How to Install Kitchen Cabinet Knobs and Handles


Kitchen cabinet knobs and handles are functional pieces of hardware that add the final touch to your cabinets. Installing cabinet knobs is a straightforward process. The biggest trick is to make sure you are positioning the knobs or handles in the right location to not only look good, but to be as accessible as possible. Avoid rushing through this job to prevent accidental slips of drill bits, hardware or screwdrivers that can scratch the finish of your cabinets.

Things You'll Need

  • Door knob template
  • Pencil
  • Drill
  • Drill bit (same size as knob screw)
  • Screwdriver
  • Backplates (optional)
  • Mark the location of the door knob or handle using a template. Plastic templates can be found at a local hardware store and help make exact markings. The template sits over the corner of the door with holes in the front where you mark the exact location of the knob or handle.

    Wall cabinets should have knobs 2 1/2 to 3 inches from the bottom corner opposite the hinges. Base cabinets should have knobs 2 1/2 to 3 inches from the top corner opposite the hinges. If you have handles instead of knobs, measure the first hole three inches from the cabinet edge (the same as you would a knob) and then line the handle's second screw hole under it and mark that.

  • Remove the doors from the cabinets by unscrewing the hinges. Place the doors on a secure table where you can drill the holes.

  • Drill each marked hole with a drill bit the same size as the screw used with the knob hardware. If you need to, you can drill a hole up to 1/64th of an inch larger.

  • Thread the screws through the back of the cabinet door. Meet the screw with the knob or handle threading and twist as tightly as possible with your fingers. Note that you can use backplates which are metal plates that sit between the cabinet and the knob or handle. These are found at local hardware stores and help to reduce the amount of dirt and grease transferred to the cabinets when you grab the knob. This is optional.

  • Tighten the knobs with a screwdriver. Use a screwdriver that fits securely in the screw head to prevent slipping and scratching the cabinet finish.

  • Reposition the cabinet doors on the cabinets and screw back the doors back on to the hinges.

Tips & Warnings

  • Drill holes slowly and on a secure worktop. Rushing may lead to splitting or cracking the wood.

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