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What are the Different Types of Cabinet Hardware?

By S. Mithra
Updated May 16, 2024
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The different types of cabinet hardware include knobs, drawer pulls, and decorative hinges. There are further divisions by period, motif, material, design, and orientation. Whether you'd like a barely visible slot as a recessed handle on a bathroom vanity drawer or an elaborate teardrop pull with a scrolled backplate, there are many types to accompany the rest of your furniture's accents. Other smaller hardware pieces keep cabinets closed instead of helping to open them, such as hook-and-eye closures and slot-and-key latches.

Cabinet knobs usually attach with one screw, therefore they are roundish and compact. The most standard knobs are flat rounds and mushroom shapes, but they can be freeform swirls, dragonflies, square imprints, or elongated utensils. They are not relegated to kitchen cabinets, but can decorate toy chests, utility organizers, and etageres in other rooms of the house.

Drawer pulls have more dynamic functions than knobs, as they are oriented vertically or horizontally, mounted on the face or recessed, and stationary or use hinged movement. Simple pulls attach to the face with two screws, leaving a space to slide in your fingers and open the drawer. Bin pulls, also called cup pulls, are shaped like a slice of a sphere open at the bottom. Bail pulls lay flat against the drawer but lift up. Variations include pendant and ring pulls that are only jointed at one point where a circular ring or straight handle attach. These often have highly decorative backplates, the flat part that lies against the drawer.

Cabinet hardware can be constructed from a myriad of materials ranging from the modern polymer to antique pewter. Metal is a popular option because it is malleable enough to take almost any shape. Bronze, iron, brass, stainless steel, nickel, and chrome all make sturdy, handsome choices. Their luster may be antiqued, brushed, hand-hammered, polished, satin, or weathered. Certain to match the wood of your cabinetry, wood hardware come in oak, cherry, birch, maple, mahogany, or any other grain.

Glass and plastic give a modern twist on cabinet hardware. They can be dyed any shade and look translucent, opaque, or shimmery. Ceramic has been popular in centuries past because the face of a knob can be hand-painted with a variety of motifs like flowers or landscapes. Even natural stone offers homeowners and designers an organic yet contemporary look. Marble and granite provide warm earthtones with a polished or natural finish.

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