Ikea cabinets-would love some feedback...

geomegNovember 23, 2012

Hi everyone,

I've started looking at Ikea cabinets again. I was planning to use a custom cabinet maker but it hasn't worked out so now I'm looking at other options.. I've been toying with the Ikea idea...

Has anyone used them here and if so how was your experience?

My kitchen is really tiny and my ceiling is only 92" high so I don't think I could use the 39" upper cabinets which is an issue for me.

I was hoping to have cabinets to the ceiling which the 30" uppers won't be...

Any insight?

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Installed Ikea cabinets after a slab leak and unplanned kitchen demo/renovation. Had also planned on custom, but long story short went with IKEA. That was Oct 2010 and not a week goes by that I don't pat myself on the back for such a good decision. The cabinets and drawers are attractive, durable and easy to install. This house includes several who are not gentle and my cabinets show no wear at all. My neighbor had custom cherry cabs installed at the same time as mine they show wear on the drawer edges and piano hinged corner cabinets. They paid more than 4X what I did.

If you can't find the fronts in color/style you like, a number of people have used IKEA boxes and other doors with great success. No regrets here.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2012 at 9:54PM
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doesn't Ikea have 39" uppers? you would need to maybe put in shorter counter height and maybe only 17" between counter and bottom of the uppers to allow for a few inches for trim at the top.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 12:43AM
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Maybe do an undershelf? Still place the 30" cabinets at the ceiling and put a 7-8" deep open shelf underneath. It's 2/3 of the storage.

We custom ordered doors from Scherrs. Doing that, I could easily cut the 39" wall cabinets down to 36" tall, buying the doors to match the new configuration.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 1:32AM
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IKEA in my last home:

This photo is of a 7 year old kitchen, the door style is no longer available. The kitchen was tiny, 9' wide by about 11' that I opened into a dining room to make it more functional. The ceiling was slightly less than 8' in some areas, very sloped, and as you can see, the uppers went within an inch or two to the ceiling. I set the bases higher than usual, and the space under the cabinets after 2" light molding was about 17" which was adequate, but not generous. It was a very functional layout, I cooked and baked several times a week, and the cabinets interiors were pristine when I sold the house. No failed hardware, no chipped laminate inside the cabinet boxes where pots/pans/knives were stored and I never lined a shelf or a drawer in this kitchen. The shelf where I stored oils cleaned up with soap and water with no residual yellowing or gumminess. Cabinet fronts had a tough baked on finish that cleaned with soap and water, or BONA finished wood spray and a towel and were not streaky. The cabinet doors did occasionally scratch, though not in a way that was not to be expected from wood, and I tried several brands of brown children's markers and found the brand that matched best, and kept a few in one of the cabinets so when I cleaned and noticed a scratch, I could fill it in. Though I did use the 39" uppers, you should know that I rarely used the things stored on the highest shelves and didn't really know what was on some shelves until I moved because the shelves were too high for me, or my over 6' relatives without using a chair. I was mounting to old cracking plaster with irregularly spaced studs on a very sloped floor so I screwed a leveled 2x4 to the bottom of the wall where the bottom of the base boxes were to rest, and a 1x4 behind where the top of the base boxes were to be and used the IKEA provided screws to mount the base box brackets to the 1x4. It was very sturdy when done and the granite guys were appreciative and had no issues with installation. The cabinets are trimmed out in standard end panels, and the peninsula has a 3'x8' panel trimmed to cover it. The store associates drew pictures for me to show me how to use the trim they provided. I had a miter saw that I rented for the day for the light rail, and used a jigsaw for the rest with a laminate blade and masking tape to prevent pulling the veneer off when cutting.

What is different today compared to when I bought the 2004 kitchen is the boxes above were made in Germany and now they are made in the US. I put in IKEA boxes in my new house and the quality is the same, as far as I can see. The door fronts above were made in Spain and now they are made in the US. The hinges and drawer hardware are still German Blum, but now soft close is included in the price, though you can purchase the soft close pieces separately, and take them off your order if you wish. The new version of the lazy susan is an improvement over the old one. I loved the appearance of the slim door pulls visually, but functionally, the ends were square and things used to get caught on them as I went by, but that is not an IKEA issue, per se.

IKEA 39 CABINETS ARE 39 1/8. If you ceilings are 92 and you are set on 39, you can fudge the bases down a bit and still have 17" below uppers to the counter tops. As long as you guys aren't tall, you maybe ok with this as most appliances are under 16. I do not recommend this, I would personally go with the 30" boxes mounted higher and then extend the molding to the ceiling, I think this would give the room more visual height, but there are designers on this site that could give you the best insight for how to do this.

I have had three IKEA kitchens now with various levels of customization, and I would say that if you can use the boxes they have, it is the best deal, and if you can find a door front you like, the deal gets even better. There are enough panel sizes available to customize with.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 9:05AM
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Ikea in my last home:

Kitchen was about 7 years old in those pics. We had no issues with the cabinets, doors or drawers. The sort of "island" where the columns come down was made from base cabs covered in cover panels. The built in tale and bar area was ikea butcherblock comntertop with custom supports engineered by my mechanical engineer father in law. I swear we could have built a whole nother house on top of that table...

The ceiling height issue can be dealt with several ways. Like someone already said, if you use custom door fronts you can cut down the 39" wall cabs to whatever height you want. You could get the taller uppers and reduce the light rail height and get very low profile UCLs or eliminate them entirely to increase the space between the countertop and uppers. And choose a thinner countertop material. And plan for a tiny molding at the ceiling. I personally like the idea of using the 30" wall cabs installed higher with nice moldings to the ceiling and small under cabinet shelf for mugs and whatnot. There is a display at the West Chester Ikea like this. They used a long stainless shelf (Limhamn I think) minted about 7" below the cabinets and put mugs and small bowls on it. You could also use other storage solutions on the taller backsplash like a magnetic knife rack or a rail system like I used above to hang kitchen tools from.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 12:16PM
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long stainless shelf for this purpose can also be MARGINAL

    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 11:31PM
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Below is my link to a really long thread about my ikea walnut kitchen. Dh and I did all the work ourselves. I think I even break down costs and give info on the doors. I will only do ikea in any future renovation.

Here is a link that might be useful: Vsalz kitchen

    Bookmark   November 28, 2012 at 7:13PM
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I love Ikea, but I find their white cabinets look especially plastic-y. Then I found the Ramsjo, which is solid birch painted white. They didn't have it on display in the store, just a sample door on the wall. I bought a cabinet door to take home and found that it has a distinct pink tone to it.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 10:15AM
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