FAQ + HONEST THOUGHTS ABOUT IKEA CABINETS
We were planning our kitchen remodel and we asked my brother (who happens to be an incredible carpenter and kitchen guy) to give us a rough estimate for the cabinetry we were looking at. After a couple weeks we got an email back and at the bottom it said $10,000 for the cabinets alone. I wasn't shocked because custom cabinetry is always $$$ but I knew that if we put $10K into the cabinets we could easily put another $10K-$15K into the countertops, appliances, flooring, finishes, and labor. We were never going to be able to afford that price tag. So back to square one we went.
We couldn't afford custom cabinetry but we also had a specific style in mind. We knew Ikea sold kitchen cabinetry but honestly we didn't even give it a thought because we assumed the quality of their cabinets would be similar to the rest of their extremely affordable furniture. But after exhausting all our options, we found ourselves at Ikea. Needless to say, we found the EXACT style of cabinetry we were hoping for and we purchased our semi-custom kitchen just a few months later.
We've now had our Ikea kitchen for 5 months (update: 1 1/2 years) so I think it's time to answer the most common questions we get asked and share the pros and cons to Ikea cabinets!
ARE IKEA KITCHEN CABINETS GOOD QUALITY?
Yes and no. Ikea carries a bunch of cabinetry styles which all range in quality. They carry several low end (and extremely cheap) cabinet doors that are essentially pressed plywood with a patterned wallpaper stuck over top. Some of their cabinet doors that appear to be wood are this way. I know this because we lived in an apartment that had Ikea cabinet doors and the sticky "wallpaper" started peeling off just 12 months after getting installed.
If you stay away from the wallpaper cabinet doors you're going to see much higher quality doors. The Kungsbacka doors (which we chose for our kitchen) are an excellent door. They are made of several different recycled materials making them Ikea's most eco-friendly kitchen. The outer material is also really durable and sealed properly so we won't have to deal with peeling down the road.
The last aspect of quality that I want to address is the hardware (hinges, drawer slides, etc). Again, there's a range of quality in what Ikea offers and I highly recommend their highest quality hardware. It's worth the money because their low end hinges and slides will cheapen the overall look and feel of your kitchen. Not to mention they are more prone to breaking. We got the high end soft close on all our drawers and doors which is a must in my opinion. My brother even mentioned that Ikea's high end hardware is the same that he uses in his custom kitchen jobs. So props to Ikea for getting that right!
CAN YOU CUSTOMIZE YOUR IKEA CABINETS?
Yes!! This is one of the biggest reasons we fell in love with Ikea kitchens! Chris found their free online CAD "Home Planner" program that is extremely easy to use. We measured the space we were working with and input the dimensions in their program. From there we were able to completely design and customize the layout, style, and storage options for our space using the many products they offer. We created our kitchen in one night! That's HUGE!!!
They have a TON of storage styles so if you need a particular storage solution, most likely Ikea has an option for you.
One thing that I should note is that there are companies that make custom doors that fit on Ikea cabinets. So if Ikea doesn't make a style of door that you like, you can work with an outside company like semihandmade to get door fronts that fit your style.
CAN YOU GET HELP DESIGNING YOUR KITCHEN?
Absolutely! Ikea has a handful of people in store who are able to help you design your kitchen on the spot for FREE! In our case, we designed our kitchen ourselves but we wanted to make sure everything looked right in their eyes. I'm SO GLAD we had them verify our plans because there were a handful of things we missed that they knew were important. Again, they do all of this for free so it's worth paying them a visit.
HOW MUCH DOES AN IKEA KITCHEN COST?
Like I said above, there's a range of quality so naturally there's going to be a range in price. We got one of the more expensive styles they offer and we were working with a fairly large space. Our cabinets and hardware cost us around $3,500. Of course the price will vary greatly depending on the style of door you choose, the storage options you prefer, and the overall layout you want so you'll need to design your own kitchen with one of Ikea's kitchen experts to get a more accurate cost estimate.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET YOUR CABINETS?
This is going to blow your mind...you can take home your cabinets the SAME DAY you order them! (Go ahead and gasp now!) Crazy right?! We ordered our kitchen in store, their staff compiled all the pieces we ordered in their warehouse, and within 2 hours we were driving away with our kitchen.
There is a catch though. Ikea does their best to make sure they have all the pieces in stock, but sometimes they'll be sold out of certain things. If this happens, you'll need to take home what you can and come back for the rest once it all arrives. This happened to us. We had all the pieces except for 5 or 6 parts (a few doors, some drawers, and a side panel). Unfortunately for us we live 3 hours away from the closest Ikea so we had to make an extra trip. BUT if you go into it prepared to make 2-3 trips you won't be disappointed.
DO YOU HAVE TO ASSEMBLE THE CABINETS?
Yep! Just like the furniture you buy from Ikea, you're given a booklet of instructions on how to build each cabinet step by step. The positive of this is that everything is packaged flat in boxes so transporting them is much easier. We easily fit all the kitchen cabinets in our trailer with plenty of room to spare. The downside is that once you get home you have to build each one.
I will say that after a while we got used to it and it kind of became fun! It does take a bit of time to assemble each one though so plan on that.
DO THE BLACK CABINETS SCRATCH OR SMUDGE EASILY?
Before ordering our cabinets, we were a little concerned about how easily the black finish would show scratches. I am pleased to report that after 1 1/2 years we don’t have a single scratch on our cabinets! And there have been multiple instances where I was sure we would’ve left a scratch.
As far as smudges, yes, the black cabinets do show smudges over time from greasy fingers. Although I think any black cabinet would do this…not just Ikea cabinets. We’ve found the best way to get rid of smudges is by wiping down the cabinets with a damp, soapy rag. We don’t do this often (maybe once a month at best) but it always cleans them up well.
Ok now let's break it down.
Customizable cabinetry and layout options available
Many high quality door styles available
You can design your kitchen yourself online or in store
Free consultations available
Ikea offers 15% off all kitchens 3-4 times a year so you can plan to order when they're offering a sale
You can take home the cabinets the same day you order them
Their cabinets are easy to hang with their unique rail system. (Instructions are extremely helpful in their booklets)
Ikea cabinets cost 1/3 of the price of custom cabinetry
Incredible storage options available - Go to an Ikea store and open every kitchen cabinet door/drawer. Trust me you'll be amazed at the unique storage options available!
Some cabinet doors are low quality so be sure you pick a higher quality door before ordering
You have to assemble each cabinet
If they don't have all the cabinets in stock, you have to go back to pick them up at a later date
Overall I am really impressed with our cabinetry, the quality, and our experience with Ikea. In fact, I would most definitely install another Ikea kitchen in our next home. The main thing to remember is to research and know the quality of the door you're ordering. Check in with an Ikea kitchen expert to make sure your plans are good to go and set aside a day or two to assemble your cabinets! If you have any more questions about Ikea cabinetry, ask away in the comments below!
P.S. This post is not endorsed by Ikea in any way! I just wanted to share my honest thoughts. I hope it was helpful!
Until next time,
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