Types of Kitchen Cabinet Hardware

There are many things to consider when designing your dream kitchen — shopping for appliances, planning the layout of your space, picking wall colors and choosing the right flooring, just to name a few. However, it’s important not to overlook a simple yet crucial step — choosing the right hardware for your kitchen cabinets.

The right cabinet handles and drawer pulls have the ability to tie your kitchen together, highlighting your desired theme to create a space that’s uniquely yours. If you’re looking for the perfect kitchen cabinet hardware but don’t know where to begin, you’re in luck! Browse this complete cabinet hardware guide for some inspiration.

Kitchen Cabinet Hardware Styles

Like any other room in your home, a kitchen allows you to express your unique taste and style. You’ll find kitchen cabinet hardware in various styles, including traditional, rustic and contemporary.

You can use cabinet hardware to match the aesthetic of your kitchen. For instance, stainless steel bar cabinet pulls often complement more modern cabinetry. On the other hand, brass knobs may be better for traditional or rustic kitchen designs. Try to find cabinet hardware that allows for comfortable pulling and defines your preferred style.

Here are some popular hardware styles for kitchen cabinets:

  • Traditional: Traditional cabinet hardware incorporates designs from various eras to create a cozy yet elegant style. It usually features rich, inviting and warm colors. It may feature subtle details and curves but is not highly ornate.
  • Modern: Characterized by a simple style and clean lines, modern kitchen cabinet hardware integrates natural materials and neutral tones. This style is inspired by European mid-century modern design.
  • Rustic or industrial: An aged and unpolished style, rustic or industrial hardware is simple in design but a classic choice for kitchens. It usually has a handmade, hammered or masonry appearance.
  • Transitional: A tasteful blend of contemporary and traditional styles, transitional cabinet hardware creates a timeless kitchen aesthetic. This transitional style is also commonly referred to as classic contemporary.
  • Eclectic or novelty: If you’re drawn to quirky, unique and one-of-a-kind home decor, novelty cabinet hardware is the way to go. Inspired by abstract design and non-conventional themes and shapes, this style of cabinet hardware is for homeowners looking for a fun statement piece. Think nautical-themed cabinet handles found in beach houses.

Kitchen Cabinet Finishes

Because cabinets are typically in damp or wet environments — like bathrooms and kitchens — quality cabinetry hardware is necessary. Cabinet hardware is often made from a durable metal, then coated with a strong finish that resists rust, fading and discoloring.

Kitchen Cabinet FinishesWhether you prefer traditional, modern or rustic pull designs, you’ll want to select hardware that’s highly resistant to corrosion and rust. Some good hardware materials are stainless and galvanized steel, bronze, brass, copper and aluminum metal. While most cabinet hardware is designed to withstand moisture and everyday use, it’s still best to ensure you’re choosing a durable finish material.

Before we explore different hardware materials more in detail, let’s briefly look at some popular cabinet door finishes:

  • Stained: This type of finishing applies stain to wood to enhance the color and grain, and protect the cabinet from damage.
  • Glazed: Glazing defines the cabinet’s profile edges and exposed surface. This process gives it an antique appearance, adding complexity and depth to the cabinet.
  • Natural: A natural wood finish is free of dyes and stains, and it doesn’t alter the wood’s color. Instead, the wood has a clear protective layer to showcase its raw look.
  • Painted: Unlike a natural finish, a painted cabinet finish conceals any imperfections found in the grain. Many homeowners like to use trending kitchen cabinet colors to choose their ideal shade.
  • Distressed: Distressed finishing uses a distinct painting, staining or glazing technique to give cabinetry an aged look. The paint coat features a worn or scratched appearance.

Now, let’s look at some different types of cabinet hardware finishes and their unique features:

  • Chrome: Chromium is a protective and decorative finish over a base metal such as zinc or brass. Chrome is often polished to help the knob or handle to achieve a higher luster, offering a sleek and modern look.
  • Nickel: One of the most common hardware finishes, nickel is highly durable and wear-resistant. It’s slightly darker than chrome and tends to offer a warmer hue.
  • Copper: Copper is a unique yet tasteful finishing material. When unlacquered, it typically forms a blackish-brown layer when reacting with oils and oxygen from regular use. When lacquered, it retains a rich copper tone throughout its life.
  • Brass: Polished brass is a popular finish that adds a vintage charm. It features bright, warm tones and a lovely reflective surface that gives it a classic appeal. There’s also the older and less flashy antique brass, which has rich brown hues and a subtle golden glow. This understated warmth is ideal for a more traditional-style kitchen.
  • Bronze: Oil rubbed bronze is a great choice if you’re looking to add a rustic charm to your kitchen. Its rich, burnt hue is common in Tuscan and Old World-inspired designs.
  • Matte black: Matte black finish is typically a satin or dull black pigment applied to the surface of iron, brass or steel. Both striking and versatile, matte black finishing achieves a middle ground between modern and traditional kitchen design. Resembling wrought iron, it can also be a great choice for farmhouse and southwestern-style kitchens.

To create a cohesive look for your kitchen, consider matching the color of your cabinet’s hardware to the color of your faucet finishes and kitchen appliances.

Different Types of Knobs and Pulls

Next, let’s explore the different types of handles and pulls you’ll typically find on kitchen cabinets and drawers.

Different Types of Knobs and Pulls1. Knobs

Small yet tasteful kitchen cabinet knobs come in a variety of styles, sizes and colors. While shapes like round and oval tend to be the most common, you can also find knobs in more unique shapes and patterns as well. Knobs usually only require one mounting screw, making installation a simple task.

Here are some examples of knob shapes and styles:

  • Round: The most popular shape for cabinet drawers and doors, round knobs can vary from plain to decorative, making them ideal for many kitchen styles.
  • Square: A slightly less traditional version of the classic round knob, square knobs are an excellent choice if you want to add a contemporary touch to your cabinets.
  • Oval: Suitable for both a contemporary or traditional-style kitchen, oval knobs work well on drawers and doors and allow for easy pulling.
  • Pull: A pull knob, or T knob, has a thin elongated shape that makes opening doors and drawers simple, especially for those who struggle with gripping knobs. It’s a great complement to a modern or contemporary kitchen.
  • Novelty: Ideal for those with a more artistic and whimsical taste, novelty knobs are classified by unique shapes encompassing equestrian, nautical or other themes.
  • Ornate: An antique Victorian style with high attention to detail, ornate knobs are characterized by intricate patterns and shiny finishes.

2. Bin Pulls

One of the most popular drawer pull styles, bin pulls are dome-shaped, concave handles that are grasped and pulled from the bottom. It’s also known as a “cup pull,” due to its enclosed shape on three of its four sides.

The bin pull’s hooded style can be round, oval, rectangular or square in shape. It can feature a matte or shiny finish. Some styles — particularly Victorian — can feature decorative patterns or embellishments. Bin pulls usually require two or more screws for mounting.

3. Handle Pulls

Serving as both cabinet pulls and drawer pulls, handle pulls are characterized by a bar or rod-like design. Both ends attach to the surface of the cabinet. For coordination purposes, many handle pulls come in similar styles and finishes as knobs.

Unlike knobs, a handle pull requires two or more screws for mounting and securing. To allow for easy installation, you’ll want the new hardware to line up with the existing mounting holes, so it’s important to choose the right size. However, a drawer or door without mounting holes has no rule as to how small or large the handle pull should be. Try choosing a size that looks good and allows for comfortable gripping and pulling.

Handle pulls come in a variety of shapes and styles. Here are some common ones:

  • Curved: Curved handle pulls offer a simple yet delicate touch to any kitchen.
  • Straight: Suitable for both contemporary and traditional kitchens, straight pulls come in multiple styles and finishes.
  • Concave: Ideal for a traditional or industrial kitchen style, a concave pull — or the bin pull we discussed in the last section — is a great feature for drawers that allows for easy pulling and opening.
  • Drop: Drop pulls are characterized by a downward drooping appearance. They come in a variety of sizes, shapes and finishes. This is a great style to consider if you’re drawn to a more traditional kitchen.
  • Novelty: Designed to resemble plants, animals or a variety of other themes, novelty handles make an artistic statement in your kitchen.
  • Ornate: Featuring extravagant patterns and detail, ornate handle pulls add a vintage and Victorian touch to an otherwise plain kitchen. You’ll typically find them in bold colors and finishes like dark gold, bronze or black.

4. Cremone Bolts

Typically found on French doors and casement windows, cremone bolts are an ornate and exquisite choice for kitchen cabinets. They’re also known as surface bolts, and they typically feature a lever handle or knob attached to an upper and lower rod.

Depending on which direction the handle is turned, the rods can either slide into or out of the sockets on the upper and lower sill. Cremone bolts essentially provide a latch and handle all in one. If you’re looking to add a charming French touch to your kitchen, cremone bolts are the way to go.

Choosing Cabinet Hinges

In addition to knobs and pulls, cabinet hinges are another important piece of hardware to consider as they attach the cabinet door to the frame. You might be surprised to know that there is a wide variety of hinges available and that your kitchen cabinets will require a specific type. Below are three common cabinet hinges.

Choosing Cabinet Hinges1. Butt Hinge

The most common type of hinge, butt hinges feature a pair of leaves joined by a center pin. From inside the cabinet, one leaf attaches to the door frame while the other attaches to the back of the door. When the door is closed, the joint is visible from the outside of the cabinet, so try to choose a finish that matches the knob or handle hardware.

2. Overlay Hinge

If your door will be installed in front of the cabinet rather than inset in the door’s frame, you’ll need an overlay hinge. A full overlay hinge is required when the door covers the cabinet’s full face. Meanwhile, a half overlay hinge is needed when the two cabinet doors share a narrow partition, enabling each door to open without getting in the other’s way.

3. Soft and Self-Closing Hinges

Soft-closing or self-closing hinges prevent the cabinet door from slamming shut, ensure quiet and smooth operation and protect the frame. Because many hinge styles can be soft and self-closing, it’s technically more of a feature than a type of hinge. If quiet closing is appealing to you, consider cabinet hinges with this feature.

Do Cabinet Hinges Need to Matching Knobs?

While the hinges don’t have to match the other hardware perfectly, you should try to complement them as much as possible to create a harmonious space. Try matching hinges to knobs or handles of similar color families for a cohesive kitchen aesthetic.

Kitchen Cabinet Drawers

Like choosing the right cabinet door hinges, there are multiple options when equipping your kitchen cabinet drawers with new slides or tracks. To ensure you’re getting the proper hardware for your drawers, consider these two common types of drawer slides.

Roller Slides

Usually available in an undermount or side-mount configuration, roller slides are most suitable for lightweight drawers with smaller loads. A pair of tracks is mounted inside of the cabinet while another pair is attached to the drawer itself. The rails attached to the drawer slide into those attached to the cabinet. Each track typically contains a nylon wheel that moves the drawer.

Ball-Bearing Slides

More suitable for heavier drawers, ball-bearing slides use metal rails — usually made of steel — that glide smoothly and quietly along ball-bearings. Ball-bearing slides typically feature the same hardware as soft-closing hinges to prevent the drawer from slamming shut.

Contact Us for Your Kitchen Remodeling Needs

Whether you’re looking to enhance your space, express your unique style or increase your home value, consider remodeling your kitchen through Limitless Renovations. We’re a licensed general contractor in Atlanta that specializes in kitchen and bathroom remodeling, and we’d love to give your home the upgrade it deserves.

No matter the type of kitchen remodeling service you need — installing custom kitchen cabinets, new tile or flooring, countertops or backsplashes — we can take care of it all. From start to finish, our team dedicates the utmost attention, expertise and skill necessary to every project, transforming an ordinary room into a beautiful and exquisite space.

Let us help you bring your dream kitchen to life. To learn more about our services or schedule a remodeling project, contact us today!

Contact Us for Your Kitchen Remodeling Needs

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