A bathroom that has a vanity with a white countertop, white cabinet doors and drawers, and black metal rectangular hardware.

How To Install Cabinet Door Hardware

Originally contributed by • last updated 6/2/2021

1 hourTime
$20Cost
BeginnerDifficulty
The BeefMaster
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1 hourTime
$20Cost
BeginnerDifficulty

Not all renovation projects have to be big, expensive, or even difficult to make an impact in your home. Spaces can be completely transformed even by making seemingly small adjustments in the right areas.

A great example of this is installing cabinet hardware. Simply swapping out old cabinet door hardware with something new can give your cabinets the more sophisticated and refined look you’ve always wanted.

Knowing how to install cabinet hardware is also a great skill to have should these handles, knobs, or pulls break and need to be replaced.

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With a seemingly endless array of types and styles of cabinet door hardware, including handles, knobs, and door pulls, you can be certain that you will find the perfect finishing touch to match or upgrade your decor. 

We’ll show you how to measure, prep, and install cabinet and drawer hardware, handles, knobs, and pulls to reinvigorate all the cabinets and furniture in your home. Let’s get started!

Installing Hardware On Cabinet Drawers

For this tutorial, we're going to focus specifically on bar-style pulls that require careful measuring for screws on either end. 


If you are installing knobs with single screws, simply measure to find the exact place you want your knob and drill a single pilot hole for the screw.

01/12

Remove Drawers

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Get started on your cabinet door installation project by removing the drawers. Slide the drawers out fully, and then lift them in order to separate the drawer from the track.

02/12

Measure Handles

Measure the length of the drawer hardware. When doing so, record the distance between the center of the screw holes and not the outside of the hardware. 

03/12

Measure Drawer Length

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Use a measuring tape to determine the exact length of the drawer. Establish the center of the drawer by dividing the measurement by two. Finally, a reason to use math other than figuring out how much the tax will cost you on your next purchase!

Use a pencil to lightly mark the center of the drawer.

04/12

Center Handles

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Divide the measurement of the drawer hardware you made earlier by two to determine its center point. 

This number will be the distance from the center of the drawer where the holes will be drilled for the bolts.

Using the previously marked drawer center point, use a pencil to mark where the bolts will go.

For example: if the distance between the bolt holes on the drawer hardware is 5 inches in length, the bolt holes will be 2-½ inches from the drawer center point. 2-½ inches times two gives the total cabinet door hardware hole length of 5 inches. 

05/12

Measure Drawer Height

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To get a square measurement, use a tape measure to determine the height of the drawer. Divide this number by two to verify the height center point of the drawer.

Using a pencil, mark the intersection of the length and height center points using the previously recorded hardware marks. 

This t-shaped pencil mark is where to drill the holes when installing the drawer hardware. 

06/12

Drill Holes

Just like on a pirate map where X marks the spot, the intersection of the "t" mark is where to drill the holes.

Use a drill to make the holes where the bolts will go, going right through the face of the drawer.

Tip: Use a drill bit that is roughly the same size as the hardware bolts, preferably just slightly larger. This way, the bolts don’t have to be forced through holes that are too small. 

07/12

Insert Bolts

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Take time to clean off the pencil marks made to determine the hole placement. 

This is also a good time to give the drawers a nice cleaning inside. Maybe sort through some of the clutter that was in the drawers while you're at it!

Push the bolts into the drilled holes, with the head of the bolt inside the drawer and the threaded ends sticking out the front.

08/12

Install Drawer Hardware

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Align the drawer hardware with the bolts. With one hand holding onto the hardware, use a screwdriver to fasten the hardware to the drawer until the handles or knobs are secure. 

Once the hardware is installed, place the drawer back on its track.

Installing Hardware On Cabinet Doors

09/12

Estimate Door Hardware Placement

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For cabinets, estimate where the handles should go to make them both functional and aesthetically pleasing. Typically, cabinet door hardware is installed vertically, but the orientation is completely based on personal preference. 

Tip: A good rule of thumb to use is if the cabinet door is higher than a countertop, install the hardware at the lower end of the door. If the cabinet door is below a countertop, install the hardware at the higher end of the door.

10/12

Measure To Square Hardware

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After getting a rough idea of where the hardware should go, use a tape measure to determine the distance from the top or bottom of where your first hole will be drilled.

Then measure the distance from the side of the drawer where the handle or knob will be installed. Mark this section with a "t". 

Using the distance between the two holes on the hardware, use a pencil to make a rough mark where the second hole will go. 

Make sure it’s square to the cabinet door by measuring the same distance used for the first hole between the side of the door, again marking it with a "t". 

Record these measurements to use on all other cabinet doors so the hardware placement remains consistent. 

11/12

Drill Cabinet Doors

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Drill the holes. When drilling into cabinet doors, it's a good idea to open the door to avoid accidentally drilling into the frame of the cabinet. 

12/12

Install Cabinet Door Hardware 

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Open the cabinet door and attach the hardware by using a screwdriver to fasten the bolts to the cabinet doors.

Repeat these processes when installing all cabinet hardware, until all of your new handles, knobs, or drawer pulls are in place. 

And with that, you’re now an expert in installing cabinet hardware!

It's an inexpensive, yet impressive facelift that everyone is sure to notice!