Two-tone painted base cabinets with glass door knobs

Design Your Room

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Cabinet Knobs

Selecting cabinet door knobs

Knobs are one of the most popular types of cabinet hardware. Typically round, they are also available in a variety of shapes, with designs that range from simple and unadorned to elaborate swirls, ridges and patterns, to novelty designs such as sea shells, hearts, flowers or leaves.

Here are some tips to help narrow your choices when selecting cabinet door knobs.

Choosing a Cabinet Knob Material

Close up of blue dresser with metal knobs

Consider how you will be using the cabinetry in your home’s design. For example, are you installing new kitchen cabinetry for the long-term, updating existing cabinets in a vacation getaway, or creating a child’s room that you expect to update again in a few years? These kinds of factors may impact your choice of materials.

If you’re in it for the long-term, for instance, cabinet knobs made of solid brass, stainless steel and bronze are among the most durable choices over time, and are likely to continue looking good for many years.

If you’re remodeling a kitchen to reflect the trend for authentic looks, you may be drawn to knobs made of natural materials such as wood or oxidized metals. And if the hardware is for a child’s room, this may be the time to choose a whimsical novelty pull in an animal shape that you can easily update later as the child grows up.

Mixing and Matching Cabinet Knobs

Vanity cabinet with bronze cabinet pulls and matching faucet

You may also want to choose different hardware styles and materials in a single space. For example, pairing polished chrome cabinet door knobs with brushed nickel cabinet drawer pulls and cabinet hinges can offer pleasing contrast in a kitchen design, and also enable you to transition your home décor from room to room.

Matching hardware materials can be effective if you wish to complement other elements within a room, such as using oil-rubbed bronze cabinet knobs to echo the metallic effect of a faucet of the same material in a spa-themed bath.

Functionality of Cabinet Knobs

Close up of open cabinet drawer

Usually about an inch or so in diameter, knobs are easy to grasp with either the left or right hand, and do not require the user to turn and twist their fingers in order to open the cabinet, making them suitable for a wide variety of people at all ages.

Installing and Positioning Cabinet Knobs

Cabinet door knobs are generally installed with only a single screw, making installation easy. If you're installing the cabinet knobs yourself, consider creating a template for each cabinet drawer or door type – then use the template throughout the room to ensure consistency of installation and alignment of the cabinet knobs.

Here some tips for positioning cabinet knobs on your doors and drawers:

  • On a wall cabinet with a raised center panel style cabinet door, set the knob directly across from the flat part of the center panel.
  • On a flat center panel door, 2" to 2-1/2" is a good starting point – hold up the hardware piece and let your eye make the final choice. With a mitered door, never position the hardware in the lower corner where the mitered joints meet.
  • For cabinet drawer knobs, if the hardware is of average size – 3" to 3-1/2" wide – a good rule of thumb is to position one piece of hardware on drawers that are less than 24" wide, and two pieces per drawer front on those that are over 24" wide.