Whether you are applying new hardware to the cabinets in your kitchen, laundry, bath, linen or wherever else you deem appropriate, the decision to use quality cabinet hardware and not just aesthetically pleasing hardware will pay off down the road. Be sure to consider the following elements before you make this very important decision.
Choose a cabinet hardware that you can see yourself applying throughout the house, even if you don’t plan on adding hardware to these other rooms right now. A lot of designers use this simple method, which brings a sense of continuity throughout the house. By adding these simple consistent details in the kitchen, bath, laundry etc, it will add a feeling of completeness to the overall look of your home.
Think about matching the finishes of your existing or new appliances when choosing the best cabinet hardware. Having such a large expanse of stainless steel appliances would drive the decision to add cabinet hardware that either matches or compliments stainless steel. You can also buy new hardware that is two tones, oil rubbed bronze and brushed nickel for instance. The brushed nickel will nicely compliment your stainless steel appliances while the oil rubbed bronze will leave the room open for additional design options.
Ease of use is another big consideration. What’s the point of having really nice looking hardware if it’s totally useless or cumbersome? This should especially be thought of when considering older generations. Some people can have a hard time with cabinet knobs; in this case cabinet pulls would be the better option. Remember, all of your hardware should perform as well as it looks.
You should plan on your hardware becoming pretty mucked-up, especially if you are replacing your old kitchen or bath hardware. So, another thing to think about is how easy is to clean? Sure it looks great but if you buy new cabinet knobs that have lots nooks and crannies, then your new knobs could quickly look like last night’s dinner, especially if you have children in the house.
Quality is just as, if not more important than looks. Some of the higher end designer hardware can cost upwards of $10-20 a piece! One of the industry secrets is to not buy your hardware directly from a cabinet company. Some of these specialty cabinet companies mark up their inventory more than 300%. Instead search the web for other companies that carry quality cabinet hardware at a fraction of the cost. Quality can also be associated with name; Baldwin Hardware, Atlas Homewares and Kohler are a few known as making outstanding cabinet hardware. Baldwin also makes some of the finest door hardware on the market.
Once you have selected your style, brand and trusted online retailer and have the new hardware in hand, another way to gauge quality is by weight. When you hold it in your hand it should feel solid and heavy. This is a good indication that the hardware you purchased is forged of one piece solid brass or another durable metal and will last the test of time.
Lastly, when you are satisfied with your purchase it’s time for the installation. Installing cabinet knobs and pulls is just about the easiest DIY job out there. If the holes are already drilled and to the right size, all you will need is a Phillips or Flathead screw driver to remove the old knobs and replace them with the new. If you need to drill new holes, be sure to measure twice and drill once. Use a drill bit that is slightly bigger in diameter than the bolt coming out of the new knob or pull to ensure a proper fit. Also for brand new hardware without holes, line up all your holes in a straight line using a laser leveller. This will ensure pinpoint accuracy and make you look like a real pro!
A little forethought goes a long way and these simple ideas will ensure that your design choice works will with the rest of your home and will give you many years of delight and functionality.