important. Here are your options:
Consider using superglue when installing rectangular or square knobs specifically. Applying superglue right to the back of the piece strengthens the attachment to the cabinet or drawer front and adds extra strength to the tension. Some knobs tend to twist over time, especially if there's only one screw involved. Adding superglue will help discourage this and keep them in place.
Using a thread sealant can help the screws stay in place. Add a small amount to the back of the screw before screwing it into place, which naturally coats the screw as you tighten it into the handle or knob. Thread sealant encourages the screw to stay in place over time.
If you end up making holes incorrectly or need to cover old holes, use wood putty to cover them up. After applying the wood putty to the incorrect hole, lightly sand the area and repaint the spot the same color as your cabinets.
It's time to install your new kitchen cabinet hardware. Before you start making holes, here are two final points to remember:
Now, here's how you can install cabinet hardware in your kitchen:
Measure the exact spots where you want to install your hardware. Consider the natural lines of your cabinets or drawers and how they might inform the best spot for your hardware. Start with a small section of cabinetry so you can assess and reassess your measurements. Mark these areas with a pencil.
If you're satisfied with these initial measurements, use some putty to temporarily place the hardware in the marked spots. Adjust accordingly until they're in the exact correct spot. Take some time to think about these placements and whether they work for you. If you're unsure about these spots, rearrange the hardware until you're satisfied.
Then, complete the rest of your measurements until you've decided on the best spots for all of the hardware.
Remove the hardware and all of the putty. Check that you have the right size drill bit for the job — the size will depend on the specific type of hardware you're installing.
With your drill, drill the holes from the front to the back of the drawer or cabinet. This way, any splintering will be less obvious. You can also use tape at the back of the cabinet to minimize splintering. Do your best to hold the drill as level as possible to create a seamless, even hole.
Complete only a few cabinets at first to ensure you get the process down. You can also address any mistakes at this point before moving on to the majority of your cabinetry. As stated, you can cover up incorrect holes with wood putty, sandpaper and paint. Allow the paint to dry before making another hole.
Now, take your hardware and the screws and install them into the holes. Hold the piece in line with the holes, and twist the screws into the hardware from the back. To fully screw in the screws, you might need a screwdriver. Make sure the hardware piece is secure and you can pull on it without any shifting occurring.
Note that depending on your cabinets, you may need longer screws than expected. If you find that your hardware isn't attaching securely to your cabinets, longer screws in the same diameter should fix the issue. These are typically available at your local hardware store.
Now that you've mastered how to install hardware on your cabinets, you can complete the installation process for the rest of your cabinetry. Some people like to mark every cabinet first, and then drill the holes and install the hardware. Others prefer to focus on each cabinet at a time.
Either way, take your time to figure out your workflow so you can make the installation process as simple as possible.
If you're looking to change more than just your kitchen cabinet hardware, Cabinet Doors ‘N’ More has a range of other cabinet accessories to inspire you. Additionally, we provide various cabinet drawer options that can eliminate the need for cabinet hardware altogether. No matter how you plan to redesign your kitchen, we're here to help with high-quality custom cabinet options.
Chat with our team to find out more about our products today.
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