Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Replacing Your Cabinet Hardware

Swapping your tired cabinet hardware is one of the most economical ways to give your kitchen a quick and easy face lift. So grab your screwdriver, and let's get started!

1) First, let's remove the old stuff.

Unscrew your existing hardware and remove. If your kitchen is anything like mine, you may have to peel back some oddly-applied contact paper from your drawers to find the screws.

2) Next, lets' decide where you want the new hardware to go.

Traditionally, knobs are used on cabinet doors, and pulls (handles) are used on drawers. However, some kitchens may use all knobs or all pulls, or any combination that best suits your style. My kitchen uses all pulls, and I really like the vertical-horizontal play on the same pull.

When mounting knobs on cabinet doors, place the knob in the corner of the door, opposite of its hinges. You can also mount a cabinet knob in the very center of the door for a very different (and often lovely) look.

When mounting pulls (handles) on cabinet doors, place the bottom hole in the upper third of the door for lower cabinets, and the upper hole in the lower third of the door for upper cabinets. Usually, hardware is placed on the door stile, but with some styles of doors, hardware placed in the center of the door can be an attractive option.

When mounting pulls on drawers, align the holes in the center of the drawer front.

On wide drawers, sometimes smaller pieces of hardware can get lost. Try using an appliance pull or two smaller pieces of hardware for these applications. When using two smaller pieces of hardware, the pieces should be mounted on the thirds. This will keep them from being too far apart.

When mounting an appliance pulls on a pantry or other tall cabinet door, mount the hardware at the elbow level of an adult. This will make it comfortable to use, and allow children to still reach it. Depending on the height of the door, this may or may not put the hardware in the middle of the door.

3) Next, drill any new holes that may be needed, depending on your hardware selection and placement decisions.

The most popular size for a standard drawer pull is one with holes 96mm apart. Many older kitchens use pulls with holes 3" apart. This difference can make a quick kitchen refacing difficult. We have available a Drill Guide to help with these types of installations. Place the guide into your existing 3" spaced holes, hold the comfortable grip steady, and drill your new 96mm spaced holes in the spots provided.

4) Fill or cover any unused holes.

If you've got painted cabinets, fill, sand, and paint over the holes you no longer need.

If you've got stained cabinets, take a look at our Pull Escutcheons. These smart little adapters fit into your existing 3" holes, covering them completely. They are designed to virtually disappear when paired with our most popular cabinet pulls.

5) Attach your new hardware.

Grab that trusty screwdriver, and attached your shiny new hardware.

6) Sit back and marvel at the results of your hard work.

Changing out the hardware in your entire kitchen can be done in less than a day (depending on the size of your kitchen, of course), and you'll be amazed at the difference it can make.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Deal of the Week: $0.50/ea Cabinet Knobs

Great deal this week!

Our 1" Diameter Satin Nickel Cabinet Knobs are on sale for $0.50 each!

Regular price on CabinetKnob.com: $1.04

MSRP: $1.69

Get them while they last! Item Number 3915-SN.

Remember that we have FREE shipping* on all orders. Sale price is good for this week only (ending Friday at 5PM Central Time), or while supplies last.

*The fine print:
if delivery to your location requires special equipment and/or additional charges from the freight carrier (appointment fees, lift gate fees, residential fees, etc.), you will be billed for those fees. This is typically only an issue when delivering Furniture and/or Vanities to a residential location.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Butcher Block Care and Maintenance

Butcher Block was originally developed to provide a stable cutting surface for professional butchers. It can also be a useful and warm addition to a kitchen. The natural variation in color and grain in the wood (usually maple) add great character, and what kitchen couldn't do with a bit more counter space?

Now, I am of the mind that butcher block should be used as a true cutting surface. While I appreciate the look, I think its a bit of a waste to have an island or counters with finished butcher block that cannot be used as a cutting surface. But then, I am the kind of person who actually cooks in my kitchen.

That being said, true butcher block takes a bit of care. Nothing too difficult or demanding, but there are some basic rules that should be followed. With a minimal amount of care and attention, Hard Maple Butcher Block can have an exceptionally long life. I have a small portion of my kitchen counter that has edge grain butcher block original to the house - which would put its age at about 65 years. It is need of a good refinishing, but has held up remarkably well. In discussing this post this afternoon around the office, I've heard stories of people still using butcher block that is 100+ years old.

As for sanitary? There are numerous studies that have since proved wood to be more sanitary than plastic. Documentation of one such study can be found here: University of Wisconsin-Madison Wood vs. Plastic.

The rules:
  1. DO NOT wash butcher block with harsh detergents.
  2. DO NOT place butcher block near excessive heat without proper insulation between the heat source and the edge of the counter top.
  3. DO NOT cut, drill, or otherwise deface the tops without refinishing the exposed unfinished wood.
To clean your Butcher Block:
  1. Brush or scrape all loose particles from the surface.
  2. Wash surface with warm mild soapy water.
  3. Rinse surface with warm clear water.
  4. Dry all surfaces thoroughly.
Periodically, depending on usage and humidity levels in your home, you will want to apply a heavy coat of food-grade mineral oil. You can get food-grade mineral oil at many kitchen supply stores (usually near their cutting boards and wood salad bowls). You DO NOT want to use any sort of vegetable, canola, or olive oil. Flood the surface of the top with the mineral oil, and give it a few hours to soak in. You want the wood to absorb as much mineral oil as possible. Wipe away the excess, and let it cure overnight.

If you are the crafty DIY type and have a source for this sort of thing, in my opinion, the absolute best way to finish butcher block? A beeswax rub. Since my kids suffer from seasonal allergies, I have a couple great sources (shout out to Hummer and Sons!) for local honey, and hence local natural beeswax. Check around, and I'm sure you'll find the same in your area.

Oddly enough, add a little peppermint oil to this recipe, and you've got a fabulous lip balm...
  1. Melt 0.5lbs of natural beeswax slowly, either on your stovetop or in a slow cooker.
  2. Once melted, stir in 2-1/2 cups of food-grade mineral oil.
  3. If your beeswax is as natural as mine, run the mixture through a seive into the bowl of your stand mixer to remove the bee particles.
  4. Blend on medium speed with the whisk attachment as it cools. This whips some air into it - you're looking for a peanut butter consistency. It will thicken as it cools.
  5. Once cool to the touch, scoop the rub into an airtight container.
  6. To use on your butcher block, apply the rub like you would car wax - just rub it into the surface. It won't take much.
  7. Let cure overnight.
  8. Buff the butcher block the next day.
This process ensures a lustrous water-proof finish (and soft lips!).

Now that you know how to care for your Butcher Block, why don't you head over and check out our Kitchen Islands? Each island features a domestically produced Hard Maple Edge Grain Butcher Block top.

*I'm not sure if using the beeswax rub is a great idea for those of you who may be allergic to bees and/or honey? Best to stick with the mineral oil if you are unsure!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Deal of the Week: Cabriole Vanity

Our deal of the week!

Our gorgeous Cabriole Vanity (VAN024) on sale for a low $259. This price includes the vanity, the marble top, and the sink (all pre-assembled). Add in the matching mirror for $52 to complete the look.

The Cabriole Vanity is a beautiful cross between traditional and modern. The curved cabriole legs and hand-carved fan details base this vanity in traditional style. The rich black finish brings the style in to the 21st Century.

Featuring a fully functional top drawer that contains storage areas on both sides of the sink, and lower drawer fitted around plumbing. Drawers equipped with soft close ball bearing slides for a luxurious feel.

Remember that we have FREE shipping* on all orders. Sale price is good for this week only (ending Friday at 5PM Central Time), or while supplies last (at the time of this post, we have 17 in stock).

For more information, and to place your order: Cabriole Vanity.

*The fine print:
if delivery to your location requires special equipment and/or additional charges from the freight carrier (appointment fees, lift gate fees, residential fees, etc.), you will be billed for those fees.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Replace Your Bathroom Faucet

One of the easiest (and fastest!) ways to update your bathroom or powder room is to upgrade your faucet. The selection available is endless - colors, styles, prices. This is an especially impressive update if you've been getting by with an outdated builder faucet that's never been upgraded.

The faucet may seem like a strictly functional item, but it can add infinite style to your bathroom. Plus, its one of the most often-used items in your bathroom, and it has high visibility.

This Old House has a great step-by-step tutorial on replacing your bathroom faucet. According to them, the project should take 2 hours with a budget of $175 to $500 (depending on the faucet). The 2 hours seems a bit conservative to me, but then I've always been handier with electrical updates than with plumbing. As for the budget, you can get the beauty shown above for a cool $100.10 on www.cabinetknob.com. Factor in the free shipping, and this is a great economical upgrade to any home.

The faucet shown is what's called "wide spread." If the holes for your faucet are 8" apart (center to center), this is the style to buy. If your current faucet is all in one piece and the handles are 4" apart (center-to-center), you want what's called a "centerset" faucet. We have two great wide spread styles available, as well as an elegant centerset faucet.

If you've got a little more time and money to spend on your bathroom remodel, take a look at our furniture style bathroom vanities. Talk about adding style!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Pull Escutcheons: Not Just a Great Scrabble Word!

Do you have existing cabinet hardware that has holes 3" apart? Do you want to upgrade to new hardware?

Your choices are to find (from a limited selection) new 3" hardware, or to install backplates (which completely change the look of your hardware). Until NOW.

One of our manufacturers has developed a great solution to this problem. Pull Escutcheons are small transition pieces that cover the existing 3" holes. They then virtually disappear once the new hardware is installed. You can even add a second pair to the inside of the cabinet door to cover those holes as well!

Item number PE01-PE08 are paired specifically with our most popular cabinet pulls, and match both style and finish.

Also available: item DG01 - a 3" to 96mm drill guide. Place the drill guide in your existing 3" holes, and the holes for your new 96mm pulls will be marked for drilling.

See the details at: http://www.cabinetknob.com/