Tips when choosing kitchen cabinet hardware

Friday October 16 2020

Cabinet hardware includes, knobs, handles and hinges, among others. PHOTOs/net

By Pauline Bangirana

Recently, while cleaning my kitchen, I pulled one of the storage cabinets in the kitchen only to literally stay with the cabinet handle in my hands. I decided I would replace them myself and headed to the hardware store. This turned out to be tougher than I had anticipated because of the number of decisions I had to make; from colour tone, to finish, and to material, the options were simply dizzying.

Andrew Mbabazi, an interior designer with Ayodele Innovations Limited, explains that when it comes to cabinet hardware, the hardware is the accessory that makes the cabinets functional. These, he says, include; locks, runners and handles.

Runners are in majorly two kinds; the heavy duty runners and ordinary runners.

Mbabazi explains that heavy duty runners are of good quality and can handle quite any amount of weight if fitted well. The ordinary runners, on the other hand, are made from plastic and are easy to fix although they may not be as long lasting. The choice of hardware is mainly dependent on the quality one wants to have in their home.

You should maintain the same finish on all the hardware in your kitchen, even if you choose different styles to be used in different places. Look to all your kitchen’s metal accents, including your faucet, lighting and appliances.

The type of finish you choose depends largely on your cabinets. For example, if you have white cabinets, choosing a bold finish will make a huge impact. Warm-toned cabinets tend to look best with bronze, black, or gold hardware. Silvers, pewters, and black hardware works well with gray cabinets. Once you choose the style of hardware you want, it becomes easier to choose the right finish. There is a wide variety of cabinet hardware finishes: tarnished, polished, brushed, burnished, oil-rubbed, satin, antique or matte -- just to name a few. Stainless steel handles in a highly polished finish look great in a contemporary kitchen. Pewter and brass look more at home in a traditional setting. Bronze will over time mature in appearance, and will make a bold statement in a kitchen. A black finish is dramatic on a light coloured cabinet. Whatever you choose, just make sure the finish on your cabinet hardware complements the overall decor of your kitchen.


The quality is dependent on the materials from which they are made. They also have different finishes depending on one’s taste and preference.  Mbabazi notes that the highly recommended is brass and stainless steel because they are longer lasting.

Drawer locks; the criteria should be the same whether the shutters are sliding, pullout and also drawers. All these have different types of locks and mechanisms are different.

Cabinet hinges come in different categories, the concealed and expose hinges. If you are repairing your existing cabinets and ordering new hinges the key point to keep in mind is that your cabinet construction will determine which configuration of exposed hinge you can use. Therefore before making a choice, find out whether you have framed or frameless cabinets, full or partial inset doors and the type of door overlay that exists. The reason for this is because the variations in cabinet construction dictate how the cabinet hinge itself is constructed. Concealed hinges, regardless of type, require some drilling and/or a mortise be cut into the cabinetry while some exposed ones are easier to work with because there is no chiseling or cutting necessary to install them. The hinge wings lie on top of the cabinet surfaces.

Another important consideration to make involves either knobs or cabinet pulls. Knobs are usually much more simplistic in nature, although the more ornate ones can even be two-toned. Cabinet pulls look more like handles, and they can sometimes be extremely ornate. On the other hand, they can also be fairly simple.

Deciding whether you want knobs or pulls really just depends on how much metal you want to display on your cabinets. Also keep in mind how easy the hardware pieces are to use. Choosing hardware that is easily missed or hard to grab will only make it more difficult to open your kitchen cabinets.


Another option that some people even choose is the option of no kitchen cabinet hardware. This is certainly the most simplistic way to go, and it is a valid choice that some people decide to make after considering all options. Some cabinets do not necessarily need hardware, so choosing to go without is a stylistic choice that is perfect for some decors.