A Simple Guide to Cabinet Handles Selection, Placement & Sizing
A Simple Guide to Cabinet Handles Selection, Placement & Sizing

A Simple Guide to Cabinet Handles Selection, Placement & Sizing

Cabinet handles can transform your kitchen, bathroom, or laundry with minimal effort. When professionally installed, the fitting handles enhance your cabinetry’s functionality and aesthetics. Here is everything you need to know about choosing the perfect chrome pull handles, chrome cupboard handles, T-bar handles, cross bar handles, door knobs, and bar handles.

Considerations for Selecting Your New Cabinet Handles

1. Types of Cabinet Handles

  • Knobs: Knobs are versatile and suit both doors and drawers. They provide a simple and elegant look, requiring only a single screw for installation. Knobs are particularly favoured for their ease of use and adaptability to various cabinet styles.
  • Pulls: Pull handles are well known for their clean lines and ease of use. They add a unique design element to any space, making them ideal for kitchens, bathrooms, and laundries. Chrome pull handles and chrome cupboard handles can add a modern touch, enhancing the overall aesthetics of the space.
  • Cup Pulls: Cup pulls offer a timeless and traditional design. They allow for easy grip, adding a touch of classic elegance to your cabinetry. Their traditional appeal makes them suitable for both vintage and modern settings, offering versatility in design.
  • T-Bar Handles: T-bar handles are perfect for smaller doors or drawers, taking up minimal space while offering a sleek look. They can be mixed and matched with other bar handles for a cohesive design. The straight lines of T-bar handles can complement contemporary styles, providing a streamlined appearance.
  • Cross Bar Handles: These handles are ideal for a more pronounced and sturdier grip, providing functionality and style to your cabinetry. Cross Bar handles can add a distinctive look, combining practicality with aesthetic appeal.
  • Lip Pulls: Lip pulls provide a minimalist look, securing the cupboard or drawer at the top and revealing a subtle pull handle. They are perfect for those who prefer a discreet yet functional handle. The simplicity of lip pulls is an excellent choice for modern and minimalist designs.
Types of Handles

2. Types of Cabinets

  • Traditional Cabinets: Characterized by abundant profiles, traditional cabinets pair well with detailed hardware designs. The intricate designs of conventional cabinetry are enhanced by the use of classic handles, such as detailed cup pulls and ornate knobs.
  • Contemporary Cabinets: Contemporary cabinets that feature flat-fronted joinery benefit from simple or geometric knobs and pulls. The clean lines of contemporary cabinets harmonise with sleek and understated hardware, such as chrome cupboard handles and minimalist bar handles.
  • Transitional Cabinets: Transitional cabinets blend traditional and contemporary styles and can accommodate a variety of handle designs, allowing for more flexibility in your choice of hardware. This style allows for a mix of old-world charm and modern simplicity, providing a balanced look.

3. Which Handles Suit Which Cabinets?

  • Contemporary Cabinets: Opt for simple or geometric knobs and pulls to maintain a minimalist aesthetic. Chrome pull handles and T-Bar handles work exceptionally well, offering a polished and modern look.
  • Traditional Cabinets: Choose detailed cup or pull handles for bottom drawers and cupboards and detailed knobs or pull handles for overhead cupboards. It enhances the ornate features of traditional cabinetry, providing a cohesive and elegant appearance.
  • Transitional Cabinets: Select hardware that complements the overall design, including the shapes and finishes of your tapware, joinery, and lighting. This style allows for flexibility, so you can mix chrome pull handles with detailed knobs for a unique look.

4. Handle Placement

Knob Placement

  • Doors: For upper cabinets, place knobs on the opposite side of the door hinge, 2.5 to 3 inches from the bottom corner. For base cabinets, place them 2.5 to 3 inches from the upper corner. This positioning ensures ease of use and a balanced look.
  • Drawers: Centre knobs on drawers under 24 inches are perfect for a balanced look. Centring the knobs provides a symmetrical appearance, enhancing the overall design.

Pull Placement

  • Doors: Install pulls with two screws, positioning the bottom screw 2.5 to 3 inches above the bottom of the upper cabinet doors and the top screw 2.5 to 3 inches below the top of the base cabinet doors. This placement ensures functionality and aesthetic harmony.
  • Drawers: Centre pulls on drawers under 24 inches for a clean appearance. This central placement provides a sleek and organised look, perfect for modern designs.

Tab, Edge, and Finger Pulls 

  • Doors: Install finger pulls in line with the corner edge opposite the door hinge. Position them at the bottom corner for upper cabinets and the top corner for base cabinets. This placement ensures easy access and a modern look.
  • Drawers: Install tab pulls at the top edge, centred for optimal functionality. Centring the tab pulls provides a balanced and functional design, enhancing the drawers’ usability.

5. Choosing the Size of Cabinet Handles

Balance is crucial when selecting handle sizes. Pulls should be roughly one-third the size of the doors or drawers. For a more understated look, opt for handles one-quarter the size. Measure the overall size and the centres (distance between the fixing points) to ensure proper fit, especially when replacing existing handles.

How to Measure Cabinet Handle Size

  • Two measurements are essential when measuring cabinet handles: Overall size and centers. The canters are crucial for handles with two fixing points, especially when replacing existing handles to ensure exact fitment into the pre-drilled holes.
  • The handles should be proportional to the size of the doors and drawers to maintain visual harmony. Handles that are too large or too small can disrupt the overall balance of the cabinetry.

Final Thoughts

  • Whether renovating or building new, ensure your cabinet handles complement your tapware, shower, and accessories to maintain a cohesive look throughout your space.
  • Selecting the fitting cabinet handles, such as chrome pull handles, chrome cupboard handles, T-bar handles, crossbar handles, door knobs, and bar handles, can significantly enhance the look and feel of your space. With professional installation, you ensure that these elements are stylish and functional, perfectly complementing your cabinetry design. 
  • Whether renovating or building new, carefully chosen handles can make a substantial difference in achieving a cohesive and polished finish. Investing in quality hardware and professional installation guarantees a beautiful and long-lasting result, elevating the overall design of your home.
Handles and knobs for kitchen cabinet

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