Top Knobs Guide to Decorative Hardware Size Selection

Choosing the right decorative hardware for your cabinets requires a balance between functionality and style. The knobs and pulls you select will effortlessly tie your space together when coordinated with the relative scale of your cabinet doors and drawers. But how do you decide on the proper size of hardware to use?

While there are no strict rules to follow, the number of options can be a bit overwhelming. That’s why Top Knobs has created a comprehensive guide to ensure your hardware perfectly pairs with your cabinetry.

Before pulling out your measuring tape, it’s important to note some key terms when it comes to measuring knobs and pulls:

  • Overall Length: The distance from one end of the pull to the other end
  • Center-to-Center: The industry standard for measuring pulls, the distance from the center of one screw hole to the center of the other screw hole
  • Diameter: Refers to the width of a knob or width of the thickest portion of a pull
  • Projection: How far the pull or knob sticks out from the surface of the cabinet once installed

Now that you are familiar with the terminology and you can properly measure, let’s review how to proportionately pick hardware for your cabinets.

Knobs

Knobs are the most versatile hardware options. Available in a broad range of styles and finishes, standard size knobs range between 1-2 inches in diameter and will complement cabinet doors of any size.

When arranged on drawers less than 16 inches in width, we recommend installing one knob directly at the center. As for drawers larger than 16 inches, two knobs should be installed. For a symmetrical appearance, measure the drawer into thirds and set the knobs in the center of the two outer portions.

Pulls

Pulls come in a variety of styles and lengths, which can prove to be daunting when selecting proportionately sized hardware. Bar Pulls are traditionally measured center-to-center and they should not exceed 1/3 of the length of a cabinet door or width of a drawer.

Pulls 3-7 inches in length will sit the most comfortably on doors less than 24 inches tall. Cabinet doors 24-36 inches tall are best adorned with pulls 7-12 inches long, while cabinets taller than 36 inches such as pantries, built-in appliances and pullouts should be accompanied by pulls longer than 12 inches.

When fixed on drawers one pull 3-5 inches in length should be installed in the center at the center of a drawer less than 16 inches wide. Drawers 16-32 inches wide are best embellished with two smaller pulls 5-7 inches in length or one larger pull 9-12 inches long. Any drawer broader than 32 inches will require a pull longer than 12 inches.

Cup Pulls and Tab Pulls

Cup and tab pulls will follow the same sizing recommendations as bar pulls however, their placement will vary.

Due to their size and configuration, cup pulls are commonly reserved for drawers and are positioned at the top center or directly in the center. When installed on drawers, tab pulls should be placed along the top center of drawers. On upper cabinets, tab pulls are either installed vertically on the opening of the doors or horizontally on the very bottom.

Appliance Pulls

Appliances pulls are the perfect way to match your appliances and oversized cabinet doors with your decorative hardware. Appliance pulls are available in a variety of sizes from 12 to 30 inches. They should be placed on cabinet doors taller and drawers larger than 36 inches.

Want more design tips? Read our placement guide for a comprehensive look into positioning your hardware.

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