All About Door Pulls and Hinges

All About Door Pulls and Hinges

Cabinet hardware is functional and decorative

By Shelly McRae

Cabinet Hinges
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Door pulls and hinges are the jewelry of your cabinetry. The hardware on the doors of armoires, kitchen cabinets and storage chests has a subtle but important impact on the look of furnishings. Door pulls and hinges are functional as well as decorative and are integral to the usability of cabinets and chests.

Function

Door pulls allow you to open cabinet doors without having to pry them open with your fingertips. You can grasp the decorative handle and pull. You secure the door pull with screws visible only on the inside of the door. Hinges join doors to the framework of the cabinetry. The hinges allow doors to swing open and closed, independent of the framework.

Identification

Door pulls are elongated and secured at the top and at the bottom to the door, allowing you to slip your fingers through the closed loop. This is what differentiates pulls from knobs. A knob might come in a round, square or oblong shape, and is secured with a single screw. In cabinetry, hinges may be installed on the interior and remain unseen on the outside or installed on the exterior and appear as decorative hardware.

Types

Door pulls can be traditional or modern in design and are made from wood, metal or plastic, or a combination. They remain basic in their construction. Hinges come in numerous types to meet various construction needs. Two broad categories are mortise hinges and non-mortise hinges. Mortise hinges are permanent; the frame must be cut to attach the hinge. Non-mortise hinges are fastened to the cabinetry with screws. Examples of non-mortise hinges include H-style, T-style and butterfly hinges.

Effects

Door pulls and hinges are the fusion of form and function. Though cabinets can be designed to operate without door pulls, the door won't operate without a hinge.

Cleaning

Skin oils can dull finishes, as can cooking grease and the everyday pollutants in indoor air. Remove the door pulls before cleaning if you're using a chemical or natural product that may harm the cabinetry. Cleaning hinges can be more difficult. If you remove the hinges, the door is separated from the frame, and you will need to reinstall the hinges and the door, making sure the door is properly balanced. Instead, tape off the area around the hinge and use a mild cleanser.

About the Author

Shelly McRae is a regular contributor to DexKnows. She has experience with hydroponic gardening and other areas of the home improvement industry.

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