How to install cup pulls

Notice the centered bin pull in the background.
Notice the centered bin pull in the background.

Cliffside Industries carries a wide variety of different cup pulls. In an encounter with a customer yesterday, I was asked, “Just how do you install these?” Deciding how and where to install cup pulls on cabinets can be tricky, but a simple guide will provide more insight into this topic.

Identify the type of cup pull

The first step in knowing how to install your cup pull is determining what kind of cup pull you have. There are, generally, three types of cup pulls: a countersunk cup pull, in which the screws are installed into posts which project from the back of the hardware; a flush cup pull, which has no posts on the rear – the screw sockets are under the cup itself; and surface mounted cup pulls, which, as the name implies, are screwed in to holes drilled directly onto the face of the drawer.

Choose your cup pull handle placement

Two cup pulls used side-by-side, shown here on a dishwasher panel
Two cup pulls used side-by-side, shown here on a dishwasher panel

When placing your cup pulls on cabinets and drawers, make sure you choose the location that’s right for you. The first decision to make is the vertical alignment: do you want your cup pulls to be centered on the drawer face? Do you want them above center? Below? Generally, the rule of thumb is as follows: if you have a molding around the drawer face, try to install centered, or just barely above the centerline, to maintain the symmetry of the drawer. If you have a flat-front cabinet or drawer, the sky is the limit. However, most installations are at or above the center line vertically, rather than below.

The horizontal alignment is the next portion of cup pull placement to consider, and it can determine how many pulls you have to buy. If you are using a wide drawer, you may consider buying two cup pulls instead of one for each drawer (this with our usual caution, of course, that you have to pull BOTH cups, not just one, in order to open your drawer). The photo at left is a good representation of the use of two cup pulls on a drawer (even though in this case, it’s a dishwasher!), as compared to one in the first picture.

Drill the drawer and install the cup pulls

Now, to install your new hardware!

If you have a flush cup pull or a surface mounted cup pull, you should have no problem. The surface mount pull is the easiest: simply line up the cup pull in the desired location, mark your holes, drill a pilot, and attach with screws. A flush cup pull is a bit different because it is installed from behind, but once you mark the holes on the desired height line, you should have no problems – simply drill through and then insert your screws from behind.

The countersunk cup pull is a bit trickier. Because they have posts on the back which stand off from the flat surface of the pull, you’ll have to drill two holes in the drawer front. First, drill a hole wide enough for each screw at the location of installation. This first hole goes the whole way through. Then, using a wider bit at the same hole, drill through from the front only part of the way through. This sets a deeper hole into which the countersunk posts can rest. This design allows you to really tighten down the cup pulls so that you know they’ll be in there nice and tight. Check out the diagram below so you can see what I mean:

A diagram of the K544 cup pull, countersunk and installed
A diagram of the K544 cup pull, countersunk and installed

If you have any other questions about how to install cup pulls, give the Cliffside customer service department a call – we’ll be happy to help you in any way that we can!

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