May 20, 2024


Giving your Home a new Option

Knobs or Pulls?

Knobs or Pulls?

Kitchen drawers with black handles

Congratulations! You finally finished remodeling your bathroom or kitchen. You sorted through all your options and now have updated drawers and cabinets. All that’s left are the seemingly minuscule hardware details that suddenly don’t seem so small. Do you feel caught up in the knobs versus pulls debate, and you can’t seem to decide which to choose? Despite their small size, this new hardware can make or break the whole appearance and functionality of your new kitchen or bathroom.

Is it simply personal preference or does the right hardware affect functionality? The tips below will guide you towards the right choice and simplify your decision-making process.

1. Cabinet Hardware

White storage cabinets featuring a brass cabinet door handle

To be able to choose the right cabinet hardware, we’ll first need to get into the differences between cabinet knobs and cabinet pulls.

Cabinet knobs

High cabinets typically have knobs because they need one screw, and you can grab them with your thumb and forefinger. A cabinet knob is easier to install and use when you have cabinet doors above a fridge, pantry, or stovetop vent.

Cabinet pulls

Pulls need two screws (one at each end) to hang securely, and you can hook one finger or your whole hand inside it that makes the pulling process easier. Large pull-out doors, like we see in pantries, and integrated appliances are also usually opened with the cabinet pull hardware due to the strength that you have to exert while using them.

2. Drawer Hardware

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Drawer Knobs

Knobs work best for smaller drawers, especially if the drawer is at waist height. This is because it takes minimal strength to pull these drawers open. Think, silverware, utensils, and spice drawers. Bathroom draws are also typically smaller and won’t hold any heavy things so knobs work best in the bathroom as well.

Drawer Pulls

Heavy drawers are better off with pulls as they can facilitate the drawer opening process. Drawer pulls are necessary for heavy draws that may hold small appliances, pots and pans, or trash bins. Pulls work best for drawers that are low to the ground as well.


3. Style

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Knobs and pulls are available in a variety of styles, shapes, and colors, so you have to determine which ones are suitable for your kitchen and bathroom interior design. You can choose hardware details that harmonize and blend with the style of your room or ones that fashionably contrast with it.

Kitchen and bathroom cabinets won’t need the same hardware style so this gives you the opportunity to choose multiple styles. Top Knobs is one of the most commonly used distributors of cabinet hardware. Their cabinetry hardware includes many different styles like brass, bronze, brushed nickel, or chrome. They carry a wide selection of hardware from a sleek modern style to get a cleaner look to a vintage style for more of a classic look.

Can’t I pick just any knob and pull?

We wish it was that simple! Some aspects of your cabinet hardware can be overlooked, like shape. For example, you can complement your cabinets and drawers by using simple round, square, or oval knobs and straight or curved pulls. Traditionally styled kitchens and bathrooms will shine with elegance if you add more intricate and ornate hardware that will create an eclectic overall look. There are also transitional knobs and pulls that result in a timeless aesthetic created by the perfect combination of traditional and modern styles.

Matching styles or contrasting styles?

When you’re deciding between syncing up your styles or going for a contrasting look, take a good look at the lines and shapes of your space. If your cabinets, countertop, and lightning have a squared appearance or square protruding elements, aim to match your styles and choose pulls and knobs that are consistent in shape or design. The same goes for spaces where the design contains curved lines and edges. It’s best to maintain those shapes when you choose your knobs and pulls.

If you want your knobs and pulls to contrast, make sure it’s in a complimentary way. For example, no matter what style your space is there will always be a certain finish of hardware you should avoid unless you incorporate matching colors throughout the kitchen. Even when contrasting your style, make sure your hardware works in harmony with the rest of your room.

Do I need to match my hardware with the fixtures?

Ideally, yes. Take a modern kitchen, for example; the only way it’s going to get that sleek style is by going for minimalism. This can be as simple as incorporating the same bright color cabinetry and countertops, and same color hardware and fixtures. Even if you aren’t going for a modern look, you’ll still want to match at least the finish of all metals in the kitchen. This includes the fixtures, pulls, knobs, cabinet hinges, and sometimes even drawer slides.

4. Quality and Comfort

Remodeled kitchen with drawer pulls

The most important thing to remember is that you need to be physically comfortable with your hardware choice. Make sure you check how the hardware feels in your hand and if your hand fits inside it or around it. It’s always best to measure drawer pulls so you know that the pull will allow enough space for your hand. Do you have small, petite hands that would function best with a smaller drawer pull? Do you have a family of football players who prefers to aggressively pull on drawers and slam cabinets shut? Choose your hardware with a realistic perspective on how it will be used by the members of your household.

A reliable and comfortable pull or knob shouldn’t cram your fingers or have sharp edges. You can tell if a knob or pull is high-quality if it’s made of solid materials and won’t bend, dent, or lose its look with time. The best knobs and pulls aren’t hollow and weigh slightly more than the ones that will probably wear out after long-term usage. Opt for high-quality knobs and pulls whenever possible, but especially if you have multiple family members who will be actively using the hardware on a daily basis (like in the kitchen or bathroom). Lower-quality, more decorative hardware is best on less frequently used spaces like extra storage cabinets, dressers, or office nooks.

Wrapping it all up

Choosing the ideal knobs and pulls for your design can be confusing, especially with the number of different interior design styles that vary from country and rustic to European and Victorian. You may benefit by contacting a remodeling expert who will know what to do with your specific design and yet won’t forget about the functionality of your kitchen and bathroom. Get in touch today to speak with our designers about your kitchen remodel.