Cabinet Hardware-How to Install

Once you’ve determined the type of cabinet hardware you’d like to put into your kitchen or bathroom, its time to put the icing on the cake!

Cabinet Hardware-The icing on the cake!

The installation process is easy.  Here’s how:

1)     There are a couple of easy ways to determine placement of installation.   For cabinet doors, the lower right corner is the typical location.  For drawers, you will need a measuring tape to measure the middle distance between the two horizontal edges as well as the vertical edges.

Measure to find the middle of your vertical rise on drawers for correct location

Measure to find the middle point of the horizontal length on drawers

People ask me all the time, “how do you get the knobs and pulls to all be at the same level and in the same spot…aren’t you scared?”  There is a very handy foolproof template tool available at either Lowes or Home Depot that takes the guesswork out of where to drill your holes; the template has pre-measured holes that match up to most handle widths.

Handy pre-marked cabinet hardware template available from Lowe’s or Home Depot

Measure the width on your new handle between each of the threaded screw holes.   Most cabinet pulls and knobs come in a package with screws ready to install.

3)      Once you know the distance between the new holes needed, line up the template to the cabinet door.  The template has grid lines that you can use to line up the edge of the door to ensure you are “square”.  My favorite way to mark where the holes are needed is to make an indention with the drill bit through the template holes; a sharpee marker or pencil is also useful.

Using the pre-measured template to determine where the new holes will be on a drawer

4)      Here is where it doesn’t hurt to “measure twice and cut once” by standing back to ensure the placement will be what you wanted and it looks level with the adjacent cabinet doors or drawers.    Once you are sure, go ahead and find the drill bit the same width as the new screw shaft that came with the knob.  This will ensure a good snug fit.  Now drill the holes!  If  this is your first experience using a drill, I highly recommend using a slower speed, lightweight drill.  It won’t feel like the drill is “getting away from you”. I love my Black and Decker cordless drill….many people laugh because its not powerful enough to do heaiver duty jobs, but for my day to day projects, it works like a champ.

Drill the holes in the pre-determined locations

5)       Insert the screws from the backside of the door and with a screwdriver, tighten the screws into the new knob or pull.

Insert the screws from the backside of the door and use a screwdriver to hand tighten

6)      With cabinet drawers, this may get a bit trickier.  Drawer fronts are usually attached by two methods: a) screwed onto drawer box or b) glued onto drawer box.  Determine which type you have and proceed as follows:

a)      For screwed on drawer fronts, remove the drawer and remove the front with the screwdriver; repeat step 4 and 5 then re-attach the drawer front to the box.

Screwed on drawer front

b)      For glued on drawer fronts, remove the drawer and turn on its side with the front facing down on the ground.  Find a larger drill bit that is the same size as the new screw head (top).  Using this larger drill bit, gently drill from the inside of the drawer into the same smaller hole you have already drilled.  Carefully watching the tip of the bit go into the wood, do not exceed the width of the front of the drawer (usually no more than ½”).  What you are doing is making a “stop” for the new screw to get through the first layer of the box and come to a stop into the drawer front for the pull or knob.  Once this is done, yu should be able to insert the screw from the inside of the drawer and see the screw poking out from the front waiting to take the new knob.

Glued on drawer front; a larger drill hole is needed from this backside of drawer front in order for the hardware screw to sit recessed inside of this hole to reach the front

What if I goof? If you goof and drill a hole in the wrong spot, you can fill the hole with wood putty, sand and stain it to match your door.  The majority of the time given the close proximity of the goof hole with your new knobs, no one will even know its there besides you.

What if I just want to change my current hardware? This is even easier…measure the distance between your current screw holes and find a new one in the style and finish you like.  It’s then as simple as removing the old screws and knobs and inserting the new ones.

As always, I’m here to help if you get stuck.  I appreciate your feedback!  Good luck!

This is a continuation of the “how to” advice from my prior series:


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