Cabinet Hardware Placement Guide (2023)

table of contents

Cabinet Hardware Placement Guide (1)

Installing cabinet hardware can be intimidating. Whether you're a DIY enthusiast or a professional carpenter, you want the result to be the same when installing your cabinet hardware: you want it done right. They just want it. You want it to be accurate. So where do you start? Actually here.

All that is needed to successfully and easily install the hardware is the correct information. Fortunately, everything you need to know about cabinet hardware placement is right at your fingertips.

We understand that cabinets are the focal point of a room, drawing attention and connecting everything. For this reason, every step of your creation must look absolutely excellent, with the hardware as well. Installing door and drawer hardware is a very easy way to add distinctly subtle style and functional impact to a room in your home.

The downside, of course, is that when the closet hardware is poorly placed on the doors and drawers, everything in the room can look wasted, wasting your time and money. Suddenly, a kitchen looks messy, a bathroom looks disorganized and tacky, and you're avoiding certain rooms. Nobody has time for expensive repetitions.

Whether you're building a new bathroom with fancy drawer pulls or incorporating some traditional cabinet pulls into your kitchen, hardware placement is something to be sure of and get right the first time.

That's why we decided to compile our best tips for getting your hardware right. We understand that installing door handles and cabinet pulls can be difficult if you don't feel secure. But don't worry, following these tips will have the confidence and precision of a professional in minutes.

1. Knobs and Handles: Choosing Your Cabinet Hardware

First thing first. Before you start installing the cabinet hardware, you need to decide what type of cabinet hardware you want to use: knobs or handles, or both. There are two purposes when placing cabinet hardware: functionality and appearance. You want your cabinets to look professional, and more importantly, you want to be able to use them. After all, what good is a closet with a fancy handle if the handle is positioned in such a way that it is difficult to open the door?

Knobs and knobs fulfill the same function, but they also add their own style to a space. The type and style you choose depends on the specific look you want to achieve in a room.

Pro Tip:

Knobs are most commonly used on cabinet doors while pulls are used on drawers and doors.

¿Traditional or modern?

Do you want your space to look modern or more traditional? Your answer to this question will determine what types of knobs and handles you will use. Whenever you are installing cabinet hardware, here are some best practices to keep in mind when deciding between different handle or door handle designs:

When you want a space that leans towards moretraditionalPage is the general rule to follow: doorknobs and drawer pulls. We occasionally break this rule for small drawers or small spaces like a bedroom. B. Bath. But you really can't go wrong if you follow this general guide. The downstairs bathroom is an example of traditional design that uses all handles.

Cabinet Hardware Placement Guide (2)

Knobs can also add a traditional touch to a room. Traditional pull handles come in a few varieties, including the trash can handles shown below.

Cabinet Hardware Placement Guide (3)

Traditional pulls can also look like the one below and have soft, smooth edges, often with small accents on the handlebars. A dark brass, dark bronze, or rust color works best with the traditional look.

Cabinet Hardware Placement Guide (4)

You might also consider using buttons and trains together for asemimodernoDesign style.

Cabinet Hardware Placement Guide (5)

When onecompletely modernSpace is what you want, so sleek knobs are a great choice anywhere. The downstairs kitchen uses all different sized trains. The golden color completes the environment with an ultra-modern look. Modern pulls are available in T-bar style and flat front style.

Cabinet Hardware Placement Guide (6)

You can even use cabinet hardware installation putty to temporarily place knobs and handles in each location, giving you a clearer idea of ​​how everything will look once installed.

Our best-selling hardware installation solution

Troquel True-Position-ToolsORIGINAL cabinet hardware modelis the best bang for your buck in our range. Install handles and knobs in seconds with the most accurate jig on the market. Always perfect results on any cabinet door or drawer front.

Add to cart

(Video) The Age Old Wisdom to Perfect Cabinet Handle Locations
  • Devices for cabinet accessories

ORIGINAL cabinet hardware template + carrying case

Qualified4,86out of 5



2. Types of cabinet doors

Cabinet Hardware Placement Guide (8)

It helps to know some basic details about door construction before delving into hardware placement. All cabinets have door panels and most cabinets also have door rails and moldings. Think of the rails and studs as a support system for the door panel, forming a square (or rectangle) around it. By placing the track horizontally on top of the door leaf and the pin vertically on the side of the door leaf, they form a "hinge" to hold the door leaf in place. Regardless of the type of wardrobe you have, each look (traditional, transitional and modern) can be achieved.

Traditional style cabinet door panels

Cabinet Hardware Placement Guide (9)

When you think of a classic style cabinet door, the raised panel design probably comes to mind. Raised panel designs are very traditional: they always have a floating central panel outlined by a carved design. Center panels can be rectangular with sharper edges, rounded with softer features, or a more curved appearance.

Transitional style cabinet door panels

Cabinet Hardware Placement Guide (10)

Cabinet door panels within the transitional range offer a mix of modern and transitional—not too historic, but not too sophisticated either. There are three main options for these transitional style panels: recessed, shaker, and stud.

The built-in cabinet door panels feature a built-in center panel that adds dimension and subtle detail to cabinets.

Shaker cabinet door panels are one of the most popular cabinet options, and for good reason. Their five-panel cabinet door design with built-in center panels gives them a simple yet versatile look.

The cabinet door panels have glass panels like the door panels. This gives you complete transparency into your closets. The pole cabinet doors are ideal as a bookshelf or for storing cups, beverages and dining essentials. Any item you choose to store in these cabinets will be on full display. Additionally, you can add wood trim (frames) to the glass panels to give them a more decorative aesthetic.

modern style cabinet door panels

Cabinet Hardware Placement Guide (11)

A modern look for cabinet doors can be achieved by using a wood (or solid material) panel. The key word is panel as there is no rectangular/square frame around the door leaf (and therefore no mullions or railings). Using modern or high-end hardware for this type of cabinet is usually a good choice, due to the sleek appearance of the cabinet door. In addition to the modern look, a wood panel for the door panel is also considered to be very European. This style has a cabinet door panel with limited details and a simple design.

3. Fitting hardware to cabinet doors

Once you've decided to use trains or buttons (or a combination of both), it's time to decide.It isexactly to install them in doors and drawers.When installing cabinet door handles (whether handles or handles), they are always installed on the opposite side of the door hinges. You should specifically place them anywhere between 1 inch and 4 inches from the top or bottom edge of the door. Anything within that range will work, as it's based on personal preference.

Again, functionality plays a big part in where you place the cabinet hardware, and this distance from the door edges makes it easier for people to grip the handles to open and close the doors. You then have the option of placing your handles horizontally or vertically on your closet door. There are several tips and tricks listed below that will work depending on whether you are using knobs or handles on your closet doors.

Cabinet knob placement

If you are looking for a traditional look and use handles for your cabinets, you have several options for deciding where to place your handles:

You can place the knobs in the bottom corner of the closet door frame. This is the most authentic traditional look.

Cabinet Hardware Placement Guide (12)

You can place the pulls just above or below the corner of your closet door frame. With wall mounted cabinets (cabinets placed above the counter) it is common to see handles 2-3 inches from the bottom corner of the door panel, but this is mostly down to personal preference. This simple change in placement will make your traditional closet look a little better.

Cabinet Hardware Placement Guide (13)

For taller cabinets, you can place the handles vertically in the center of the door panels (instead of in the bottom corners). Remember you need to be tall enough to reach the buttons as they will be placed higher up.

Cabinet Hardware Placement Guide (14)

Base cabinet doors (the doors go under the counter) can also have handles 2-3 inches from the top corner of the door panel, depending on your preference.

Cabinet Hardware Placement Guide (15)

Pro Tip:

A common place where people try to add knobs and knobs is at the end of the door track as shown below. The problem with this placement is that it tends to create a busy look in the room, especially when there are lots of cabinets and a lot of woodwork.

Cabinet Hardware Placement Guide (16)

(Video) How to Locate Cabinet Knobs and Pulls | Ask This Old House

Cabinet drawer placement

Once you've selected your handles, whether they're modern or traditional, the same rules apply as for location buttons. Doorknobs look great when placed right in the corner of doors. And just like the placement of handles, cabinets look alive when handles are placed flush with the door frame. When placing pulls, remember that the ideal location is between 1" and 4" (depending on your personal preference) from the top or bottom of the drawer.What you need to consider about cabinet handles has to do with their placement.verticalohorizontal🇧🇷 Typically, when it comes to cabinet handles, we recommend placing the handles vertically to make it easier to open the doors (again, functionality is key).

Cabinet Hardware Placement Guide (17)

Cabinet Hardware Placement Guide (18)

Our solution for even faster hardware installation

Troquel True-Position-ToolsPRO Cabinet Hardware Modelincludes thequick center extensionfor quick centering of drawer fronts and quickly repeatable door adjustments.

Add to cart

  • Devices for cabinet accessories

Gabinete Hardware Jig PRO + Gabinete

Qualified4,85out of 5



4. Placing the inserts on the drawer fronts

One important factor to consider before diving into drawer fronts is size. The number of knobs and handles you use depends on whether you have wide drawers or small drawers.

If your drawers are 24 inches wide or larger, bend the knobs or handles. You could also use a longer handle that covers more of the front of the drawer so that you only have to install one instead of two. This gives your drawer more surface area to open and helps make it more functional. The handles must be placed horizontally on the drawers.

Cabinet Hardware Placement Guide (20)

For small drawers (less than 24 inches wide), center handles or handles in both directions. As with larger drawers, handles should be placed horizontally.

Cabinet Hardware Placement Guide (21)

Cabinet Hardware Placement Guide (22)

Knobs and knobs can also be placed at the top center of the drawer front, where the drawer slide begins. This is especially good for under cabinet drawers (under counter drawers) such as a trash can door or under the sink.

Cabinet Hardware Placement Guide (23)

Fittings for drawer fronts depending on height

Drawer front heights vary, but generally you can fit the hardware in the middle of the drawer front with most height ranges. The exception to this is when the height of a drawer front is greater than 12 inches; in this case, we recommend placing the hardware at the top of the drawer front. This makes opening much easier.

Cabinet Hardware Placement Guide (24)

Positioning the drawer handles

When it comes to adding knobs to your drawers, you usually only need one knob per drawer, as knobs are usually quite sturdy. But if your drawers are heavy and/or large (full of cast iron pans and pans, for example), one option is to add two handles to each drawer. Note that people generally tend to only use one movement, even if two are placed in a drawer.

Pro Tip:

Follow the rule of thirds when pulling out a drawer multiple times. This means dividing the drawer into thirds and placing the handles horizontally in the middle of each left and right section.

(Video) The Fastest & Easiest Way to Install Cabinet Handles

Cabinet Hardware Placement Guide (25)

Another option with larger, heavier drawers is to use a larger cabinet handle to cover more of the drawer front. So instead of installing two separate standard size grips, just install a larger grip. In general, if you use a large pull handle, you should use one that is between ⅓ the width of the cabinet and ⅔ the width of the cabinet or greater. You can't go wrong if you stay in this area.

Cabinet Hardware Placement Guide (26)

Oversized handles almost always achieve a trendy look. These are handles that are ⅔ the length of the drawer width or more.

Cabinet Hardware Placement Guide (27)

The ultimate solution for installing large trains

Whattrue positional toolsPRO MAX cabinet hardware jigis a COMPLETE hardware drilling solution that supports thequick center extensionto quickly center drawer fronts andExtensions for long pegs and shelvesFor up to 38″ hardware and 32mm spaced shelf pins.

Add to cart

  • Devices for cabinet accessories

PRO MAX case hardware template + Case

Qualified4,84out of 5



5. Common mistakes to avoid

When dealing with cabinet hardware placement for the first time, there are few things people go wrong, and one of them is rushing the project. Remember, take your time. It requires careful attention (especially if this is your first installation). Chances are you've already spent thousands or a lot of time installing your cabinets. You don't want to waste your hard work (or your money) because you rushed the process.

Using the right tools makes a big difference when installing. Many novice installers make the mistake of using cheap, outdated plastic tools. Installing hardware on cabinet doors and drawers can easily take all day, if not two, for a kitchen if you use the wrong tools. Working with quality materials will significantly speed up the project.

Another common mistake that people make is their choice of style.AboveFunction: Choose a beautiful doorknob, but that is placed in an unusual position and changes the way the door should be opened. Style and function areequallyimportant aspects of a panel hardware design.

We want you to work like a pro when it comes to fitting your cabinet hardware. That's why we put the power of tools in your hands and help you maintain your professional status... or become one for a weekend. At True Position Tools, high quality cabinet hardware accessories and specialty woodworking tools have been in our business for over 25 years. Our cabinet hardware templates help you work quickly and position hardware accurately. All True Position Tools products are made in the USA.

6. Choosing the best cabinet hardware accessory for your hardware installation



  • Fast and accurate hardware installation in seconds
  • Any door and drawer + Hardware up to 12"

show product

Add to cart

(Video) Shaker Cabinet handle installation with the Cabinet Hardware Jig | True Position Tools



  • All the features of the ORIGNAL Cabinet Hardware Jig, plus:
  • Fast drawer front centering and quickly repeatable door adjustments.

Most popular

show product

Add to cart



  • All the features of the Cabinet Hardware Jig PRO, plus:
  • Up to 38" (965 mm) hardware and 32 mm spacing shelf pins

show product

Add to cart

people read too

Shaker Cabinets: Your Hardware Placement Guide

Shaker Cabinets: Your Guide to Installing Hardware Table of Contents Hardware cabinet placement is a crucial part of bringing together the aesthetics of a room. but

Keep reading "

The most accurate way to install cabinet hardware

The Most Precise Way to Install Cabinet Hardware Table of Contents An easy way to create a home that reflects your personal style as a homeowner.

Keep reading "

Cabinet hardware jigs vs jigs

Cabinet Hardware Jigs vs. Jigs - Which Is Best For Your Cabinet Business? There are many different variables in creating and running a successful furniture store.

Keep reading "

How to install cabinet door handles

How to Install Closet Door Handles Table of Contents Replacing or adding closet door handles is a great way to update a room. modern, elegant

Keep reading "

How to install handles and handles on the fronts of the agitator drawers

How to install handles and handles to shaker drawer fronts Contents Getting ready to install handles and handles to shaker drawer fronts?

Keep reading "

common questions

Frequently Asked Questions Here is a ranked list of the most frequently asked questions we receive. If you can't find the answer you're looking for

Keep reading "

(Video) Selecting Knobs & Pulls for New Cabinets


Where should cabinet hardware pulls be placed? ›

When it comes to installing cabinet door handles (either knobs or pulls), they are always placed on the opposite side from the door hinges. You'll specifically want to place them anywhere between 1'' and 4'' from the top or bottom edge of the door.

What is the rule for cabinet hardware? ›

Using a pull that is approximately 1/3 the length of the drawer is a good rule of thumb. When in between sizes, size up. Cabinet doors do not follow the 1/3 rule. Generally, pulls between 5 - 7" for uppers are a safe choice - go larger for a more contemporary look.

Where do you put cabinet pulls on shaker cabinets? ›

Centered on the Inset Panel: This is the most common hardware placement for Shaker cabinets. The knob or pull handle is placed on the center of the recessed drawer panel (the inset). Center of the Top Rail: Place the knob or pull handle on the center of the top rail portion.

Should drawer pulls be in middle or top? ›

DRAWERS. When it comes to cabinetry drawers — tab, edge or finger pulls should be installed to the top edge of the drawer. In most cases, for the best functionality long term, we recommend that the tab pulls be installed equally on center.

Should cabinet drawer pulls be centered? ›

Traditional Placement for Cabinet Hardware

The same goes with pulls on cabinet doors: the bottom of the pull (on upper cabinets) and top of the pull (on lower cabinets) are centered on the corner. This placement is also the most practical, putting the handles as much within reach as possible.

What is the rule of thumb for cabinet pulls? ›

What usually looks best is a pull length that is about 1/3 the height of the cabinet door and 1/3 the width of the cabinet drawer. Your eyes follow the length of the pull up the height of the door or across the width of the drawer. Pulls don't have to all be the same length as long as the pull design is the same.

Should you use same cabinet hardware throughout house? ›

Do I have to use the same finish throughout the house? Matching hardware isn't necessary. In fact, I wouldn't argue against it — a home with all the same hardware finishes will look basic and maybe even boring. However, it is essential to have a plan that ensures commonality throughout the house.

Where is the best place to put knobs on kitchen cabinets? ›

Cabinet knobs should be installed on the stile opposite the hinges. The general rule is to place a knob 2 1/2″ – 3″ from the corner of the door. For upper cabinets, install knobs in the bottom corners of the door. For lower cabinets, place them in the upper corners.

How should cabinet pulls be installed? ›

Traditional Pulls

For base cabinets, the top screw of your pull will be placed between 2 ½ and 3 inches from the top corner of the cabinet (opposite the hinges) and the bottom screw will be placed at the other end of the pull. Pro-Tip: Pulls should be installed on the stiles of the doors.

What handles look best on white cabinets? ›

A few hardware colors that look best on white shaker cabinets is black, gold, silver, and brass.

Where do you put drawer pulls on a shaker? ›

Hardware Placement on Shaker Cabinet Drawers

Centered on the Inset Panel: This is where you place the knob or pull handle on the center of the recessed drawer panel (the inset). This is the most common hardware placement on Shaker cabinets.

Do knobs go on drawers or cabinets? ›

Traditionally knobs are used for cabinet doors and pulls are used on cabinet drawers however these days anything goes. You will often see people using knobs for drawers for consistency or based on the size of the drawers.

Do pulls go on drawers or doors? ›

Pulls offer a bit more flexibility because you can put them on both drawers and doors.

How do you measure center to center for cabinet pulls? ›

To find the center-to-center measurement, use a screwdriver to remove your current pulls, then take a ruler or measuring tape and measure from the center of one screw hole to the center of the other screw hole.

Should drawer slides be at top or bottom of drawer? ›

Our years of experience and thorough product testing have found that the ideal position is between a third and two-thirds distance from the base of the drawer, just below the centre line.

How many pulls on a 30 inch drawer? ›

One Large Pull: As we mentioned above, for cabinet drawers 30 inches wide or more we would recommend a pull 5 inches or longer, OR two pulls 3 inches to 5 inches long each.

What is the most popular cabinet hardware? ›

Q: What is the most popular kitchen hardware? A: The bar pulls or pulls are the most popular kitchen hardware. These classic long handles are good at handling heavy, large, and oversized cabinets, and they are available in a variety of styles at affordable prices.

What is the most popular cabinet pull size? ›

Some of the most common pull sizes on the market are 5-inch hole spacing and 7-1/2 inch hole spacing. Depending on their design, these pulls typically fall into the "medium" size range of pull.

Should my kitchen cabinet pulls match my faucet? ›

Does cabinet hardware have to match your faucet? No. But, traditionally kitchens and bathrooms will match hardware finishes to the faucet to tie the finishes in the room together. Matching cabinet hardware to your faucet creates a cohesive look.

What is the most popular hardware finish? ›

Brushed Nickel has become one of the most popular finish choices for hardware due to its versatility and ability to complement all styles and cabinet colors.

Is it OK to mix hardware finishes in house? ›

Mixing metal finishes can add dimension and visual interest to a room. Instead of a monochromatic, one-note space, you create intrigue and the illusion of texture with small touches. A mix of finishes can blend styles and make a room more reflective of your personal taste.

What is the latest trend in kitchen cabinet hardware? ›

Black is still the hottest color trend for 2023. Black hardware will update your cabinets in an instant, whether you love knobs, pulls, or a blend. Satin and matte black are the most common choices for a modern black look, especially on light-colored cabinets.

Do you put hardware on non functioning drawers? ›

Having a false drawer handle adds continuity and are more visually appealing than having a bald-faced drawer. Although having a drawer handle on a false drawer does not increase storage space, many enjoy the look of having all of their drawer faces with knobs or handles.

What cabinet hardware is timeless? ›

Timeless Kitchen Hardware

Brass is the most timeless metal, in my opinion, and if you choose unlacquered brass hardware, it will only get prettier with time. From appliance pulls to cup pulls and the sweet round knobs and hinges we used in this space, every piece references historic elements.

What is most popular hardware with white cabinets? ›

The most popular hardware choice for white shaker cabinets is chrome or brushed nickel pulls but other options can also work well with them. You can give a more traditional look with nickel pulls, add a vintage vibe with oil-rubbed bronze or brass, or modernize them with matte black color hardware.

Should cabinets be darker or lighter than Wall? ›

There are no strict rules as to whether painted kitchen cabinets should be lighter or darker than the walls, essentially it comes down to personal preference and the look you're trying to achieve.

What is the proper placement for kitchen drawer pulls? ›

For standard drawers, the correct cabinet knob placement is typically with knobs centered vertically, so they will be in the center of the panel. For extra deep drawers, you may install knobs centered in the top third of the drawer or on the top rail if you prefer.

What drawer pulls look best on Shaker cabinets? ›

Currently, the most popular and trendy style of shaker cabinet hardware is gold pulls. Especially when paired with white or blue shaker cabinets, gold pull hardware lightens and warms up the kitchen space. The pull style perfectly matches the flat, modern style of shaker cabinets, making them a perfect choice.

Where do cabinet pulls go on pantry cabinets? ›

Cabinet Doors- On upper cabinet doors, knobs and pulls will be placed in the bottom corner opposite the hinges. On lower cabinet doors- Hardware will be placed in the upper corner opposite the hinges. Pulls typically will be placed vertically.


1. Cabinet Knobs and Pulls - 8 IMPORTANT installing Tips
(Weekend Honey Do List)
2. How to Install Cabinet Door Handles & Pulls - Decorative Hardware Installation
3. Choosing Hardware for your Kitchen | My 5 Step Process
4. Install Cabinet Door Knobs - Easy and Accurate way to Measure, Align and Drill
(Tom's Home Improvement Videos)
5. Install Cabinet Hardware Fast and Easy - True Position Tools Cabinet Hardware Jig
(Bent's Woodworking & More)
6. Cabinet Handle Placement | Complete Cabinet Handle Installation Guide
(Woodwork Family)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Horacio Brakus JD

Last Updated: 03/05/2023

Views: 6244

Rating: 4 / 5 (51 voted)

Reviews: 82% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Horacio Brakus JD

Birthday: 1999-08-21

Address: Apt. 524 43384 Minnie Prairie, South Edda, MA 62804

Phone: +5931039998219

Job: Sales Strategist

Hobby: Sculling, Kitesurfing, Orienteering, Painting, Computer programming, Creative writing, Scuba diving

Introduction: My name is Horacio Brakus JD, I am a lively, splendid, jolly, vivacious, vast, cheerful, agreeable person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.