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Is Ikea for us?

Posted by sksgrad (My Page) on
Sat, Aug 18, 12 at 18:09

Hello Kithchen Forum!

I was a frequent visitor and poster in 2005-6 when we were re-doing our last kitchen...and it turned out beautifully thanks to all the help we got from you all! Unfortunately, we have moved (it is a good thing overall, but not from a kitchen perspective) and are resigning ourselves to going through the process of kitchen renovation again.

This brings me to the topic at hand. We loved our last remodel, but are looking to do a more basic one this time around as our new house is less formal and lends itself more to nice but basic (current house is a 1961 tri-level vs. last house which was an 1860s Victorian). We are thinking about Ikea for the cabinets but have several issues/problems. 1. We don't have a nearby Ikea location but are willing to take a one-time trip (300 miles each way) to check out options. 2. Although we don't need the formality of our old kitchen, we aren't fans of the ultra-modern look. 3. My husband is really not a fan of white cabinets (we really like a light maple look). 4. We are capable of easy DIY stuff, but nothing that requires a lot of skill. All that said, we know that Ikea is known for value and quality and that combination is quite appealing!

So, long question, short: Could we make Ikea work for us? If you have done a more traditional looking Ikea kitchen remodel, I would love to see pics!

Thanks in advance!!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Is Ikea for us?

I don't have picts for you. But I recently spent a few days visiting a friend who had done the whole kitchen in ikea. light wood finish. I had the opportunity to work and live in an ikea kitchen. I loved it. There were so many great options and it looked and functioned great. Even the appliances were ikea and I was surprised how quite the dishwasher was.

Prior to that visit I was kind of skeptical regarding ikea kitchens. But now I'm a fan.

I wish it would work for my space but I have a very small kitchen with too many measurements that don't fit into the ikea standard options. And I want white but don't want particle board doors.

The only thing you need to know about is that sometimes all of the pieces aren't in the box. I did all of my office furniture in ikea and there were a few screws missing here and there that required an extra trip. It was okay for me because my store is only about 7 miles away. 300 miles is something to consider, but maybe those parts could be shipped to you if you have the time.


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RE: Is Ikea for us?

Ikea is like lego: you can combine parts and make just about anything, so you really don't need to care so much about "fitting the standard ikea options." (Although if you want something like all 30" deep base cabinets it gets trickier, for sure.)

With custom doors and drawerfronts, you can create a lot of different looks. Vsalz's beautiful walnut kitchen is ikea, for example, with doors from cabinetnow.com.

Since ikea sells everything ala carte it's much more cost effective to do this with ikea cabinets than with other lines where you have to buy the whole cabinet and not just the box itself.

A lot of people don't like the door styles offered by ikea, but you have other options from companies like Scherrs, Advantage, Barker, maplecraftUSA, etc. It can cost about the same as using ikea doors, or a lot more, or sometimes less, depending on what you choose and what finishing options you select.

Here is a link that might be useful: walnut/quartzite kitchen


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RE: Is Ikea for us?

One problem you might run into is that unless you have a person really familiar with all the bits and pieces you will require for your kitchen, you will end up having to make more than one trip to IKEA.


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RE: Is Ikea for us?

I just bought ikea in the high gloss white but i have a modern style. At the store they had a display of the Adel Medium Brown and the upper cabs in the middle of the kitchen had glass inserts. The countertops were grey quartz. It looked fabulous and I would copy that look in a heartbeat if I wasn't doing modern. Our cabinetmaker said it takes 5 minutes to put the boxes together and we are to allow a 1 1/2 weeks to build and install.


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RE: Is Ikea for us?

Barker cabinets are better quality, easier to assemble, less expensive, come in sizes customizable in all dimensions to 1/4", and come with standard blum slow close glides and hinges. They offer many door styles and wood species and you can buy them unfinished, with a conversion varnish finish, or (in a week or two) white, if hubby changes his mind. It's a US company. Production time is 16 to 21 days.

Here is a link that might be useful: Barker


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RE: Is Ikea for us?

Thanks for all the input! We are just in the beginning stages of kitchen planning now and want to balance cost, quality, and ease. I wish we were closer to an Ikea so that we could take a closer look more easily.

I know the boxes are particle board but what about the doors? How do they stand up to moisture and general wear and tear?


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RE: Is Ikea for us?

Barker cabinets are less expensive than ikea? Really??

Bonnie


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RE: Is Ikea for us?

There are a few posters on GW that will say things like "Ikea is all show and no go" (I don't even know what that means) or "Ikea is junk particleboard" but the general consensus is that for the price point, Ikea is pretty darn good. Ikea's limited offerings can be a blessing or a curse - depending on your outlook.

Barker was more than Ikea when I priced them out, but maybe it depends on your configuration. In your shoes, I would suggest playing with Ikea's kitchen planner and coming up with a layout. Even if you ultimately decide not to use Ikea, this can be a helpful exercise in figuring out what you want and how to lay it out.

You can then take that layout and price it out with Ikea, Barker, your local big box store, and/or some local custom cabinet makers and see where you get the best bang for your buck in terms of materials, service, and ability to customize.

Since you're so far from Ikea, you might try giving them a call first and seeing how responsive your closest Ikea is to working with you on shipping any missing items, etc. I imagine that the service level varies from store to store like many chains.


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RE: Is Ikea for us?

Yep - shocking, isn't it? It doesn't look like it at first, but you get free shipping at Barker on orders over 3K, and 5% off on orders over 10K. It sounds like I work for them - I don't.

The biggest savings that it's hard to put a price on, is that since Barker is customizable in size, you can lay your kitchen out exactly as you want with no wasted space. Your layout doesn't have to conform to the size of their cabinets like it does at Ikea.

Here's how some base cabinets price out. These aren't perfect comparisons, as I'm pricing out top of the line Ikea (particle board with wood doors) and bottom of the line Barker, and these prices are for unfinished Barker cabs, whereas the Ikea cabs are finished at this price. But it's amazing to think that if you're willing to finish the cabinets yourself, you can have Barker quality at less than Ikea prices.

A 30" base cabinet with two doors and two drawers:
$311.98 with Beech doors at Ikea
$341.95 in paint grade Alder at Barker

A 12" full height base cabinet with two shelves:
$93 with beech doors at Ikea
$110 in paint grade Alder at Barker

A 36" wide four drawer base (two split top, two full width bottom):
$375 with beech doors at Ikea
$436 in paint grade Alder at Barker


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RE: Is Ikea for us?

Well then - it'a almost apples and oranges, as I'm not willing finish my cabinets (I already work at 1 1/2 jobs). Plus I want white painted doors and drawers, which I'm sure would be a good size upcharge from Barkers.

I'll likely get the ikea boxes. I **might** look at Barker for the doors/drawers, but I'm leaning towards Scherrs right now.

Bonnie


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RE: Is Ikea for us?

I've been considering IKEA since the start, as I am on a budget. After learning about Barkers, though, I hopped over and did a quick estimate. It's not a perfect estimate, but I did walnut cabinets/doors on the bottoms + pantry and included factory sealing. For the tops, I went paint grade but there were only 2 of them. I also indulged in 4 spice pullouts, which were spendy, and a tall pantry, along with garbage pullout with this fancy thing that makes it open if you just bump the door. The estimate came in about $9300 with no shipping cost(IKEA was running around 8K + shipping to Alaska).

Neither company can -seem- to create the small box cabinets I want over the sink, but I'm going to call Barkers and find out about that. They certainly have more customability and I liked that the interior shelves were 3/4" plywood.

What made the prices so close, though, is Barkers is having a HUGE sale. Many items were nearly 50% off. I plan to ask them how long this sale is going and how often they run them, because we are not really at a place to buy and I have no place to store.

I was impressed, though, with the sale prices and how much could be obtained for that price.


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RE: Is Ikea for us?

Another budget-minded lurker here. I love the concept of Ikea, especially since ours is close. But be forewarned, if you want painted white wood, it may be hard to get what you want. Most of the Ikea white doors are thermofoil; there is one (Lidingo) that is MDF with a polyester paint - the photos look great, but to me it feels way too similar to the cheezy thermofoil white I currently have. The only alternative for a white wood door is Ramsjo, which is really more of a whitewash. It has a kind of pinkish tone, and the paint has worn off the sample doors at the store near me where it has been handled frequently. Scherrs is an option of course but previous threads here have suggested that it substantially increases the price.

The other concern for me is that I have no DIY skills and only minimal time, and I haven't found a contractor who is eager to work with Ikea. (The recommended contractor that works with our local store had insane markups.) Of course every time I see one of the gorgeous Ikea kitchens here like Vsalz, I reconsider. I totally agree with the previous posters, though - it's worth checking it out and seeing how you might be able to use what Ikea has to offer. Note, though - their kitchen sale just ended... it seems to run a couple of times a year, so you might want to ask when it is due to come around again.


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RE: Is Ikea for us?

I was at a party this weekend...talking with a cabinet maker who makes high end cabinets for museum displays and such. I was surprised...shocked...amused to hear that he was installing an Ikea kitchen in his own home!


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RE: Is Ikea for us?

To give you an idea of the Barker prices for a finished cabinet in maple, the same 36" 4 drawer base, in their base shaker inset profile is pricing out for me at $621, including the upcharge for maple and for the clearcoat varnish/sealer.


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RE: Is Ikea for us?

>Most of the Ikea white doors are thermofoil;

Actually, the only thermofoil doors are Adel white and Abstrakt white (the glossy modern style door). Lidi, stat, applad, ramsjo, are painted. Although the polyester paint used on the ones other than ramsjo is not necessarily many people's ideal of what a painted finish should be.


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RE: Is Ikea for us?

EAM44 - you mentioned that Barker cabinets are easier to assemble...how much easier? I got a little spooked by a blog I came across that said they received 181 boxes of material from Ikea to assemble 16 cabinets!

I wish that GW had some Facebook features so I could thumbs up all the comments and let you all know that I appreciate the feedback...I'm reading it all and paying attention!


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RE: Is Ikea for us?

We just bought Ikea cabinets for our kitchen. They're not installed yet, but I've put together most of the frames and I've put together and installed full cabinets in our "office". They really are a piece of cake to assemble. We too got quotes for unfinished, arguably "better" quality cabinets that are fully customizable, and we did make a couple of concessions in our layout to be able to use Ikea without too much "hacking." The trade off is the time investment. As others have pointed out, to get the other brands for the same cost as Ikea, you need to finish them yourself. In our old house, my husband built all custom base cabinets and we bought boxes for uppers and doors for everything and he finished them himself inside and out. It was A LOT OF WORK, and after 4 years of renovating our house bit-by-bit, he was NOT interested in doing it again. We're already doing a lot of work adding windows and replacing doors and flooring etc. If you have the time and energy to do the finishing, something like Barker is probably a great choice. If you want to be able to install your cabinets in a few days, Ikea has a lot to recommend it.


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RE: Is Ikea for us?

sksgrad, there are a lot of packages - I think our 17 cabinet kitchen was 163 packages, but the modular way they set things up means that one cabinet might have a package for a frame, a package for the legs, a package for each drawer box, a package for each front, a package for each drawer damper, etc. But it's not hard to organize when it's all in front of you, and the actual assembly is very easy.


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RE: Is Ikea for us?

I installed Ikea Adel Birch cabinets in 2010 after a slab leak destroyed my existing solid wood custom cabinets. After 3 months of mold remediation and waiting for insurance settlement, I wanted a kitchen. I LOVE the Ikea kitchen. I am 63 y/o single woman with minimal DIY. The boxes were delivered and had all parts--no need to return to IKEA. I did the inventory and marked boxes well as we stacked them in the living room--IKEA delivery was patient with my OCD need to label in large letters.
I paid a $12 an hour handyman to assemble. Another handyman (not contractor) @ $20 did the install of boxes to assure level. It was a breeze and I could not be happier.


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RE: Is Ikea for us?

I just priced out the Barker Cabinets with the same specs as my Scherr's cabinetrs and the Barkers were almost exactly the same price. In case anybody wanted to compare. :) My Scherr's cabinets were very easy to assemble and very sturdy. Scherr's will also make doors for your IKEA boxes.

Here is a link that might be useful: Scherr's


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RE: Is Ikea for us?

Here's a link to a video of Barker assembly. It's so straight forward, no nailing guns like other rta cabinets, no 1000 pieces like Ikea. Also, Barker customer service is very, very highly reviewed.

http://www.barkercabinets.com/Cabinet-assembly-videos-s/85.htm

Even easier for you, if you want better quality and no assembly would be 6 square cabinets from a lot of places, but I always look at Cliqstudios. I routinely price my layouts with both Barker and Cliq, and it's always less expensive at Cliq. The cabinets are Chinese made, not as high quality as Barker, (the plywood is not as dense or thick as Barker's American plywood, but they're still better than Ikea's particle board), pre-assembled, and finished. There are fewer sizes and wood options, but for someone with multiple jobs they might be perfect. They routinely offer 15 - 20% off and have a design service that is free with order.

Here is a link that might be useful: Cliqstudios


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RE: Is Ikea for us?

I am really happy with both my Scherr's and IKEA cabinets. The Scherr's are in the kitchen and the IKEA in the garage and laundry area. The only reason I got the Scherr's in the kitchen is because I needed really odd sizes. I would have been happy to put IKEA in the kitchen if there was anyway to work with their sizes.

Also, I have never been missing any parts on any IKEA purchase I have made, be it cabinets or furniture. In fact, I always end up with extra stuff. If you use the IKEA planner for your design, you will get a printed list of everything you put in the design. It's all very efficient.


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RE: Is Ikea for us?

I'm happy with my Scherr's cabinets, which I chose for their ability to customize and to provide plywood. I would also be comfortable with Barker, or with Ikea cabs and Scherr's or Barker doors.


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RE: Is Ikea for us?

We love our Ikea kitchen. We had 113 boxes and spent around $3000. They are so easy to assemble. I love love the soft close doors and the drawers.


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RE: Is Ikea for us?

Mary9915 - love the pendant lights, the cabinets and the price tag!


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RE: Is Ikea for us?

I've been a lurker for many, many years here at GW and have never posted. We just completed our 3rd IKEA kitchen install. We could not be happier with the price tag, value for money, and look. We've gone with Adel white each time and paired the cabinets with non-IKEA lighting, non-IKEA counters, and other accessories to keep it from looking too predictable.

I don't want to say never, but I can't imagine a day when I would install anything but another IKEA kitchen. I'll post pics of our last 3 remodels in an hour or two.


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RE: Is Ikea for us?

I've been a lurker for many, many years here at GW and have never posted. We just completed our 3rd IKEA kitchen install. We could not be happier with the price tag, value for money, and look. We've gone with Adel white each time and paired the cabinets with non-IKEA lighting, non-IKEA counters, and other accessories to keep it from looking too predictable.

I don't want to say never, but I can't imagine a day when I would install anything but another IKEA kitchen. I'll post pics of our last 3 remodels in an hour or two.


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RE: Is Ikea for us?

I've been a lurker for many, many years here at GW and have never posted. We just completed our 3rd IKEA kitchen install. We could not be happier with the price tag, value for money, and look. We've gone with Adel white each time and paired the cabinets with non-IKEA lighting, non-IKEA counters, and other accessories to keep it from looking too predictable.

I don't want to say never, but I can't imagine a day when I would install anything but another IKEA kitchen. I'll post pics of our last 3 remodels in an hour or two.


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RE: Is Ikea for us?

We are in the process of installing our Ikea kitchen now. We're are anything but handy, so I thought I'd chime in. Building the cabinets was a breeze. I knocked them out in no time at all. Hanging them uses an easy system, though our old (read: crooked) house has complicated things a bit. In Ikea's defense though, most of the issues we are facing have been caused by either 1. Mistakes of the contractor or 2. My complicated ideas to "jazz up" the layout/trim. Those have caused a bit of extra measuring/moving of cabinets. As for the Ikea part, it has been easy.

We went with Ramsjo white cabinets, which I'll be repainting to the exact white I desire. The door choices are a bit limited, but we're getting SO MUCH more for our dollar than when we priced out cabinets at Lowes/HD. We've been happy with our Ikea purchase so far. I love the full extension drawers, the soft close features, the planning software you can use on your own, etc.

Downside? If you don't get it exactly right the first time, you might end up making lots of trips back and forth to the store. :) It takes us an hour to get to Ikea (in the city), so that's less than convenient.


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RE: Is Ikea for us?

My kitchen above is just one example of mixing ikea boxes with custom doors. All the details are in the attached thread, but the quick info is that my boxes cost around $1000 and my custom walnut doors were $1500. I can't imagine finding it cheaper anywhere else. This was my fifth kitchen remodel. I've used kraftmaid, thomasville, custom . . . I won't do anything but ikea again. The quality on the drawers is better than any other brand I have ever used.


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RE: Is Ikea for us?

Here are some pics of my more-traditional IKEA kitchen. They are from a few years ago when there were still some trim pieces missing, but you get the overall idea.

I did all IKEA boxes with custom doors from Advantage. We did make a few modifications to the cabs to make them fit my space and layout. But those were super-easy if you have any DIY experience at all. The island and rangehood are high-end custom QCC inset cabs that I got for a steal on Craigslist because some wealthy man's wife was redoing her (perfectly nice) kitchen over again.

I have been very happy with my IKEA cabs, and in fact, when I compare the drawers and doors with the ones on the QCC cabs, there is no comparison. The custom cabs look pretty, but the drawers are loud, not full-extension and very shallow (height-wise). My IKEA drawers are deep, full-extension, soft-closing, and sturdy. Same for the doors on the QCC cabs - they "ping" and shimmy a bit when I open them (probably b/c of the little magnet thing that clicks when they close). The doors with blum hardware on the IKEA cabs open easily, have the soft-close attachment, and I haven't had to make any adjustments to them since we installed them.

For the little money I spent on this kitchen, and for the amount of standard accessories (full-extension, inserts, etc) that you get on the IKEA interiors, I love my IKEA cabs. I have them in the laundry room also - those are with the Stat white Ikea doors, and I love those too.

All that being said, only you can decide if IKEA is worth the 5 hr drive. I built this kitchen slowly over time, with many many trips to IKEA (~ 30 min away) over months and years. But I never had to go back for an extra part or because they gave me the wrong thing. In fact, I still have oodles of extra parts hanging around the basement. If anything, IKEA gives you more, not less.

I also liked IKEA because I got to be in charge of the entire kitchen project: plan it, price it, purchase it, and install it all myself (with DH too of course). But it didn't require KDs or even IKEA staff. That may be overwhelming for some people. I think you have to be pretty detail-oriented (or anal-retentive as my DD likes to call me) to successfully pull off a completely DIY IKEA kitchen. Then again, if my only IKEA were 5 hrs away, I may have had to rethink it.

DSC_5387a

dsc_5339

DSC_5386a

DSC_5376b

Lots of trim still missing

Here is a link that might be useful: My IKEA Kitchen


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RE: Is Ikea for us?

Wow, vsalz & jenwrens...I'd be more than happy to hand over our kitchen design to you two - beautiful and enviable kitchens!!

Sadly, between the distance to Ikea and the DIY factor (especially if we wanted to get alternate doors, which we probably would), I think we are leaning away. A few years ago (pre-kid), we could have devoted a couple of weekends to day-trip to Ikea and assemble cabinets, but times have changed. Although, every time one of you show me pics of your cabinets and say they were only $3K, I start to lean back a little!

EAM44 - Cliqstudios actually looks pretty promising, especially with 20% off and no tax! Have you installed them? If so, would you say more about your experience? Thanks.


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RE: Is Ikea for us?

sksgrad, I haven't installed them. They get excellent customer reviews, they look beautiful, and info from GW is largely positive. The only negatives come from cabinet dealers who used to sell 6 square cabinets, and felt undersold by online vendors like Cliq. I want to find money in my current budget for Barker because I truly believe they are better cabinets, but everything else in my kitchen is getting more and more pricey, and Cliq is such a great value, and less work.


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RE: Is Ikea for us?

Search ikeafans website and also for gardenweb posts by Davidro.. Basically the point to keep in kind is that IKEA is like a parts catalog.. You do not buy a drawer.. You literally buy drawer slides+ drawer base+ drawer face. Don't worry.. You do not have to select this.. You just add a drawer to the lauout in the ikea planning software ...but the invoice will break it down to component parts. But this is important to understand as this will allow you to customize. You want 4 or 5 drawer stack and the IKEA planner does not do that..don't worry.. As long as the dimensions work out.. You can do it.. You can order all the internals and the cabinet box and get custom doors.. You can make a shallow drawer with a tall door. If you are reasonably DIY.. I suggest going to IKEA on a weekday when it is not crowded. Make sure you call ahead and confirm that their best kitchen person who can help you customize will be there. They will help you sort it out and give you the line item invoice to pay. The drawer slides are exact same as top quality BLUM. We really considered this but decided to not do it as we are not very handy and. Could not find anyone to do a custom IKEA kitchen in my area.. You should check out IKEAfans to see if there are any customizers or kitchen designers experienced with IKEA in your area.


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RE: Is Ikea for us?

Hey Steph2000!

I went to the Barker website and didn't see a sale. Am I missing it on the website or is it over?


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RE: Is Ikea for us?

I've got Cliq Studios cabinets on order, shipping later this week! We considered Ikea but its hours away and I wasn't happy with the white options. I'm using the painted linen for my uppers and tea leaf for my lowers.


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RE: Is Ikea for us?

Just wanted to say thanks for this valuable thread. I am in the process of planning out kitchen remodel, and we are going with Ikea cabinets. I had not considered doing a different door front though, which is an interesting idea that I will now have to investigate! The kitchens pictured above are all so lovely!

I also wanted to say that I'm only in the preliminary layout stages, and I've already been to Ikea 3 or 4 times. I find the software works much better at the store, and I like being able to get up and walk over to the displays while I'm laying things out. So given the distance factor, it might be difficult for you.


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RE: Is Ikea for us?

the Blum Tandembox drawers take a drawer fron of any height.

you buy the drawers you want, and you can add a drawer front of any height you want onto it.

Here is a link that might be useful: Use Ikea as a Parts Catalog


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RE: Is Ikea for us?

the Blum Tandembox drawers take a drawer fron of any height.

you buy the drawers you want, and you can add a drawer front of any height you want onto it.

Here is a link that might be useful: Use Ikea as a Parts Catalog


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RE: Is Ikea for us?

We just installed a high gloss white ikea cabinets. It's mainly lowers, and I plan on tiling a counter to ceiling backsplash with white subway tiles and then put a few floating shelves in.
However, I'm having a tough time decided on countertops. I thought I was 100% going for caesarstone - granite is way too traditional and reminds me of my italian family, and marble just won't hold up over time. however, i'm now feeling really torn - there are so many bad reviews out there for caesarstone. any thoughts?


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RE: Is Ikea for us?

@chonlover - Sorry! I just saw your question. I popped back over to the website, and it seems the sale is over. I see no signs of it, either. That's a shame, because many of the cabinets were 50% off. I have it on my list to contact them and plan to ask how often they run sales. I should re-do my estimate now and see how much the price went up...


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RE: Is Ikea for us?

Hi all,
We did an Ikea kitchen in a basement suite 9 years ago...was installed by Ikea staff in a day and has held up reasonably well to 'renter level' abuse - ie not your own stuff. We have noticed that the fibreboard boxes are getting a bit loose/blistery in a few places...mainly where there is lots of steam - under the kettle, beside the DW, beside the stove. You will have to guage whether this slow deterioration will occur in your kitchen and whether it is the result of renters or the cabinets. I believe it is a bit of both. To contrast, the old solid wood/plywood cabinets in the our existing kitchen (60 plus years old) have lots of dings/chips but have no fundamental deterioration.

For my current kitchen, I'm in the process of installing baker cabinets. They are excellent! The customer service is great and they can customize sizes beyond the huge variety shown on the website. Chad also looks to be adding new products and options all the time so if you want something that is not online, email him and he might just be working on it...this happened to me :-)

It also looks like they are adding more finishing options which might help you avoid too much DIY.

Caspian


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RE: Is Ikea for us?

Caspian - I'd love to see pics when you're done!! Steph, the Barker sale shows up in the order process. Click on base cabs, then choose the one you want. You'll see the sale price.


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