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Choosing Hardware for Kitchen Cabinets

You should take our time choosing hardware for kitchen cabinets whether you are doing a complete remodel or simply replacing your old hardware for your kitchen cabinets. Cabinet hardware can be subtle or striking, depending on what you choose, and what you choose will have a distinct impact on the look and function of your cabinets and kitchen.

You will use your cabinets at least once a day, so your hardware keeps you from handling you cabinet doors directly and wearing out some portions of it. They also definitely have to be up to the challenge of frequent use, so you do not want low quality, flimsy pulls and knobs.
Fortunately, cabinet hardware is easy to find. They are available in most hardware stores and home depot, although you will get much better options from a remodeling company.

The thing is, with so many choices available to you, it might be hard to find hardware that works for you both functionally and aesthetically. A good rule of thumb is to choose your cabinet pulls or knobs after you have chosen everything else for your remodel, or after you have chosen your cabinets. This will give you a better idea of what you need. Here are some other tips to follow when choosing hardware for kitchen cabinets.

Choose a type

Cabinet hardware is typically either a pull or a knob, and you can choose one or the other depending on your preference. Some people want just one type for both cabinets and drawers to keep the look cohesive.

Functionally, pulls and knobs work equally for cabinets because these do not normally bear any weight. An exception to this would be a pantry cabinet, which might have shelves built into the inside of the door. On the other hand, pulls are usually better for drawers and other types of doors that you pull out because they give you a better grip. This makes it easier to open a heavy drawer.

Stylistically, using just one type of hardware is actually common in older homes. While this does not necessarily make it a bad choice, the overall style is outdated. A kitchen that used knobs or pulls, but not both, was trending during a time when options were more limited.

If you do choose just one type of hardware, it can still work with the right design. However, if you choose pulls, you might want to think about orientation. The standard is mounting them vertically for cabinets and horizontally for drawers, in which case you should choose slimmer, lighter models to avoid making the kitchen too heavy. If you want a contemporary look, consider mounting all your pulls horizontally for both cabinets and drawers.

Choose a shape

Another thing that can affect the look of your cabinets and kitchen is the shape of the hardware. The most popular ones are curved or square. Curved hardware tends to be more ornate and has no sharp angles, which makes them ideal for traditional and vintage kitchen styles. Square hardware with its sharp angles looks more at home in modern and contemporary kitchens.

The shape of the hardware you choose should match or complement the general lines of the kitchen design. The most obvious peg is the cabinet style, but you should also consider the countertop shape and edge treatments as well as the lighting to determine if you are better off with a square or a curve. For example, if you have a Shaker-style or flat slab cabinet over a standard countertop with a square edge, you want to go with square hardware.

Choose the finish

The finish of your cabinet hardware often matches that of their sink faucets, so if you have a chrome faucet, you might want to choose a chrome finish. If you have one of the new faucets with a matte or brushed finish, then so can your cabinet hardware. However, the faucet is just one element from which to get inspiration. Your choice of finish should reflect the overall style of the kitchen. If you have a modern kitchen with sleek lines, your hardware should look like it belongs there.

Below are some of the types of finishes from which to choose:

  • Aluminum
  • Antique pewter
  • Black
  • Black matte
  • Clear glass
  • Dark bronze
  • Light or dark bronze
  • Oil-rubbed bronze
  • Pewter
  • Rust
  • Satin brass
  • White

Choose for comfort

Because you will be holding those pulls and knobs many times in your kitchen, you want to make sure they feel comfortable in your hands. You can usually find displays of mounted knobs and pulls in the showroom of your supplier, so use them. You should be able to fit your hand through or around them, and there should be no sharp or hard edges.

Choose quality

You need to choose the best hardware your budget will allow. This ensures that they will last for a long time and give you better return for your investment.

You can expect to pay between $6 and $10 for good quality knobs and between $7 and $12 for pulls, depending on the material, design, and finish. Hardware made of bronze or stainless steel is generally more expensive. Since you have to multiply this by as many drawers and cabinets you have, the sun cam be a significant bit of change. It will be worth it, however.
You can get these pulls at a discount if you purchase them from a remodeling contractor instead of big box stores. Remodeling companies usually get significant discounts from the manufacturer, and in some instances, you can cut your costs by half.


It might seem like a finicky thing, but cabinet hardware is actually an important design and functional element in your kitchen. These tips can help you choose the right one. You can also get advice from your remodeling contractor.

Fairfax Kitchen Bath services the DC, MD and Northern Virginia metropolitan areas. We are a Class A, licensed and insured contractor, registered in the Commonwealth of Virginia. We have a showroom in Fairfax, Virginia, which houses all our products, including a large collection of cabinet hardware.

We sell only top quality products for all your remodeling needs, from natural and engineered stone slabs, cabinets, shelves, sinks, faucets tiles, backsplashes, knobs and pulls, and hardwood flooring. We carry only the top brands for these products, such as Schrock Cabinetry, Silestone, Blanco, Kohler, and Mosaic Décor.

Contact us today to get free in-home design consultation and quote for your kitchen or bathroom remodeling project.

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Sam Kazanci <br/><span id="position">Owner</span>
Sam Kazanci

Sam Kazanci is the owner of Fairfax Kitchen Bath Remodeling. He has experience to build and remodel the kitchen and baths with his team and the author of fkb blog: You can find Sam on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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