A Guide to Cabinet Hardware Materials and Finishes

The variety of cabinet hardware, with various materials and finishes, is wide and confusing too. There is a functional hardware category, including drawer slides and hinges, and a decorative hardware category, which includes knobs and pulls.
Wednesday, 12 July 2023
A Guide to Cabinet Hardware Materials and Finishes

With multifarious product options in the market, staying informed about the latest trends and materials is crucial for success. One key aspect of this is understanding cabinet hardware materials and finishes, as they play a significant role in both the functional and aesthetic aspects of architectural and interior design projects. This blog will provide industry professionals in the architectural hardware segment with valuable insights into the different types of cabinet hardware materials and finishes available, helping them make informed decisions when specifying products for their projects and to the end-users.


Functional Hardware vs. Decorative Hardware: Understanding the Categories

In cabinet hardware, there are two main categories: functional hardware and decorative hardware. Functional hardware includes items like drawer slides and hinges, which are essential for the smooth operation of cabinets and drawers. On the other hand, decorative hardware comprises elements such as knobs and pulls, which add a touch of style and personality to the overall design.


Exploring Cabinet Hardware Materials: Metal, Wood, Glass, and Crystal

Metal hardware is a popular choice for kitchens and bathrooms due to its durability and sleek appearance. Different types of metals, such as aluminum, zinc alloys, copper, brass, bronze, and stainless steel, offer unique characteristics and finishes. For instance, natural copper, brass, and bronze possess antimicrobial properties that are beneficial for maintaining hygiene in high-traffic areas.

Wood hardware, on the other hand, is favored for its warmth and versatility. Timber knobs and pulls come in various finishes and can be painted or stained to complement different design schemes. While wood hardware requires regular maintenance to prevent staining and water damage, its timeless appeal makes it a classic choice for traditional and farmhouse-style spaces.

Glass hardware provides a modern and sophisticated aesthetic, with a wide range of colors and styles to choose from. Although glass pulls may be more fragile compared to other materials, the non-porous nature of glass makes it easy to clean and maintain. Crystal hardware, featuring lead oxide for enhanced luster, offers a luxurious touch to interiors and can beautifully reflect natural light in the space.


Making Informed Decisions: Pros and Cons of Each Material

For professionals tasked with specifying cabinet hardware for their projects or to their customers, understanding the pros and cons of each material is essential:

Metal hardware offers durability and a wide variety of styles but may show minor scratches on shiny finishes. 

Wood hardware is affordable and versatile but requires regular maintenance to prevent wear and tear. Glass and crystal hardware bring elegance and light to spaces but may be susceptible to scratching and breakage.


Moreover, when selecting cabinet hardware, considering factors such as finish, appearance, and compatibility with other hardware options like drawer slides and hinges is key to achieving a cohesive design scheme. 

By choosing wisely and understanding the unique characteristics of each material, one can enhance the overall look and functionality of the spaces.


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