How to Choose the Right Hardware Size

Choosing the right hardware size requires a balance of function and style. Sacrifice one for the other, and you probably won’t be happy. You’ll be frustrated every time you try to pull open a drawer, or you’ll be disappointed whenever you walk into the room. Narrow down the wide selection by determining which size best opens and closes your cabinets, drawers or appliances. From that group you can pick hardware that best reflects your taste.

Getting the Right Hand Fit

You want hardware that looks great and works well. But you also need pulls and knobs that fit your hands. If yours are particularly large or small, select pieces that you can wrap a hand around comfortably. Size is also a concern if your hand strength and dexterity are hampered by arthritis or another condition.

As you choose hardware, pay close attention to the distance from the cabinet surface to where you’ll be gripping the hardware. A piece that’s too small to fit your hand makes opening and closing difficult. In addition, if your hand continually touches the cabinet finish, it’ll start to wear off.

Picking Hardware for Existing Cabinets

When replacing hardware on cabinets and drawers, people often choose to use existing holes — if not, you’ll want to fill and finish unused ones. To switch out hardware, it’s a matter of determining the right size.

  • Find the correct size for a pull by measuring from the center of one hole to the center of the other. When hardware is sold, the center-to-center (cc) measurement is typically shown in inches or millimeters. Common cc measurements are 3 inches, 4 inches, 96 millimeters and 128 millimeters. If your measurement is in one unit and you and need the other, use a handy online conversion tool.

 

  • Depending upon your cabinets, the mounting screws that come with your hardware may or may not be the right size. The correct length for a screw is the distance from the inside surface of the door or drawer to its outside surface, plus one-quarter inch.

Choosing Hardware for New Cabinets

When selecting hardware for new cabinets, options can be almost overwhelming. Start narrowing down your choices:

  • For standard-sized cabinets, 3- or 4-inch and 96- or 128-millimeter pulls are most common. Typical sizes for knobs are 1 1/4- or 1 3/8-inch. “Standard” size doesn’t mean one-size-fits-all. Standard base and wall cabinets typically run from 12 to 36 inches.
  • Larger cabinets generally require larger pulls: 6 to 12 inches cc.
  • The width of a drawer matters. If it’s 18 inches or less, one pull or knob is enough. Many people find larger drawers move more smoothly with two pieces of hardware. An extra-long pull is an option if you want to use just one hand.
  • Knobs 1-inch or smaller are suitable for specialized pullouts, such as apothecary drawers, spice drawers and cutting boards.
  • Larger knobs — at least 1 1/2 inches — are appropriate for larger cabinets. However, they’re also useful if you want a dramatic appearance.
  • If you want knobs on both doors and drawers, use the same size throughout.

Considering Details

  • Depending upon your cabinet, the mounting screws that come with your hardware may or may not be the right size. The correct length for a screw is the distance from the inside surface of the door or drawer to its outside surface plus one-quarter inch.
  • Doors with special decorative accents, rounded edges, raised panels or five-panel construction affect your hardware options. Hardware needs to be flush to the surface. For instance, if a standard 3-inch pull won’t fit properly, try a slightly smaller or larger size.

These guidelines will steer you in the right direction for hardware size, but they’re not hard and fast rules. For cabinets that’ll make you happy, you should also listen to your own preferences.

Stainless Steel Hardware Care

Stainless steel is a high quality, sturdy alloy containing at least 10.5 percent chromium. Chromium is essential because it’s the component that helps prevent rust. Without proper care, though, stainless steel can corrode. Follow these guidelines using items commonly found in the kitchen. They’ll keep your stainless steel hardware bright, shining and unblemished.

Avoid These at All Costs

Before you start pulling out cleaning supplies, here’s a list of materials to leave in the cupboard. Do not use any of these on stainless steel:

  • Chlorine bleach
  • Oven cleaner
  • Steel wool or another abrasive scrubber
  • Very hard water or dirty water
  • Commercial silver polish
  • Antibacterial cleansers

Certain substances speed up corrosion, so try to keep them away from stainless steel:

  • Standard steel or other metal
  • Seawater
  • Salt or salty foods

Also, if it’s been heated, let clean stainless steel cool before you clean it.

Erase Everyday Buildup

To remove ordinary grime and keep stainless steel hardware sparkling, wipe it with a soft cloth that’s been dipped into a mixture of warm water and mild liquid dish detergent. If you want, substitute a little ammonia for the detergent. Rinse off the cleanser with plain water, and dry it with a clean cloth.

Be sure to wipe off water that’s on stainless steel. Though it’s not harmful, it can lead to hard water stains you’ll have to eliminate later.

Remove Grease

Clear away grease buildup with a nylon scrubbie. Dunk it into hot water with a squirt of dish detergent added, and scour. Be sure to rinse away the soap and towel dry the area.

Eliminate Stubborn Residue and Stains

If a liquid cleanser doesn’t work on dirty hardware, make a paste out of baking soda and dish detergent. Gently clear away gunk using a nylon scrubbie or soft toothbrush. Wipe any remains with straight vinegar. As always, rinse and dry thoroughly.

Get Rid of Adhesives

To remove sticky residue, use an alcohol-based solvent, such as acetone. After the gumminess is gone, wipe away any cleanser left behind.

Buff to Gleaming

After cleansing your hardware, make it really gleam. Apply lemon oil or a dedicated stainless steel polish with a cloth, and buff dry with a second clean, lint-free cloth. Commercial polishes form a layer over stainless steel to help it repel dirt. The protection stays in place for several months. If you want to remove it, rub the area with a soft cloth damped with alcohol.

For best results, don’t use a stronger cleanser than necessary. Choose the one that fits the situation, and always be sure to wipe the surface clean and dry.

Factors to Consider When Selecting Kitchen Hardware

selecting cabinet hardware

Accessorizing your kitchen is a way to express your style. Selecting the right kitchen cabinet hardware will give your kitchen an immediate update in appearance and functionality. Whether you’re giving your existing cabinetry a fresh new look or searching for the knobs and pulls to fit a new installation, there are a number of factors that should influence your final choice.

From the practical uses of hardware to the purely aesthetic appeal, we’ve covered a number of things that you’ll want to consider to be able to make the most appropriate choice for you and your home. We’ll also highlight each of our hardware suite collections that include a minimum of four handle sizes along with coordinating knob designs, cup pulls, cupboard latches and hinge options. Most of our suites offer various choices in finishes to provide an accommodating array of color for every kitchen style.

We’ve recently added two new lines of contemporary brass hardware to our suite collections to provide you with a wider range of decorating possibilities. With eight top-quality kitchen hardware collections, we’ve got the look for any style you want to create.

While your kitchen hardware is a small part of your home, it is an important element of the overall design of your kitchen and is the added “spice” that improves the look and use of your cabinetry. It’s the final touch that establishes the style and mood of the space. It’s the fine detail that that reinforces your personal taste of simplicity, elegance or uniqueness.

 

Kitchen Hardware Collections

Our extensive line of quality, crafted suites offers you a consistent look with all your fixtures that can be beautifully used throughout your home. Because we offer a wide range of hardware designs and finishes in our collections, you can be creative with color while still maintaining a consistent look in your kitchen and in other rooms. Many of our suites come in ten different finishes. So, whether you need a few pieces or a full hardware set, you will be impressed with the options available in our collections of handles, knobs, cup pulls, latches and hinges.

 

Tips for Selecting the Right Kitchen Cabinet Hardware

visual appeal

When designing or redesigning your kitchen, there’s no other part that is so small yet so vital to the overall theme you’re trying to achieve in your decor than your kitchen hardware. Although highly practical, handles, pulls and knobs add a lot to the visual appeal of your space. Just an update in hardware alone can change the mood of your kitchen. With so many options in interior design styles that you can mix and match, these four factors will show you how to select kitchen hardware that complements you and your home in every way.

 

Functionality

The practical matters of kitchen hardware make it a necessity in a high-functioning kitchen. Be sure to keep in mind how the size and shape of a chosen handle or knob will interact with other open doors and with traffic moving through your kitchen. Also take into account the hands that will be opening doors and drawers and whether there are any specific issues like arthritis or other physical problems that make gripping some handles difficult.

Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Some handles and knobs will stick out further than others. If your kitchen is more spacious, this will likely be less of an issue, but if you’ve got limited space, choose hardware for base cabinets that doesn’t protrude too far beyond the countertop.
  • The larger and heavier the drawer or door, the larger you’ll want the handle to be. All our hardware suites have a minimum of four different sizes of handles along with extra-large handles for paneled appliances.
  • Larger handles are also easier for gripping, so these may be the best option for those using your kitchen that have arthritis or big hands.
  • Handles, cup pulls or knobs could all be an option for the same door or drawer. Consider how each would work to help you open and close the drawer or cabinet that you’ll use again and again.
  • Quality materials in the manufacturing of kitchen hardware play a big part in weight, strength and durability. All of our collections are primarily made of brass, bronze and stainless steel, and our special-order hardware is mainly crystal, pewter, marble and stainless steel.
  • If you live near the ocean where the air has a high content of salt, choose non-lacquered pieces such as stainless steel, marble or wood.

 

The Interior Design Style for You

What’s your interior design style?

Don’t feel like you have to conform to just one style — you can mix it up to get a uniquely defined theme to your kitchen. But it helps to know what the main styles are to guide you in the right direction for your kitchen cabinet hardware selection.

forming the foundation

The list that details all the different styles for kitchen decorating is long and creative. Whether you like the look of art deco, French country or Tuscan design, you’ll find these three main decorating styles form the foundation for all the creative themes.

 

Classic/Traditional

Whether you favor old-world charm, country creations or a classic cottage designs, traditional styling welcomes the inclusion of coordinated elements, comfortable layouts and timeless touches. The use of natural colors and materials is the focus to create a space of symmetry and balance.

A traditional European-styled kitchen honors elegance with personal expression. Our Sedona Suite provides the timeless look to Old World-inspired designing and a unique option to add a rustic look to any space. Crafted from blended metals to produce three distinctive patinas, you’ll love the how the handle’s circular base and thin, minimalist bar meld with your cabinetry.

All Sedona collections are uniquely distressed and pitted to give that “worn-and-loved” look to the variety of handles, distinctive knob designs and cup pulls. Although only available in three color choices, you won’t be disappointed at the unique offerings in design and personal expression you can make with this kitchen hardware collection. And if you’re feeling bold, be sure to add that rustic look in two or all three of the finishes.

 

Contemporary/Modern

Contemporary and modern designing often incorporate sleek lines — straight or curved — and solid colors. Shades are generally muted neutrals with a splash of bold colors in accessories and furniture. This style ties into current trends, reflecting the style of the design and fashion industry’s latest looks. With an organizational focus of keeping clutter out of view, there’s lots of opportunity to adorn cupboards, drawers and other hideaways with just the right hardware for the room.

In the kitchen, this style would include tubular or rectangular options for hardware with streamlined pulls. Our Stainless Steel Suite is a popular choice for this look due to its visual benefits as well as its durability. This collection includes two distinct styles of solid bar pulls with either thin legs or wide feet in a range of sizes. With a brushed natural finish, this collection will fit into any modern kitchen design to match other stainless steel elements or be a crisp and clean option to add some practical elegance to any space.

 

Transitional

Transitional designing mixes up modern and traditional elements. For example, a modern-designed kitchen can be accented with some traditional furniture and fixtures to create a cozy classic space. Our Rope Suite is one of our most popular traditional styles that has remained a favorite for years. The intricate rope design on the handles and pulls adds just the right amount of decorative interest that compliments a variety of kitchen styles.

As one of our solid brass collections, the Rope Suite hardware is available in ten finishes, like silver satin that will beautifully contrast with deep toned cabinets or the iron finish that looks distressed and textured for a classic rustic look.

 

Material & Finishes

Cabinet hardware is manufactured at all different levels of quality. Comparing a kitchen with low-end hardware to a kitchen with high-end hardware, you can tell the difference in wear and functionality after a few years of use. Just like most products, the quality comes from the materials used as well as the process of manufacturing. Cliffside’s fine hardware suite collections are mainly made from forged European bronze, solid brass and top-quality stainless steel. The weight and strength is noticeable as soon as you hold it in your hands, and it is likely that the cabinetry will need an update long before our properly cared-for hardware.

forged european bronze, solid brass and stainless steel

When you’ve found a hardware design that suits your style, you then need to decide on the finish. While we’ve made it a little difficult by offering our collections in so many finishes, we have a few guidelines to show you how to select the finish of your kitchen hardware to suit your space and your personal taste.

  • Look at the other fixtures in the room like appliances, faucets and lighting, and match up your hardware finish with one of those. Have a brass faucet? Get your kitchen hardware in our antique brass finish.
  • Don’t match every finish in your kitchen (unless that’s just the look you’re going for!). You can harmoniously blend chrome with polished nickel or black with silver satin.
  • Complement painted cabinets with colorful classic finishes such as Venetian bronze, old antique, polished brass or old copper.
  • Mix up hardware from different collections and keep the same finish. Four of our suites come in the same coordinating ten finishes, so you can easily mix them up, and our newest collections, Modern and Carena, are available in the same four coordinating finishes.
  • Select contrasting finishes that work well together for a uniquely modern style. Iron furnishings with stainless steel appliances and old copper hardware can look visually appealing and bring an intriguing, eclectic feel to your space.

8 cabinet hardware options

We offer eight design options in our suite collections and cover every mood and style of interior design. We have four kitchen hardware collections with the widest selection of ten finishes:

Our two newest collections have four finishes to suit your decor:

Our Sedona Suite is made with three variations of blended metals to provide three distinct color choices.

Our Stainless Steel Suite is the eighth collection that boasts a luxurious look in its natural composition.

 

What and Where to Install

When you’ve got a style defined, the right collection picked out and the finish decided upon, you can now take into consideration what hardware you need and where you want it positioned on your cabinetry. If you’re getting new cabinetry, ask that handles not be put on until all the cabinets and drawers have been installed. That way you can hold your handles, knobs and pulls in different positions and heights to find just the right setup.

Here are a few things to keep in mind as you’re deciding on the positioning and items of your kitchen cabinet hardware selection:

  • The general rule for handle placement (but feel free to break this rule to complement your personal taste) is to position handles horizontally on pull-out drawers and vertically on doors.
  • For a streamlined look in a contemporary kitchen, you can consider placing handles horizontally on doors.
  • Open doors and drawers should not have handles positioned in a way that they will hit one another.
  • For a minimalist look, you could equip all your lower cabinetry with handles and knobs while leaving overhead doors free of fixtures.
  • A knob, handle or pull could be an option for most of your cabinetry. Consider the functionality and look of each and how it ties in with your defined style and use. Round kitchen knobs provide a home-style country look and may be a better choice for the majority of your cabinetry. Alternatively, handles and pulls add more of a sophisticated, elegant look to your space, especially when combined with certain finishes.
  • Wider drawers can be paired with two knobs or one wide handle. All of our suite collections offer at least four different sizes of handles and two-three knob sizes and styles.
  • You can decide to contrast or blend in with your positioning and hardware selection. While cup pulls have a somewhat classic appeal, they may be just the contrasting element you’re looking for in your art deco styled kitchen.
  • Your budget may also determine the choice of hardware to appropriately equip your kitchen.

 

Hardware Collections Make It Easy to Update Any Room

Picking pieces from the extensive options in our suite collections can be done for every room of your house. Whether you have some living room furniture that needs to be outfitted with a new look or a wardrobe closet that needs to be a bit more appealing, you’ll be able to use our handles, knobs and pulls to give those pieces a fresh update.

Our miniature knobs are a popular pick for pull-out spice racks and breadboards and are just as useful on an antique desk drawer or as a decorative addition to a handle-less chest of drawers. With a quick glance around your home, you can probably find an array of places you could update to better fit with your personal style. Get a simple latch or set of handles to make your bathroom a better-functioning and better-looking space for you and your family.

The most important factor to remember is that decorating your home is mostly about you. Mix and match from our different collections and vast selection of specialty items to create that eclectic look that you can call home.

Now that you’ve got the information needed to select the right kitchen cabinet hardware, go make a statement with your decorating from one of our hardware suite collections.

Contemporary 4 finish

Moderno and Carena are here!

The Moderno and Carena Suites have arrived! Now in stock at our warehouse and ready for immediate shipment, these two hardware suites are the first installment in our new “Contempo by Cliffside” hardware line. For full introductions, there are links throughout this e-mail, but you can see some beautiful images below.

Each suite is crafted from solid brass. They are made in Europe by fine artisanal craftsmen who understand the meaning of both quality and durability. In keeping up with trends, we are offering these contemporary suites not only in modern finishes, like Polished Chrome and Silver Satin (brushed nickel – goes great with stainless steel), but with transitional finishes like Old Antique (our oil-rubbed bronze) and Black. This enables you to coordinate nearly any space with your cabinet hardware!

Just because our hardware suites have appliance pulls doesn’t mean they’re only good for use in the kitchen. On the contrary: Moderno and Carena are perfectly at home being used in the bath (Carena in Chrome is particularly stunning) or on fine handcrafted furniture (the Old Antique finish is a great match here!).

The Moderno Suite

Moderno in Silver Satin

Sweeping lines and an elegant profile characterize our Moderno Suite. The blocky feet make a bold statement, and you’ll feel the quality as soon as you hold any piece in the suite. The craftsmanship of our solid brass manufacturing is second to none worldwide.

If you’re searching for these items on our website, the handles are (from the center):

  • MH-4 (cabinet handle, four inches on center)
    • Best suited for smaller drawers and cabinets
  • MH-6 (cabinet handle, six inches on center)
    • Best suited for tall cabinets (ceiling-height, especially when ceiling is 8 feet or higher), pantry doors, and wide drawers
  • MH-8 (appliance handle, eight inches on center)
    • Designed for dishwashers, under-counter refrigerators, and freezer drawers
  • MH-12 (refrigerator handle, twelve inches on center)
    • Use with any paneled refrigerator

The cup pull, MC-4 (left center) is a great alternative for drawers if you prefer an enclosed look. The two knobs, MK44 (left) and MK35 right) offer you different looks to mix and match on your cabinets.

Shop any of these contemporary hardware suites by clicking on the links below:

Moderno-Suite-in-Black

Moderno-Suite-in-Old-Antique

Moderno-Suite-in-polished-chrome

Moderno-Suite-in-Silver-Satin

 The Carena Suite

Carena in Polished ChromeCarena’s bold shape and strong curved elements make these pulls an instant winner. The design of the handles and the matching CK44 knob is deceptively simple, yet it lends itself perfectly to a wide variety of designs and styles. The weight of the CH-12 Carena solid brass contemporary refrigerator handle is nearly 3 pounds: quality you’ll never find with any other manufacturer.

If you’re searching for these items on our website, the handles are (from the right):

  • CH-4 (cabinet handle, four inches on center)
    • Best suited for smaller drawers and cabinets
  • CH-12 (refrigerator handle, twelve inches on center)
    • Use with any paneled refrigerator
  • CH-6 (cabinet handle, six inches on center)
    • Best suited for tall cabinets (ceiling-height, especially when ceiling is 8 feet or higher), pantry doors, and wide drawers
  • CH-8 (appliance handle, eight inches on center)
    • Designed for dishwashers, under-counter refrigerators, and freezer drawers

As mentioned, the matching contemporary knob CK44 (center front) incorporates the same blended, curved shape of the pulls, while the CK35 knob (left) borrows the shape of the pull face to create a pillow profile for the top of the knob. The matching cup pull CC-4 (far right) is an entirely original modern design that blends elements and shapes from throughout the suite.

Again, if you’d like to shop from any of these suites, you can click on the links below:

Carena-Suite-in-Black

Carena-Suite-in-Old-Antique

Carena-Suite-in-Polished-Chrome

Carena-Suite-in-Silver-Satin

What’s next?

Keep a watch on the blog for future new product announcements! Stainless steel is next, and it’s approaching awfully fast!

T311 series stainless pull

Sneak peek at new stainless steel

The new D91-600-BNA appliance pull is a sleek and stylish addition to our Stainless Steel line.
The new D91-600-BNA appliance pull is a sleek and stylish addition to our Stainless Steel line.

Well, as promised, there’s more new product on the way. Cliffside will be rolling out a new addition to our Stainless Steel Suite in the fall, and here’s your first peek!

The T311 series will be added to Cliffside’s line upon delivery and is already in production. Stainless steel bow pulls are a perfect complement to our existing lines of stainless steel bar pulls. In addition, we’ll be introducing the matching D91-600 stainless appliance pull: a perfect match for refrigerators in your contemporary or transitional space. All of these items are manufactured from the finest grade 304 stainless steel and are buffed to a smooth brushed finish. They proudly stand alongside our existing T305 and T366 series stainless bar pulls.

Keep your eyes peeled for our next new product sneak peek. Next up: more suites!

An award-winning distributor of traditional solid brass hinges, knobs and pulls respected industry-wide for our customer service. Family owned and operated since 1987.