The Trades

Research, insights and advice from craftsmen and industry experts

Complete Guide to Cabinet Hardware

cabinetry hardware Feb 17, 2021

When it comes to cabinets, hardware is both functional and decorative. Hinges, drawer slides, and latches fall into the functional category, although they can still add visual impact if you choose exposed versions like surface mounted hinges. 

In the cabinet building industry, the hardware that attaches to the fronts of cabinets and drawers is referred to as decorative hardware. There are infinite options for handles and knobs, and the choice is largely aesthetic. The hardware should fit the personality of the home, any existing cabinet or drawer fronts, and the homeowner’s preference. It’s the last item to install but is an important final touch.

Knobs and handles

Knobs and handles are the two most common types of decorative hardware. You can mix and match knobs or pulls to add visual interest, or use only one type of hardware throughout all of your cabinets and drawer fronts for a consistent look.


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Cabinet knobs are mounted to the exterior of the cabinet...

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How to Choose Drawer Slides for Cabinets

When choosing cabinet hardware there are countless options, but once you make a few key decisions about functionality and aesthetics you’ll be well on your way to completing your cabinet building project.

If your project includes a drawer system, corresponding drawer slides are an essential piece of hardware. Nearly all drawer slides are composed of two pieces: a drawer profile and a cabinet profile. The drawer profile attaches to the drawer and the cabinet profile attaches to the inside of the cabinet. Once the two pieces are attached, either a ball bearing or roller mechanism allows the slide to move.

Tip: Best practice is to build the cabinet box before building drawers. After assembling the cabinet box, choose your drawer slides, and build the drawers to the specifications of both the cabinet and the slide.

How to choose drawer slides

“In general in our shop, we typically gravitate toward hardware that is concealed. Most hardware is not very appealing to look at. So...

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Complete Guide to Cabinet Hinge Types

When it comes to hinge types, the options can seem endless, but the type of cabinet and door style you are working with will narrow your choices down immensely. From there, you can begin to hone in on special features, styles, and finishes based on your needs, personal preferences, and the style of your home.

How to choose the right cabinet hinge

1. Consider your door overlay style

It’s essential that the hinge type you use matches the cabinet door style that you are building so that the door is mounted with the proper amount of clearance. There are two main styles of door overlay—inset doors and overlay doors. Overlay doors come in partial overlay and full overlay. Take a look at your cabinet design to determine which you are working with.

  • Inset: The cabinet door is flush with and on the same plane as the cabinet frame, and the frame surrounds the entire cabinet door. For inset doors, the most common hinges are butt hinge or surface mount, and inset European.
  • Full...
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