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Tips on Installing Cabinet Hardware

by Staff Writer

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Cabinet hardware

When you are working on home improvement projects, seemingly simple things can turn out to be tricky. One such project is the installation of cabinet hardware. Installing the knobs on the doors and the handles on the drawers isn't complicated, but it is something you will want to get right the first time, so you won't permanently damage your new cabinets. By following a few simple tips on installing cabinet hardware, you'll find that installing your cabinet hardware can be an easy, rewarding project. These tips apply to new cabinets that don't have knobs and handles yet; however, if you have filled in the holes on old cabinets and refinished the doors, you can also use these same tips.

Cabinet Hardware Installation:

  1. Collect all the tools you need for the project before starting. Having everything you need handy will prevent headaches and wasted time. For installing most cabinet hardware, you'll need a drill, a drill bit, a center punch, a hammer, a tape measure, a pencil and a screwdriver.

  2. Make a decision as to where you want your hardware to be placed. While the most common placement is centered, it may look better to have some hardware off-center. Depending on the hardware, you may also need to decide if you are installing it vertically or horizontally. Many do-it-yourselfers like to make a template out of cardboard or scrap wood, so their holes are exactly the same every time. Whether you measure each spot or use a template, you can mark the center of your desired spot with a pencil.

  3. Create a pilot hole with a center punch or nail. Creating a pilot hole will help you avoid splitting wood. Simply place the tip on the mark you created and give it a light tap with a hammer.

  4. The right size drill bit is important. If the hole is too big, your cabinet hardware will be loose. If the hole is too small, the screw won't fit through. In order to find the correct size of drill bit, put the drill bit into the hole in the knob or pull where the screw will go.

  5. Be sure the cabinet hardware is snug but avoid over-tightening the screws. When you're installing the hardware, hand-tighten the screws as much as possible. Once you switch to the screwdriver, it should only take a couple of turns. Be careful not to over-tighten, as it can damage wood.

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