How To Choose And Install Kitchen Hardware To Enhance Design

Kitchen hardware creates the finishing touch to your cabinetry and the entire space in general. Even though it could be the very last thing you get to think about, it can greatly influence the feel and the look of the kitchen as a whole. The hardware choices you make for your kitchen cabinets and how you have it installed can determine the experience you have when using the kitchen. This is especially considering that you will be touching the hardware most times during the day and functionality should therefore play a great role.

Choosing the hardware

The budget should be amongst the things that guide you to kitchen cabinet hardware or furniture hardware that you need. Truth is the market has plenty of options in terms of the materials used in making the hardware and this can determine the prices of the pieces you are interested in. Solid, strong metal knobs for instance, are heavier and durable but can be a little expensive compared to plastic ones. Look at your budget but at the same time give attention to the functionality and value you get.

Choose a hardware style that befit your kitchen. You can use pulls on all items in the kitchen if you are more into a modern contemporary look or use pulls for drawers and knobs for the doors for your traditional kitchen. When looking at the options, also consider factors such as functionality of the hardware you choose on things such as tall wall cabinets or pantry cabinets. The looks do matter, but they should not compromise functionality of the hardware. With so many options readily available, you will definitely find something that works for your style preferences.

The finish cannot be ignored when looking at your kitchen hardware. The rest of the items in the kitchen can guide you in choosing the best finishes such as the metals on major appliances you have, fixtures faucets and sink among other items. The hardware finish will work best when it coordinates with the rest of the items or you can also settle for striking contrasts that make your space unique.

Installing the hardware

Ensure you have the right tools to make the installations or have a professional handle it for you. Poor installation will not only lead to poorly functioning hardware but can lead to damages.

Choose a hardware location that best serves the needs you have and you are most comfortable with. Hardware installed across the flat line of the center panel can work best for raised center panel cabinetry doors whereas flat center panel cabinetry doors gives you freedom to place the hardware anywhere at the top or bottom.

Use at least two knobs for larger drawers to make drawing easy and swift for you. You can determine how many knobs to use by the size of the drawer but they should be more than two because then one becomes useless.

Ensure that you do not end up placing the knobs at door corners when installing.

Power Shortage Lengthens Lead Times in China

Delivery can now take as long as four months as makers have to schedule production around power cuts. Export prices are likely to increase in H2 2011 as well.

Dubbed as China’s worst electricity shortage since 2004, this year’s deficit and subsequent rationing are forcing manufacturers to switch work to night shifts or use generators to meet their production schedules.

Electricity is generally rationed based on the products made. Factories producing low-value products in high energy-consuming industries are hit the hardest, having to reset their manufacturing plans frequently. Because of preferential government policies, high-technology companies such as LED makers are assured of sufficient supply. Manufacturers typically lose power one or two days per week. Factories may have electricity for three consecutive days, none the next and power again for the following three. In other weeks, they may have electricity for five days and none for two.

The lack of electricity is compounding the challenges makers already face with the labor shortage, particularly in terms of meeting production deadlines. As many are concerned about the fines buyers could charge them for late deliveries, there now is hesitation in accepting large-volume orders.

Beijing Light Stationery Mfg Co. Ltd general manager Li Zhi Zhong said some stationery and furniture makers in Hebei province have staggered production with deliveries scheduled up to March 2012. Lead times have been extended from 45 to 60 days to between three and four months.

Guangdong Galanz Enterprise Group Co. Ltd’s overseas market general manager Liu Gui Zhong said the power rationing may force them to subcontract production to ensure on-time delivery. This is particularly crucial during the peak manufacturing months of July and August.

Apart from extending lead times, the rotating power schedule has had a major impact on manufacturing costs. Factories with back-up generators are spending more on diesel than on electricity fees. Shenzhen Stanford Power Equipment Co. Ltd said regardless of wattage, a generator needs 5 to 6L of diesel to run for an hour. It costs $0.31 to generate 1W, 100 percent more expensive than state grid charges.

The Q2 electricity gap in Guangdong province is estimated to reach 4GWh. In Foshan, where electricity has been rationed for a month now, ceramic tile makers are likely to raise export prices 10 to 15 percent in the next few months. The director of the city’s China Ceramic Industry Association office, Lan Wei Bing, said some suppliers are also extending deliveries by 10 to 15 days.

In Shunde, some makers of hardware parts that bought 50kW generators years ago now intend to procure 100kW version in preparation for the peak season. Purchasing the units and running on generators through the power cuts are expected to raise costs by at least 5 percent.