Karen Horte

Get a Grip on Cabinetry Hardware

A new year is a new opportunity to refresh the style in your home, and one easy way to do this is to install new cabinetry hardware in kitchens, bathrooms and storage areas or wherever you think a little sprucing up is due.
Changing knobs and handles on ‘doors and drawers’ not only refreshes the look of a room, but it’s a great way to improve the functionality of your cabinets. Selecting cabinetry hardware is a matter of taste, and it depends on your likes and needs. In this article we’ll discuss some choices, including finger tabs, touch latches, knobs and pulls, so you can make an informed decision when you buy cabinetry hardware.

Touch latches

Touch latches are ‘invisible’ hardware; you simply push on the cabinet door, and it opens. Touch latches consist of a latch and corresponding strike plate. They’re an excellent choice when more visible hardware is either esthetically unpleasing or in the way, such as when cabinets are installed under countertop overhangs


The simplest ‘grip’ hardware are knobs. Generally used for smaller storage spaces, such as wall cabinets, knobs are easy to install (one screw) and they come in an infinite variety of styles and materials, including wood, metal, ceramic and glass. However, for aging or arthritic homeowners, knobs can be difficult to grasp, making other hardware preferable.

Finger tabs

Finger tabs are rectangular ‘handles’, often made of aluminum or other metal, which attach to the top of a drawer and curve downward so fingers can be inserted under the curve to pull the drawer open. They have a sleek, contemporary look, and are desirable if you enjoy minimalist style.


PullsPulls, the most common hardware, are wider than knobs and attach with two screws, one at each end. Pulls allow the hand to wrap comfortably around a bar of sorts when opening a cabinet or drawer. Generally, pulls are four to six inches long, and there are many attractive style options to choose from to complement your cabinets.

Size proportion

Knobs are most commonly used for cabinet doors, while pulls are used for both drawers and doors. When installing pulls on drawers, the ‘rule of thirds’ applies. If your drawer is 30 inches wide, your pull should be between nine and twelve inches wide, about a third of the size, and centered.


Hardware is installed in the center of drawers, but pulls and knobs are usually attached to the stile on wall cabinets, a vertical piece of door framing (the horizontal piece is called the rail).


Sometimes, pulls and knobs are used together for decorative accent. One common way of doing this is to install pulls on lower cabinets and knobs on wall cabinets, creating a ‘transitional’ look.


Keep your new hardware looking good by using mild soap and warm water to clean your cabinetry—and enjoy the refreshed look of your home as you welcome the new year!

To find out more about Karen Horte or to request a consultation,
visit karenhorteinteriors.ca

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