While it is by no means the first decision to be made when designing your dream cabinets, the hardware you choose can make a significant difference in the look, feel, and overall functionality of your freshly renovated space. In our process, hardware is one of the last decisions that needs to be made by our clients before we send their plans to our Engineering department to prepare for Production…but if you don’t know precisely what you want coming in, the hundreds and even thousands of options available to you can feel overwhelming.
Today, we’ve asked Brent, one of our Salespeople, to provide some insight regarding how to approach this exciting, impactful decision. As a bonus, he’s offering a few tips on cabinet inserts, too! Read on to learn how to select the best hardware for your cabinets…
How many different brands of hardware does chervin offer?
- All our brands are thoroughly researched and vetted to ensure they live up to our Chervin quality standard. We carry at least 10 exceptional brands of hardware, including Hafele, Schaub, Pomelli, Emtek, and Berenson, to name a few.
- You’re also welcome to bring in your own hardware, if you have found something you really love elsewhere and were saving it for this dream kitchen or vanity!
How do you recommend not getting overwhelmed with all the options – where do you start?
- Begin by expressing (and getting excited about!) the overall look you are going for – work out what feeling you want to have when you walk into your kitchen, what functionality you want to prioritize, and what style resonates with you.
- From there, we have a checklist we work through, step-by-step, to ensure we get all the information we need from you, in an organized way. Don’t worry – we’re there to work every detail through with you along the way.
- Try to narrow down the style and/or material you like best – we can advise you on what would work best with different types of doors and with the finishes you have chosen.
- Pick out a few sample boards of hardware that you like the look of and test out the feel – don’t forget how important the fit of the hardware to your hand is!
- You will receive a 3D rendering before you have finalized all the details – that will give you an idea of one direction you could go with your hardware and finishes. You’ll have lots of time to consider your options and make adjustments before we begin production.
What are the different materials hardware can be made out of?
- Polished chrome, brushed nickel, glass, brass, wood, leather…
- Mixed metals have been very popular recently.
- You typically want to choose hardware that will contrast your cabinetry and make a dramatic statement (unless you opt for slab doors with finger pulls – then minimalism is the name of the game).
WHERE DO YOU RECOMMEND USING KNOBS VS PULLS?
- For the majority of your cabinets, the traditional choice is to use knobs on doors and pulls (or cup pulls) on drawers. Pantry doors are best suited to oversized vertical pulls.
- However, more contemporary cabinet designs tend to use exclusively pulls (handles), on doors and drawers alike (simply with different orientations). This gives a consistent look, while making the space more functional and practical, as pulls tend to be easier to grasp, no matter how full or dirty your hands may be in the kitchen.
WHAT ARE THE PROS AND CONS OF ONE-TOUCH/FINGER PULL CABINET DOORS?
- Touch-and-release doors are very nice but can become irritating for some people due to their sensitivity – these doors are often used for hidden cabinets under islands, but the touch of a knee can cause the cabinet to open. The flip side, however, is that if your knee does bump the door, you are hitting a flat surface, not an intrusive handle or knob…
- Finger pulls are aesthetically appealing (streamlined, sleek, and modern), but beware of fingerprints and the effect of natural oils from your hand on the finish over time. Consider using finger pulls on cabinets seeing less rigorous use, such as entertainment units or laundry room cabinets (as opposed to kitchens and bathrooms).
What is the price range for different types of hardware? why the discrepancy?
- On average, you can expect to spend approximately $12 per knob or handle (which equates to around $500 for an average kitchen, not including the cost of slides and hinges).
- Soft close, Blumotion hardware is standard in all of our Chervin cabinets.
- You can spend as much as you want on your decorative hardware, though – up to $250 for a high-end pantry or appliance handle!
- The size of the kitchen matters less when it comes to hardware costs than does the composition of the kitchen – the materials you choose, the size of the doors/drawers, and the uniqueness of their function (for example, lift-up doors), can all contribute to increasing the value of your hardware.
Should your hardware be expected to last as long as your cabinet doors and boxes?
- Yes, your hardware should stand the test of time along with the rest of your cabinetry. If you do decide to replace, though (perhaps to update the look), remember you’ll have to buy a pull (handle) with the exact same hold measurements as the original (to match the holes made in the doors and drawers). If you select knobs, they won’t be as difficult to replace (“one size fits all” for the most part).
What are the pieces of behind-the-scenes hardware that customers should know about as options?
- Drawer hardware is typically one of the first things to show signs of wear in a kitchen (they take a lot of weight and a lot of use!). With that in mind, we have decided to use top-of-the-line Blumotion slides on all our drawers. These slides are built to last, and actually sit under the drawer, rather than on its side – this provides extra (much-needed) support, and offers a little more width for your storage space. There is a drawer like this in our Waterloo presentation room that has been full of heavy wood samples for years and it is holding up great!
Why would you choose a drawer over a door (or vice versa)?
- Drawers are very popular because they come to you – to get something out of a shelf unit often requires bending, reaching, and sometimes blind grasping in deep corners. Retrieving the same item from a drawer is much easier on your back, not to mention less frustrating, as everything is out in the open (particularly if you opt for full-extension drawers where nothing is left to guessing under the countertop).
- Drawers, however, are *not* very nice for displaying beautiful dishes, nor do they remain accessible when used above waist level (they start to require you to arch and climb to see inside them!). In those cases, doors and shelves are the best option (and a row of doors with glass fronts for your upper cabinets (with built-in lighting) can create a beautiful ambience in your space!).
- Another very ergonomic option is to choose a lift-up cabinet door for your upper shelves, like the one offered by our main internal hardware supplier, Blum, below:
i’m designing a new bathroom vanity – Are there any special hardware/feature considerations?
- In a vanity, it would be really nice to have a drawer under the sink (installed after the fact, when plumbing is completed). Vanities don’t typically come with many drawers (especially not of any substantial size) due to their configuration, so things are inevitably stored under the sink all around the plumbing fixtures. A pull-out drawer that wraps around the plumbing makes more practical and complete use of that valuable storage space.
What is your favourite style of hardware right now?
- Thin, flat-black hardware on a streamlined, white kitchen.
If you had to pick only 3 built-in kitchen features to put in your next kitchen, which ones would they be?
- 2-tier cutlery tray
- Spice drawer instead of pull-out spice rack (more accessible and visible, and offers more storage options)
- Tray dividers above the fridge (for cookie sheets, cutting boards, and other big items you can’t store anywhere else)
Contact us to set up a consultation with one of our designers!