Protecting Cabinet Doors

Cabinets doors and drawers with evenly placed, properly aligned knobs and handles can make an organized statement in the kitchen. There are also functional reasons for the proper placement and installation of hardware. If you position the hardware too high on a wall cabinet door, some users may not be able to reach. Positioning hardware too far into the center of a door makes it more difficult to open because you are reducing leverage by not installing the handle closer to the edge, at the same time,  installing knobs or handles too low on a base cabinet makes opening the door inconvenient and awkward. Also, the best placement of kitchen cabinet hardware depends on the type of hardware. Your only options are knobs and pulls. Knobs are best for drawers, and they usually have a round, or oval shape and are available in a variety of shapes, materials, styles, and colors. While knobs can be used for doors, pulls or handles are the more common option. Pulls refers to the broader category of hardware that resembles traditional handles and they are easier to grip than a knob and provide more leverage, making them a good choice for kitchen cabinet doors or heavy drawers.

The common placement of knobs on drawers is to Install one knob on a drawer that is less than t 24 inches in width or two knobs for drawers that are larger. Measure and divide your drawer into 5 equal parts and if you are installing one knob, position it at the exact center line. For drawers that require two knobs, install them at the first and fourth lines. For base cabinet doors, knobs and pulls should both be installed on the stile opposite the hinges in order to maximize leverage. Knobs can be placed about 2.5 to 3 inches from the top of the cabinet door and about 1 inch from the edge of the door opposite the upper hinge. This places them low enough to be accessible without being blocked by the overhang of the countertop. It also positions the knob close enough to the edge of the door making it easy to open the door.

For wall cabinets, position of the knob towards the bottom corner of the door. Install the knob about 2.5 to 3 inches from the bottom of the door and about 1 inch from the edge of the door opposite the hinges. Placing the knob lower on the door makes it easier to access, while having it just 1 inch from the edge improves leverage. Mark this spot for your screw hole, then use the pull to measure and mark the position for the upper screw hole.  One rule of thumb is to line up a knob with the top of the bottom door rail. If you’re installing door pulls, line up the bottom of the pull with the top of the door rail. Always center them on the door stile.

If you are installing hardware for a whole kitchen, use a template as it makes the job go faster, increases uniformity and reduces the chance for mistakes. You can buy one online or make one. Now that all the holes are drilled, use a screwdriver to install the hardware. A good hack is to use some type of thread sealant on the screw threads to prevent them from working their way out.  If your hinges are spring loaded, you may have an issue with the doors slamming closed and making a sharp bang. This is easily remedied by using adhesive backed bumpers. These are made by brands such as Vellax, Scotch, Shintop, and Tech Team   Their 3/8” clear vinyl bumpers guarantee a soft closing every time and they can compensate if a door fails to meet the cabinet face squarely.