|Home Articles Hardware Knobs And Pulls|
Whether you are updating existing cabinetry or finishing off a new cabinetmaking project, selecting knobs and pulls is your chance to add a touch of your own individual style. There are no specific rules in selecting hardware, but there are a few common practices to be aware of, and a few things to watch out for. In this article, we'll touch on the most important considerations when choosing new cabinet hardware.
Knob and Pull Facts and Terminology
You might not think there would be much to know about something as straightforward as a knob or a pull. In reality, there are a few things you should - and may not - know. You'll find it easy to avoid common pitfalls once you have a handle on the knob and pull "basics".
Handles, Knobs and Pulls
Hardware with two attachment points is sometimes used with cabinet doors. Interestingly, "handle" is the term most often used to describe a piece of hardware with two attachment points when it's mounted on a cabinet door, whereas "pull" is the term that would be most commonly used to describe the very same item if it were attached to a drawer.
Center to Center Dimension
Center-to-center dimensions are NOT UNIVERSAL among pulls! This is very important to note if you are planning to put new pulls on an existing set of cabinets: If the cabinet doors and drawers already have holes for pulls, you will either have to find new pulls with the same center-to-center dimension, or drill at least one new hole to accommodate pulls with a different center-to-center dimension.
Changing center-to-center dimension when replacing pulls presents a few problems: First, you end up with one too many holes in the cabinet door or drawer front. On cabinets with a natural wood finish, the extra hole can be difficult to disguise, even with careful filling and color matching. Second, the difference in the center-to-center dimensions between one pull and another is often small enough to cause trouble when you attempt to position the pull and drill new holes - you may find yourself needing to drill "half of a hole", which is not especially easy to do.
Choose a Style
For their size, knobs and pulls draw a surprising amount of attention; it's worth spending some time and thought making a selection. In terms of "correct" style, there are no set rules - your personal preference should be the major guiding force. But we do recommend that you take your time in making up your mind - you may be living with your decision for a long, long time.
Generally, the preference is to match the style of the knob or pull with the style of the cabinet. To most eyes, Arts and Crafts Movement Hardware just seems to "go best" with the simple geometry and down to earth style of Arts and Crafts furniture. You might raise a few eyebrows if you matched an ornate historic reproduction pull with a modern-looking flat panel melamine door. On the other hand, a (well considered) departure from the usual design "rules" is sometimes just the thing to liven-up and otherwise uninspiring set of cabinets. The choice is really up to you.
Buying and Installing Knobs and Pulls
Here's a short checklist of things to consider when you are ready to buy and install your new knobs and pulls:
Buy More Than You Need
You May Need to Buy Screws Separately
Unfortunately, manufacturers don't always take this into account in deciding what type of screws to include with a piece of hardware (and don't always supply the dimensions of the screws included in product information, either). One way to sidestep a potential delay in installing your new hardware is to simply measure the distance from the inside surface of the door or drawer front to the outside surface, add 1/4", and order Drawer Pull Screws of the correct size when you order the knobs and/or pulls.
Have the Right Mounting Tools On Hand