Knobs for big wide drawers + granite knobs

floranthaMarch 6, 2010

Are there any recipes for how many knobs vs. size of drawer?

We have a lot of lower drawers in our plan. Our cabinet man says that the modern glides are so easy to pull that we need only a single pull on each one. But some of the drawers are a yard wide and will hold some heavy stuff.

We like single knobs when possible because they require only one hand and very little eye-hand coordination in the heat of battle. Our top drawers will have single knobs no matter how wide the drawer. Nevertheless, should we put two knobs on the big lower drawers like dressers have?

We are buying a fake granite laminate for countertops and have decided to use real granite knobs to add elegance on the cheap. But I can't order them until I know how many to order.

Am also soliciting sadder but wiser stories about the wisdom of using granite knobs. Any reason to order some spares?


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If you have high quality modern glides, it doesn't matter so long as it's balanced. One knob a third of the way from one end of a large drawer will give you trouble. If the drawer is heavy, two knobs make it easier to control. I have some 30" drawers with knobs in the middle that work fine. I put doubles on my wider drawers and the corner drawers, but that's for looks. I did a lot of things with knobs for looks.

Hm... I'm not sure that helped. Are your glides by Blum? If so, I think you could do the 36" with a single knob if you prefer. I'd make really sure with another brand.

I have a couple of 30" drawers where I have two knobs in the middle instead of one. They're easy to open with one hand because the knobs are only an inch or two off center, but one could use both knobs for more control as well (mine are still empty, but I assume).

Re the granite knobs, there are a few ways of making them: some have a shaft screwed into the stone, often with glue (epoxy) as well. Others are just the stone glued onto a shaft. Some are inlaid, and have a metal surround that helps keep the stone in, in addition to the epoxy. Some are set like jewels, with just metal holding the stone and no glue. The good news is that even if over time and with a lot of pulling, gravity, and temperature/humidity change, the epoxy should crack or otherwise give out, it's not that hard to clean off the stone and metal, and stick them back together.

Granite knobs are a lot heavier than hollow metal. If you have good quality drawers, drawer faces and glides, it should be no problem. That's why they make granite knobs. With poor quality construction it's possible that the weight of the knobs will assist gravity in encouraging failure. That is a very remote possibility, however, even with entry quality drawers. If they fail, it's much more likely to be for other reasons than the knobs.

But yes, you should buy some spares! It's a rule. What if one is just funny looking? What if you drop a cast iron pan against one and kill it? The rule of thumb is to add 10%, though I think five spares is probably enough if you're ordering more than 50. I ended up using a number of my spares (I ordered more than 100, and had one spare of each color, totaling 7). In the end, I have 3 knobs left over, one of which is chipped.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2010 at 4:48PM
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Your answer is helpful. Thanks!

I should phone cabinet man to learn what is mfg company for glides, just so I know. All I know right now is that the shop said this is the best there is, but I take such comments lightly.

On another thread, there was a negative comment about wide banks of drawers looking like a dresser. Well, the widest drawers will be dresser-like, the service end of the big G shaped kitchen, at top where I plan to store serving pieces, tablecloths, stuff for table. I saw a fabulous piece in an antique shop that I wanted but could not afford, an Edwardian era butler cupboard which served a similar purpose. Yes, it looked like a dresser.

I'm not sure exactly what you mean by two knobs in the center, though. How far apart are your hands when you pull the drawer? Do you pull both knobs simultaneously?

    Bookmark   March 7, 2010 at 8:04AM
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Personally.....I'd forget about the granite knobs. Fake granite laminate will look fantastic until you put some real granite next to it. just like laminate looks really good, like real wood! Until it's installed next to real hardwood. then it's obvious it's a fake. I'd stick with some really nice looking hardware that compliments the countertops instead of competing with them.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2010 at 9:26AM
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Hmmm. Gotta think on that one. Thanks for deflating my balloon (and grateful you did so). So it goes.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2010 at 9:44PM
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I wouldn't worry at all about the "look like a dresser" thing. Well...yeah! A dresser has drawers. So does a kitchen. I didn't realize it until I came to this forum, but I grew up in a house with mostly drawers in the bathrooms, kitchen, and hall storage. I've lived in rentals with cabinets, and found them inconvenient, but I figured it was because they were less expensive for the landlord to put in, and didn't realize that it was just the norm.

To me, marble is what bathroom counters are made out of. That doesn't make a kitchen look like a bathroom if there's marble on the counters. I've even had one, with an integrated marble sink, in a kitchen abroad. But marble makes me think bathroom. So what? Drawers make people think "dresser?" So what?

On the knobs in the middle, on one 30" drawer there are two knobs, each 1.5" off center. I should have done that with the other one, but there are knobs above it and I thought it would look better lined up (turns out, you can't even tell), but those are each 2.75" off center. Pulls fine with one hand. For stability one can use two hands. Blum glides.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2010 at 10:50PM
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There's another thread about knobs right now that talks about needing a strong pull for the trash bin pull-out. I don't think our "double trash" bin will be THAT heavy, or will it?

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 7:45PM
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Have abandoned my knob idea of using real granite knobs with the fake granite laminate counters, mostly on account of price but also because of advice on this thread. Am still trying to decide whether or not I need one or two knobs and/or pulls on the very wide drawers.

Have ordered and rejected sample 1-inch funky ORB knobs as being too small. Am now pondering 1.5 inch patterned square potmetal knobs that came with a 3-inch pull that matches but not on the same scale.
Have pulled a couple photos out of magazines that have very small single knob in center of wide drawer and it actually works visually. So why did I hate those little knobs?

This knob business is driving me nuts and I need to finish this decision before the cupboards leave the shop so that they can arrive with holes drilled.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2010 at 2:04AM
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