Category Archives: Design Tips

Gallery: Distinctive design features

Today, we provide you with a picture gallery to view some of the most unique and distinctive features of Cliffside’s hardware line. Enjoy!

Ask the Expert: Hardware installation

The Expert!
The Expert!

When do I use a cup, a pull and a knob ?

The traditional application is to use a cup or a pull for the cabinet drawers and a knob for the hinged cabinet doors. On wide drawers, it is also common to mount two knobs.

To open big refrigerator/appliance doors with fabricated cabinet panels, longer and larger pulls are being used to allow for greater leverage. These pulls range anywhere from 8″ to 24″ long and upwards.

Cliffside has an extensive line of knobs, cups, pulls and appliance pulls available in traditional, classic and designer styles, a variety of high quality materials including stainless steel and solid brass and in up to 10 popular finishes. Break-off screws are included with all Cliffside hardware.  

Professional installation is advised for all hardware.

Pulls can be used in a variety of locations on your doors and drawers.
Pulls can be used in a variety of locations on your doors and drawers.

Cups and Pulls

For cabinet drawers

The optimum placement of cups and pulls is to find the spot slightly above the center line (vertical) on the drawerand the spot that makes the pull look like it is centered when the cabinets are viewed from above (as if you were standing at the countertop looking down). The amount of offset is up to the installer, but starting with 1/16″ and up is a good place to start.

Using a Phillips head screw driver and the standard thread 8/32 x 1¾” break off screws included with your hardware, mount the drawer cup or pull on the face of the cabinet. Turn the screw into the socket clockwise.

For hinged doors

Avoid placing the pull in the corner of the door frame. We recommend placing the pull in the upper third, but with many traditional-style cabinets a pull in the center of the door stile (vertical) can be pleasing.

SP-12-OA, one of the most popular appliance pulls
SP-12-OA, one of the most popular appliance pulls

Appliance Pulls

We recommend utilizing your appliance manufacturer’s installation/design guide for mounting instructions. Professional installation is especially advised for all appliance hardware.

The optimum placement of appliance pulls on hinged doors is when the center of the door hardware is at elbow height of the adult users in the home. This allows the lowest part of the handle to be used by children comfortably.

The optimum placement of pulls on appliances should be in the center of the appliance panel’s top rail, regardless of width.

For both hinged door and drawer panels, we recommend mounting our hardware slightly away from the panel edge. This allows a little more finger clearance on these larger pulls

Note the placement of knobs and pulls in this kitchen with Cliffside hardware installed.
Note the placement of knobs and pulls in this kitchen with Cliffside hardware installed.


For wide cabinet drawers

Avoid mounting them too widely or narrowly. The optimum placement of two knobs on wide drawers is the center of the door below (if applicable) and align vertically with the outer third of each door. If there are only more drawers below, then measure the drawer into thirds to find the best spot.

For base cabinet drawers

The optimum placement of a knob on a base cabinet drawer is slightly above the center line (vertical) on the drawer. This helps make the knob look like it is centered when the cabinets are viewed from above (as if you were standing at the countertop looking down). As with any pull, the amount of offset is up to the installer, but 1/16″ and up is a good place to start.

For hinged doors

We recommend placing the knob on a hinged doors in the upper third of the door face. Both options provide more leverage. Using the corner of the door to install hardware can cause weakness in the hinges over repeated use, so as with a pull, we suggest avoiding that particular location.

Cabinet Creativity: A study in change

“Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun.” -Mary Lou Cook

So many of our customers are looking for ways to improve their homes and save money at the same time. To make the investment in your kitchen cost-effective, you can replace the hardware that’s currently on your cabinets at a fraction of the price it costs to rip apart your entire kitchen and replace all of those doors, frames, and shelves. Your kitchen can look new and intriguing even if you don’t have the time or the funds to completely remodel that entire room. Here are five tips to help make your decision a little easier:

Old antique hardware is great for country-style homes.
Old antique hardware is great for country-style homes.

1. Match your hardware to the decor of your home. Do you have a country-style home or another traditional style? Consider some of the hardware from our signature line; our top ten selling items are good examples to start with. Do you have a contemporary kitchen or bathroom? Consider some contemporary polished chrome or stainless steel hardware!

2. Change the color of your cabinet hardware to look best with your appliances and fixtures. Is that old polished chrome stove out of place and lonely in your kitchen? Consider one of the new polished chrome appliance pulls coming to our line in early 2009, or some stainless steel bar pulls to bring a little pop to that stainless steel sink.

A brushed finish may be better than polished for the bathroom environment.
A brushed finish may be better than polished for the bathroom environment.

3. Change the finish of your cabinet hardware. Some of those colors may have become faded or dulled over the years from so much use. Bathroom hardware can become especially dull to the constant exposure to heat, steam, and cleaning products (which we DON’T recommend). Consider updating your bathroom to a brushed finish or something using acrylic, glass, or crystal which can stand up to that demanding environment.

4. Change the style of hardware that you use on your cabinets. Perhaps you just moved into a new home that expands your living space with your expanding family. With small fingers around, maybe you should consider the safety of a secure latch on cabinet doors. If you’d rather have something just to grab onto, consider a high-quality solid brass pull, or a knob for that decorative accent.

This is the only kind of bug you want to see in YOUR kitchen!
This is the only kind of bug you want to see in YOUR kitchen!

5. Change the material of the hardware on your cabinets. Prefer a bit more rustic look? Our stone and marble hardware lines provide an outdoor feeling and natural material, bringing the countryside right inside (except for those pesky bugs!). These are great for outdoor kitchens or patios: natural materials are less susceptible to environmental conditions than other hardware. If you’ve been suffering with cheap hardware that’s not up to snuff, consider upgrading to solid brass or stainless steel.

So go out there and make some new design choices. Bring a little fun into your kitchen, break some rules, and above all, have fun!

The bitter taste of poor quality lingers far longer than the initial sweetness of a cheap price.

Raw brass on Cliffside's new ball tip hinges, coming soon
Raw brass on the new ball-tip hinges, coming soon

High quality hardware has a reputation for fine workmanship and how well it maintains a finish. These materials, used in making many of our products, have a natural finish that often forms its own natural protective coating that prevents tarnish, oxidation and corrosion and is up to 3 times as durable as plated economy hardware. High quality hardware is strong and flexible, very versatile, has a significantly longer lifespan than products made of economy materials and has lower maintenance costs. Often double the weight of comparably sized economy hardware, high quality hardware is solid, quite dense, and sturdy. The average retail sales price premium for all of these advantages averages only 20%.

Brass is a metal alloy used in making many of our high-quality products. Many of our pieces are classified as solid brass, meaning that they are not hollow and are composed entirely of brass, making them quite dense, and very durable. The brass used to manufacture Cliffside’s solid brass hardware consists of approximately 60% copper, 37% zinc, and 3% other trace metals. (See also “What’s the difference between solid brass and die cast?”)

A bronze cup pull
A bronze cup pull

Bronze is a metal alloy produced by blending copper and tin. It can contain between 2% and 20% tin. It is a sturdy, durable metal and is much harder than brass. The resonance of bronze makes it ideal. Bronze has a natural patina that forms on it turning the bronze a dark, dull color and provides a protective layer preventing oxidation below the surface of the bronze. Most bronze is coated with a thin layer of lacquer to protect the metal and the patina. Bronze looks its best when it is minimally treated. Continue reading

Top five design trends

As you recover from your holiday indulgences, we’re presenting a lighter version of our earlier top ten lists. This list was compiled from research into our own products and other industry publications as a guide to what is driving kitchen and bath designers right now. No leftovers here! For your Thanksgiving pleasure, it’s Cliffside’s top five design trends!

Antique iron Sedona hardware

1. Antique colors/finishes

In examining our data, one of the most prevalent trends we noticed industry-wide was the use of antique colors, styles, and finishes. Cliffside provides ample opportunity to participate in this trend; some examples are the old antique, flat black, iron, oil-rubbed bronze, and old copper finishes, and the new Venetian bronze. The Sedona line, pictured here and in the header image above, is also a prime example of this “distressing” fad. Out of Cliffside’s top ten finishes, five are associated with this trend, proving that some things just do get better with age!

Brushed nickel hardware

2. Brushed finishes

A second trend that is popular throughout the kitchen and bath design world is the use of satin and brushed finishes. Cliffside offers many products in our most popular finish, silver satin, as well as brushed nickel, which matches SS very closely, and the naturally brushed stainless steel. On our solid brass knobs and pulls, the antique brass finish also sports a brushed look. The new Venetian bronze, as mentioned above, is a hybrid of antique and brushed, showing copper details hidden underneath its dark facade. As our top-selling finish, silver satin proves that sometimes, being popular really is the way to go!

One of Cliffside's crystal knobs

3. Elegant hardware

Some of the most elegant pieces that Cliffside offers are genuine lead crystal knobs. Though the crystal is crafted in Europe, the pieces are proudly assembled in the United States and ship direct from our supplier to your front door. These classic pieces lend an elegant tone to any kitchen or bathroom! We also offer marble hardware to coordinate with stone countertops, both in stock items and special order. For a formal look, designers can also explore our lines of solid brass hardware, which will be expanding early next year.

Stainless steel hardware

4. Contemporary colors

The classic contemporary colors are a staple of our line and are popular throughout the industry, and we have recently added to these finishes. The brushed tones of silver satin, brushed nickel, brushed black nickel and stainless steel mingle with the silvery gloss of polished chrome, nickel chrome, and polished nickel to create modern stylings that are truly dazzling. In addition, we have ball tip hinges to coordinate with our contemporary hardware. Though Cliffside is a “distributor of traditional hardware,” no one can ever say that we don’t keep up with the times!

Got turtles?

5. Novelty hardware

Full of fun and whimsy? Maybe you are the right kind of person to try out our novelty hardware! We have hardware that is appropriate for certain regions of the country, such as maritime hardware for a beach house, or a moose knob for a house in the Upper Midwest or Alaska! We also have knobs and pulls to appeal to the hobbyist, including golf bags, music notes, and cacti.

That’s it for this holiday edition of the Cliffside Industries blog. Be sure to tune in next Tuesday for our next great entry, and visit our website this weekend!