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How to Choose the Ideal Hardware for Your Kitchen and Bathroom Cabinets

Bathroom Fixtures

The knobs and handles on your bathroom and kitchen cabinets may not seem like they contribute a lot to the overall look of the room, but they have far more impact than you may realize. All that’s needed to confirm this fact is to look at how many designs and styles of knobs and pulls are available. Indeed, hardware can be considered the jewelry of bathroom and kitchen cabinets!

Hardware does much more than provide your kitchen or bathroom with instant style; it is also a protector. In using knobs or pulls, your finger oil doesn’t make contact with cabinet surfaces and cause damage over time. Cabinet hardware is certainly beautiful and functional, but how do you go about choosing the right knobs or pulls for you?

Door Knobs

Knobs vs Pulls

You may have seen pulls placed on drawers and knobs installed on cabinet doors. However, there are no hard and fast rules about where you should place either one. You may choose to install only pulls or knobs in your kitchen or bathroom, or mix it up with both styles. It really depends on your personal preferences.

Factors to Consider

Regardless whether cabinet knobs or pulls will be installed in your kitchen, your bathroom, or both, there are the same set of factors to consider. These will be quality, finish, style, comfort, and size.


The hardware you choose should be built to last, but finding quality kitchen and bath accessories can be difficult, considering that costs are typically based on design and finish. If quality and selection are what you’re looking for, it may be the best option to check a local kitchen and bath showroom. These locations will have a wider variety of hardware than big-box stores, as well as knowledgeable staff who can help answer your questions.

Bathroom Shelving


Just as with knobs versus pulls, there are no rules about the finishes your hardware should have. You can try and match your hardware with your kitchen or bathroom’s faucets, or you can look at other design aspects. For example, you may already have an armoire in your bathroom that has brushed nickel hardware, or have stainless steel appliances in your kitchen that your cabinet hardware can echo.

If there are several finishes in a room, you don’t need to worry about trying to match your hardware with every one. You simply need to choose a finish that complements your cabinets best.


You can also match your hardware according to your kitchen or bathroom’s existing style. You may find that traditional-looking hardware works best with traditional styles. White cabinets offer the perfect blank canvas for colored glass, marble, faceted, or other styles of fancy hardware.

Clear glass hardware can have a lot of impact in the bathroom or kitchen. It not only reflects light for added sparkle, but will also take on the color of your cabinets for a perfect match.

Clear Glass Hardware


With all this talk about how hardware can change how kitchen and bath vanity cabinets look, the last thing you may be thinking about is the comfort of those pulls or knobs. However, comfort is also a very important aspect. Think about your kitchen, for instance. During a busy day of cooking or baking, how many times do you open doors and drawers?

Now think about your hardware. If your knobs or pulls have any features which press on your fingers or are uncomfortable to grab, and you are grabbing them multiple times in a busy cooking session, then your hardware will not serve you well.

This is why you should test every pull or knob you’re considering before you buy it. Ensure that any pulls allow you to comfortably fit four fingers around them. Knobs should feel smooth, with no harsh edges that scratch or place added pressure on fingers as you pull.


The right size of hardware will depend on the size of your cabinets. A general guide is to choose large hardware for large doors and drawers, and small for small. If doors or drawers are more than 18 inches wide, they may require two pulls or knobs. If using traditional styles of hardware, they should be no longer than one-third the length of the cabinet drawer.

Once you’ve considered the above factors, it should be far easier for you to choose kitchen and bathroom hardware you love and that will stand the test of time.