Cabinet Hardware

Written by Krystin Spellman
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When selecting cabinet hardware, the first step is to take a close look at the cabinet you are building or modifying. What are the dimensions? Are you opting for a dark or light color? Will you choose a gloss finish? Next, it is a good idea to think about placement and the material of the hardware itself.

Once these aspects are considered, it is time to begin determining what kind of hardware you will need. Most cabinets require hinges and handles, but do you prefer knobs or pulls? You may choose to use both, depending on the size and scale of your project for a custom touch. Other hardware options include locks and catches, as well as added functionality hardware such as extender drawers and rolling tracks.

Changing cabinet hardware can greatly improve the look and appeal of existing cabinetry. It is a simple and relatively inexpensive home improvement project that can be even be mastered by an inexperienced person. Hardware can easily update used furniture, adding style to a bare drawer front. By adding a decorative catch to a pantry door, you can easily create the look of an expensive item with antique hardware alone.

Hardware Style

With hardware available from a diverse and large selection of resources, there is never an absence of style choices. Styles include classic, contemporary, traditional, and casual. You may choose to combine styles and mix furniture genres. The possibilities are endless.

For those who choose to take the classic approach, I would recommend selecting good sturdy materials such as brass or copper to complement most designs. These materials are both versatile and long lasting. Similar to many designers, you might want to select a style period, and either outfit the entire room in that style or mix it up for an eclectic effect. By doing so, furniture can work to evoke a feeling of comfort with an artistic spin. For example, Art Deco pulls and knobs can add an eye-catching effect to simple cabinetry that might otherwise go unnoticed.

For consumers who take a more modern aesthetic approach to cabinet hardware, you may prefer symmetrical and streamlined fixtures. Shiny materials with clean edges can make cabinetry look both simple and elegant. Contemporary fixtures are simple and generally made of chrome, brass stainless steel, or aluminum.

Price Comparisons

Cabinet hardware quality varies greatly, and price is a direct reflection of this. Additionally, as select hardware styles become more fashionable, designer and antique hardware can fetch a high price. Overall, prices vary greatly with different options at every level.

Budget hardware is usually made of less expensive, more malleable materials. As a result, budget hardware has a shorter shelf life, and will require replacement more often. The least expensive hardware tends to be made out of wood or plastic, while mid range hardware is usually made of steel with nickel or brass plating. Stronger materials such as chrome and solid brass are generally more expensive products, but extremely durable and perhaps worth the expense. However, with a variety of finishes available, you will most likely find the look and price that is right for you.

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