Saturday, June 26, 2010

Refresh Your Cabinets with Decorative Knobs and Pulls (Part 1: Types of Cabinet Knobs and Pulls)

With the temperatures rising outside, now is a great time to turn your attention to indoor renovation projects. Replacing existing cabinet hardware with decorative knobs and pulls is a simple and economical way to refresh the look of kitchen and bath cabinets.

Cabinet Knobs

Cabinet knobs are the most basic type of cabinet hardware as they generally mount with a single screw. Therefore, replacing existing cabinet knobs with new knobs is a quick and simple renovation project. However, since cabinet knobs are offered in an endless array of sizes and shapes, selecting new knobs can become a lengthy but fun process. As discussed in future blog entries, cabinet hardware style and color should compliment the cabinets and kitchen or bath design.

Cabinet Drawer Pulls

Cabinet drawer pulls are offered in a number of different types but all pulls generally mount with two screws. Understanding the distance between existing screw holes in the cabinet drawer is the first step in selecting an appropriate replacement cabinet pull. This distance is typically measured in inches between the center of the first drill hole to the center of the second drill hole. This distance measurement is referred to as the drawer pull’s "center to center", "centers", or "boring". Keeping in mind the pull’s required centers, the next step is deciding on the basic type of pull. Drawer pulls can be classified into three basic types: cup or bin pull, bar pull, and drop pull. Cup pulls and drop pulls are normally only designed for drawers with horizontal centers but bar pulls can be used for drawers with horizontal holes or mounted vertically on a cabinet door.

Cup or bin cabinet drawer pulls are most commonly half circular or rectangular in shape. Cup pulls are typically used for small to medium sized drawers. They first gained popularity during the mid-part of the 19th Century but are increasingly popular today.

Like the cup pull, the cabinet drawer bar pull is a rigid pull. Bar pulls are available in large appliance style pulls as well as small drawer pulls. They are often offered with optional back plates, which are flat metal plates that fit in front of the bar drawer pull to provide protection for the drawer’s surface as well as make the pull more decorative.

Cabinet drawer drop pulls have handles that are not rigid but hang loosely. Drop pulls are available in three styles. The ring drawer pull is a small pull with a circular or ring handle hanging from its backplate. The pendent drawer pull is the smallest of all drop pulls and has a single pendant handle hanging from its backplate. The largest of the drop pulls are the bale drawer pulls. Bale pulls are like bar pulls except that their handles hang loosely rather than being rigid.

Check in later this week when I discuss further the styles and material options of cabinet knobs and pulls as well as discuss the types and styles of cabinet hinges.

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