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How to Easily Install Cabinet Hardware

Nothing beats a home DIY project that is all at once easy, straight forward, and packs a major transformation punch. For me, that usually means a can of black paint (if you know, you know), but cabinet pulls and knobs also fit into this coveted project category. Switching out old outdated hardware (looking at you brushed silver turtle knobs) can be a 10 minute project that changes the entire feel of a space. But what about when there aren’t existing hardware holes? Then what? Well, it can seem daunting at first, but with a few simple tools and patience, it’s easy to install cabinet hardware!

cabinet hardware

(Part of my home design process includes sourcing products and sharing them with you! Naturally, some of my content includes affiliate links, which means, at no additional cost to you, I may earn a commission if you click and purchase.  This commission allows me to write more content and support my boys, so thank you!)

cabinet hardware installation tools

Supplies to Install Cabinet Hardware:

  1. Cabinet Pull Jig Template (total game changer! especially for longer pulls)
  2. Matte Black Long Cabinet Pulls (check out the end of the post to see more of my faves)
  3. Cabinet Knob Template (also works for smaller pulls)
  4. Matte Black Cabinet Knobs
  5. Cordless Power Drill & Bits (not shown but this one is my favorite that I use all the time!)
  6. Basics: pencil, measuring tape, screwdriver
kitchen before remodel
kitchen before

The hardware installation is part of my bigger overall (and never ending) kitchen update. Along with a new sink, backsplash tile, and countertops, I had the cabinets painted with new door and drawer fronts made. (See more of the painted cabinet overhaul).

installing cabinet hardware

1. Confirm Hardware Screws in Advance

Soooo, this one seems obvious but if overlooked can lead to major issues. Most knobs and pulls will come with their own screws, sometimes in two different lengths. It’s important to check *before* drilling that you use the correct size drill bit (too large of a hole and there is no going back!) – see a curated list of my favorite knobs & pulls at the end of this post

kitchen cabinet

Also, you’ll want to make sure that the provided screws are long enough. My cabinet drawers have especially thick fronts so I had to source longer screws. Something I only realized mid-way through drilling and up to my eyeballs in templates, pulls, and pencils.

Note to self: next time, check this in advance! It was an easy fix at the hardware store but could’ve just as easily not gone as well if I my pre-drilled hole placement wouldn’t work…

cabinet knob template
I used this cabinet hardware template and marked with tape and pencil to ensure proper placement

2. Consider Hardware Placement

If there are pre-drilled holes in your cabinets, it may be an easy decision to just keep those same holes and go with it. Buuuut, if you’re feeling adventurous, you might want to fill/paint those holes and go for a more modern or better suited placement.

With my new cabinet doors, I had the excitement and burden of determining placement AND drilling the holes. Getting it right was nerve wracking for sure. I considered a lot of options and used this Cabinet Hardware Placement Guide from Emily Henderson to help me decide.

cabinet hardware jig
This cabinet hardware jig was an absolute lifesaver for installing new pulls

3. Use Cabinet Pull Jig

If you’re using pre-existing drawer pull holes, you’ll just want to make sure the new hardware you choose lines up. The holes are measured “on center,” meaning that you measure from the middle of one hole to the middle of the next hole.

installing cabinet hardware

The drawer pulls I used are 8″ on center, which is longer than average. Because I was drilling new holes, I decided to purchase a cabinet hardware jig (inexpensive for the the peace of mind it provides!) which is an adjustable template.

I set mine to the 8″ on center holes and then after identifying the middle of the cabinet, I adjusted the jig vertically for where I wanted to pull to be centered on the drawer. (I opted for the middle of the shaker style drawer faces).

save & pin for later!

how to install cabinet hardware

Once the holes are drilled, simply use a screw driver to install cabinet hardware with the selected screws. *Extra tip, I actually prefer to insert the screw and hold it with one hand while twisting the knob. This can be helpful for tight spots or to prevent over-tightening the screw.

Lastly, sit back and enjoy the updated look of your new cabinet hardware!

matte black modern cabinet hardware
  1. T Bar Cabinet Knobs 2. Simple Round Cabinet Knobs 3. Modern Rectangle Knobs 4. Small Round Knobs 5. Matte Black Cup Pulls 6. Long Kitchen Cabinet Pulls 7. Modern Bar Pulls 8. U Cabinet Pulls