Ikea kitchens....how is the quality?

jerseygirl07067March 25, 2012

I'm looking into getting my cabinets sprayed for now, but down the road will eventually replace my cabinets. I saw one of the Ikea kitchens last night that I really liked, while at the store.

They are reasonably priced, but how's the quality?

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Save for some unusual situation like finding cabinets at auction that will fit your kitchen or a skilled cabinet maker that is just starting his own shop,Ikea cabinets are as good as you will get for the price.

Here is a link that might be useful: Independent Ikea Forums

    Bookmark   March 26, 2012 at 1:18AM
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I think you will find folks with both reasonable long term and short term Ikea kitchens on here are pretty happy with them. They come with a 25 year warranty, the hardware (hinges, drawer mechanisms) is slightly modified Blum hardware, the 3\4 particle board construction is low VOC. Here in Canada frameless construction is the norm and the use of particleboard is standard and there are good arguments that particleboard is better for frameless construction (it has less tendency to expand or contract - with no frame this is important - and the uniform finish is ideal for the adherence of the melamine or veneer covering). I just picked mine up this weekend so I haven't even put my first cabinet together yet so I can't vouch for their quality.

I think around construction you have to decide what you want\need and tune out the rest. Consumer Reports always derides particleboard construction but then concedes that Ikea performs very well in their tests. Ikea only uses particleboard so the construction of the product is designed around the properties of that material.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2012 at 1:44AM
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Love ours!

    Bookmark   March 26, 2012 at 5:54AM
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We have only had our Ikea cabinets for a few months now, but so far, I'm impressed. The price could not be beaten, the soft close hardware is terrific, and although our doors are not wood (they do have wood options), they are Heavy - (I feared that they would be lightweight and flimsy - but they are exactly the opposite!). Plus, the mounting system is fantastic - DH installed everything himself and it was pretty easy (the hardest part was making adjustments to accommodate for our uneven walls).

    Bookmark   March 26, 2012 at 8:00AM
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This was my question too at one time and I think you are going to find lovers and haters period . . no in betweeners and unless you find a bunch of people that have had these cabinets for a long period of time, you may not really know the true answer.

I am only speaking about the white cab styles. I'm not sure about the long run even with the 25 yr warranty, what if that style is discontinued? But if you put them in and they are cheap (or reasonable is a better word) enough and they fall apart years (not months) later, what are you really out especially if you love them?

I was and still am in love with the Ikea Lidi door, especially the mullion glass door. My Ikea price just for the cabs was about $1,800, my other cab quotes ranged from $7,000 to $15,000. I have a very tiny kitchen and a tinier budget. DH said if you like them, get them, and if they have to be replaced in 5 years so be it. I seriously considered it but did not get them for a few reasons:

1 - they don't come in 3 inch increments and I felt like I was left with a lot of fillers in my tiny kitchen and had a hard time coming up with a layout that I really liked;
2 - I was considering a corner sink which can be done but with a lot of customization as they don't have a true corner sink cab;
3 - they have a recommended installer in my area . . . they wanted almost $4,000 to put together and hang the cabs and plug back in my appliances. . no plumbing, electrical, just put the cabs together and hang them. I have a very small kitchen . . . .
4 - there is a house for sale in my neighborhood, built in the late 1800s, and they put in an Ikea white kitchen, not Lidi, another style, and it looked so awful. Now, I have seen photos of many beautiful kitchens with Ikea cabs that are just gorgeous so I don't know what went wrong here. It looked like a cheap quick freshen up job in a totally wrong style for this very beautiful home (I like all things old) and certainly not for the long haul.
5 - Since I was replacing thermofoil cabs that peeled in my kitchen and are particle board based, I chose to go with all plywood.

OTOH, the kitchens on display in the store have held up well considering how many people traipse through them on a weekly basis so that has to tell you something, right?

Finally I have read that a lot of people get Ikea boxes because they are reasonably priced and then customize the doors and some have spent less doing this than just getting the entire Ikea cab although I don't see how that can be.

I probably haven't helped you but I don't think I would have been disappointed had I gone with the Lidi door . . I still love the style.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2012 at 8:14AM
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We have a birch/red combo--love it! When we move to our retirement home, we will do IKEA again--have been very happy--full pullouts are great. We have gotten so many compliments!

    Bookmark   March 26, 2012 at 11:09AM
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all the pro's and con's described above are accurate. To be more accurate, I'll add that "OSB" is probably a good term to use in web searching if you want to know about the physical properties of this wood product (often called particleboard or chipboard). It performs just as well as plywood in many tests, outperforms plywood in some tests, and so on.

Using Ikea as your source for buying boxes is a good strategy.
Using Ikea as your source for buying drawers is a good strategy.
Drawers that are either
= shallow or "deep" (high height).
= on sliders / glides that are either short or long ("deep" in one sense of the word).

Cabinet boxes Base cabinets. And drawers.

The drawers I'm referring to are the hardware and not the front panel.
To be cheapskate and or optimize-y, one may then customize from this point on.

The drawers are the hardware and not the front panel.
Although you SEE the front panel in photos, this is not the big thing about Ikea's value proposition.
Yes, you many also find good value in some or all of the front panels that Ikea offers.
An, you may gush one way or another about beauty.

But the big positive thing about Ikea is the box, and the drawer hardware, and the fact that the drawer is Sold To You As a Kit, Ready To Assemble, at a price that reflects all the savings inherent in their assembling the kit in advance and packaging it.

To redundate, I'll say that the drawers are sold as unadorned trays and sliders, onto which one screws clips onto ANY drawer front, and that one then attacher the clips to the drawer tray. This makes you a drawer. Or, in better English, this makes a drawer (for you) and it makes you into a drawer manufacturer, painlessly and unconsciously. Congratulations you now deserve congratulations for manufacturing original things.

In my kitchen, I put 15" high drawer fronts onto the Ikea deep drawers. No one had ever done this before.


Furthermore, know this: Blum.com has a line of expensive drawers. These are the drawers that Ikea sells. Hint. Hint hint. If you wish to study the two companies' product offerings, you will discover that Ikea has made a long term deal for Blum to let them have a complete line of Blum products, without calling it a Blum product. For the most part, the two companies' products are interchangeable. Over the years and decades it seems that Ikea has gotten the right to make a few modifications. Not a big deal. But, if you ever come face to face with a specialist in Blum products, he would be able to run circles around you if you maintain that Ikea drawers are compatible with Blum. But this is just so that he may maintain that he is a valuable cog in the big wheel of the economy. You could bypass your local kitchen maker man (and not suffer not a whit.) Or, you could have a local kitchen person make anything by using Ikea stuff as a starting point.

The clips used to attach drawer fronts are the same, whether it's an Ikea drawer or a Blum drawer. (Of the Blum product line that corresponds to Ikea's.)

You have the option to go the expensive route at any time.

For my upper cabinets, I bought massively expensive "Blum Aventos HF" upswing hinge mechanisms, and I snap-clipped Ikea 15" by 30" opaque glass cabinet door fronts onto the Blum hinges, no questions asked. Worked like a charm. All designed to be 100% compatible.

Since Ikea and Blum are privately owned companies, it would not surprise me if one day I were to read in some report somewhere that they are owned by one and the same private holding entity.

Executive Summary:
For base cabinet drawers, Ikea sells you a prefabricated kit in a single bag, as a single purchase. Other kitchen people sell you Blum parts and then charge you for cutting a wood panel, to make a drawer bottom and a drawer back panel, so you pay a lot for Blum parts, the wood panel cutting work, and the assembly work. I did a bit of both in my kitchen. There is nothing wrong with using Blum parts for the small fraction of your kitchen that needs a different size from the Ikea options.


    Bookmark   March 26, 2012 at 11:19AM
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We have had ours for over two years and so far, so good! ;)

Love Love LOVE the drawers!

(We did custom doors with the IKEA system and very happy)

    Bookmark   March 26, 2012 at 11:31AM
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I used 2 ikea 12" deep upper wall cabinets to make a banquette bench seat (inspired by an ikea display). We used it daily for about 7 years and never had a problem. In fact, I plan to use it in my garage after our kitchen renovation.

OT-I really like what some ikea fans have done to the ikea wood countertops.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2012 at 12:56PM
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I used Ikea (Adel birch doors) in a remodel about 5 years ago. I moved out and converted the house to a rental last summer. The cabinets are sturdy and well-built, were easy for me to diy, and so far, are still in perfect, good as new condition. I have had no quality issues with them at all. I doubt that I will use them in my current remodel; not because of any problems or concerns with quality, but simply because sizes and styles are a bit limited (I want a 42" sink cab which they don't have; I've fallen in love with the idea of walnut if I decide I can afford it, etc). IMO, those two things are the only downsides to their line, quality is not a problem. And the price of course is great.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2012 at 3:00PM
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I'm planning to use Ikea cabinets as much as I can in my planned kitchen remodel. The window/sink wall will be close to perfect: 175 inches of cabinets in a 175-inch space. What's not working for me is the island; I want to do 18" deep drawers, and Ikea only sells them in 12" or 24" sizes. These will have to be custom.

I'm not crazy about the wood door styles and so am going to have custom doors made in walnut for the lowers.

I'm guessing I'll be able to save $15,000-$20,000 on the kitchen cabinets. I'll know more when my bids come in over the next couple of weeks.

By the way, Ikea sells granite and quartz counters. With the 20% off sale, the installed prices are quite reasonable.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2012 at 3:21PM
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Our Ikea kitchen has been installed for about two years now. So far, it has held up magnificently. The drawers work as well as they did on day one and show no signs of fatigue. The finish on the drawers/door fronts has held up well (Nexus yellow-brown). The only problem spot we have had was as a result of a leaking skylight. Our island has Ikea end panels. I put a glue-on/iron-on facing on the side that abuts the floor, but was unable to get a perfect enough seal to keep water from wicking into it (from the skylight-formed puddle). So we have some discoloration on one corner of the panel where it sits on the floor.

However, I'll say that I KNEW this could be a problem when I made the decision to go ahead with it. Frankly, it could be a problem with any wood material used in that application. But additional quartz for the gable end was not in the budget, so I went with the panel.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2012 at 4:41PM
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I'm using IKEA cabinets in my garage for tools, and in my laundry room for all those smelling cleaning products.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2012 at 4:55PM
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We've had our IKEA Ramsjo cabinets for several months now, and we love them. We also bought our Caesarstone countertop through them, as well as our knobs and pulls, all during a 20% off sale.
There are many kitchens much more impressive than ours, but for us, this was a huge step up from what we had.
As an exmaple, our original kitchen had the dishwasher shoehorned in next to the sink, and the counter didn't extend all the way over it. So the previous owner just nailed a 2" block of wood to the end of the counter, ran a piece of paneling down the side, painted it all and called it a day. (Ever see the website: There, I Fixed It--it should have been featured there.) Anyway, we lived with it like that for 14 years, with the original 1961 Formica, black hole corner cabinet, etc. We saved and finally took the plunge, and it is all we could have hoped for, and I would recommend IKEA cabinets and their great storage items. (Love the pot lid rack!)

    Bookmark   March 26, 2012 at 5:29PM
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We have ours for approx a year and just love them. We went with Applad in white and those were exactly the look we were after. They have held up wonderfully for a fraction of the price. I love all the soft close drawers and doors and how easy they are to clean inside and out.
Our initial cab bid was $35k for custom cabs, not installed (same white front slab style).
Then we tried HD, Lowes and other discount stores and the same layout was $17k at each, uninstalled.
Then, thanks to the great people at GW, we decided to look at Ikea. Our entire cab order, with assembly/installation was just over $8,500, split evenly between cab purchase and assembly and installation by their recommended people.
To give you an idea,
we have 7 base cabs, 6 drawer banks & the sink cab, with only 1 "small" one of 18", the rest are 30-36".
we used 6 wall cabs for the back part of our island, 36" each
we have the deep wall cabs over our fridge and freezer, 30" each
we have a tall double oven cab, a tall cleaning close cab and a tall pullout pantry
we have end panels and the entire back of our peninsula and 1 tall cab in cover panels.
So, you can see we have a lot of cabs in our kitchen and our cost was well below $10k including the installation and assembly. No other company can touch that.
At the time we bought our kitchen, they had a deal on counters for 40% off, so we got top of the line Corian for the cost of laminate anywhere else.
I have to say, we had an issue with the delivery company when they only delivered half our order. Ikea was generous in making it right and a manager even drove a few items a half hour from the store to get us the last things we needed.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2012 at 5:58PM
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I should clarify... of the 7 base cabs, 6 of them are drawer banks.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2012 at 6:11PM
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Jerseygirl have you decided on Ikea? I know it's a bit late but chiming in with my two cents. We've had our Ikea cabinets for a year now and LOVE LOVE LOVE them. We get so many compliments and most are shocked they are Ikea because they seem custom. We did quite a few mod's and Ikea was great to work with and even took back (for a full refund) a few cabinets that we had put together but changed our mind about the size after.

Here are a few pics:
The custom island we built with base cabinets:
From STILL not finished kitchen

We still need to add crown molding, backsplash and a few other things:
From STILL not finished kitchen From STILL not finished kitchen From STILL not finished kitchen From STILL not finished kitchen

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 1:30PM
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slush - beautiful job! Which cab fronts are those?

For those of you who have done IKEA cabs with IKEA fronts, are you up for posting pictures?

Perhaps start a new thread, or does such a thread exist and I just can't find it?

Thanks all for sharing your experience!

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 2:24PM
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Thanks BalTra! They are the Adel White (which is actually off-white)

On of my fav things about the ikea cabinets was all the inexpensive organizational goodies. Hope it's okay to post a few more pictures...don't want to take over the thread!
From STILL not finished kitchen

My baking drawer:
From STILL not finished kitchen

ALL my pots and pans fit in them including the huge stock pot:
From STILL not finished kitchen

And this was one of the mods my hubby did. He purchased the spice pull-out online, and we just used one of the "oven door fronts" from Ikea. Didn't even have to cut anything.
From STILL not finished kitchen

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 3:39PM
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Slush1422 - Is that a rev-a-shelf or hafele spice pull out? If not, what is it, what is the width, and where did you purchase it? Did you mean you used an oven drawer front for it? Its very clever. And, great pictures. Thanks for the info.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 4:08PM
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Love your kitchen slush! What is on your island? Is that the Ramsjo black-brown? I am considering Adel off white for my perimeter and the Ramsjo for my island.

We put Ikea cabs and laminate counters in our last house around 2004-2005 and stay there til 2011 so about 6 years. Never an issue with the cabinets, DIYed them with FIL, did some modifying with his help.

The laminate countertops were not the best, the started to delaminate around the sink and dishwasher and the edge strips got lots of chips in them.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 4:42PM
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avidchef - yes it's a Wall Filler from Rev-A-Shelf. We ended up finding it at the link below.

And saved a ton! We bought the oven drawer front to match the Adel White. The oven drawer front is a TINY bit shorter than the rest of the cabinets but you can't really tell. Another option would be to use one of the trim pieces (but you would have at least one end that wasn't "finished").

Here is a link that might be useful: Rev-A-Shelf 6

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 4:45PM
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slush1422 - Just wanted to compliment your kitchen! It looks Lovely!! (We're using Adel White too, and if it turns out looking anywhere near as nice as yours, I will be thrilled!)

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 4:47PM
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thirdkitchenremodel - yes it is Ramsjo black-brown. We used 6 cabinets to build the island and I LOVE having all the extra storage!

I was bummed the bases didn't come in matching black/brown but now that's its been almost a year it doesn't bother me at all anymore and you can't tell they are closed.

Here is our second trash/recycle pullout on the island:
From STILL not finished kitchen

Your kitchen is GORGEOUS btw! I'm linking the post for when we built the island and added the supports for our huge, heavy quartzite.

Thanks bellajourney! Can't wait to see yours. It was crazy with all the boxes in our living room but so worth the money we saved.

Here is a link that might be useful: Island and Counter Balance install (no corbels)

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 5:04PM
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We're in the process of installing an Ikea kitchen (Ramsjo white doors) and so far are happy with the quality. To be honest, the hardware (full extension drawers, soft close drawers/doors) feels nicer than what's in my parents' kitchen (they're in a high-end home built in the 90s).

If there's a weakness, it's that the cabinet backs do feel as though they're on the flimsy side (the back is just a thin sheet of...not sure, melamine over cardboard?), and I've seen reports from a number of people who reinforce the backs, which apparently adds substantial rigidity. I will say that we haven't felt a need to do that for our installation, and everything seems to be working/holding together just fine so far.

If you have tricky dimensions that make it hard to get cabinet runs spanning full walls, it might be worth looking into Barker Cabinets. They're local to me (Portland, OR), and they do custom RTA cabinets with dimensions that can be specced to the quarter-inch. We didn't use them for our kitchen, as we found out about them after we had already purchased Ikea cabinets, but their pricing is competitive with Ikea, so definitely worth checking out if you have awkward dimensions.

Here is a link that might be useful: Barker RTA Cabinets

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 5:55PM
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The only function of the back, according to the ikeafans folks, is to help to keep the cabinet fairly square till it's installed. Reinforcing it wouldn't accomplish anything useful.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 6:39PM
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We had an IKEA kitchen in our last home, which was a turn of the century Victorian in San Francisco. The style was too modern for the architecture of the home, but the cabinets held up really well and generally I was pleased with IKEA kitchens.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 8:16PM
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slush thanks for your pictures and the details you posted. I have a question about your spice pullout. I get that you used a stock door and a purchased pullout unit, but how did you create the cabinet itself? Did you just use the sides of the cabinets next to it as the base?

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 8:24PM
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I installed my Ikea kitchen over 6 years ago and have absolutely no regrets. I'm just about to start working on a new project (total fixer upper again) hence my return to the forum. You can see pictures of the kitchen and also the Ikea master bathroom cabs in the virtual tour below.

We just sold our house for close to $2million and I think most would agree that the kitchen isn't the poor relative in the picture as some people predicted it would be.

BTW These are nexus black/brown doors.

I plan to do another Ikea Kitchen but may do custom doors this time. If you're up for a bit of creativity you can make the cabinets work for most floor plans despite the limited sizes. I customized for the microwave, the oven cabinet and a bunch of other areas and I spent 5-6K total for kitchen, laundry and master bathroom cabinetry (master has built-ins that you can't see in addition to the ones you can). Installation is straight-forward although the tall cabinets can be very heavy. We changed out edge banding on ours for stained teak but I don't think I'd even bother doing that again.

Here is a link that might be useful: IKEA cabs Virtual Tour

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 9:57PM
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annkathryn - yes we just made sure to leave enough space for the rev-a-shelf to fit in between two cabinets.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2012 at 6:25PM
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