hardware length vs. drawer width..

yoda888June 12, 2011


We've figured out which pulls we want for our drawers. Now comes the question of the "length" of the pulls.

How long should the pulls be relative to the width of the drawer?

What is the rule of thumb?

What's considered "normal"? (I know you can do anything you want, just looking to see what the standards are.)


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I also forgot to mention/ask, what finish should we go with? Our appliance are all stainless steel.

Do we go with satin nickel?
Do we go with brushed nickel?
Do we go with polished nickel?


    Bookmark   June 13, 2011 at 12:43AM
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One rule many follow is the Rule of Thirds, or the Golden Mean. The theory as it relates to drawers is that a pull is most pleasing to the eye if it measures 1/3 the width of the drawer and leaves 2/3 (1/3 on either side of the pull) uncovered.

Here's where it can get sticky. I'm betting that your drawer stacks aren't all the same width. You'll have to decide if you want to vary the pull length on your drawer stacks to keep the Rule of Thirds consistent. That could mean finding a pull that comes in several lengths.

Personally, I don't like two pulls on wide drawers. I think it's too busy. That's an option if you have both wide and narrow stacks and decide to do the same size pulls on every drawer.

As to finish, its completely what you like. Since you asked me ;), I don't like brushed or satin finishes on faucets or hardware. That's just me. I like a nice traditional polished chrome. It goes with everything.

Try getting some sample pull of various sizes you like and mock it up. If you're stuck, you can also post pics and let us help you!

    Bookmark   June 13, 2011 at 1:07AM
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Hmmm, Breezy. I think the opposite about wide drawers...a single handle looks lonely to me on a wide drawer.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2011 at 9:41PM
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A single, tiny handle looks lost on a wide drawer to me, not one that covers roughly 1/3 of the width. ;)

    Bookmark   June 13, 2011 at 10:18PM
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What are your cabs made of? I was all set to use brushed nickel to match the stainless, but I decided I like ORB better because it blends in with the cherry. Chrome won't "match" stainless, but it will go with it and it is a nice finish. You don't have to match all the finishes in the room. There are interesting finishes like rust or black or black nickel that work with different cabinet finishes and styles. Keep an open mind and hold up samples. You can go to HD and Lowes and buy a bunch to see what the different finishes, sizes and styles look like in your house (easy to return). You can also look at the display kitchens there.I also looked at hardware in the pictures on the Finished Kitchens Blog.

1 Like    Bookmark   June 13, 2011 at 10:21PM
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Breezy - For a 36" drawer that would mean a 12" handle? That seems so huge to me...I'm gong to have to go out and buy some "practice" hardware I think.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2011 at 6:40AM
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The rule of thirds is lovely for regular width drawers. 18" drawers took the 5.5" pulls. But my 33" drawer would want a 10-12" pull, which is about $25, which is significantly more than two $5 smaller pulls. And I think enormous appliance handles in our transitional style look silly on drawers. Long modern sleek handles look better in huge sizes, but that's not what we want.

Anyway, having ordered my own pulls about 48 hours ago after major measuring and such, here's what we ended up with (all pulls, no knobs):

3" on the tiny 12"h cabinet over the hood

3.8" (or was it 4.4"?) for the two 12" drawers and for the 18"h cab above the Breville shelf and for the fridge cab.

5.5" (128mm drill size) for nearly everything, including all 30-33" upper cabinets, all lower cabinets, and all 18" drawers

7" pulls for the 27" drawer base (one per drawer) and the drawer under the sink base. This is a 33" drawer, but as the linens drawer, it is lightly loaded and doesn't need much "pull", and I don't particularly want to draw major attention to it.

I picked either two 5.5" or two 7" pulls for the 33" drawer base, but I can't recall at the moment.

And we wanted a brushed silvery finish and detailing to match our Kohler Vinnata. The pulls we chose came in satin nickel, so that was that. Would have also taken stainless, brushed chrome, etc.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2011 at 9:28AM
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Cindy McDermott

I have a new distressed cream painted kitchen on order and I wanted to order brushed nickel cup pulls for all drawers . My largest bank of drawers is 30 inches, what size cup pull do you recomend the largest that I like is 3 inches, should I place one in the center, or two spaced out ?

    Bookmark   March 2, 2015 at 9:52PM
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I went with three sizes, single long pulls on my biggest drawers (which is most of my lowers), medium pulls everywhere else except for two drawers which are pretty small and I used small pulls there. I also have a very narrow pullout that I put a little crystal knob on. I wanted it to disappear and it does.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2015 at 4:19AM
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