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How to Pick Kitchen Hardware: Ultimate Guide

cabinet refacing
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When it comes to giving your kitchen a facelift, the devil is in the details. Kitchen hardware may seem like a small component, but it plays an important role in the overall aesthetics and functionality of your kitchen. From the sleek touch of stainless steel appliances to the timeless elegance of brass hardware, every choice you make contributes to the ambiance of your kitchen.

Additionally, if you find yourself with cabinets’ hardware that doesn't quite meet your expectations, cabinet refacing services offer a flexible solution to match your evolving taste or kitchen's aesthetic needs.

Our experts at Kitchen Cabinet Guys have put together this ultimate guide that will walk you through everything you need to know to choose the right kitchen cabinet hardware and explore refacing options that not only complement your personal style but also enhance the practicality of your space. Let’s get started!

Understanding the Basics of Kitchen Hardware

Before diving into the myriad of options available, let's establish a solid understanding of what kitchen hardware is. Essentially, kitchen hardware refers to the knobs and pulls attached to your cabinet doors and drawers. But it's not just about cabinet hardware — it also includes cabinet hinges, and sometimes, the less visible elements that make your cabinets functional and accessible.

Choosing Between Knobs and Pulls

The choice between knob or pull is a fundamental aspect of selecting kitchen cabinet hardware. This choice is often guided by personal preference, but functionality and style also play essential roles:

1. Knobs


Knobs are traditionally favored for cabinet doors, offering a timeless appearance that suits various kitchen styles, from traditional kitchens to those with a more modern aesthetic. Small knobs can add a subtle, refined touch to cabinet doors, while larger knobs can make a bold statement.

2. Pulls


Pulls are generally preferred for drawers due to their ease of use, especially in the case of larger drawers. They can also be used on cabinet doors to create a contemporary kitchen look. Pull styles range from sleek modern bars to more detailed and ornate designs, allowing for a high degree of customization in your kitchen's design.

Hardware Finishes

The finish of your kitchen hardware can significantly impact the overall look of your kitchen, influencing how well it pairs with stainless steel appliances, white cabinets, or stained wood. Here are some considerations:

1. Stainless Steel

Stainless Steel

When working with stainless steel appliances, opting for finishes like brushed nickel or stainless hardware can be visually appealing. These finishes complement the sleek, modern appeal of stainless steel and create a cohesive and unified look throughout the kitchen.

2. Bold Black

Bold Black

Introducing black hardware provides a striking contrast, particularly in kitchens adorned with white cabinetry or light-toned wood finishes. The stark juxtaposition of black hardware against a bright backdrop adds depth and visual interest, making it a compelling choice for those who want to make a bold design statement.

3. Luxurious Brass

Luxurious Brass

Brass hardware infuses warmth and opulence into any kitchen space, making it a versatile choice suitable for both traditional and contemporary settings. In traditional kitchens, brass hardware can evoke a sense of timeless elegance, while in modern settings, it adds a sophisticated touch of luxury, elevating the overall aesthetic.

4. Polished Nickel

Polished Nickel

For kitchens that blend contemporary and classic elements, polished nickel offers a refined and versatile option. With its slightly warmer tone compared to chrome, polished nickel hardware is both understated and sophisticated. It seamlessly bridges the gap between modern and traditional design styles, making it an ideal choice for kitchens seeking a balanced fusion of aesthetics.

Size and Proportion

Achieving the perfect balance in your kitchen hardware requires meticulous attention to size and proportion to ensure seamless integration with your cabinet doors and drawers. Following the golden rule that dictates pulls should ideally measure around 1/3 the width of the drawer can help you achieve aesthetic harmony while still being functional.  

Hardware size matters in your kitchen style — smaller knobs or pulls for petite drawers maintain a sense of proportionality, while larger drawers require substantial pulls or even dual knobs to facilitate effortless usage without compromising on style.

Mixing Metals

Unlocking the full potential of your kitchen's design involves embracing the art of mixing metals within your hardware selections. By marrying different metal finishes, you can infuse your space with layers of visual intrigue and complexity. For instance, harmonizing stainless steel appliances with accents of brass or bronze hardware results in a sophisticated, multidimensional aesthetic.

The key to mastering the art of metal mixing revolves around establishing a dominant hardware color that serves as the focal point. From there, you can strategically juxtapose it with complementary accents to create cohesion. This approach ensures that each metal element contributes harmoniously to the overall design scheme.

Consider the Style of Your Kitchen

The overall style of your kitchen should dictate the hardware style you choose. For example, hardware finishes like oil-rubbed bronze, brushed nickel, and polished nickel can complement traditional kitchens or contemporary kitchens, depending on the specific aesthetic you aim to achieve. For instance:

1. Traditional Kitchens

Traditional Kitchens

In traditional kitchens, classic finishes like oil-rubbed bronze or brushed nickel effortlessly enhance the traditional ambiance, infusing the space with a sense of warmth and refinement. Oil-rubbed bronze, with its deep, rich tones and subtle patina, lends a sense of Old-World charm and authenticity to traditional cabinetry, while brushed nickel offers a more understated yet equally elegant option.

Both finishes complement the warm wood tones often found in traditional kitchens, creating a cohesive and inviting atmosphere. Additionally, traditional hardware styles such as ornate knobs or intricate pulls with intricate detailing further enhance the timeless appeal of traditional kitchen design to add a touch of opulence and sophistication.

2. Contemporary Kitchens

Contemporary Kitchens

In contemporary kitchens, choosing the right hardware finishes is important to achieve your desired look. Sleek, simple hardware in finishes like polished nickel or chrome perfectly complements the clean, modern lines of contemporary cabinetry. Polished nickel offers a sense of luxury and elegance to contemporary kitchen spaces, while chrome offers a sleek, high-gloss finish that’s modern and sophisticated.

Both finishes pair well with the sleek surfaces and minimalist design elements often found in contemporary kitchens to create a cohesive and harmonious aesthetic. Additionally, contemporary hardware styles such as minimalist bar pulls or sleek, angular knobs further enhance the modern appeal of contemporary kitchen design, adding a touch of understated elegance and sophistication.

3. Rustic Kitchens

Rustic Kitchens

For kitchens with a rustic aesthetic, characterized by natural materials, earthy tones, and a cozy, inviting atmosphere, hardware finishes that evoke a sense of rugged elegance are ideal. Oil-rubbed bronze, with its weathered appearance and warm undertones, complements rustic cabinetry beautifully. Additionally, hardware styles like rustic iron pulls or hammered copper knobs can enhance the rustic appeal of your kitchen by adding texture and authenticity.

4. Modern Minimalist Kitchens

Modern Minimalist Kitchens

If your kitchen design leans towards modern minimalism, with clean lines, sleek surfaces, and a focus on functionality, opt for hardware finishes and styles that embody simplicity and sophistication. Brushed stainless steel or matte black hardware seamlessly integrates into a minimalist aesthetic, providing understated elegance and a contemporary edge. Choose hardware with minimalist designs, such as slim bar pulls or streamlined knobs, to complement the clean aesthetic of modern minimalist kitchens.

5. Transitional Kitchens

Transitional Kitchens

Transitional kitchens blend elements of traditional and contemporary design to create a timeless and versatile space that appeals to a wide range of tastes. When selecting hardware for transitional kitchens, consider finishes and styles that strike a balance between classic and modern. Satin nickel or polished chrome finishes offer a transitional appeal, providing a subtle yet stylish contrast against both light and dark cabinetry. Opt for transitional hardware styles, such as simple bar pulls or angular knobs with clean lines, to achieve a harmonious blend of traditional and contemporary elements in your kitchen.

5 Practical Tips for Choosing the Right Hardware

5 Practical Tips for Choosing the Right Hardware

You can see that selecting the right hardware is more than just picking out styles you like — it's about creating harmony between form and function. To ensure your kitchen not only looks good but also works well for your daily needs, consider these practical tips for choosing the right hardware.

From ensuring a match between hardware and cabinet style to considering the finish that complements your kitchen's overall aesthetic, these tips will help you make choices that balance beauty with usability.

  • Match Hardware to Cabinet Style: The right cabinet hardware should complement the style of your kitchen cabinetry. For example, bar pulls are a perfect match for shaker cabinets, while ornate knobs can enhance the beauty of more traditional kitchens.
  • Consider the Finish: Your hardware's finish should harmonize with other elements in your kitchen, such as light fixtures, plumbing fixtures, and the color scheme of your cabinets and countertops.
  • Feel the Function: Testing the hardware in person can provide valuable insight into how it will function in your own kitchen. This is especially important for elements like cabinet hinges that play an important role in your kitchen cabinetry’s functionality.
  • Keep Maintenance in Mind: Some finishes, like oil-rubbed bronze or satin brass, may require more maintenance over time as they develop a patina. Consider how much maintenance you're willing to perform to keep your hardware looking its best.
  • Samples Are Your Friend: Before making a final decision, getting samples can be incredibly helpful. This allows you to see how the hardware looks in your kitchen's lighting and against your cabinets and countertops.

Installation Tips

Correctly installing your chosen kitchen hardware is crucial! It can help you achieve the desired look and functionality of your kitchen. These tips are designed to help you navigate the installation process smoothly, whether you're a DIY enthusiast or considering professional help. From measuring accurately to possibly hiring a professional for unique installations, these suggestions will ensure a successful hardware update.

  • Measure Twice, Drill Once: Accuracy is key when drilling new holes for your hardware. To avoid mistakes, consider using a template that’ll guide you in making precise placements.
  • Consider Hiring a Professional: If drilling holes seems daunting or if the hardware you've chosen needs special installation techniques, it might be beneficial to hire a professional. This can ensure that your hardware is installed correctly and securely, maintaining the integrity and appearance of your cabinetry.

Where to Buy Kitchen Hardware

Where to Buy Kitchen Hardware

When it comes to buying hardware, you have several options. Home improvement stores offer a wide range of choices, but don't overlook specialty stores or online retailers, which can offer unique hardware options you might not find elsewhere. Remember, while it's tempting to go for the cheapest option, investing in high-quality hardware can enhance the durability and feel of your kitchen in the big picture.

Kitchen Cabinet Refacing: A Smart Alternative

If you're noticing that your kitchen cabinets aren't meeting your expectations and you're concerned about the longevity of their fittings, there's no need to fret or immediately opt for a costly replacement. Instead, consider the practical and budget-friendly solution offered by cabinet refacing options. Here's how it can align with your goals:

  • Efficient Transformation: By swapping out cabinet doors, drawer fronts, and hardware, and applying a new veneer to the cabinet boxes, you can achieve a fresh and updated look without the need for a complete cabinet replacement.
  • Cost-Effectiveness: Cabinet refacing allows you to avoid the high costs associated with a full cabinet replacement while still achieving a significant aesthetic upgrade. This makes it a cost-effective option for those looking to enhance the appearance of their kitchen without breaking the bank.
  • Customization Opportunities: With cabinet refacing, you have the flexibility to experiment with new hardware styles, shift from traditional to modern aesthetics, or simply refresh your space with a new color scheme. The wide range of finishes and colors available ensures that you can perfectly match your kitchen's theme and achieve the look you desire.
  • Sustainability: By extending the life of your existing cabinets through refacing, you're making an economically smart choice while contributing to environmental sustainability by reducing waste. Refacing minimizes the need for new materials and the disposal of old cabinets, making it an eco-friendly option for kitchen renovations.

Cabinet refacing is an excellent choice for those looking to address issues with their current cabinets or update their kitchens’ style without undergoing a full renovation. It offers a customizable and impactful change that helps you to achieve a fresh and updated look that aligns with your vision.

For professional advice and top-notch refacing services that promise to revitalize your kitchen, Kitchen Cabinet Guys is here to help! Our commitment to quality craftsmanship and design excellence ensures your kitchen transformation is in expert hands to bring your dream space to life.

What to Choose: New Kitchens Hardware or Reface the Old Ones

Aspect Refacing Old Kitchen Cabinets Buying New Kitchen Hardware
Cost Generally more cost-effective compared to purchasing new hardware. May involve significant upfront costs for new hardware.
Time Takes less time compared to a full cabinet replacement. Quick and straightforward installation process.
Sustainability Reduces waste by extending the life of existing cabinets. Produces waste from old hardware disposal.
Customization Offers customization options for hardware and cabinet finishes. Provides complete freedom to choose hardware styles.
Disruption Less disruptive compared to a full kitchen renovation. Minimal disruption to daily activities during installation.
Longevity Can prolong the lifespan of cabinets with proper maintenance. Hardware may need to be replaced periodically due to wear and tear.
Environmental Impact Minimizes environmental impact by reusing existing materials. New hardware production may contribute to the environmental footprint.
Overall Aesthetic Enhances the kitchen's appearance without the need for a complete overhaul. Allows for a completely fresh look and style.
Value Addition Increases the overall value of the kitchen by revitalizing its appearance. Enhances the overall value of the kitchen with new, modern hardware.

Refacing old kitchen cabinets offers numerous advantages over buying new hardware such as cost-effectiveness, sustainability, customization opportunities, and minimal disruption. Refacing not only transforms the appearance of your kitchen but also extends the life of your existing cabinets. It’s a smart choice for those looking to update their space without the expense and hassle of a complete renovation.

For expert advice and quality refacing services, Kitchen Cabinet Guys is here to help you cope with any task! Reach out to our team and experiment with new hardware styles, finishes, and colors to match your evolving taste and kitchen's aesthetic.

Transform Your Kitchen with the Right Kitchen Hardware

Choosing kitchen cabinet hardware and considering cabinet refacing options can help in creating a kitchen that not only looks great but is also highly functional. By considering the style of your kitchen, the finish and size of the hardware, the possibility of refacing, and your personal preferences, you can select hardware and make updates that perfectly complement your space.

Cabinet refacing can be the key to aligning your kitchen with your vision without the need for a complete overhaul. Remember, the best choice is one that reflects your personal style and meets your kitchen's practical needs.

If you’re ready to move forward with transforming your kitchen, our team at Kitchen Cabinet Guys is only a phone call away. Our family-owned company is proud to work closely with our clients to ensure their vision comes to life. Contact us to get started!


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