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.