How to Install Cabinet Hardware

  • 01 of 07

    Update Old Hardware or Add Knobs

    how to add hardware to kitchen cabinets
    David Schiff

    Adding knobs to cabinets, or replacing existing knobs, is an easy way to add your own style to the kitchen. You’ll be surprised at the impact the change will make, especially considering how little time, effort, and expense this project takes.

    If you are changing knobs, all you have to do is unscrew the old ones and screw in the new. Adding knobs where none existed takes a little longer because you have to locate and drill holes.

    Tools and Materials

    • Cabinet knobs
    • Ruler
    • Cardboard
    • Hammer
    • Finishing nail
    • Drill
    • 3/16 inch drill bit
    • Straightedge
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  • 02 of 07

    Measure a Door Stile

    measure a door stile
    David Schiff

    There is no rule about where to position knobs, but typically they are 2-1/2 or 3 inches from the top or bottom of a door and centered across the width of the stile.

    Measure across the flat area of a stile and divide by two to find the center.

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  • 03 of 07

    Make a Template

    make a template to install knobs
    David Schiff

    You could position every doorknob by measurement, but if you have more than a couple of knobs to install, making a simple cardboard template will speed the work while ensuring a uniform look.

    Measure 2-1/2 or 3 inches in from one edge of the cardboard and half the width of the stile from an adjacent edge. Stick a finishing nail through the cardboard to mark where the two measurements intersect. Remove the nail.

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  • 04 of 07

    Mark the Point on the Door

    mark the point on the door to install the knob
    David Schiff

    Put the template in position on the door, flush with the side and the top or bottom edge. Put the finishing nail through the hole and give it a tap with a hammer to mark the door.

    There are two reasons to use a nail as a locator instead of drilling through the template: First, a drill hole in the template will get larger and less accurate with repeated use. And second, the indentation the nail makes will prevent the drill bit from slipping out of position as you start the hole.

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  • 05 of 07

    Drill the Hole

    drill the hole for the knob
    David Schiff

    Most knob screws require a 3/16-inch-diameter hole, but it’s a good idea to drill a test hole in a scrap of wood to make sure you don’t need a different size.

    Drill through the front of the door at your mark. Hold the door open as you drill to make sure you don’t drill into the cabinet.

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  • 06 of 07

    Install the Knob

    install the knob or hardware to the cabinet
    David Schiff

    Kitchen cabinet knobs come with two screws of different lengths. The short screw is for the typical thickness of cabinet doors while the longer screws are for the added thickness of “false” drawer fronts attached to drawer boxes.

    Put the short screw through the back of the door, thread on the knob, and tighten with a screwdriver.

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  • 07 of 07

    Center and Install Drawer Knobs

    center and install drawer knobs
    David Schiff

    Knobs are centered on drawer faces. You can make templates for each drawer-face size in your kitchen, or you can use diagonal lines to mark the center.

    Place a straightedge across diagonal corners and make a light pencil line near the center of the drawer front. Then place the straightedge across the other diagonal and mark where it intersects the line.

    Drill through the drawer front and box at this point and use the longer screw to install the knob.