What To Look For When Buying Kitchen Cabinet Hardware

What to look for when buying cabinet hardware

Brass, Glass, Stainless or Chrome?
Your Kitchen Cabinet Hardware Can Make Your Design!

Just when you thought you were finished making decisions for your new kitchen, along comes one final one, and it's a doozy! You might not realize it, but choosing the right kitchen cabinet hardware can make or break your kitchen design!

There are a few things to consider when choosing the perfect knobs and pulls for your kitchen. Your kitchen gets messy on a daily basis, and the right kitchen cabinet hardware can keep that mess from getting on your cabinets and ruining the finish. They also keep oils from your fingers from transferring to your cabinet fronts. If you have frameless or full overlay cabinets, you'll need them to open the drawers and doors since your fingers won't fit into the reveals of the cabinet.

Finally, your kitchen knobs and pulls can help to define your kitchen's design aesthetic. They are available in a wide variety of styles and finishes that can enhance your overall design. If you're remodeling or building a new kitchen, chose your hardware last! After you have your design and materials chosen, these tips can help you to make a perfect choice!

Knobs Or Pulls?

There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to choosing knobs or pulls. Most kitchens use a combination of the two. One preference is for all doors to use knobs and all drawers to use pulls. For large doors like pantries or pull out doors like base pantries or trash pull-outs to also use a pull. You can also choose to use all knobs or all pulls. Pulls tend to be more contemporary, but they can also be seen in traditional kitchens. The choice really comes down to your personal style and how well your choice fits into your kitchen design and style. If you're uncertain, your kitchen designer can guide you through this choice. 

Square or Curved?

Your countertop edge, cabinet style, lighting fixtures and any major design elements will have a hand in your choice. Does your kitchen feature square or curved lines? You will want to choose hardware that is consistent with the lines of your overall design.

Square style hardware as a general rule is more “contemporary.” For example, they work well with shaker, flat panel or any other doors with a “flatter” squared look. Curved style hardware has a soft edge and often more detail. These are more traditional or transitional. These "rules" are not set in stone. Curved or arched pulls as an example are often seen in art deco and mid-century designed kitchens.

Kitchen Cabinet Hardware Finishes

While the most popular finishes tend to be chrome or brushed nickel, there are some other attractive finishes that may add appeal to your design. As a general rule, your kitchen cabinet hardware finish should match or compliment your faucet and other fixtures.

There are some finishes that will work with brushed nickel like antique pewter, bronze, satin brass; oil rubbed bronze, aluminum, black matte, and rust. Finishes that work with Chrome are more limited and include white, black, dark bronze, pewter, and clear glass.

The Cost of Hardware

Prices can vary widely for kitchen cabinet hardware! As a general rule, you get what you pay for. Be prepared you can easily spend hundreds of dollars for high-quality knobs and pulls for a large kitchen. Inexpensive brands are available, but their quality is often sub-par, and they tend to look cheap. Top Knobs is a brand we admire and use often in the kitchens we design. Richeileu, Alno and Jeffrey Alexander are cabinet hardware manufacturers we also admire.

The best solution is to visit a local plumbing or cabinet showroom as they will have a larger selection, better quality and salespeople to help you. If you are working with a designer, speak with them, and they can show you choices that will work with your kitchen.

You can expect to spend $6 - $10 for high-quality knobs and $7 - $12 for pulls. The final price is based on the finish and design. Solid stainless or bronze are going to cost much more. Longer pulls will also run more since there is more material involved.

Your kitchen cabinet hardware is the jewelry of your kitchen! Just like shoes in your wardrobe, it must coordinate with the other elements and overall aesthetic design of your kitchen, be comfortable, and improve the look and design. Before you buy, do your research! Order samples, visit our showroom and check finishes in your kitchen with your existing elements and materials. And most importantly, always speak with a kitchen designer. They will know what's new, timeless trending and what will last. With a little effort, your kitchen cabinet hardware can take your kitchen design over the top!


About Toulmin Kitchen & Bath Design - We're West Alabama's award-winning, premier kitchen and bath showroom. We're experts who are known for a design-build process that makes the construction process stress-free. Contact us to schedule an appointment for a design consultation.