Ikea cabinets

brooklyniteJune 10, 2010

I'm about to renovate my kitchen. I've heard from too many people that Ikea cabinets aren't made well. But the only other affordable cabinets I've seen are hideously ugly.

Help me please. Anyone with Ikea kitchen??? I think you have to put them together/assemble yourself.

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They are well made. Yes you do have to put them together yourself, like a lot of IKEA furniture. It's not hard and by the 2nd or 3rd cabinet, you're a pro. They all pretty much go together the same way. The thing that makes it easy is the wall rail. You attach the rail to the wall, the wall cabinets have a bolt on the back, and you can slide them over to where you need them. Also, all the hardware is Blum. Smooth glides and soft closing drawers and doors. Check out IKEAfans.com message board for real experts on those cabinets.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2010 at 11:37PM
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We love our IKEA kitchen. We've been using it for two years with no problems and no complaints. You (or someone you hire) do have to assemble the boxes but it's not difficult. As kathec said the hardware is excellent, both the hinges and the drawer glides. No upcharge for full extension drawers and soft-close doors and drawers. I second her recommendation that you check our IKEAfans. The site is a bit hard to navigate but there's lots of good information, advice and help.

Our kitchen -- and a bunch of other IKEA kitchens, check out Morton5's -- are in the Finished Kitchen Blog, http://finishedkitchens.blogspot.com/.

Good luck.

Here is a link that might be useful: Finished Kitchens Blog

    Bookmark   June 11, 2010 at 12:15AM
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People often confuse IKEA kitchens with the rest of IKEA ready-to-assemble furniture. Trust me, they are entirely different. I have various IKEA furniture pieces and IKEA kitchen cabinets--it isn't even close.

They have a 25-year warranty as well.

I am lovin' my IKEA cabs.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2010 at 1:10AM
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ditto what shelayne said

    Bookmark   June 11, 2010 at 8:15AM
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I forgot to mention in my earlier post that we did an IKEA kitchen in 2000. We only got to enjoy it for 3 years before we moved. I still miss that kitchen. I've owned 3 other houses since then, and have never had the ease of function and durability of our IKEA cabs.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2010 at 10:49AM
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So, roughly, this lecture is my personal opinion.

The built-in cabinets aren't crap, but they aren't great either. I'm talking about just the cabinets and not the doors or drawer fronts. You can get a nice kitchen with adequate storage using the built-in cabinets. The cabinet frames are pretty weak and made out of terrible particle board. If you build and install them correctly, you'll be ok without making mods.

In my mind, that makes the built-in Ikea cabinets good value for the money. The structure of the drawers help a lot in improving the stability by being partly metal. The glides might survive being thrown out of an airplane.

The drawers are a version of blum tandem box drawers but they aren't the stainless steel sided, square edged, full depth, undermounts that a cabinet company would do - they are powder coated, three inches less deep and have the slant sided drawers with side mounted glides. Overall, you lose about 2-3 inches of drawer width and 3" of length over all - similar to a lot of framed cabinets. You still get the frameless style height increase - except for the middle drawer issue in a 3 drawer cabinet. The middle drawer has a big face that over hangs the glides by an extra inch and change in height; short changing either the middle drawer or the bottom drawer depending on how you think about it.

Things I would (or did) customize. I added bracing in front of the fiberboard back. The braces are screwed through the cabinet sidewall, and the screws set flush in the sidewall. That changed the cabinet structure from something that felt fairly flimsy to something that was very stiff. We used the new braces to attach the cabinets to the wall and were able to use as many screws as pleased us. The base cabinets sit on a constructed toe kick with a solid top that was leveled before cabinet installation.

We'll probably brace the micro cabinet in the pantry, but we haven't built it yet. I'm kinda jonesing for the replacement cabinet bottom that provides lighting and I suspect you can't do that with the micro cabinet.

I wish they had plywood drawer bottoms instead of the particle board. I might replace those eventually in my 36" wide, deep drawers. Long term, I don't believe the drawer bottom will be able to take the weight of cast iron. Since we ordered the fronts from Scherrs, we shortened the middle drawer front - we could have, but did not, reposition the middle drawer, we just shortened the front. This let the bottom drawer be about 1-3/8" taller and it fit the biggest thing I own stacked together - a very large stockpot with a basket steamer that sits on top and its lid.

I would be vastly surprised if they fell apart.

Do get quotes for the exact look you want from a couple of third parties. I have read of many ikea finish failures over time on their drawers or doors. Sometimes, the 25 year warranty doesn't work out quite the way you'd think - if they stop making the style or they change the manufacturer, a replacement may not be available and that let's them off the warranty hook.

Honestly, if we had a bigger budget, we would not have bought ikea cabinets. We shot our budget (the budget that we made by figuring out however many dollars we could spare as our remodel was a surprise) in raw construction and economized on the cabinets. As the children say, it is what it is and we're pretty over it.

A construction picture of my ikea cabinets with different door and drawer fronts - fronts not adjusted, no hardware yet and no toe kick. We just got them. Yes, it has the little ikea sink and the little ikea faucet, too.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2010 at 11:05AM
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Bmorepanic, Love your door choice! It all looks very nice and it seems your hard work is paying off. Did I detect a little exhaustion with your remodel? I ordered my Conestoga cabs and they should be here Monday. Its weird because I thought I would be so much more excited on finally getting new cabinets but as this is mostly a DIY I find myself sort of dreading all the upcoming work instead. I gave a lot of thought to using the Ikea boxes and ordering Scherr's doors but in the end decided to order from one placeƂyour extra time & work though really looks lovely!

    Bookmark   June 11, 2010 at 11:30AM
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I totally love our new IKEA kitchen. I actually enjoyed putting them together and they are very customizable. We had a regular cabinet for our trash which we decided to convert to a pull out. Went to IKEA, bought a drawer and hinges, and converted it. They were very sturdy and I didn't feel they needed any reinforcement. We bought some special order cabinets from Home Depot when we first moved to our house and they don't compare to our IKEA ones. I think IKEA is great, particularly if you also have budget concerns like we do. We spent $3000 on 7 base cabinets, countertops, farmhouse sink and faucet all from IKEA. Can't beat that! But I can't look at another Swedish meatball again. Way too many trips to IKEA...my husband says he feels overqualified to shop there now...

    Bookmark   June 11, 2010 at 12:59PM
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another fan of my IKEA kitchen here. We finished ours in Aug. 2005 - so that is almost 5 years - wow!! I would do it again in a heart beat - especially because now they have the soft close drawers, which came out after my remodel.

I love our kitchen, the cabinets and they are holding up really well. I don't think you will be disappointed. This picture is from a while ago - we now have a stainless fridge - I painted the island and plate rack and they are holding up well too.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2010 at 1:38PM
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Ditto davidrol and shelayne.

I've had Ikea Adel birch cabinets (configured as a hutch) for ten+ years in the DR. The drawers are full of heavy stoneware dishes, big serving pieces, and glass cookware. No sagging or wear on anything! However, the beautiful pale birch has yellowed in the direct sun. When the rest of my kitchen remodel is done I want to paint that sucker something wild, maybe robin's egg blue.

I'm currently replacing ten-year-old Cabico midline semi-custom cabs in the kitchen. The Cabicos are pathetic. Fasteners are full of plastic pieces. The flimsy backs and sides bowed under granite. The drawers are constructed so stupidly that space is lost everywhere possible. They extend 3/4, not full. The cabinets have roll-out drawers behind doors, which is possibly the silliest waste of space and the most inconvenient design ever dreamed up by a cabinet committee.

I'm replacing them with Ikea Adel medium brown cabs. The Ikea drawers for plastic wrap and aluminum foil can store those long boxes one on top of as well as next to each other. The Cabicos could store only one layer. And the Ikeas cost less. I love the Ikea deep full-extension drawers and soft-close drawers and cabinets. The hinges are big and strong. My DH says the Ikea cabinets are much stronger and more solid than the Cabico.

Hope this helps!


    Bookmark   June 11, 2010 at 1:40PM
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Yvonne Albertyn_Brazil

We put Ikea in our pantry as a test run about 3 years ago - we're very happy with it, and if we replace our cabinets in the kitchen, we'll replace them with Ikea. They are wonderfuly sturdy. I have almost all my pyrex stacked up in the 30" middle drawer, and there hasn't been any problems with the weight.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2010 at 2:13PM
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Wow. I am glad to see this. The last time I looked at Ikea they were way too modern for me. A few of their styles are more classic looking and would be ok in my 100 year old home with the right hardware..

One question ... could I mix and match Ikea with another brand? For instance I have a very specific look I want my cooktop drawers to have that Ikea doesnt offer... could I switch up the drawer fronts with someone elses? or put a differnet brand cabinet in that spot?

    Bookmark   June 11, 2010 at 3:31PM
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"But I can't look at another Swedish meatball again."

We could not agree with you more! lmao.

jterrilynn, thank you. I do sometimes feel that way - I get tired of being on a roller coaster. Managing too many people with different needs while trying to work and having too many emergencies. I need to go on a no-dollar vacation!

rcvt, thank you for an idea about the rolls - I can stand them upright in a corner of one of the mighty drawers - even the parchment paper would fit! I'm glad you like Ikea. I have turned into a cabinet snob.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2010 at 3:43PM
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Another happy IKEA kitchen here.

In our last kitchen, my husband was going to make the cabinets himself. Because I had read such positive reviews about the IKEA kitchen cabinets on this forum, I convinced him to at least have a look. My husband was *very* impressed and could no longer justify making them. That was 4 years ago. We are in a new home now and are planning on redoing the kitchen. We were so happy with the IKEA kitchen that we are not considering anything else.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2010 at 5:31PM
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bmorepanic talked about being a cabinet snob....

I am getting 3/4 inch plywood construction modern frameless cabinets with Blum tandemboxes made of stainless steel. the cost is about 3 to 4 x as much as Ikea would have cost me. I was not on a budget that restricted me to Ikea.

I would say that there is not much in between when it comes to modern cabinets that look good. I looked at several companies. The ones that come close to what I got in terms of quality are typically European made, which is similar in price point to what I am paying.

I don't know why but if you upgrade to Blum Tandembox with stainless steel side hardware (not Tandem with dovetailed wood drawer boxes)the cost upgrade is astonomical. I really wanted stainless boxes in my modern cabinets.

In my search, if you want good looking modern cabinets with plywood construction, which many American companies cannot do well (in terms of esthetics), there are not many choices out there at a reasonable price point. You have to be prepared to pay 2x or more than Ikea cabinets. Only you know if it is worth it to you.....


This is an alternative to Ikea. The choice of styles are limited. The quality is similar to Ikea in that they use particle board and Blum Metabox with powder coated metal boxes. There are more colors and higher grade wood options, ie walnut and bamboo. The wood finish is beautiful. The price point is definitely higher than Ikea, but the wood doors are of far superior quality... Their walnut doors are amazingly gorgeou in picture and in person. Check it out!

    Bookmark   June 11, 2010 at 9:26PM
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thank you all.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2010 at 10:34PM
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We have almost completed our Ikea Kitchen installation. We choose the White Abstrakt as we were going for the modern, contemporary and transitional look in our kitchen and house. I had contractors who assembled and have installed the cabinets. The great thing about Ikea is since we live about 25 min. away, if I were missing a piece I can just drive over there and get a replacement part easily. Also, if I had any problems with the cabinets whether a crack or anything else in the cabinet I can exchange it. That made it worthwhile. I so love the soft closing and full extension drawers. I am glad for the 25 yr. warranty. My previous cabinets were made from particleboard with real oak doors and drawers, contractor grade cabinets. They would have probably lasted longer, but it was already 21 years old. Didn't like the look. I love the Ikea cabinets style and couldn't really find that look in custom made cabinets made by local carpenters. The 25 yr. warranty does not hurt either. Also, the fact if I have a problem I can just head over to Ikea as opposed to having a carpenter come out and fix the problem or special order an item is pretty convenient. The other European brand cabinets with the same style would have been several times what I paid at Ikea....i.e. Bulthaup, or Poggenpohl, or another Italian brand which I forgot.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2010 at 12:51AM
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I put Ikea cabinets in my laundry room and we just finished a small Ikea kitchen in a guesthouse we wanted to make habitable for our daughter on the quick and on the cheap.

The stuff can be attractive and you definitely get a lot of cabinet for the money but you 1) have to make your design and use fit their templates and not make the space fit your demands and (and even WORSE) 2) you have to deal with Ikea. I HATE dealing with Ikea. It's a demeaning, non-responsive process and if you need to reach them you're SOOL.

We needed to change our delivery date. I could only reach their voicemail. They denied that I had called and charged me for what they advertised (at the time; it was a limited time promotion) as a free delivery.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2010 at 6:23PM
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I really like the ikea cabinetry we installed because the price was right and they are sturdy and well made - no complaints in that department. However - I feel like i settled on the cabinet faces since i wasn't in love with any of them. When i redo my cabinetry next, i'm going to use the Ikea boxes but go with a cabinet door alternative like the ones they have at http://www.modern-crafts.com

I like the sleekness of this product and on the samples i ordered, the finish is way nicer than the ikea wood cabinet doors.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2011 at 4:27PM
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