Posted by John on 3/17/2011
Everything you ever wanted to know about cabinet hardware.
Cabinet knobs are both decorative and functional. Most cabinet knobs are 1-1/4' in diameter and are used to accent the style of your cabinets. Cabinet hardware, including knobs and pulls are sometimes called the "jewelry" of your kitchen or bath.
Cabinet pulls (sometimes called cabinet handles or drawer pulls) are also decorative and functional. Pulls are usually used on larger cabinet doors or on drawers. Pulls have been getting larger as kitchens have become larger. Pulls are measured by the distance between the screw holes and the most popular sizes are 3" and 96 mm (almost 4").
Appliance Pulls (Oversized Pulls)
Appliance pulls (sometimes referred to as Sub-Zero or Oversized pulls) are extra large cabinet pulls that are used for appliances such as refrigerators and dishwashers. As kitchens have gotten larger, appliance pulls are also being used on larger cabinet drawers where you store your pots and pans. Appliance pulls really add to the scale of your kitchen.
Cup Pulls (sometimes called bin pulls) add a decorative and functional accent for your kitchen or bathroom cabinets. These cup shaped cabinet pulls provide easy opening of drawers and doors and add an interesting touch to your decorating.
Backplates can serve various functions including, accenting a cabinet knob or cabinet pull or covering mounting holes from previously mounted hardware. backplates are ideal when you are remodeling or where you just want to draw more attention to your cabinets or drawers.
Bail Pulls (sometimes called drop pulls) are decorative and functional accents for your kitchen or bathroom cabinets. They have hanging handles that help your grip while opening drawers or cabinet doors. They also add a unique look unavailable in other types of hardware.
Cabinet hinges are primarily functional but add a decorative accent to your cabinet doors. Hinges allow you to easily open your cabinet doors. Cabinet hinge come in many functions and finish options to meet your specific needs
Family or Collection
Cabinet hardware is designed with a number of different types of hardware; often including one or two knobs, one or two sizes of pulls, a cup pull and maybe a hook. Together, this group of hardware is called a "Design Family".
Finish or Color
Cabinet hardware finishes or colors are developed to coordinate with your kitchen or bath appliances and fixtures. Major categories are silver tones, copper and bronze tones, brass tones, black tones, basic colors and mixed media. The most popular finishes are the silver tones, darker copper and bronze and the pewter families. Polished brass still accounts for about 10% of all new purchases.
Most cabinet hardware is made from a zinc alloy. The usual process is that the base zinc product is plated with brass, dipped in finishing tanks and then "highlighted" to provide the product with a unique look. Some, higher priced products are made from pure brass material or multiple materials such as leather or plastic where a similar process is followed.
The types of cabinet hardware include cabinet knobs, cabinet pulls or handles, cup pulls, hooks, backplates and appliance pulls. Products are often mixed together to provide a nice mix of different products with the same style and/our finish.
Style is an individual choice. Major categories include traditional, transitional, rustic, contemporary, country, or whimsical. These major style groups are broken down into specific "Product Families or Collections" where the products have the same design.
Center to Center Distance (C to C)
The center to center distance is the distance between the two mounting screw holes. This is a critical dimension when you are replacing pulls or handles since your cabinet will have two holes for your existing hardware. The most popular sizes are 3" and 96 mm (about 3-3/4") Larger sizes are gaining in popularity in our newer and larger kitchens.
Unlike the center to center dimension that measures the distance between the mounting screw holes, the length is the actual length of the pull or handle. It will be longer than the center to center distance.
The width of any product is the distance from one side to the other side of the product. A round knob will have a diameter rather than a width although they are the same.
Projection or Height
The projection (or height) is the distance that the knob or pulls sticks out from the cabinet. This is important because you need to make sure you have enough room to open doors without hitting the product.
Almost all screws are the standard 8/32 thread 1" long screws. There are some products that will come with multiple screws to allow you to use your hardware with thicker or thinner cabinet drawers or doors. There are also some bulk products that don't come with screws.
MRSP or List Price
MSRP stands for Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price This is the price that the manufacturer recommends that the retailer sell the product for to their retail customers.
Round knobs are measured by their diameter rather than by their width. The most popular size is the 1 1/4" diameter knob although sizes vary from 3/4" to up to 2' in diameter.
Door hinges are heavy duty hinges, made from either zinc, steel or brass that are used to hold your front door in place. They vary in size based on the size of your door. They will also vary by the shape of the hinge including square hinges or hinges with varying rounded (the radius) hinges.