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What No One Tells You About Kitchen Hardware

It's the jewelry of the kitchen and it comes in all shapes and sizes. Handles, knobs, bars and pulls. Oh my! t's the finishing touch to an entire project. It's the little touch that makes a kitchen shine.

As much as we focus on hardware's beauty, we also need to focus on it's function.

Touching, pulling and grabbing these pieces for years. Make sure they are comfortable.

Here are five pro tips to get the ultimate impact when choosing hardware for your kitchen renovation.

Knobs versus Pulls | Know Key Differences

Knobs you pull with your thumb and forefinger and handles are pulled by hooking your fingers through and grabbing. One screw for knobs and two for pulls. Knobs can be changed out to new knobs fairly easily. Pulls come in standard sizes ranging from 3" to 3.5".

Larger scale pulls are becoming more common in modern kitchen design. Yes, you can go slightly larger on your uppers and than your lowers. For example, your lower kitchen cabinet pulls can be 4" and your upper cabinet pulls 5". Mixing and matching adds dimension and interest with different pull sizes. With knobs---its generally the same.

Pulls and handles must be large enough so they are comfortable for everyone in the house to use. If hardware is not functional, you will start opening and closing cabinet doors with your hands---and that will lead to the finish wearing off quickly. Hardware has a purpose!

Average hardware costs can be around $200-350 for a standard kitchen remodel. This is with an average cost of $5 to 7 per piece. Knobs are generally less expensive than pulls.

Changing Hardware and Cabinet Painting

If you are getting ready for a cabinet painting project as part of your renovation, hardware decisions must happen before the crew starts. Will you keep the same hardware hole and swap out for the same hardware size, drill a second hole for pulls, or fill the old holes completely and start fresh. Holes can't be filled once the project is finished.

First---the least expensive option is to simply use new hardware that is the same size. If you are unsure--measure the space where the two screws are on a handle, or bring one with you to the store. Knobs are the easiest, right? ;)

Second, sometimes we use the first knob hole and drill a second hole above this so we can attach a handle. Here's a few tips we have learned along the way. Take a good look at your current knob hole. Sometimes the originally installer has drilled this at an oddly too high or too low spot. I am guessing you never noticed this until now. Yep---what were they thinking?!

Imagine adding a handle here--and you can see that sometimes it won't work. The handle will be way to high on the cabinet to look natural. You will either need to pick a knob or fill the first hole and redrill both holes for the new handle.

The other issue we have run into when using the knob hole and drilling a second---is the original knob hole is crooked---which results in a crooked handle. We often see this on a few doors and generally not the entire kitchen.

Filling and redrilling holes can add up expensive wise---the price ranges from $5 to 15 per door. Your cabinet painter will generally use a two part epoxy material, fill 1-2 times and sand and sometimes do a skim coat. If it is not filled correctly, you will notice a slight indentation once the cabinet door is repainted. Make sure you hire a pro cabinet refinisher who understands this process.

Samples are Critical

It's important to grab a few samples before making a final decision. You will be looking at three things - hardware size + shape, functionality and color.

Hold your samples up on your current door to see how it looks. Don't forget the smaller cabinet doors above the microwave or range may need smaller hardware.

Test it out. Is it comfortable for not just daily use, but use multiple times a day. Remember---you will be using these handles 4-5 times or more.

How do you feel about the color in comparison to your new cabinet color. You should always have a large color sample available. Yes---you can mix and match color and style from the island to the perimeter. Your hardware does not need to match light fixtures or appliances.


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