Cabinet hardware can cost you between a couple of dollars to several hundred per piece. There are many contributing factors to the large fluctuation in prices, from the materials used to the design and size. All of these facets plus the number of times a piece of hardware changes hands determines what the final price will be for the homeowner.
The type of material used to make decorative kitchen cabinet knobs and pulls, hinges and other functional hardware, can seriously affect its value. Material such as zinc, zamak, stainless steel, aluminum, solid brass, glass or crystal, and other natural substances are available within the market. While crystal and brass are two of the more highly priced materials due to their makeup, zinc, stainless steel, aluminum, zamak, and glass can easily mimic the former with the right finishes, for a fraction of the cost.
The techniques used to apply a finish and any additional labour and processes can affect the overall cost of a handle or knob. Processes such as electroplating, powder coating, anodizing, and painting are some of the more popular ways that manufacturers apply finishes to their cabinet hardware. Since the quality of a finish can vary greatly, having a reputable manufacturer and distributor, as well as knowing the type of finish applied to your choice of hardware is key to understanding the cost of having a beautiful, resilient finish that will last until your next renovation.
Intricacy of the hardware design is another contributing factor to the price a homeowner will pay. Fine details and specific processes such as knurling add to the tooling and time needed to create a finished product. Those costs, as are the costs of any research and development of a product, are charged to the distributor as a tiny percentage of the overall R&D cost. This is how designers and manufacturers reclaim those initial expenses, which are eventually paid for by the homeowner as the cost is passed down the line.
One of the most obvious factors determining the price of a single piece of cabinet hardware is the overall size and length. It’s perfectly natural for two different sizes of the same handle to be two different prices as more raw material is required. Higher shipping costs for more weight and larger boxes ultimately lead to fewer pieces on a shipping pallet. These are the top reasons why size plays a part in the price of decorative hardware.
Country of Origin
The country of origin can mean a couple of different things. It can be either the country where the research and development as well as the design are mapped out, employing high standards and top level designs by prominent industrial designers. Or it can simply mean the country in which the product is manufactured.
We all know that where something is made directly affects its cost. Shipping, quality of workmanship, and automation are just a few reasons why the manufacturing country plays a part in determining the end price. While shipping is fairly formulaic, quality of workmanship and the ability to meet exact standards varies greatly from operation to operation within the same country.
Products designed in Europe or North America garner a higher level of quality as the products, regardless of the manufacturing country, must be done so to a certain standard. Often these organizations will align themselves with reputable manufacturers that may charge a little more than some other producers, but can and will meet the high expectations.
When everyone carries the same products, price and service levels become the main differentiators. For companies that manufacture and/or distribute exclusive products, they are free to charge whatever they’d like especially if the particular piece of hardware is in high demand. However, logical and ethical business practices tell us that while the distributor or retailer is welcome to charge a premium, sensible and fair pricing allows for higher volume of sales and an opportunity for more homeowners to enjoy their products.
Ultimately, the price of decorative cabinet hardware is determined by a number of factors, however in a design oriented industry, we must understand that price is merely one aspect of why homeowners make the choices they do. Marathon Hardware carries a large selection of decorative and functional hardware available to the trade. Explore our website to learn more.