You’ve picked the perfect cabinets, and now you’re ready to choose cabinet hardware. Or maybe you want to update the look of your cabinets. Many decorative styles of hinges, knobs and pulls are available, and choosing hardware that fits your style and budget can be tough. This buying guide will help you pick the right cabinet hardware.
When choosing the finish for your hardware, you may be tempted to select the latest trend. Think about what style will look best in your home before making a decision.
If your style is traditional, brushed finishes, polished brass, nickel or pewter will complement your décor. If you have a more contemporary décor, choose finishes with an enameled or high gloss-metal shine or theme hardware to blend with the overall look of the kitchen. Knobs, pulls and hinges are available in various colors, metals and finishes:
• Aged Bronze
• Antique Copper
• Ceramics (knobs and pulls only)
• Polished Chrome
• Polished, Sterling or Antique Brass
• Knobs are handles mounted to doors or drawers with a single screw and bolt. Some knobs have screws built in and are easier to install than ones with separate screws. Knobs can be combined with a back plate or used alone. They range from 3/4 inches to 2 inches in diameter.
• Pulls serve the same function as knobs but occupy more space. Therefore, pulls greatly impact the appearance of a cabinet. Pulls can be combined with a back plate or used alone and are usually attached with two screws.
Determine the size needed by measuring from hole to hole on the pull, not by the length of the pull. If you're replacing pulls, use the old ones to compare to the new ones.
A back plate is placed between the door or drawer surface and the knob or pull. The back plate may be used to:
• Protect the cabinet surface.
• Cover existing holes in the cabinet surface.
• Enhance the decorative hardware.
Before determining the type of hinge you need, you must first know the type of cabinet construction you have. Frameless or European cabinets have flush or inset doors and concealed hinges.
• Full-Overlay Door: The door covers the cabinet end panel.
• Half-Overlay Door: The cabinet door covers approximately half of the cabinet end panel.
• Inset Door: The cabinet door is inset or flush with the cabinet face.
Face-frame cabinets have a wooden frame on the face of the cabinet.
• Flush Door: The door is completely flush with the face of the frame.
• 3/8-Inch-Inset (Lipped) Door: The door overlays the face frame and has a rabbet cut on the back edge.
• Overlay Door: The door overlays the face frame completely.
Hinges come in different sizes to support different door weights. How many hinges you need for door stability is based on the height and weight of the door:
• Two hinges for doors less than 40 inches high and less than 11 pounds.
• Three hinges for doors 40 to 60 inches high and 13 to 20 pounds.
• Four hinges for doors 60 to 80 inches high and 29 to 33 pounds.
• Five hinges for doors 80 to 85 inches high and 40 to 48 pounds.
Hinge Basics: Most hinges come with a card template for drilling the screw holes. Technically, hinges are specified for use on left- or right-hand doors. Some hinges are made specifically for framed or frameless cabinets. Two types of hinge installations are available:
• Mortise hinges are permanent installation hinges. The area of the cabinet door and frame is cut out for the hinges to attach.
• Nonmortise hinges don't need to be set into the side of the door or cabinet. You simply fasten the hinges down with screws.
Hinge Construction ― a cabinet hinge is composed of four parts:
• Frame wing – attaches to the frame.
• Door wing – attaches to the cabinet door.
• Knuckle – connects the frame wing and door wing and allows rotation.
• Pin – holds the hinge together.
Hinges can be fully concealed, so you see only the surface of the door, or semi-concealed, so you see only the knuckle. (Use semi-concealed hinges for inset doors.)
European or Frameless Hinges: These are the most popular hinges for full-overlay and inset doors due to ease of installation and the ability to handle heavy doors. European hinges can be adjusted to align and level cabinet doors. They can also be used on face-frame cabinets. These are self-closing hinges.
|European Overlay Hinges: These are for frameless cabinet doors with half-overlay doors. European overlay hinges can also be used for face-frame cabinets with doors that overlap the frame. These are self-closing hinges.|
Variable Overlay Hinges: These are for face-frame cabinets with doors that completely overlay the frame and don't have a rabbet on the back edge.
Partial Wraparound Hinges: These are face-frame hinges with a large surface area that improve stability. Use on flush, inset or overlay doors. These are self-closing hinges.
3/8-Inch-Inset Hinges: The door overlays the face-frame and has a rabbet cut on the back edge. These are self-closing hinges.
H-Style Hinges: They look like the letter H with one side attaching to the frame and one side attaching to the door and are used with flush doors. These hinges don't self-close.
Butterfly Hinges: For flush doors, both wings of the hinges are mounted to the outside surfaces of the cabinet door and frame. These hinges don't self-close.
|3/8"-Offset H-Hinges: These provide support and smooth operation for offset doors. These hinges don't self-close.|
|T-Style Hinges: These look like the letter T with the vertical piece attaching to the door frame and the horizontal piece attaching to the door. These hinges don't self-close.|
|Full-Inset Pin Hinges (Butt Hinges): These are for doors completely flush with the face of the cabinet. They can be recessed or surface-mounted on face-frame cabinets. These hinges don't self-close.|
Cabinet Door Catches
Catches are used on doors that don't have self-closing hinges.
• Have a male and a female part that work with spring tension similar to the roller type.
• Provide a secure grasp of the door.
• Have invisible catches on inset doors.
• Have a metal plate that mounts on the door with the magnetic part mounted on the frame.
• Are the most widely used of all catches.
• Open and close with a light push on the door.
• Are often used on glass doors.
|Spring Roller Touch Hinges:|
• Have one or two rollers set close together on the cabinet frame, and a catch that's mounted to the door.
• Close when the rollers hook on the strike plate.
• Provide a quiet alternative to the clicking sound of magnetic catches.
Cabinet Hardware Accessories
Note the weight capacity of your drawer. Drawer slides have load ratings of light, medium or heavy.
• Side-mount hardware is always more durable than single center mono-rail or center bottom mount slides.
• Options, such as ball-bearing or nylon rollers, partial or full drawer extension, drawer stop (to prevent the drawer from coming out) and self-closing design, are available.• Full-extension slides are perfect for providing access to every inch of a drawer.
• You must know the slide length and drawer length required before choosing slides.
|Mini ball-bearing drawer slides may require a 1/4-inch mortise in the drawer side for installation. Drawer stops are available.|
|Here's a bottom view of a center-mount drawer slide for face-frame cabinets. No hardware is visible on drawer sides.European-style self-closing side-mountn drawer slides also have a stop to prevent from sliding out completely.|
|Full-extension, self-closing drawer slides use the maximum length of your drawer. Drawer stops are available.|
|Basic side-mount drawer slides use surface installation on face-frame cabinets.|