SELECTING REPLACEMENT KNOBS & HANDLE PULLS – DO’S AND DON’TS
Are you replacing the current knobs and/or handle pulls on your current kitchen cabinets? If you are replacing the current knobs and pulls, there are some initial decisions to be made before starting to select knobs or pulls.
Initial decisions to make
Are you going to buy just knobs, or are you going to buy some pulls as well?
Knobs are pretty easy – it’s one hole typically to mount a knob. Pulls are easy too, but you have two screw holes to deal with.
If you are going to buy some pulls, will one end mount into an existing screw hole from the existing knob?
This can work on a cabinet because typically the knob is not centered – it’s in the bottom corner of the cabinet door. You can use the current screw hole from the knob you are replacing to mount one end of the pull and drill a new hole for the other end of the pull.
If you are going to buy handle pulls, will they mount into existing screw holes from the existing pulls?
If yes, measure the center-to-center distance between the screw holes and buy pulls with the same measurements. If no, and you would prefer a different size of pull you have two options:
If the current screw holes can be filled in and painted over so that the old screw holes don’t show, then you can mount the new pull anywhere.
If the current screw holes cannot be filled in and painted over then you have the option of using a longer pull than the original one, and hide the shorter existing screw hole with the pull itself if the design of the pull does so, or by using a back plate behind the pull that covers the old screw hole.
Do you currently have knobs on your drawers and want to replace them with pulls?
The challenge with doing this is that the knob is likely centered on the drawer. You therefore cannot use the existing screw hole for one end of the pull, because the pull would then be off-center on the drawer. You have three options for centering the pull and hiding the existing screw hole:
- Use a pull that covers up the screw hole. One example would be a cup pull.
- You can use any pull if the current knob screw hole can be filled in and painted over.
- You can use a back plate behind the pull that will cover up the screw hole from the knob
After making these decisions you are ready to select your replacement knobs and handle pulls.
A few Do’s for selecting new kitchen cabinet and drawer knobs and pulls
Do rely on the experience of a professional kitchen designer. All Top Knobs dealer showrooms have designers on staff that will give you great ideas on selecting the cabinet hardware collection and finish that will look great in your kitchen. If you are buying kitchen cabinets from them, they will help you with a knob selection that blends well with the cabinets. If you are buying replacement knobs and pulls for an existing kitchen, bring in a photograph of the kitchen with some distance and close-up shots, or bring in a cabinet door or a drawer so that they can see the style and finish in your kitchen now.
Do know your budget. The typical kitchen will have 20-40 knobs and pulls. That adds up. The typical kitchen is also going to go 10+ years before a new makeover, so buying a quality product that has solid construction and long life is likely the best investment even if the knobs cost a bit more up-front.
Do select a Collection style based on elements in the kitchen. You can use the cabinet style to influence the Collection you choose, or the faucet design or the appliance handle design, etc. Most look to match the style of the cabinets.
Do select a finish based on elements in the kitchen. You can use the cabinet finish, the faucet or sink finish, the floor finish, the counter finish or other design elements in your kitchen. Selecting a finish for your knobs and pulls that is complementary with a finish already in the kitchen will provide continuity.
Do get the count right. It seems so easy, and then the knobs come in and you forgot to count the two cabinet doors above the refrigerator, etc.
Do measure the center-to-center distance between the screw holes carefully if you are replacing pulls on existing cabinets and drawers. The new pull must match the center-to-center of the old pull.
Do consider longer pulls on tall cabinets. It’s a nice look to have a long pull mounted vertically on a tall cabinet door.
Some Don’ts for selecting new kitchen cabinet and drawer knobs and pulls
Don’t select different products from different Collections for the same kitchen. Within a collection you can mix and match, but if you go outside a collection your hardware may not look consistent in style.
Don’t be limited to just one finish. Sometimes it can look great to have one finish on the cabinets, and one on the drawers. Or, one finish on cabinets and drawers while selecting another finish on the cabinets and drawers on an island.
Don’t be limited to one knob or pull. You can choose about any product in the collection and they will match any other product in the collection. You can use one knob from the collection on the cabinets and another knob from the same collection on the drawers and have both with the same finish. You can use knobs on the cabinets and pulls on the drawers, or vice versa.
Don’t choose a mounting position and size for your knobs and pulls without first checking clearance. You don’t want the knob or pull to hit something that will scratch or damage it. You may need a lower profile knob or pull if there are clearance issues, or reposition the mounting location to avoid a clearance problem. If cabinet doors open together, with the knobs or pulls right next to each other, you will want to measure the distance between the new knobs or pulls – if you select large diameter hardware they may actually touch each other or aesthetically look too close together.
Don’t go cheap. It’s the jewelry for your kitchen. You will look at the knobs and pulls every day. Cheap knobs will wear – the finish will change and come off. They won’t look the way you want your kitchen to look. For a dollar or a few dollars more per knob you will get cabinet hardware with a beautiful and lasting finish, timeless designs, craftsmanship detail, and a Lifetime Warranty – Top Knobs.