Ikea cabinets: how are yours holding up?

elizabeth714May 5, 2014

forgive me if this has been asked before.

For those with Ikea cabs, how long have you had them, what style, and how are they doing? Just trying to peer into the future.

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Hello Elizabeth,

I have a friend who is a contractor for installing high end appliance and he absolutely despises them. He says that they have multiple issues with them not being able to support the weight of the appliances, speaking in terms of a hood obviously. In terms of installing things such as stoves and fridges, they always have to be extra cautious as the cabinets tend to be more 'brittle' then most. Again, this is not from my own personal experiences just those of a close friend. More times then not they end up have to construct some additional kind of support and they have now actually made it policy to ask if the cabinetry is from Ikea before taking a job so that they are prepared before arriving with extra materials in case. Hope this helps some and wish you the best of luck!

    Bookmark   May 5, 2014 at 11:01AM
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You know, not to offend anyone with IKEA cabinets, but I wonder why so many people seem to get them. The only experience I have had with IKEA products are some bedroom chests my daughter purchased. They were absolute junk, fell apart in no time. Yes, they were inexpensive, but truly were "throw away" furniture. I have seen beautiful IKEA kitchens on GW, but I also wonder how long they will hold up. Buying cheaper is sometimes more expensive in the long run.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2014 at 11:50AM
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Your contractor friend is full of BS, Alex.

We installed ours in 2003. With a 36" Viking rangetop in a modified 36" cabinet, and a double Dacor oven in a tall over cabinet. No problems whatsoever. There's is a small nick in the 36" dishdrawer edge next to the dishwasher. And we installed all cabinets and appliances ourselves.

We have a long-discontinued beech finish cabinet with the doors in a shaker-style, drawers all solid.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2014 at 11:51AM
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thanks so much, sushipup! what style cabinets did you get? 2003? wow! i assume your kitchen is a working kitchen. not just a showroom? i plan on using the hell out of mine.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2014 at 11:54AM
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We installed a full Ikea kitchen in 2006. Everything is holding up just fine. Our cabinet fronts are the (now discontinued) bright red glossy finish. All the drawers and doors are great. I cook a LOT, and I'm messy. The rest of the family is worse. We store all our dishes and glasses in large drawers, so they carry a lot of weight and see a lot of use.

There's a lot of quality and price variation among Ikea products. Their cabinetry is top-notch.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2014 at 12:00PM
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Our door style is long discontinued. If I could recall the name of it, it wouldn't mean anything to you unless you have a 2002 catalog at hand. We also use drawers for all dishes, etc. We also cook a lot and are messy. I posted pictures many years ago (posting then as "Fairegold") but if I take pictures now, I'd have to clean up and "stage" the kitchen. which I am in no mood to do! ;-)

    Bookmark   May 5, 2014 at 12:06PM
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Lidingo, 6 years old, diy install.
Cook from scratch 2x / day and there are zero problems with the finish or the mechanics.
I also hacked (modified) and installed them in the bathrooms (Lidingo & Adel)

Love them!

    Bookmark   May 5, 2014 at 12:07PM
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I am an architect who has specified Ikea for many years. I had Ikea cabinets installed in my kitchen and guest bathroom in 2009. I used the nexus black-brown and rubrik white glass. The nexus was discontinued. Both the door fronts and the cabinets themselves have held up beautifully in a well used kitchen. It looks the same as it did in 2009.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2014 at 12:12PM
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I have a friend who did IKEA cabs and counters more than ten years ago, and do all their cooking at home. The kitchen is still like new, with the exception of some "patina" on the neglected solid wood counter that they do not mind in the least. i could not tell you offhand which cab style they installed, but they did it all themselves.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2014 at 12:29PM
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" The only experience I have had with IKEA products are some bedroom chests my daughter purchased. They were absolute junk,"

Ikea builds several lines of furniture. There's stuff that's basically laminated cardboard (lack tables) to stuff that's laminated MDF/particle board, to stuff that's solid wood. Quality ranges from terrible, to terrific. Their cabinets are nothing like their cheaper lines of furniture.

Also, if something of ikea's fell apart on you that quick, it's probably an issue with assembly.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2014 at 12:30PM
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I have no personal experience with Ikea kitchens but did consider them when I was about to redo my kitchen. From everything I've read about Ikea kitchen, people purchase them since they are good value for your money. When I went to visit Ikea with my wife they even told us that they are not high and there door selection is very limited, at least in Canada it is.

Some people will purchase the carcases/cabinets from ikea and them purchase doors from another supplier and they're happy with the outcome.

If you're looking for a low to mid range kitchen quality, then I believe IKEA is great value for your money and if I weren't building my own and didn't want high quality I may have gone with Ikea and purchased doors elsewhere.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2014 at 12:31PM
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Thank you for asking this question & thanks for the many responses. We are seriously considering an Ikea kitchen in our near future. I've had one in a previous house & loved it. We moved after a few years, but at that point it still looked brand new (Adel Medium Brown). We are now hesitating between Adel White (thermofoil) or Lidingo White- worried about the thermofoil delaminating, but prefer the off-whie color of the Adel over the brighter white of the Lidingo. Does anyone have longterm experience with the White Adel?

    Bookmark   May 5, 2014 at 12:37PM
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i installed Adel off-white. haven't put anything in them, but they sure do look purty.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2014 at 1:07PM
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Just an FYI, IKEA is in the process of switching their cabinet line over. The change has already happened in some countries. The new line is supposed to be coming to the US in 2015 and I believe it is called metod. This is not just new door and drawer fronts, it is a whole new system and it will not be compatible with the current line.

Ikea isn't always the greatest at keeping things in supply so I would make sure to either buy everything you need and double and triple check for parts soonish or wait for the new line. I know basically nothing about the new line, as our current kitchen is going to require custom cabinets (old house, shallow cabinet run) so I haven't been paying a lot of attention. The folks at ikeafans may or may not have more information.

We had an ikea kitchen out in our last house and LOVED it. We were only in it for eighteen months so I can't personally testify to long term quality. But they are frequently specified by architects and designers who aren't tied to a line of cabinets they sell. IMO, people buy them because they are a great value. The price was substantially better than anywhere else we looked and the quality was similar to cabinet lines that charged twice as much. Ikea kitchen cabinets are particularly known for the extremely good quality hardware.

If you visit the ikeafans forum, you will find members who have had their ikea kitchens for a long time and I am sure they would be happy to tell you how they are holding up.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2014 at 1:17PM
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Supposedly the US version of the new line is going to be called Sektion. Someone posted the other day at ikeafans that their local store (Chicago?) said they would be closing the kitchen department in December to swap everything out for the new cabinets.

However, at least in the rest of the world ikea has said that the older lines will still be available for two years after the change.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2014 at 1:42PM
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Yes, great post from crl!

My IKEA cabinets (with custom fronts) will probably cost $2K and my neighbour's custom cabinetry will cost $10K (small kitchens). Is hers better quality? Yes and no. She has plywood, which looks nice. But I have better drawers - Blum Tandembox - they are soooo solid. The options for interior organizers are great too.

IKEA does make many different grades of furniture and built-ins so you absolutely cannot generalize. I have a solid wood dining room table from IKEA that is 12 years old - it is super solid and you could dance on it.

IKEA kitchens are guaranteed for 25 years and when properly installed they are solid and reliable. People on ikeafans.com have shared their experiences with IKEA kitchens and over many many years it seems that the consensus is that the quality/function is excellent. There's a reason why you see more and more high end kitchens using IKEA (many with custom fronts to create a specific look).

If you feel better looking inside your cabinet and seeing wood, then IKEA is not for you. If you need inset cabinets, IKEA is not for you. In my budget range, I am OK with seeing painted particleboard inside my cabinets, but having high end hardware and interior organizers to make the most of my small kitchen space.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2014 at 1:51PM
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Our last kitchen was ikea put in by the previous owners. The doors were MDF, held up well and were easy to keep clean. However, the edges on the cabinets boxes and the crown moulding were peeling. They were 7 years old or so when they started to peel. There were also open shelves at the end of each cabinets run that connected to the cabinet, and those yellowed quite a bit.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2014 at 1:58PM
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We have Ikea Adel off-white, 2 years old (so cannot speak to longevity); so far it looks just like it did when it was installed. We are a family with young children and our kitchen is used moderately heavily every day. The thermofoil Adel fronts have been very easy to keep clean and (so far) are impervious to splatters and the occasional whack. I chose Ikea partly for budget reasons but also because I really wanted frameless cabinets and very much liked the Blum drawers and glides. Ikea was the only way to get those things in my area without paying a huge premium.

The kitchen people at my local Ikea have told me that they will be changing to the new cabinetry system this coming winter. (I was asking because I want to get hold of a front for a future DW while they still have Adel in stock.) They told me they will stock the current style for 2 years after the changeover, but if I were planning a new kitchen now, I'd be very tempted to wait a little longer for the new system... just in case.

It made me smile to see the Adel white kitchen a few posts up. The same white Adel looks very different in our kitchen because it's surrounded by warm tones. It's a versatile style.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2014 at 2:35PM
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Having had no experience with IKEA cabinets, I can't say how they hold up. They seem to be very popular though, and look good from what I've seen here. I assume they have different prices and models for different budgets. How any cabinet holds up depends on the usage it gets as well, if you have active kids, its going to wear quicker than in a home with no children.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2014 at 3:18PM
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The cabinets themselves, drawers, shelves and hardware are standardized. The only things different are the doors and drawer fronts. I hope they continue this with the new system.

So to the previous poster, it's only the exteriors that vary in finishes, colors and styles.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2014 at 4:14PM
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I just put in two Ikea drawer bases with Blum Tandembox drawers in a bedroom wall built-in. I made my own custom fronts. I am planning to install Ikea boxes in my kitchen, too, but l will now apparently be using the new system.

All Ikea cabinet boxes are the same construction throughout their line and I think the hardware is the same also (Blum). The difference in price is strictly in the fronts.

Having said all that, I would never be concerned about the cabinets themselves holding up. The base box is easy to assemble and perfectly sturdy enough for any reasonable use if installed properly. The beauty of the system is that the drawer fronts click onto the drawer sides. You can change the drawer fronts with just a screwdriver without damaging the drawers. Doors are just unscrewed from the hinges and new doors screwed on. So, you could literally reface all your cabinets in a few hours.

It is unsettling that Ikea is moving to a new system. I would be worried about replacing damaged components in the old system. Hopefully they will keep all the hardware clearances the same in the new line.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2014 at 4:37PM
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It is my understanding that the new system will NOT be compatible with the current system. This is not just new doors and drawer fronts like they have done in the past. Within each system, the doors and drawer fronts are all swappable, but across the two different systems nothing will be. At least that's what I'm seeing on the interwebs.

I have also seen that ikea plans to continue to stock parts for the existing system for two years, but given the problems they seem to develop without warning in their supply chain, I wouldn't want to count on it. I'd snag anything I might need right away.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2014 at 4:39PM
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My cabinets were installed in Dec 2012. I have the shaker style in a medium brown, can't remember the name. I love the look of them and they are holding up well. I have a lot of drawers and I love them - I have a lot of heavy dinnerware in several and pots and pans in another and have had no problems at all (knock on wood). They operate smoothly. The only problem I have had is in in the dividers which I purchased separately. They don't hold up well and I will need to get some new ones. Otherwise, I am very pleased.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2014 at 4:50PM
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The current North American line AKURUM will not be compatible with the new line SEKTION. The dimensioning and modularity will differ significantly based on looking at Europe's METOD line.

SEKTION will be the "latest and greatest" but I wonder if AKURUM is more budget...I'm assuming part of the reason to roll out a different pricing model in addition to a more design-y look. I think that AKURUM boxes/hardware have lower profit margins than the fronts.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2014 at 5:00PM
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thanks everyone. nice NOT to hear any horror stories (yet) ;o)

    Bookmark   May 6, 2014 at 1:37PM
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My Ikea kitchen cabinets are shaker beech installed in 2010. Look immaculate and we are not careful. The kitchen is the envy of my neighbors--both of whom spent more than 5X what I did for custom (cherry in one case; maple in the other). Theirs show wear.
I would use Ikea again.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2014 at 9:03PM
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My neighbor just installed the Adel Medium brown kitchen in her home and is I gorgeous! To me has that cherry look to it with her lighting.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2014 at 1:11AM
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5 years with Adel White - they look as good as they day they were installed, and we don't treat them with any special care. And as for weight - I have a very, very heavy Cambria countertop on them, plus a heavy 6-burner Bertazzoni cooktop. Solid as a rock.

My GC was initially a little reluctant, but we worked together (me doing all the research and shopping and consulting with IKEA) and he was completely converted by the end of it.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2014 at 1:16PM
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Another Ikea kitchens advocate here.

Installed ours in 2003. Spent 11.5K on the entire 180 sq f kitchen - all cabinets doors and fronts were solid wood (pine, discontinued), tons of drawers, sitting area, stainless appliances, granite, etc.

If you want to keep your kitchen for the next 50-60 years, spend $150K and buy solid wood cabinets. If you are like many other people will get bored with your kitchen and/or want more modern details in 10-15 years, Ikea is the best option. Thicker than other medium range kitchen MDF (0.75" instead of 0.5") frames, high end Blum hardware with doors and fully extended drawers that have soft closure option. Both solid wood and melamine doors are very durable.

As for the designer look, it actually all depends on your design abilities. I've seen $70K kitchen and $115K kitchen that looked much worse than many Ikea kitchens. Pick a good counter, knobs, curtains; think about trim and light.

I've heard this 'Ikea-kitchen-is-for-losers' song from many contractors, but never from the actual owners. I will use Ikea kitchen cabinets (hacked) for our master bath remodeling. I was interviewing several contractors - two of them tried to convince me to not use Ikea cabinets for this. When I asked them about the alternative, they offered their cabinets instead. After comparing their cabinets to the Ikea ones that I chose, it turned out that their cabinets are:
1. About 2 times more expensive without all drawers I want and about 2.5 more expensive with the drawers;
2. Have mediocre hardware without soft closure, etc. 'What are you talking about??' said one of the contractors. 'All hardware is the same!' Yeah, right...

The new Sektion line promises to be even better - more drawer options, more glass cabinets, etc. It will also be more expensive than Akurum probably. So, if the budget is important to you, use Ikea fall sale. The spring sale is already over in US. I got 20% off this time and I am very happy.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2014 at 3:12PM
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So much is possible with IKEA cabinets with custom fronts. Semihandmade and Superfront are two IKEA custom front specialists that have stunning project photos online if you google.



Other than being restricted to frameless, the design options are almost endless.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2014 at 8:28PM
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We had our Ramsjo White cabinets for 2 years before moving. I basically lived out of that one room in our house, and they weathered the storm beautifully. The hardware was a dream, the construction solid, and the doors nice and heavy. I'd do it again in a heartbeat. Now that we are house hunting, I find myself sighing over the quality of cabinets (in more expensive homes, mind you). We just put an offer in on a place where the owners "updated" by installing off the shelf HD cabinets and super expensive granite. I looked at my husband and said, "These are a mess and so thin. Do you know what the owner could have done with the same budget at Ikea?!" Definitely explore your options when going Ikea though. They can be beautiful if you think outside the box. (We used their wood counter stained and finished with Waterlox. It held up flawlessly.)

    Bookmark   May 9, 2014 at 12:14PM
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Our IKEA cabinets look fine after nearly 2 years, even the door I repaired after my wife screwed up the hinges. lol.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2014 at 12:22PM
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