The Ultimate Guide to Kitchen Cabinet Hardware
Phase #1 Basics:1. Record the quantity of doors and drawers in your kitchen: Count your doors and drawers and write down how many of each you have. Even if your kitchen hasn't been built, you can use the plans to do this. 2. Determine budget - Buying large quantities can add up quickly. Budget can be a huge determining factor in what you can consider. It can quickly eliminate using imported hardware from France making your choices a little easier. ( or harder if you had your heart set on the imported pieces.) 3. Decide if you are going to use all knobs, all pulls or a combination of both. Again, budget can come into play here, as it is typically cheaper to use knobs and less pulls. This is often determined by the amount of doors and drawers, as well as the layout of the space. If you aren't careful the hardware you choose can cause visual business or on the opposite side of the design spectrum, lack of impact, if not properly chosen. 4. Choose your appliance hardware first. If you are concealing your appliances you may want to start by choosing that hardware first, since the options for appliances are more limited. Once you choose the appliance hardware then you can choose either matching or coordinating hardware for the rest of the kitchen. 5. Buy Quality- Buy the best quality you can afford. Kitchens get the most wear and tear of room in a house. The better the quality of hardware, the chances of it holding up are greater. There is nothing more unattractive than hardware which has lost its finish. Just by spending a few extra dollars per knob, you can get great quality, with a finish that will last. When possible, always buy solid hardware over hollow, it often last the life of the cabinets and feel good to the touch. The average homeowner doesn't change out kitchen hardware, but about every 10 years. If you invest in high quality hardware and decide to move you can always take it with you to your next house. 6. Define your style - Look at places like Houzz or Pinterest for kitchen hardware you like. Bookmark the pages or start a pin board with ideas, you can share with your designer or the in-house salesman at your local store. 7. When possible visit a showroom - If you have a hardware distributor locally, by all means visit them and take one of your cabinet doors if you have one. They can help you with options. It's always best to look at the hardware with the actual door. 8. Order samples - Always, always get samples of hardware to see in person. It is important to hold the hardware to see how it feels in your hand, as well as feel the weight and see the finish of the hardware as I mentioned above. Note: some online companies will allow you to order samples for a nominal shipping fee, which is often much cheaper than the actual hardware, so you can save a little money on one piece if you are buying multiples.
Phase #2 AestheticsNew Kitchen: 1. Determine your style - Are you more traditional, contemporary, or transitional? These are the three most commonly identified styles. If you don't know your style, look at kitchens online (as I mentioned above) and start a file to show a design professional or showroom sales person, who can help you identify your style. 2. Let the elements dictate the finish - Cabinet style,color and finish or faucet style/finish as well as appliances or countertops all come into play when choosing hardware. For example, if using a black granite, you might opt for a repeat of black for the hardware. 3. Determine what role the hardware will play - Do you have plain cabinets and nothing exciting in your kitchen, and need your hardware to be the star of the room? O,r do you want your hardware to play a supporting role to the other items in the room? 4. Work with a designer when possible - If your budget permits, work with a designer. He or she can save you time and money. They will narrow down the choices for you and still let you choose, if you want to be involved in the process. The designer knows what is available at the price that will fit your budget. They also know how to mix metals, to achieve a more custom look. Scale is really important when choosing hardware. If you go too small it can look cheap or unimpressive. The professional knows what will work best. Remember choosing the right hardware is imperative to creating the look you are trying to achieve in your room. 5. Take a photograph- If not working with a designer, take a photograph of your existing kitchen, to the in house designer at the showroom so they can help you with options. Decide the look you are hoping to achieve with your update (as mentioned above) 2. Existing Hardware: Take into consideration what hardware you are replacing. Is it necessary to replace with the same type of hardware currently there? Will you simply replace the knobs/pulls with same size originally on cabinets or are you replacing pulls where knobs use to be, or vice versa? 3. Finish: To choose the finish for an existing kitchen, take into consideration your other finishes such as lighting, faucets, appliances, cabinet style and finishes. 4. Do you have exposed hinges? Are you planning to replace those? If not, you will need to make sure your new hardware matches. Take one with you to the showroom. It is important when replacing the hinges to get the exact size, so it fits perfectly and your doors operate properly. 5. Take the original hardware with you when searching for replacements. This is the easiest way to make sure you get the correct hardware, that will fit if you want to replace with the same style of knobs and pulls. 6. Painted Cabinets: With painted cabinets, often the holes can be filled and the type of hardware can be changed from knobs to pulls and vice versa. If you want to change the style of hardware, get the opinion of a professional painter and hire him if you aren't a seasoned painter. Kitchen cabinets are not where you want to learn to paint. If you are handy with caulk, sandpaper and a paint brush, then proceed with caution. Just remember if the old hardware indentions are visible, the job won't look new and fresh. Take the extra time and effort to make the cabinets perfect, before painting and applying the new hardware. 7. Check clearance - make sure the projection of the hardware works with the existing doors/drawers. Sometimes a lower profile hardware is in order. Don't be afraid to mix metals: Things don't have to be matchy- matchy. The metals in your kitchen just need to co-ordinate. I'll show you some examples. Don't be afraid to go big - Tiny little knobs are no longer the only hardware option in your kitchen. Of course if that is your preference and you want small knobs, that is ok. Over-scale hardware is really on trend and makes an impressive statement. Look in Unconventional Places for Hardware - There are endless places to buy interesting hardware. Check out places like Anthropologie, Restoration Hardware, Overstock, or Ikea or just Google the type hardware you are looking for. Make sure when choosing knobs from places other than hardware companies to check the quality. Always order a sample to check construction,finish and weight. If the hardware doesn't feel study in your hand, it most likely won't hold up on your cabinets. Do you like the hardware on a piece of furniture? Ask the furniture manufacturer about purchasing knobs from them for your kitchen. 4. Minimal or no hardware - In a sleek modern kitchen, you don't necessarily have to have hardware. The cabinet can be routed out, so that the doors can be pulled open with the fingers or use of minimal hardware:
Via Jeanne RoaneLee Valley is one brand that sells bar style pulls. More economical option: Bar style pulls in stainless - Overstock $52.99 for 25
...2. Cup style - especially like it when it has a more interesting shape than the standard rounded cup pulls. Beautiful in polished nickel, brass and chrome finishes but also quite nice in oil rubbed bronze. Polished nickel cup pulls - Schaub Economical option: Overstock Cup pulls available in several finished
...3. Glass knobs and pulls. Add a little sparkle and nostalgia to your kitchen, especially if cut glass. Most glass knobs are available in color, so this is a great way to add a little pop of color to your kitchen . School House Glass Knobs $15 Economical option: Amerock on Knobs and Hardware - $5.97
...4. Novelty knobs/pulls - I love to choose unusual knobs when possible for projects like second homes,cabins, lodges or beach houses. Twig Hardware - Rocky Mountain Hardware Economical option - DoorHardwareUSA twig hardware - $20.40 each
...5. Latch hardware - Simple and nostalgic. This hardware isn't cheap but it does provide a look you don't get with any other hardware. Schoolhouse latch $22 Economical option: HardwareHut: Latch $14.00
...6. Face Mount Sash Style Pulls - This is a very utilitarian style of hardware, but it works well for kitchens that have many elegant features therefore hardware needs to have simple, clean lines. MyKnobs.com Deltana Pulls in Satin Nickel - $21.75 Economical option: Rejuvenation: $15
...7. Arched Mission Pull - A classical d-shaped pull with a pretty curved arch shaped. Available in 8 finishes, my favorite is the polished nickel shown above. Rejuvenation: $15 each Economical option: Overstock: $62.09 pkg of 25
...8. Offset drawer pull - This timeless drawer pull with its curved angular styling has a sculpted look. This particular look though rotted in arts & crafts is simple enough to work in any decor. Rejuvenation: $15 each Economical option: MyKnobs.com Amerock = $3.43 each
...9. Lucite Pulls - I love the look of lucite pulls. They are fresh, modern and add an updated look to the kitchen. A couple of years ago these were cost prohibitive, but now there are affordable options. Available through authorized dealers of Bird Hardware, First Impression Int. or custom order from The Paris Apartment Try this for a more economical version: Restoration Hardware $17 -$24. Polished Brass acrylic pull $9.26
...10. Interesting Knobs/pulls - Why use a boring little round knob when you can do something wow? Hardware can be like mini works of art. Nanz and Du Verre make beautiful, interesting hardware like what you see above. Not only is it beautiful, but it feels good to the touch. This type of hardware is in a league of its own but if you ever hold it in your hand you will instantly become a believer in the beauty and quality of solid, well made hardware.
...I typically buy my hardware through qualified local dealers, but if I direct anyone to online resources these are my favs!
My top favorite online resources for cabinet hardware:
Could you imagine either of these on cabinets?
Yes….I'm dying, are you?
Wow, thank you Lisa for such a detailed and informative guide! Our readers are thanking you immensely for this!!! For more information about Lisa, see below!
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