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Oct 25, 2007 08:54 AM

Does anyone have any experience with Ikea kitchen cabinets?

My husband and I are in the preliminary stages of getting ready for a kitchen remodel. We do not have very much money to spend on the project and were interested in Ikea cabinets but are fearful that they will fall apart. Does anyone have any experience with them? How did they hold up? Did your installer get angry at the “wired sizes”?

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  1. I am in the process of remodeling our kitchen right now with Ikea cabinets. I've assembled about half of them, they feel pretty strong so far but of course I can't say what will happen over the long term. They recently extended the warranty on their cabinets from 10 years to 25 years, so they seem pretty confident in them.

    I will say that the drawer hardware is awesome, very smooth-running and inexpensive.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Buckethead

      Consumer Reports rated them highly - particularly mentioning the drawer guides.

      1. re: Buckethead

        they use Blum hardware which is one of the best in Europe.

      2. We are just finishing a complete kitchen remodel. Being on a limited budget, we looked at all opportunities to save - including looking at Ikea cabinets. To make out decision, I talked to people who had used them. This critique is from secondary sources, not my own experience. But with 38 years in the construction business with many years doing high end residential work, I'm not coming to this as an amateur.

        The only two significant problems the people I talked to had are as follows:

        1. Because the cases are made of composite material (i.e., particle board), the weight of larger cabinet doors can cause the hinge screws to loosen, causing the doors to sag.
        If the doors sag, a possible (untried) fix would be to use a plug cutter to remove the particle board at the loose screw, & glue in a solid wood plug to hold the screw.

        2. Heavier counter tops such as granite or CaesarStone & similar materials are too much for the stock legs provided with the cabinets. This is easily remedied by setting the cabinets on a continuous 1.4 or 2x4 base in lieu of the stock legs.

        That said, Ikea cabinets are an excellent value.

        1. A couple of additional comments:

          We decided not to use Ikea (or any off the shelf cabinets) because the stock modular sizes just didn't work out well with the dimensions of our kitchen.

          If you do go with Ikea cabinets, use an installer who regularly intalls Ikea cabinets. I found there are people who specialize in them. They can do the job more efficiently than someone unfamiliar with the cabinets.

          10 Replies
          1. re: rfneid

            thanks, very good suggestions. for the base, you would need a carpetner to construct that right?

            1. re: 2peasinapod

              Unless you or your husband are pretty handy, it would be best to have it done by a carpenter. It needs to be level in both directions so that your cabinets & countertops are level & the rolling pin doesn't roll off on the floor. If you're going to have a specialist install your cabinets, they would be able to it. They might try to tell you you don't need it, but I wouldn't listen to them. It's a pretty inexpensive way to upgrade the Ikea cabinets.

              1. re: rfneid

                This method would of course give you the standard toe kick finish where you would need material to cover the 2X4 base, material with a finish matching the cabinet doors and drawer fronts. This gets just a little awkward at cabinet ends where there typically is no toe kick recess and the cabinet side panel goes to the floor. You could upgrade to better cabinet legs to retain that 'European', more furniture like look (make sure the flooring material is complete under the cabinets). The legs are adjustable (threaded) for ease of installation and can be problematic under weight but IKEA has three models of legs and you can order a few additional legs for larger cabinets to distribute the load.

                In general IKEA cabinets are a great value, but if you pay someone to assemble the boxes you definately loose a lot of that value.

                1. re: fgf

                  The "European", furniture look is lovely, but cleaning under the cabinets is not. I would recommend the solid toe kick - but that's really a personal choice. Adding additional legs & using the heavy duty ones would probably work if you're using stone or some other heavy countertop. Plastic laminate countertops shouldn't be a problem at all.

                  Even if you have someone install your cabinets (which I would recommend, unless you're really handy), the value is outstanding.

                  1. re: rfneid

                    Cleaning under those cabinets can be a hassel, but the look is nice. Keep in mind IKEA does not sell toe kick material as other cabinet manufacturers do, it would have to be improvised as would the detail where an end cabinet would typically have a finished side down to the finished floor and a toe kick recess only in profile. IKEA cabinets don't come that way as they are intended to be installed on adjustable legs. Installation is one thing and assembling the knocked down boxes is another. Assembling the boxes is relatively easy, is where the savings lie and leaves you in the same place as having bought cabinets from another source, ready and needing to be installed.

                    1. re: fgf

                      IKEA does sell toe kick material to match all their cabinets and also some with a stainless look. It's called a plinth. It's also used as filler material if you have a space between the cabinets.

                      1. re: blondelle

                        Correct. The "plinth" can be used to make the install look pretty much like any other US style kitchen with a normal toe kick. With a decent set of calipers and the low cost of power tools there is no reason not to learn how to scribe-in the plinth.

                        The cabinets are a great value, especially the thermofoil ones -- you can even put those things in laundry rooms/garages and they are very very tough. The fiberboard holds up as well as any, if something does get damaged the modular nature makes for a easy "throw that one out and order another" type fix/replacement.

                        Of course these are not "high end" by any stretch of the imagination but it is a very serviceable option -- especially if you realize that fiberboard is NEVER something that will last for more than a decade or so. Heck even solid hardwood cabinets can look pretty sad after a decade (though unless they are structurally damaged refinishing is an option...)

                        The compromises have been talked about, and I'd agree with most. I don't know if "specialized installers" make sense as the cabinets really are about as idiot proof as the can be. For wall cabinets their mounting track works well. For the base cabinets the leveling legs work pretty good. The whole point is to make this a CHEAP solution -- your own labor means ZERO out of pocket labor costs! Hard to beat that. I've seen rental places with the synthetic quartz type counter tops that literally cost the landlord/owner less than half of what any other solution would have. The guy that did it is a firefighter with just average homeowner type skills. He hired a countertop guy for the counters and backsplashes. That is what really makes the install look "professional" and also keeps thing water-tight /clean -- some ill fitting DIY countertop is an invitation for trouble.

                        1. re: renov8r

                          How funny this thread floated to the top today -- just this weekend I went into Ikea to look at their cabinets as a cheap way to retrofit my pantry, and I was pleasantly surprised by how sturdy and well-made they felt. Some of the designs for the fronts were quite attractive, they have all kinds of specialized fittings, and I was interested the see the wood counters on a kitchen model that looked a lot like mine, since I've been toying with the idea of someday replacing my tile counters with wood.

                          1. re: renov8r

                            completely agree with you. Let the countertop people install countertops. Often walls are not straight or square. They have the tools to scribe and correct. You mess up only once and the cost to replace or repair would pay for a professional installation.

                    2. re: fgf

                      the big advantage having legs instead of 2x4 is you can run electrical or plumbing lines under the cabinet without tearing into your wall

              2. We've put 3 IKEA kitchens in rental units over the last 7 years and they've stood up well. I'm actually jealous as my home kitchen was put in by one of those fancy custom kitchen places and the drawer bottoms are falling out.

                1. I put in Ikea cabinets myself a year ago. I'm not a carpenter or especially handy. I put in the cheapest, which really means the cheapest doors, white laminate. We decided that it is a kitchen and didn't need to be fancy. Nonetheless we topped the counters with either Cararra marble which is about 1/8 the price of granite, or maple butcher block. We put the cabinets on the stainless legs, no toe kick. We love them. We have had no problems at all. Just figure everything out in advance and the weird sizes will be ok.