Where To Place Cabinet Handles

Where To Place Cabinet Handles
Beau Ueland

There comes a time in the lifespan of every kitchen where an upgrade is necessary to keep things fresh. One of the best ways to do this is to install new cabinetry throughout the space, offering additional storage solutions and imprinting your signature style.

Part of the process of installing new cupboards includes placement of the decorative hardware on the new doors, including handles, pulls, and knobs. Cabinet knob and handle placement plays an integral part in the finished look of the project, so it is crucial you get it right. Here is a guide for where to place cabinet handles when installing new kitchen hardware.

Type of Hardware

When installing hardware, it is best to know about the different types that are available. Here is more information on the options available for opening the drawers in your kitchen.


Often seen as the easiest to install because it usually involves only a single screw, knobs are a favorite of home designers everywhere. Knobs are a popular choice because they can be used on doors and drawers without looking out of place. Where knobs were a rather dull option in the past consisting of a round shape made out of flat metal, they now come in many different finishes and shapes. Knobs are best used for drawers and smaller cabinets that don’t require a lot of force to open.


Pulls are another type of hardware used to open kitchen cabinets and drawers. They are easy to grasp and feature clean lines, making them an excellent alternative for larger doors and drawers. Pulls are fantastic for use on larger doors and longer drawers that require more effort to open. Be cautious when mixing hardware to avoid overstimulation in the kitchen from all the different materials. There are a few different types of pulls that are worth examining further, including:

  • Cup Pulls: Cup pulls are a style of cabinetry hardware that you slip your fingers under, grip, and pull to open. These offer a timeless look that goes well with any style of cabinetry.
  • Tab/Finger Pulls: Usually found grouped together, this type of pull is best for modern kitchens. The biggest benefit of finger pulls is they do not require drilling through the front of the cabinet door.

Cabinetry Style

One of the biggest challenges to selecting the right decorative cabinet hardware is matching it with the proper cabinetry style. Knowing the style of the doors allows you to find pulls and knobs that compliment them. Here is how to match the hardware to its appropriate cabinet.


With traditional styles, you want hardware that will match the air of sophistication given off from the cabinets. Traditional cabinets often feature a raised panel design and are usually made from or made to look like natural wood. It’s common for conventional doors to feature an elaborate decoration, so you want to avoid placing hardware over it while installing the pull or knob.


Modern cabinetry doors are usually a slab and don’t feature panels to give the room a distinct, sleek look. This European style is gaining popularity everywhere and should be strongly considered when you buy your next round of cabinets.


In between traditional and modern styles exist transitional cabinetry in a sort of interior design gray zone. There are three main options for transitional types of cabinets. The first is recessed cabinet door panels that are depressed in the center, adding dimension. The second is Shaker cabinet panels, one of the most popular options, and is designed to offer a simple, flexible appearance. Finally, we have Mullion cabinet doors, which feature glass panes and give transparency to your kitchen.


The only thing as necessary as the style of cabinetry hardware that you install is where to place cabinet handles on the doors. For cabinet knob placement, you want to keep them on the far side of the door from the hinges. You also want to position them so they are at the top of the door for lower cabinets, and towards the bottom for upper cupboards. Ideally, they will be placed two to three inches from the corner of the cabinet. For taller cabinets, put the knobs in the middle to allow for a more comfortable opening of the drawers.

Usually reserved for larger drawers and doors, pulls look great when placed in the corner of the cabinet or turned on their side to allow for more effortless opening of the cabinet drawers. You want to ideally keep between one and four inches between the bottom and top edges to give the hardware space to breathe. Be mindful of cabinet handle placement options, including being able to install pulls vertically or horizontally. This creates many more opportunities for placement throughout the kitchen to allow for your design flare to shine through.

Cabinetry Size

The size of the cabinets will also play an essential role in determining the use of pulls and handles. Smaller doors and drawers under 24 inches usually look their best when knobs are installed. Larger doors and longer drawers should use pull handles, eliminating the need to use as much force and making them appear more professional in the process.

Common Mistakes

There are many common mistakes people make when trying to place cabinet handles that you should try to avoid. The first mistake is not taking the project seriously and rushing through. This could lead to selecting the wrong hardware, installing it improperly, and having the hardware look like it doesn’t belong with the cabinets. It would be best if you also used proper tools that are designed for the specific task you are completing in the kitchen.

Finally, many people choose style over function when buying cabinetry handles. Disregarding function leads to cabinetry that is difficult to open because the wrong-sized handle was used or placed in the incorrect spot. Remember that function is just as important as style when working with cabinetry hardware.

For more information on properly placing your cabinetry hardware or for anything else regarding cabinetry, contact the experts at Pro Cabinet Supply today. We have a huge selection of the best products that are sure to meet any designer’s style and budget.

Where To Place Cabinet Handles

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