Selecting Kitchen Cabinet Hardware For A Remodeling Project

Buying Cabinet Hardware for a Kitchen Remodeling Project

Every kitchen remodeling project consists of dozens of decisions. From choosing the perfect cabinet doo to choosing your flooring, appliances, and lighting, each decision will have an effect on the overall aesthetics, and functionality of your space. Cabinet hardware is the jewelry of your kitchen and deserves special consideration.

One decision that you might think would be easy is your choice of kitchen hardware. That is until you see the incredible variety of sizes, shapes, styles, finishes, and materials you'll have to choose from. While you may be in love with a particular style, remember, this is a piece of your kitchen you'll be looking at an touching with every single day.

Choosing your kitchen hardware starts by first narrowing the field. Answering some basic questions about your remodeling project is the first place to start.

Five Steps to Choosing the Perfect Hardware for Your Kitchen Remodeling Project

When choosing the right cabinet hardware, remember that your choice will encompass both function and beauty. One tip for choosing the perfect hardware is to choose your hardware last. After you have all of your materials chosen, it will be a little easier to narrow down your choices. Your kitchen design style, other finishes, and cabinet style choices will eliminate some hardware styles. Remember, your kitchen cabinet hardware is a subtle yet powerful element that can help to define the overall style of the space. Start your search by answering these five questions.

Mixing Cabinet Knobs and Pulls

Cabinet knobs and pulls are mixed on this kitchen remodel in Middleton, Wisconsin. Always select knobs and pulls that go together: Hardware "families" are often created with both knobs and pulls created that properly relate to each other.

Knobs or Pulls?

There are no strict design rules when it comes to choosing whether you'll use a knob, a pull, or both. One preference is using knobs on cabinet doors and pulls on drawers. Consider pulls on larger doors like your pantry or a pull-out door like a base pantry or trash pull-out.

Opening a drawer is more comfortable with a pull. This allows you to use you full hand to open a heavy drawer rather than just fingertips. Older kitchens often featured all knobs. Today, using all pulls is a contemporary look, that is often used in kitchen remodeling project for homeowners who are planning on aging in place.

If you choose to have all knobs, including on your drawers, you might choose to install two knobs on wide drawers so that the drawers operate smoothly and with minimal effort.

Square Cabinet Hardware

The hardware choice needs to integrate with the overall design style of the kitchen. The rustic wood floor with nail marks ties in to the dark, square edged hardware and the high-contrast wood grain of this remodeled kitchen in Cottage Grove, Wisconsin. 

Square or Curved?

Look at the other elements of your kitchen when making this choice. Consider your cabinet style, countertop edge, lighting fixtures and any other key design elements. Do they feature square or curved lines? Choose your hardware to remain consistent with the lines of your overall design.

Square Cabinet styles include shaker, flat panel or modified shaker doors. As a general rule square shaped hardware is more contemporary. Curved cabinet styles include traditional raised panel doors, pillow-top doors, recessed panel doors. Curved style hardware typically has softer edges and more detail and is more traditional or transitional. This is a generalization, and as seen in the photos in this blog, the square cabinet hardware in the second photo is actually more masculine and creates a rustic feel. The mixed knobs and pulls in the first photo, while roughly square, have a twist that we consider to be more modern. 

Choose Your Finish

Linear Bar Pulls

Bar pulls provide a sleek and contemporary fair to this transitional kitchen remodel in DeForest, Wisconsin.

Modern Cabinet Hardware

The brushed chrome finish on this contemporary, minimalist hardware fits in with the contemporary, full-overlay slab cabinet doors in this modern Westport, Waunakee, Wisconsin home.

While the most common finish choices are chrome or brushed nickel, today there is a wide range of finish choices available. While most homeowners will opt to match the faucet finish, it's not a rule. As long as your hardware finish compliments the other finishes in your design, you're good.

Finishes that go well with a brushed metal faucet like nickel or stainless, include antique pewter, bronze, satin brass, oil rubbed bronze, aluminum, and matte black. If you have a chrome faucet, your choices are a bit more limited but include white, black, dark bronze, pewter or clear glass.

Make Sure They Are Comfortable

When it comes to cabinet hardware, make sure to try before you buy! This is an element of your kitchen you'll use a dozen times a day. Touch it, feel how it fits in your hand. Does it feel good or does it pinch your fingers and feel sharp at the edges? Make sure that you are happy with how they feel. Remember, this is something you'll be using repeatedly every day for years!

Consider the Cost

Hardware is one of those kitchen elements that you pretty much get what you pay for. Make sure to budget enough for hardware. Inexpensive brands and finishes can look cheap and are generally sub-par. Remember, the average kitchen has 20 to 40 knobs and/or pulls. As a general rule expect to pay anywhere from $6 to $20 on averagely sized knobs, and $7 to $30 and up for pulls from manufacturers like Amerock. Solid steel or brass can cost much more, as can longer pulls. High-end luxury hardware can cost sometimes in excess of $100 each.

Whichever you do choose, budget to buy a few extras in case a screw breaks or the finish wears off. Because hardware preferences change over time, don't expect it to be easy to buy a new piece in the future.

Your cabinet hardware is an important design element in a kitchen remodel! Make sure it coordinates with the rest of your finishes, that it is comfortable to use, and enhances and fits within your overall design style. There are literally thousands of styles and finishes for cabinet hardware. Take some time and speak with a professional designer to get a good idea of what's available. Your kitchen designer can help you to narrow your choices and will have samples to show you. The best course of action is to educate yourself and work closely with your designer and you'll find the perfect jewelry for your new dream kitchen!

This article was updated by Abe Degnan on 8/1/2018.

About Degnan Design Build Remodel
Since 1981 Degnan Design Build Remodel has provided home improvement and construction services to customers throughout Greater Madison, Wisconsin. Our goal is to WOW you with a "Designed For Your Life" solution using a process that will transform your home into a beautiful living space, delivered on time, and on budget. We are known for our communication, respectfulness, and a commitment to our customers and our community. Contact us to speak with one of our designers about your home improvement project.