customizing Ikea drawers and door fronts

unixisgoodforyouAugust 16, 2011

I'm toying with the idea of going with Ikea cabinets and installing custom door fronts. I could go with the standard sized Ikea doors, or I could go with custom sized door fronts.

There are a few weird questions bouncing around that I haven't resolved with reading and searching in GardenWeb. There seems only to be two heights of drawers (3 1/8" and 6 3/4").

1. What's the shallowest (least tall door) that I can attach to the smaller drawer? I would like to use only the predrilled holes on the side of the cabinet. The answer seems to depend on that spacing.

2. What's the shallowest (least tall door) that I can attach to the larger drawer?

3. So how does one deal with putting really tall items into the talles drawers and stuff falling out? i.e. How to prevent tall cookie sheets (standing on tall end) from falling over the the short 6 3/4" side rails?

I'm trying to fully understand davidro1's comments about "I wonder how you could display on your site how people could optimize drawer volume (in ikea cabinets) because the ikea drawer spacing creates a fair amount of wasted space. Anyone who took a picture of the underside of the three drawers in an Ikea cabinet would have a strong case to make. If someone is getting custom drawer fronts made, NOW is the perfect time to change the heights of the drawers. Then they get more space inside their drawers."

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There are at least 3 drawer heights, because on the US website I see a 3-drawer and a 4-drawer cabinet, plus I know people have constructed a 5-drawer cabinet.

I think this article on will be very helpful. I think if you do go the Ikea route this site wil yield a lot of information, both on using Ikea as is, as on hacking and customizing.

HTH, Petra (happy owner of an Ikea kitchen)

Here is a link that might be useful: Cabinet and drawer measurements

    Bookmark   August 16, 2011 at 8:40AM
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Your questions confused me, so I am not sure how to answer. Ikeafans is a great resource for getting more info.

I have Ikea cabs and drawers and nothing has ever fallen out the sides. The weight of the item on its side should keep it from falling out. I use restaurant size cookie sheets, so don't think mine would fit to test the theory. If it helps, you can get the tray dividers and install them in the drawers if you think that is more secure.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2011 at 10:27AM
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Understand that if you only had Blum to look at, you would be farther ahead. Blum is the source of all things Ikea-ey in terms of Ikea's kitchen base cabinets, the Blum drawers that Ikea sells, and the drawer heights that ARE available to you when you merely install the raw un-doored drawer that you get when you buy an Ikea (Blum) drawer.

Drawer fronts are a different animal. The 3 sizes of Ikea drawers are not Blum-determined, Blum-decided, Blum-dictated. They are not Blum-ey. They are an ikea internal marketing committee decision. They are a bad choice for YOU but they are a good choice for the ikea marketing person who has to justify to the rest of ikea what to manufacture ship stock track and promote. If you were "ikea" you would sell a reduced set like this too. Do not buy these sizes. Unless they suit you.

Looking in Blum brochures and catalogs you may begin to see images of these OTHER size options you have.
Call Blum.
See Blum web site.
Act as if Blum were the only source.
Then, use Ikea as a dumb hardware store that gives dumb advice but has the item you'll buy.

In an ikea store, look underneath to see the overhang created when the three ikea standard size drawer fronts get clipped onto the Blum drawer. Then, look at the exact opposite: the aluminum internal drawer front (another ikea option).

unixisgoodforyou, it's fine to limit yourself to the 32mm spacing of the predrilled holes on thecabinet side. This spacing corresponds to the spacing that Blum drawers use. ((Again, consult Blum not ikea)). If you wanted to put a batch of the shallowest-possible drawers inside one cabinet, the middle ones would be about 3.5" in height. Call Blum and ask about this; it's not an Ikea question. Whether or not this will mean that your highest one will be 3.5"h or 3.75" or whatever will depend on details that you will see when you purchase a single "rraw" drawer and play with it. Also, it might depend on your countertop, or on the wood bracing inside the cabinet (which I removed, in my case, because the flat steel countertop frame is my cross-bracing).

Only Blum is Blum. No ikea employee is ever going to know as much as a Blum employee. Do not think about Ikea. Pretend Ikea does not exist; plan everything as though Blum were the only thing. At the last minute go buy the drawers at Ikea. End of story.

Here is an example of an ikea hardware search:
= Blum drawers and ikea drawer front (if you want a "front" of that height.
In the ikea search engine, i used keywords : rationell+deep

Here is the SHALLOW internal drawer front. It goes onto any M height Blum drawer (of the Tandembox type) which you might purchase from any other source of M height Tandembox by Blum.

Tandembox is roughly from pages 200 to 350 of the Blum bible.
Tandembox drawers come in heights N, M, B, K, etc.
It is more efficient to buy one Ikea drawer instead of reading catalogs.

There do exist some differences between some of the Blum Tandembox products and the Ikea version of Blum Tandembox. It might be good to know these differences. But it is not important yet. Now you are at the stage where you are planning height(s). There are no differences in terms of drawer heights or slider mechanisms. In the unadorned "raw" drawer.

A "raw" drawer purchased at Ikea is a kit containing many Blum parts and no other parts from any other company.
Onto a drawer you can attach ANY size drawer front, made by anyone.It could overhang or it could be sized "just right".

When you buy the drawer at Ikea, it comes with the attaching clips that will hold a drawer front onto it. It's a kit.
When you order Blum parts from any supplier of Blum parts, you can order these clips separately.
There are millions of these clips available for free in the "As-Is" section of Ikea because the clips are unnecessary when you attach the internal drawer front.

Here is a link that might be useful: SHALLOW internal drawer front that goes onto a Blum M

    Bookmark   August 16, 2011 at 10:31AM
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Just wanted to correct one thing d-ro mentioned. The clips that attach the drawer front to the drawer do come with the drawer, not the front.

Other than that, go with the advice above. Or, just use the standard "Ikea" sizes and go with with it. they have 3 size of drawer fronts and 2 sizes of drawers. The M and L fronts both go on the "deep" drawer.

I recently redid my kitchen with ikea cabs and drawers but purchased fronts and other stuff elsewhere. Worked out beautifully. Took a bit of patience to drill the necessary holes etc... but well worth it for the style we wanted.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2011 at 11:16AM
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"The clips that attach the drawer front to the drawer do come with the drawer, not the front."
"... buy the drawer at Ikea, it comes with the attaching clips.... It's a kit. "
= yes, correct.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2011 at 1:04PM
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My apologies d-ro. Guess I read it wrong.

Any pictures of your sink plumbing yet? :)

    Bookmark   August 16, 2011 at 1:15PM
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Davidro1: Thanks for your detailed reply. I think I need to read and re-read your replies, as my reading comprehension is off. :-) :-)

I have now gone to the Blum web site and downloaded the Blum Catalogue under the area "Blum for cabinet makers". That should improve my understanding about what Blum hardware. I *finally* get what you mean by "using Ikea as a hardware store" for Blum stuff.

dianalo: I guess I am used to having a tall/deep drawer with the same height walls on all sides of the drawer. I'm trying to picture what happens if I have a 12" tall drawer front, and then 6 3/4" sides. I was thinking it looked funny and stuff would fall out the sides.

Petra66: (What I am about to say is based on what I read from the Ikea web site, not reality, like what you have in your actual kitchen.) I went to the Ikea web site and looked at the 3 and 4 drawer cabinets they sell. I at looked at the assembly instructions for both. There are only two types of install instructions (one for 301.070.66 for the shallow / short drawer and one for 401.070.80 for the tall drawer).

This leads me to believe that the four drawer is composed of three shallow drawers and one tall drawer. I believe that the three drawer is composed of one shallow drawer, and two tall drawers. Note that I am writing only about the drawers themselves, not the drawer fronts.

Davidro1: When I go to the the Ikea Hardware Store to buy the shorter raw drawer (301.070.66) and the taller raw drawer (401.070.80), what is the corresponding Blum size? (I think you mentioned size M for the shorter one, but I wanted confirmation for both sizes.)

Thanks for all your help. I'm still a confused Ikea kitchen planner. :-)

    Bookmark   August 16, 2011 at 2:46PM
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You are partly correct: the 4 drawer stack has 3 small drawers and one tall drawer.
The three drawer has one shallow drawer and two tall drawers - however one is deeper than the other.

I have pots and bowls stacked in mine, and have never had anything fall through the gap at the sides.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2011 at 3:43PM
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The tall drawer is also an M. Cute round bars run from the drawer front to the drawer's back panel. These bars are physically necessary. They are functional not decorative.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2011 at 3:54PM
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Having 6 3/4" high side bars is very good. Nothing falls out. Drawers don't create any side to side movement, so nothing even tries falling out.

The reason why "one is deeper than the other" in the Ikea-bought unit is because the drawer fronts were made that way (different sizes) by Ikea. It's still the same M height Blum drawer in both cases, with the side rails (round bars) at the same height.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2011 at 4:17PM
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A nice option for you might be custom door fronts from I ordered a couple of samples from them and they are really beautiful. I haven't ordered the full kitchen yet but their website says that you just get the cabinets and hardware from ikea and the holes are already in the custom door fronts and ready to install as if you got the full set-up from Ikea. I'd be interested to know if you get this how easy the installation is.

Here is a link that might be useful: Modern-Crafts

    Bookmark   November 1, 2011 at 11:30PM
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