Durability of Ikea wood doors/drawer fronts?

smaloneyMay 20, 2011

I've posted a similar query on the Ikeafans website but this forum seems more active, at least from my early experience, so I thought I'd ask for opinions here. I'm just starting to plan a budget remodel of my small galley kitchen and breakfast room.

I'm deciding between Ikea and American Woodmark cabinets, and am stuck on the question of durability. There is a lot about the Ikea products that I really like, particularly the organizational features, great hardware and warranty. However, having bought a couple of small doors from different series just to test the colors/style, I'm a little skeptical on the question of durability still, and so I'd love any feedback.

My only prerequisite is that I want wood and/or wood veneer - no thermofoil. That may be an arbitrary insistence but I refaced my currently awful cabinets a few years ago and I just can't stand the thermofoil. I was really hoping to do white Romsjo cabinets with a black/brown Romsjo island in the breakfast room area. But I have two small boys, and I need my kitchen to withstand routine contact with matchbox cars etc. The white Romsjo door seems to ding with almost every contact, and the dings are evident. It's a big contrast frankly from the AW doors that I've borrowed from Home Depot, which seem much more resistant to dings and more solid than either of the wood Ikea doors. The other Ikea option I'm considering, the Liljestad, is oak and seems sturdier and passed the Matchbox car test, but I'm wary of such a dark and somewhat oldfashioned look in my small kitchen. There are no other white doors in the Ikea line that are actual wood (either thermofoil or painted MDF.)

So I'm at a loss. Ikea is much more budget friendly and having paid both Ikea and HD for measures, I have greater confidence in the installer my local Ikea uses. Plus while I'd prefer wood drawers etc. to the Ikea drawer boxes, I don't love any of the AW colors or styles that are in my budget. But I can't spend five figures on cabinets that will look lousy in a couple of years or even less. Can anyone offer any feedback from use as to how any of the Ikea wood/veneer doors hold up over time? I'm less concerned with the integrity of the cabinet box than with the appearance of the doors and drawer fronts.

Sorry for the long post and thanks for any/all advice!!

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Fori is not pleased

You sound like a perfect candidate for the "buy Ikea, buy the doors elsewhere" method. Perhaps Scherr's (dot com) is an option? They do doors, they've very familiar with Ikea, and they're darn nice.

I agree with you on your painted wood preferences. Totally understand you there! I really do like the Ikea boxes, cheesy as they are on first examination compared to plywood dovetailed drawer boxes. Just so functional.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2011 at 10:30AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
jakabedy

I've had my Nexus yellow-brown cabinets (stained oak veneer) installed for about 18 months now. I have had no instances of dinging or gouging. I don't have kidlets, but do have rambunctious dogs. But it sounds like you want white rather than stained? I would definitely explore the Scherr's option. But also consider buying the Tidaholm and having them professionally painted in a color of your choice. That way you get the sturdiest IKEA door (with Ikea, the prices go along with the quality), but customized.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2011 at 11:09AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
davidro1

kids respond to discipline.
kids grow up fast; the current situation is not a long term one.
someone in GW posted recently about painting their wood (ikea) drawer fronts. You can too.
Or, buy the fronts from another place.
Or, buy spares from ikea for the day when a really big ding happens.
Or, use plastic wood to repair dings, and repaint.
Or, ...

f.y.i. Liljestad is "Solid oak, a hardwearing natural material with a hard surface" (that is on the ikea site.)
f.y.i. Ramsjo is birch (that is on the ikea site.)
f.y.i. Birch is one of the softer woods in the so-called hardwood family (deciduous).
Therefore the one other AW wood you compared it to will definitely ding less, but it's not because it's an AW product. It's because of the wood in that product.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2011 at 11:37AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Fori is not pleased

It's funny how when one expresses a concern about how things hold up with kids, someone else always feels it's appropriate to tell one that one needs to discipline one's children more, implying that one is an overly permissive and overall crummy parent.

I think it's inappropriate.

Anyway, it's the adults that damage stuff. =P

    Bookmark   May 20, 2011 at 12:40PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
davidro1

this is projection: always feels it's appropriate to tell one that one needs to discipline one's children more,
this is projection: implying that one is an overly permissive and overall crummy parent.
= no need to have these feelings based on these projections.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2011 at 1:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
aloha2009

To get back to the question of the durability, what have others encountered with their IKEA doors?

    Bookmark   May 21, 2011 at 10:33AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
caryscott

Buried in the info provided was something pertinent (you just have to shovel away the rest). Attached is Janka scale. Ikea uses mostly Oak, Birch and Beech (no maple I'm pretty sure).I only have a sample of the previous Birch but it was very soft while I found the soon to be discontinued\replaced Tidaholm Oak to be quite teflon (Ikea appears to use some sort of grain filler which also gives their oak a more uniform appearance). Never nail tested the Beech so not sure about hardness. The dark Ramsjo is beech. Haven't tested the Ramsjo white but I like the brushed finish - I would have thought it might be quite easy to disguise wear and tear, perhaps not.

Here is a link that might be useful: Janka hardness scale

    Bookmark   May 21, 2011 at 11:31AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
lolog72

I have the same finish as jakabedy - nexus yellow-brown. I also have the applad white in an entire wall of floor to ceiling high cabs. I've only had them a few months so they haven't really been tested, but so far so good. There have been a few instances when I've scraped something up against the face of the nexus yellow-brown fronts and they haven't scratched or dinged.
As far as the drawer boxes, give another look at ikea. I far prefer the ikea/Blum box to wood boxes. I really think they'll hold up better long term and I love the flexibility of the drawer dividers.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2011 at 11:31AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
davidro1

Ikea drawer fronts and cabinet doors:
Ash, Oak, Birch and Beech.
No maple I'm pretty sure, also.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2011 at 12:48PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
smaloney

Thanks for all the feedback on Ikea! I think the Ikea birch is definitely a bit softer than either the oak options or the AW prospects, which were maple and cherry. So I'm ruling out any of the birch doors including the Adel medium brown which seems to be the most popular one. I'm sure they do fine, but I'm still very nervous about using Ikea for a kitchen, and I don't want anything that I am likely to have second thoughts about. Our galley is effectively a corridor - it gets a lot of traffic and every single guest has to cross the kitchen to get to our living and dining rooms. I don't want to cringe everytime my 2yo rides a car through the room because I'm worried about door dings.

I've actually just returned from my local store and picked up a sample of the Tidaholm (light oak) door, which I actually like a lot better than I'd expected to - in my small galley it has the feel of almost whitewash, less yellowish than in photos I'd seen. So now it's the dark Liljestad vs. the light Tidaholm.... I had just talked myself into the Liljestad based on a few of hte really nice kitchens on the finished kitchen blog. I know that lighter wood is probably preferable for a small room though. Hmmm, maybe I'll post a second appeal for advice once I get the layout from the designer who works for the installation company.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2011 at 1:25PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
davidro1

it's also good because any damage that does occur won't show much.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2011 at 8:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
oldhouse1_gw

We are putting in an Ikea kitchen with a fair amount of customizing. We are using Tidaholm and having them custom sprayed. The doors are solid Oak and the quality is excellent, in fact the there is a sticker on each door indicating that they are made in Italy. I agree with caryscott, for what ever reason there seems to be very little grain. These doors are solid and would not dent easily at all. As caryscott also said the doors are being discounted. I'm not sure why as many designers and architects in Canada use Ikea Tidaholm including Sarah Richardson. We had to buy a few additional doors this weekend and they do seem to have a fair amount of stock left but it probably won't last long.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2011 at 9:38PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
sw_in_austin

We put in a Tidaholm kitchen three years ago and it looks as good now as it did when it was installed. And we are not particularly careful (and our family includes two teenage users).

That said, I am currently using a couple of IKEA kitchen boxes in a bathroom reno and have ordered doors and drawer fronts from Scherrs. I found them extremely easy to work with and the doors are comparable in price -- even with shipping -- to the Tidaholm doors/drawers (the bathroom doors from Scherrs are slab walnut veneer).

I've read many good things about Scherrs on GW and so far my experience mirrors that. And the selection of door styles and wood varieties is large. So if you want the IKEA system and hardware (which we've found to be great) but a different door style you might consider Scherrs.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2011 at 1:34AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Really want to improve my kitchen layout…
I was hoping to get some ideas as to how to layout...
lisakro
Alternate granite idea to replace Cambrian black I had been planning?
My DH is killing me. We are doing white cabinets and...
happyallison
Kitchen Plan... getting closer!
I wasn't pleased with the idea of having to separate...
Dietitian
Backsplash 'Rules'/Design Principals for Cohesion
Hi all! Still no reveal and yes still searching for...
autumn.4
Backsplash advice for my grey & white kitchen
My husband and I have finally settled in one place...
al_cabone
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™