Kitchen Cabinet Knob and Handle Placement Guide: Getting it Right

22 Feb Kitchen Cabinet Knob and Handle Placement Guide: Getting it Right

modern kitchenSo, you’ve finally decided on hardware for your kitchen or bathroom cabinets and drawers (if not, check out our favorite handles and knobs), and you’re really to install it. But before you drill any holes, you should know that there is a science behind knob and handle placement on doors and drawers. Here is a brief look at what you should consider as you install knobs or handles on your cabinets.

Drawers

Drawers are easier to get perfectly right, so let’s start with them. 

Knobs

For drawers, you’ll want to install your knobs in the centers of the drawer fronts—centered both horizontally and vertically. Keep in mind here that when positioning your knobs vertically, you typically want to move your knobs a smidge up; if placed at the true vertical center, your knobs might look as though they are positioned slightly lower.

One exception to the “keep things centered” rule lies with deeper drawers: some prefer to keep all of their knobs centered vertically along the drawer fronts, while others prefer to set their knobs a little higher on deeper drawers. Another exception to consider is drawers that are especially wide; for these drawers, you may decide that it’s better to place two knobs on each drawer front. In this case, you’re typically safer keeping your pulls centered vertically. When positioning both knobs horizontally, you should place each one about 1/6th of the drawer’s length in from each end.

Handles

Handles for drawers work much in the same way that knobs do. Keep things visually centered, veering off-course only when you have extra deep drawers or when you need to center two handles along a drawer front.

dark wood kitchen cabinetsCabinet doors

Cabinet doors are a little trickier because you are working with the outer framing edges (the vertical stiles and horizontal rails) of the cabinet door.

Knobs

For many people, their first inclination is to position the knobs at the corners, centered vertically on the stile and horizontally on the rail. This is a mistake, however, as you should actually move your cabinet door knobs a little further away vertically from the door’s edge. A good rule of thumb here is to center your knob at the corner first and then to move it upward (or downward) along the stile so that the knob is positioned at or just past the inner edge of the rail. As with drawers, an exception does apply when you have especially tall cabinets; in these cases, you’ll want to move your knob even further vertically from the edge of the door (and possibly even to the vertical center of the stile).

Handles

Again, the same general principles apply here. You will be installing your handles so that they are oriented vertically, and you’ll want them positioned so that there is still some space between the edge of the handle and the edge of the door. A good rule of thumb is to set the first hole for the handle 2 ½ inches in (vertically) from the outer edge.

Whether you’re going with our easy to install RTA cabinets or not, we wish you the best of luck installing your new cabinets and hardware! At Knotty Alder Cabinets, our goal is to help you create a kitchen you love! 

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