Cabinet Hardware Placement

Cabinet Hardware Placement

Put the finishes touch on your kitchen remodel with decorative cabinet knobs and pulls. Proper cabinet hardware placement adds function and aesthetic appeal to the overall design. Stylish handles complement and accentuate the colors, lines, and textures of your new space.

Traditionally, the rule has been to place knobs on cabinet doors and pulls on cabinet drawers. However, there are always exceptions to these rules, especially when placing hardware on small drawers or in small spaces, or when you want to attain a certain look. The variety of hardware materials and finishes is extensive and includes metal, ceramic, glass, and wood. Depending on your design goals, you can choose shiny, brushed, colorful or simple cabinet hardware for your kitchen.

The style of your cabinetry plays an important part in the placement of hardware. Depending on the configuration, you may have less surface space for a knob or pull. For instance, thinner rails and stiles on the face of the door versus a flat, slab surface creates different installation options.

gold cabinet knob

Photo | Rejuvenation

Not sure where to install knobs or pulls on your doors and drawers? Here are some quick tips for application.

Cabinet Knobs

A cabinet knob is a simple choice for doors and drawers. Knobs use a single screw and are traditionally round or oval. However, you can also find them in shapes such as square and T-shape.


Cabinet knobs are positioned opposite door hinges. On wall cabinets, place knobs 2” to 2-1/2” from the bottom corner of the door. For base cabinets, place them 2” to 2-1/2” from the upper corner of the door.

For cabinet drawers, position the knob directly in the center of the drawer front. If you have a mix of drawer depth sizes, you can adjust the placement of knobs to better align with one another and create a cohesive, proportioned look across cabinets.

For drawers that are 24” or wider, it’s a good idea to add a second knob to balance the pull when the drawer is opened. Simply divide the drawer into thirds and place one knob at the 1/3 point and one knob at the 2/3 point.

For pull-out storage cabinets, such as wastebasket bins and spice racks, center the knob 2” to 2-1/2” inches from the top of the cabinet face.


brushed satin nickel cabinet pulls

Photo | Top Knobs

Bar, cup and tab pulls have similar functionality in varying forms. They are easy to grasp and work well across many kitchen styles, from traditional to transitional to contemporary.

Most cabinet pulls are available in a variety of lengths to accommodate different door and drawer sizes. They typically have two screws to securely attach them to the cabinet. Whereas a bar or cup pull is positioned on the face of the door or drawer, a tab pull is installed on the horizontal edge of the door or drawer frame to present a sleek look.


For cabinet doors, pulls are typically installed in an upright, vertical orientation opposite door hinges. Place the bottom hardware hole 2” to 2-1/2” from the bottom of the door front and center it horizontally on the door frame. Using the horizontal rail of the door frame, place your screw hole to orient the bottom end of the handle before marking the measurement of the top screw hole.

Cabinet drawer pulls are positioned with a horizontal orientation. Similar to knob placement, install the handles in the center of the drawer front, or adjust the placement on varying drawer sizes to create a proportioned look across your base cabinets.

Extra wide drawers may require two pulls. Divide the drawer into thirds and place one pull at the 1/3 point and one pull at the 2/3 point.

For pull-out storage cabinets, such as wastebasket bins and spice racks, center the pull horizontally 2” to 2-1/2” inches from the top of the cabinet face.

Additional Hardware Placement Tips

Level and adjust cabinet doors and drawers prior to drilling holes for hardware.

Create a template, or “jig”, to mark a consistent measurement on each custom cabinet.

Make sure the placement you choose is functional and ergonomic for everyday use.

If your refrigerator and dishwasher have panel facades, install correctly-sized appliance pulls.

For more cabinet hardware placement tips and design inspiration for your space, contact us to see the possibilities.