How to Choose Bathroom Cabinet Knobs and Handles

It's amazing how something as simple as the yellowed plastic knobs on your medicine cabinet or the worn chrome handles on your vanity can make your bathroom look shabby and outdated. It's a simple process to change to new hardware, and there are a wide variety of choices available to help add style or whimsy to your decor.

Bathroom cabinet handles come in a variety of shapes and styles!

Step 1

Consider the finish of existing fixtures. The best look for a bathroom is achieved with matching or complementary hardware and fixtures. If you have a lot of chrome that you have no plans to replace, don't choose gold handles for your cabinets. If you want to match the cabinet or decor, rather than other fixtures, you can look for painted or matching wood finishes.

Step 2

Consider the style or theme of the room. If you have modern cabinets, go for sleek metal finishes. French country styles look great with ceramic or wooden knobs. Whimsical decor allows you to choose knobs with painted patterns or handles in the shape of sea creatures, animals, flowers and more.

Step 3

Make note of the location of the knobs and handles. Ornate knobs can be pleasing to the eye but not as fun when you bang your knee on them. Wall cabinets are usually not an issue, but in small spaces a protruding knob might catch on clothing or unsuspecting elbows. Bathroom visitors spend a lot of time in front of the sink, so make sure that vanity knobs and handles don't present a hazard.

Step 4

Choose smooth designs if the bathroom used by children, so they won't be hurt by if they bump into the knobs. Avoid ornate metal designs that children might get their little fingers stuck in.

Step 5

Choose knobs with durable finishes that won't tarnish or erode, because bathrooms are environments with high humidity exposure.

Step 6

Bring paint samples and color swatches to the store along with your handle measurements if you want the fixtures to match your deco. If you're considering blue handles for your blue cabinets, you want to make sure it's the same blue. The same is true of wood tones. It's much easier to match the items in the store, rather than waiting until you get home to discover you have the wrong shade.

Step 7

Evaluate prices. Items available for immediate purchase in the store will generally be the least expensive option. Special order knobs offer you a wider range of options, but cost a lot more. Don't forget about shipping charges when ordering online.


  • Not all knobs and handles are the same size! There are different types for different sized cabinets, closet doors, and other furniture. Bring a sample of each of your existing handles to compare and select the proper size. You can also measure the space between the holes where the handle screws into place, and take note of screw lengths and thicknesses.
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