The Obvious and the Obscure – Kitchen Hardware

Whether you are designing a kitchen for a new home, renovating a kitchen that is a little tired, or just making a small improvement, kitchen hardware will play a role in the design and the function of the room.

The most obvious examples of kitchen hardware are the knobs and handles on the cabinet doors and drawer fronts. Knobs come in many materials-metals of all types, wood, ceramic, glass, and plastic. You can find them in all sizes, from petite knobs that you pull with you fingertips, and massive knobs that takes a solid grip.

Knobs differ from handles in that they have are attached with a single screw or bolt. If you are you installing new cabinets, you can get away with drilling a single hole in the cabinet door or drawer front. Installation will go quicker when you have fewer holes to drill and align. If you are simply replacing the kitchen hardware, check the diameter and the length of the old screws or bolts. Select replacements with the same size screws or bolts, or ones that are slightly larger; you can always enlarge the existing holes, but you can’t shrink them to accommodate a narrower screw or bolt.

Handles are elongated and are usually attached with two screws or bolts. They require that you to slip your fingers behind the bar that spans the two connection points. Like knobs, handles come in a variety of materials, sizes, and shapes.

If you choose handles for new kitchen cabinets, you need to drill two holes in each cabinet door and drawer front. You can make or buy templates that will help you do this job with precision. If you are keeping the cabinets that previously had kitchen hardware installed, you need to consider the size and placement of the old handles. Make sure you replace the old handles with ones of the same size, unless you are willing to fill the existing holes and refinish the doors and drawer fronts.

You can enhance the look of any handle or knob by adding a backplate between the new kitchen hardware and the face of the cabinet door or drawer front. Backplates come in traditional and contemporary styles, in a range of materials to match your choice of knobs and handles.

Changing kitchen hardware may not be strictly a cosmetic change. You can replace worn-out catches and latches to help keep the doors and drawers closed. You can find catches in two general types: rollers, and light magnets and metal plates. This kitchen hardware keeps a door or drawer from inadvertently opening, when it could injure an unsuspecting member of the family.

Any home with a baby needs to be child-proofed, and securing cabinets that contain hazards to the littlest members of our families is important to any family. You don’t have to install those plastic locks on the exterior of the door or those hard-to-unhook locks on the cabinet frames. A popular alternative for replacement kitchen hardware uses a magnetic lock and key. When you install this kind of kitchen hardware, you can open the cabinet with only the magnetic key. Keep the key out of reach, and you can be sure that the contents of the cabinet will stay out of little fingers.

If you’ve got a worn or damaged handle on your refrigerator, stove, or dishwasher, you don’t have to replace the appliance. You can find kitchen hardware that will replace the old ones, and coordinate with your d├ęcor, too. Just as with cabinet handles, remove the old hardware, measure it carefully, and choose a replacement in the same size.