How to Install Cabinet Door Handles and Knobs

What You'll Need
Tape measure, pencil and paper
Permanent fine-point marker
Power drill and required drill bits
Handles or knobs with correct-sized screws and fasteners
Washers and metal file
Carpenter's level

Nothing makes a simple cabinet door look like expensive, custom-made work than a new, gleaming handle or knob. The hardest part of installing new cabinet door pull hardware is choosing the most appealing style from the hundreds you will see at the building supply store. These directions will enable you to install your cabinet door handles or knobs in a visually pleasing and functional alignment on the door faces.

Step 1: Hang the Cabinet Doors on the Cabinet Fronts

Be sure you have hung the cabinet doors in the ideal alignment before attaching the door knobs or handles.

Step 2: Choose and Purchase the Desired Type of Handle or Knob

Choose between knobs, which look like a small cap mushroom, and have a single screw fastening, or pull handles. These are attached by screws at both ends. On doors, the pull handles are attached vertically, and on drawers, you affix them horizontally.

Step 3: Consider These Factors When Placing Handles and Knobs on the Door

Be certain that the handle is close enough to the door edge to make pulling easy. The harder you must pull on the door opener to open it, the faster it will loosen and come away from the door. Next, pay attention to the moulding and decorative trim on the door. Put the center of a knob on the invisible line made by the bottom moulding's inside border across to the edge of the door. Put the vertical center of a pull handle at this level as well. On doors below the counter, align the handles with the inside edge of the top moulding piece. Test the placement of handles and knobs by sticking blue poster putty to the base of the handle and pressing it on to the spot. Compare 2 or 3 doors at once to see if the placement looks symmetrical or just a bit off. You need to go with what is visually appealing; do not rely on the door and frame measurements alone. Get input from the other people who will use the kitchen cabinets about the handle placement.

Step 4: Mark the Final Location for Each Piece with Permanent Marker

Draw the correct number of spots with the tip of the permanent marker on each door to show the location where you will drill the screw holes for the handles or knobs. Allow the marker to dry without smudging.

Step 5: Drill the Holes and Attach the Door Opening Handles

With your electric drill and the correct drill bit size, make holes in the doors for the handles or knobs carefully. Do not drill all the way through the door if you can possibly avoid it. If you do punch through the door, use a washer to secure the screw on the inside, and file off the sharp screw point with a metal file to prevent injuries. Attach the handles or knobs securely.