To be able to choose the right cabinet hardware, we'll first need to get into the differences between cabinet knobs and cabinet pulls.
High cabinets typically have knobs because they need one screw, and you can grab them with your thumb and forefinger. A cabinet knob is easier to install and use when you have cabinet doors above a fridge, pantry, or stovetop vent.
Pulls need two screws (one at each end) to hang securely, and you can hook one finger or your whole hand inside it that makes the pulling process easier. Large pull-out doors, like we see in pantries, and integrated appliances are also usually opened with the cabinet pull hardware due to the strength that you have to exert while using them.
We wish it was that simple! Some aspects of your cabinet hardware can be overlooked, like shape. For example, you can complement your cabinets and drawers by using simple round, square, or oval knobs and straight or curved pulls. Traditionally styled kitchens and bathrooms will shine with elegance if you add more intricate and ornate hardware that will create an eclectic overall look. There are also transitional knobs and pulls that result in a timeless aesthetic created by the perfect combination of traditional and modern styles.
Consider proportion, balance, aesthetics and function when deciding upon the size of a knob or pull for your kitchen cabinetry. An oversized cabinet door or drawer needs a large piece of hardware for proper functionality. A smaller sized knob or pull is appropriate for a smaller door or drawer. A good rule of thumb for traditional or transitional style pulls is that they should be about one-third of the length of the cabinet drawer. Drawers larger than eighteen inches wide may require more than one pull or knob. More contemporary designs call for long pulls that are at least two-thirds of the length of the drawer or cabinet door.
Typically, pulls are positioned horizontally on drawers and vertically on doors. In contemporary kitchens, you can consider placing the pulls on the doors horizontally for a sleek look. No matter the style of your kitchen, think about how you want the knobs and pulls to be positioned before they are permanently attached to the cabinetry.
Knobs are installed with a single screw through one focused entry point on a door or drawer. Pulls are installed with two screws through two points of contact on a door or drawer. Before any holes are drilled, make sure you give detailed instructions to your homebuilder or remodelling professional so that they know the correct type of handle to install on each cabinet door or drawer. You will also need to specify the position of the knob or pull so that they are installed in a consistent manner throughout the kitchen.
Kitchen cabinet hardware is available in a wide variety of materials -- most of which are metal alloys. Brass hardware typically has a lacquer or plating applied to its surface that makes it very durable in a kitchen. It is antimicrobial and helps to reduce the spread of germs. Bronze hardware is also antimicrobial, offers a substantial look and feel, and works well for cabinets made of thicker woods. Stainless steel is another option because it is so durable and easy to keep clean. Pewter and nickel are popular choices, too. Or, you can choose glass, crystal or ceramic knobs for a vintage look.