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Showing the Bar Rail Handles in Action
Many many years ago, one of our customers sent us these two photos. We do not always think about asking for pictures of the products that we offer to help show them off. So while we are remembering: Please, send us your photos!
Okay, we got that out of the way. A picture does help explain how the handles look when mounted. And how to mount them. And of course your options in sizing them to your kitchen. So instead of us having a separate page on how to measure, we are going to offer some notes below after the two pictures.
Pictures compliments of Sandy P., Libertyville, IL
Bar rail style handles, also called European Railing, or Euro Rails can be made to length as you see in the picture above. The cabinet door heights vary and so do the cabinet handles. Look at the two handles over the top of the range hood, they are approx. 7" tall, then on the two cabinet doors surrounding the range hood, their handles are near 26 to 28" tall, almost the full height of the doors. You don't want your handles to extend past the edges of your doors, that would look bad. You can bring them right to the edge if you want to. But generally, they should be inset from the edge at least 1/2" and possibly up to 2 or 3". It depends upon your cabinet door style and your overall preference. The handles are made to length and you determine how you want them to look. Those in Jim and Sandy's kitchen stretch almost the entire height of their upper cabinet doors, and near the full width of their base cabinet doors. And the roll out drawers below their oven and cook top have the handles horizontally. Pulls can be mounted horizontally or vertically. On their base cabinets they chose to mount them horizontally across the tops, evenly aligned with the drawers above them. This does allow you to grab the door handle without extra effort in bending lower. Just remember which way the doors open from. Might confuse a few of your guests now and then.
If you look closely, you can see that the tall handles on their pantry doors to the left of the fridge have the 3rd mounting standoff near the horizontal panel divider on their cabinet doors. (That standoff was NOT mounted dead center in the handle. It was requested in an offset location to line up with the midrail of the door which also is higher than the midpoint of the door.) The extra standoff on longer handles adds greater strength to the handle. If by chance you are interested in some really nice shaker style kitchen cabinet doors, please visit the Woodmont Doors section of our web site. We thought we'd toss in that plug since their cabinets look really nice. We did not supply these doors. But we can.
Jim & Sandy's kitchen has shaker style light cherry cabinets.
The countertops are Midnight Green Granite.
The pulls are Arthur Harris high quality stainless steel bar pulls.
Notice the uniform look of mounting the pulls vertically near the full height of their doors,
and horizontally near the full width of their doors and drawer fronts.
We get asked often about what to do. Other companies that make European Railing style handles generally offer 5 to possibly up to 12 set sizes, nothing customer. The majority of customer run into picking size A, B, or C and making them work. And this can work. Every door of your kitchen having the same size handle or a few variations on size can definitely work. Many of our customers have ordered their Arthur Harris handles this way. They place an 8" long handle on every door or drawer front and do not opt for custom sizing to the door. It is a personal preference. And it does create one look for your kitchen. The other look of course is mixing it up like in the two photos above. The ends of every handle inset from the edge of the door or drawer front with the exact same measurements. The kitchen looks like it had the ultimate in planning put into it.
In answer to What should I do about the length to correspond to my drawer width, please look at the first photo on the left side at the drawer right under that computer monitor. Notice how you can clearly see that the handle does NOT extend the full width, it is inset off the left and right edges of the drawer. As well as the cabinet door below it. Picture yourself walking around the corner with your arms lightly moving. Insetting the handles in from the end of the door greatly reduces the chance of you catching a finger in one, or a belt loop, or the little flaps on your cargo pants. If the handle extended all the way to the edge of the drawer, you increase those chances of getting hung up. So we recommend attempting to keep all handles when corresponding to the height or width of the door and drawer faces, a uniform 2 to 3" less. This will allow the tails of the handles to conclude about 1" to 1-1/2" in from each edge. And it is a really nice look. The tightest you should have them is 1/4" to 1/2" in from the edges of the door, but overall keeping the pull ends away from the edge 1 to 1-1/2" is a far better plan. And they will cost slightly less too since they are priced by the inch.
You can mix handles and knobs in the same kitchen. Again, that falls upon personal preference. There are a lot of different looks that you can achieve.
The handles in this kitchen are all mounted in the door and drawer front frames also, not mounted in the plywood panel inside the 4 frame pieces. That adds to the strength of the mount securing to 3/4" thick wood instead of 1/4" plywood. Take note of the horizontally mounted handles on the drawer fronts. Look at where the legs align on the drawer front face. If your handle is TOO long, the legs could potentially line up with the drawer box left and right walls and not allow you to attach the screws. For a quick example, if you have a 15" wide drawer front, and you order a 13" long handle for it, on the standard ratio of 2-1/2" from OL to CTC, the center to center on that handle would be 10-1/2". Presuming you have a 14" wide drawer box behind that 15" drawer front, and the side walls are 1/2" thick, like most are, then the inside width of your drawer box is 13". Thus allowing you plenty of room for screw holes and the screws to seat flatly along the backside of the interior front of the box.
Then consider that you want the pull to be longer, and say your drawer slides happen to take up 5/8" space, and your drawer boxes somehow are 5/8" thick walls. If you put a 14-3/4" pull on that 15" front, the pull will have a 12-1/4" CTC (if made standard). The interior width of the drawer box could end up at 12-1/2" (14 minus 5/8" four times). That is too tight to get the screw heads in flat when fighting the sides of the drawer box. So a really valid reason for not wanting your handles to come almost all the way to the edges of a drawer front. As well as catching your finger when dancing around the corners of your cabinets.
A uniform 2" to 3" less in width or height in contrast to your door and drawer front sizes is a real easy rule to follow.
On the sketch above, this is a Standard handle style. The defualt ratio of CTC (center to center) to OL (overall length) is 2-1/2". This is on all the diameters, including the larger sizes. So on every handle, the center line of where the screw goes into the standoff to the end of the handle is 1-1/4". The distance of the edge of the standoff to the end of the bar will vary as the standoffs grow in diameter with your choice of the larger diameter handles. This is the default sizing, it can be altered upon request. We have customers who want longer tails, sometimes much longer tails. So when you order a 29" long handle, by defualt the CTC will be 26-1/2". But if you have a special application where you need a 27-13/16" CTC but still want a 29" long handle, that can be done. AND, if you have an application where you need a 14" CTC but also need the handle to be 29", you can do that too. Handles are made to the sizes you request.
For a new kitchen with no existing screw holes drilled, do aim for a consistency in size and proportion. Make all those tails look identical in length. That is important for the uniform look. It would end up looking sloppy not to do that.
The standoff height comes in a default of 1" tall. This gives you 1" of clearance under the bar, again for all the diameter choices. We have had requests to have the standoffs be made shorter or taller. So standoffs also can be custom to the sixteenth of an inch. The Standoff is the 'C' measurement in the diagram above. Sometimes in handicap applications where you need room for your full hand to fit beneath the handle, standoffs can be 3 to 4" tall if needed. We have had such requests.
Whenever you have some questions about what to do in your kitchen, or if you are using these in a bathroom, or in an office with custom filing cabinets, let us know your questions. We are here to help.
Arthur Harris website section pages:
Custom long to short round bar style handles | Stainless Steel cabinet knobs | End to End style handles