How to Install Kitchen Cabinet Handles  

Part of creating a new style for any home is installing cabinet handles that match the aesthetic of the space. This hardware doesn’t seem much, but it adds a unique detail to any room. When attached right, cabinet handles ultimately enhance the area and add a stunning accent that lights up the kitchen.

Any spruce-up project such as re-painting or re-modeling furniture likely requires hardware updates, too. It’s simple yet often the most daunting task because it needs precision work. Otherwise, anyone’s effort to paint and finish the material beautifully can go to waste.

That said, you can easily get over this intimidating job by learning how to do it the right way. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help!

Preparing when installing cabinet pulls

Hardware Tools
Source: Unsplash

Before anything else, it’s crucial to prepare the tools needed to install a cabinet pull. This hardware has two or more screw attachments. As such, it requires drilling holes with precision to avoid a lopsided installation. That means getting the perfect center-to-center measurement, which is the distance between one screw hole to another.

This task requires a cabinet hardware jig for completion. Basically, this tool is a template that attaches to the drawer or door and makes drilling a breeze. It is a T-shaped measuring apparatus that enables accurate placement of the pull handle. It is mostly made of aluminum, which does not bend easily and makes aligning the holes stress-free.

However, one can also go the do-it-yourself route when preparing for the cabinet handle placement. Some people use a cardboard or plastic template to get the center-to-center measurement correctly.

Here are some other tools needed for the task:

  • Awl. This tool helps to mark the points for drilling.
  • Power drill. The drill is a must-have for this project since it pierces a hole in the surface. Before powering on, ensure the drill bit matches the type of screw used.
  • Tape measure. This tool is another necessity for any renovation work, allowing precise measurements especially if there is no hardware jig available.
  • Level. A small level accurately aligns the points before drilling the first pull handle. Then, the succeeding ones (if installing multiple hardware of the same type) can use the calibrated jig as a guide.

Choosing the cabinet hardware

Plain White Cabinet
Source: iStock

For professionals or DIY enthusiasts, choosing between knobs or pulls is a part of the decision-making process. These options come in a vast array of styles, sizes, and finishes. Out of all these choices, one needs to select the most suitable cabinet handle that works for them.

There are no strict rules that dictate how to put handles on cabinets. Also, mixing and matching the hardware with the furniture is fun! However, some industry experts have valuable suggestions to create a cohesive look for the space. For example, pulls are ideal for drawers while knobs go well with cabinet doors.

For a more creative design, a combination of knobs and pulls can work. Many people use knob handles for doors installed on the upper end of the cabinetry. For lower drawers or cabinet doors, pulls can provide an easy and comfortable grip.

Step-by-step guide on how to install cabinet handles

With all the necessary hardware and tools gathered, it’s time to head on to the actual pull or cabinet knobs installation.

Step 1: Position the handles

For drawers, one can follow the most common practice, which is to place the handle dead center on the panel. Upper wall cabinets need easy access when opening or closing them. Therefore, the handles have an ideal placement near the bottom end of the door panel.

If installing hardware for a base cabinet, experts recommend attaching the pull or knob within arm’s reach. The classic location for this instance is right towards the top part of the door panel. However, furniture manufacturers and end-users can install cabinet handles (Learn: Top 8 Cabinet Handles Manufacturers in the World) in whatever way they see fit.

Step 2: Use a template

The next step is to measure the holes to drill on the door panel. First, create the template by using cardboard or plastic. When doing so, one should carefully measure the center-to-center distance for pull handles. For knobs, it’s much easier to complete since it only takes one screw attachment.

To get the perfect measurement for pulls, a cabinet hardware jig can simplify the task during this step. Start by measuring the handle and dividing it by two. That number becomes the center point for the attachment. For example, if the hardware is 6 inches long, just measure 3 inches from zero on either side and adjust the blue slides to mark these points.

After creating the template, it’s now easier to make markings on the panel using an awl.

Step 3: Drill from the front

When drilling the screw holes, it’s vital to make a starter hole to prevent errors later. After determining where to put knobs and handles on kitchen cabinets, drilling a small bit from the front comes next. After all, it’s harder to fix a hole that is much larger than the screw.

Following the starter drill holes at marked positions, it is now possible to create a larger hole. Remember to use the right drill bit size and follow a 90-degree angle for this portion!

Step 4: Attach the handle

Hold the knob or pull on the front door panel and screw it in place from the backside. Make sure to check if the handle is screwed tightly in place—loose cabinet handles can make renovations look sloppy.

Step 5: clean up

After successfully installing the cabinet hardware, it’s time to brush off the dust after drilling the hole. Use a small, soft-bristled brush to protect the paint or finish. Once this step is done, it’s time to move on to the next cabinet handle installation!

Closing words

A meticulous pull handle or cabinet knobs installation can make a huge impact on the visual appearance of any space. After knowing how to install kitchen cabinet handles (Learn: Different Types of Kitchen Cabinet Handles & Finishes), practicing it in real life is key to handling kitchen makeovers like a pro. Talk to us at Maxave Group to find high-quality knobs and pulls for any renovation project today!

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