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Thoughts on Ikea

plinko
10 years ago

Let me preface this by saying that we have Ikea in every room of house and we redid a bathroom with Ikea. We love Ikea but not their kitchens. The comments I have read here about wanting to like Ikea kitchens but always being disappointed really hits home with us.

Here are reasons why are not liking what we are finding in our research of Ikea kitchens. We plan to do a remodel soon.

1. Warranty could be handled by third party and Ikea or this third party (who?) reserves the right to reject *any* claim. With cabinets (and all the grey area that comes with them), that is not a warranty.

2. Inners of cabinets do not match outer doors. Doesn't look good. Need to hire a carpenter to find matching veneer and modify unless you get the birch doors.

3. Quality? I keep reading there is no diff in quality at Ikeafans and elsewhere. Huh? Plywood inners and dovetail joints are vastly superior and so are solid wood backings. Yes, they are more expensive. I have read a lot of comments in my research and I am dumbfounded by the statements that put Ikea on same level of quality. If any moisture gets in these Ikea cabinets, the mdf or particle board will expand and ruin the cabinets. I sometimes wonder if anyone has ever looked at solid wood cabinets (not doors, the whole thing).

4. Veneer and door finishing looks cheap. But the Ikea style is what we love. Mixed bag here. We dinged a cabinet door in the store by accident and were surprised how easily a mark could be made (solid wood door). Finish tones are inconsistent.

5. Have to hire a carpenter anyways to do finishing, filler, and custom pieces needed. No small triangular or other non standard cabinets offered by Ikea...just square/rectangular boxes. We want to do a couple triangular filler pieces and we won't be able to get large enough pieces cannibalized from Ikea cabinets. Kraftmaid offers cabinets for this area.

6. Their software sucks. Nice that it is open to end user...big ups for that but it is a PIA to use.

7. Did you order everything needed? Do they have everything in stock? How long to wait for the out of stock pieces? Will they ship to you (likely not)? Will you buy a kitchen that will no longer be made? I have no idea. End user can mitigate some of this by tracking and painstaking work but there will always be some aspect of mystery regarding their products and their availability. If a store rep says "It will be here in two weeks", this means "I have no idea".

8. Store displays. Here in Pittsburgh, we no longer think the store has anyone who knows how to assemble Ikea products. We are not sure if that is how the kitchens will look or if it was just bad assembly or wear. One example: large gaps in between cabinet doors.

Definite positives: the hardware rules but some of these wire baskets and lazy susans look flimsy. Maybe flimsy is good in that area (light). The method of hanging the cabinets is a big draw and makes that bit easy.

We still dunno what we are going to do. The price is indeed tempting.

Thanks for reading and great thread and forums here.

Paul

Comments (32)

  • plinko
    Original Author
    10 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    also wanted to add...we are very open to having our minds changed. we would like to be convinced otherwise. cheers and have a great day.

    Paul

  • doggonegardener
    10 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Not at all being mean here or flaming you but it sounds as if you already have your mind made up, and that can be a good thing. Honestly, I don't really see the point of your post as it seems as if you have read many IKEA related threads here that support the product so you have probably already read the reasons that users have gone with the choice they made. I did not go IKEA since there is no store close to me but we did SERIOUSLY consider them (I would have had to drive 9 hours to the IKEA in Utah). If plywood boxes and dovetail construction are important to you then by all means, do select another brand. If box size selection is important to you then IKEA is probably not a good choice either since they tend to have very modular sizes that you do need to work around into your design very wisely. Yes, their software SUCKS but that's also not the only way to layout a kitchen design and from our perspective, Midcontinent (our line) didn't offer ANYTHING to layout with until you were instore sitting with the "designer". (instead I used Photoshop for mock ups). Really what it boils down to is getting all the info and making the right choice for YOU! IKEA works great for some people and they will swear by it, others not so much. That's the soup to nuts on that topic.

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  • dianalo
    10 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I'll try to respond to your post item by item.

    The "always" being disappointed with IKEA kitchens was by a few people. Obviously, people are not "always" disappointed, but individuals can be. I think if you search IKEA on this forum, you will find many people who have used IKEA and are happy with them. The ones mentioning being "always disappointed" were not the people living with IKEA kitchens for the most part.

    1. IKEA has always been honorable about returns in my experience. They have been open in our area for over 20 years. I have not heard otherwise from anyone.

    2. My cabs will be white, therefore inners do match doors. For others, this may be a concern, but I do not leave the doors hanging open in general practice, so when taking into account the price difference, I can't see spending thousands more (in our case $13,500 to next nearest quote) because the insides are not an exact match to exterior doors. Even if we chose another color door in the style we are getting, the insides would have been white from other cab companies.

    3. If my sink cab gets ruined by water, I can replace it (keeping in mind the $13,500 savings, I could still be way ahead). My other cabs are not in danger. If there were a flood in the kitchen, my cabs are several inches off the floor. If the water were high enough to be a factor, I think any cabs would be ruined. BTW - I bought water "alarms" to place under my fridge, dw, sink and washer prior to knowing I'd be ordering IKEA. If something were to leak, I will hopefully know right away. They cost less than $10 a piece.
    The average kitchen will probably be replaced within 30 years or so. If I put the cost savings in an interest bearing account for 30 years, I'd have the money for the next cabs, or most of it, sitting in wait. If I went with another full set of IKEA cabs in 10 years for the heck of it, I'd probably only be using half of the savings. I could change the doors to have a whole new look for much less (not that I plan on either!).

    4. I compared the IKEA cabs we bought to the other fairly expensive cabs we had been shopping and did not find a difference in door quality whatsoever. We wanted slab front white cabs and compared apples to apples. If one does not love the IKEA doors, there are plenty of places to get doors to use and still be way ahead since using IKEA boxes. If you are not into the look of an IKEA door, then that is s style issue and not a quality issue. I also would not consider the IKEA cab line that is much lower than the others. It is meant for different applications such as a break room in an office or small rental kitchen.

    5. The IKEA recommended company is doing our install and assembly. We need 2 fillers on our island because our stove is 37.5" wide and the cabs on the back need an extra 1.5" to make it even with the front side (2- 3/4" fillers). We are having it all done for us and the cost with installation is still almost $10k less than cabs alone with the next cheapest quote. I designed within their parameters of sizes. It was a little more complicated but the end result is not a compromise as I was able to figure it to how I wanted it.

    6. Their software was a PIA to get the hang of, but it was invaluable as seeing things in 2D and 3D gave us different perspectives and helped to get a better feel for things. We also could see immediately how the price changed with different options. We made changes based on seeing the 3D that we may not have if we only had an aerial and front view shot. If you can have someone with experience get you going with the software that would be great. I used the newest version when it was brand new and found that the first time I went to the store and used it there, I was actually giving the kitchen guy pointers with it. Since then, they are well versed with it and have shown me things. I love how you can go there and work on it with them and there is no KD fee. They can fix your saved program and re-save it for you.

    7. I can't answer #7 about what is in stock since we have not gotten our cabs yet, but they will ship to us and since we ordered in advance, I am guessing they will have it all in stock. It is all computerized so they know what they need for my order. I have heard no more complaints on the board about stuff not being on time or damaged at time of delivery from IKEA than from other companies. I imagine you are not trying to hold them to perfection because no company can promise that. The real upside is if something were to be damaged, it is likely that you are able to get a replacement much faster than most of the cab companies out there. If door styles change, you can get all new doors and still be well ahead. It also won't matter much if door styles change unless you want to add cabs or damage one. I don't know if an IKEA employee promised you 2 weeks and did not deliver, but it sounds like you never ordered an IKEA kitchen. Also, any one employee anywhere can be a dud or make a mistake.

    8. In NY, our display kitchens are awesome. I am amazed at how they hold up to the crazy amounts of people banging on them. I can't imagine other IKEAs being busier than ours. Next time you are in IKEA, ask the kitchen people how many people shop there in a year, then decide if the kitchens are sturdy enough... Our display kitchens are the exact same ones as when we first saw them 4 years ago. I don't know when they were installed, but they look like new for the most part. I did notice some marker on a counter, but that is the same brand name material as if you bought it elsewhere and may be removable for all I know.

    I'd like to add a #9

    9. We ordered our Corian in Rain Cloud (an upgrade pattern) from IKEA and with the promotion they had going, it ran us approx $40 a square foot, installed (no tax). Our total kitchen (cabs & counter, including installation of both) came out to approx $10k vs the $17,500 which was the cab cost from the next 2 lowest places, not installed. on the high end, we were quoted $35k from a kitchen place for our cabs. We ordered the same square footage of cabs from IKEA as from the other places.

    I was skeptical before looking into IKEA kitchens as I always thought of their stuff being college kid or young adult kind of things. I had bought accessories there and a computer desk prior. I did not expect to like them as much as I do, nor to see such a price difference. I'd pay twice what I am paying and still choose them. Just don't tell them that!

  • rococogurl
    10 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    For the price nothing can compete with Ikea cabinets.

    However, it is folly to try to compare them to all-wood cabinets at 4, 5, 6 times the price. They are mdf, manufactured in China, calibrated for metrics, limited in terms of pieces in some styles, standardized carcasses with modular doors and require specialized installation. Certain styles are more or less equivalent to the manufacture of cabinets costing much, much more.

    If someone has a family that is hard on the house they will not hold up as long or as well plywood cabinets. The mdf doors don't hold screws as well as wood and yes, a flood can cause delamination.

    The challenge with Ikea is getting someone in one of the stores to put the package together for you after you've made decisions and organize the order. They do ship. They shipped to me -- though you'd need to double check. They didn't have the stock in the specific store to let us load everything into the back of a truck. So they had to ship. This may depend on where you're buying.

    My mudroom cabinets have held up well. They don't get heavy use. I've had a flood in the sink cabinet and it didn't delaminate. There are small gaps in the door -- this is what you get for the price and while some adjustments can be made, there is a certain degree of acceptance needed.

    I personally preferred the Ikea to the Kraftmaid cabinets I saw. Not to say there's anything wrong with Kraftmaid or any other brand that uses mdf doors. My preference.

    My carcasses are white laminate inside. I have stainless wrap and glass doors. No need to repaint. The insides of the stainless doors don't match the outside. But again, for what they cost, I accept that. If I wanted full stainless doors it would have been ten times the price or more.

    Doesn't sound from your post that you like them. So my suggestion would to try to find something that is cost-effective but more to your standards. Ikea falls at the bottom of the price range but offers decent quality and value.

  • davidro1
    10 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    it's all been said. amen. get the free delivery.

  • artemis78
    10 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    For what it's worth, IKEA cabinets for the U.S. market are now made in the U.S., not in China (except for some doors/drawers which come from various places around the globe, often Europe---they say on the boxes where they're from). That was one of the big pluses for us when we were looking, since we were looking at overall footprint of materials.

    We looked long and hard at IKEA, liked them in general, and only opted to go custom because we lucked out and found a cabinetmaker who could do it for not much more $$ than IKEA. I did talk with a family member who's a retired cabinet and furniture maker, too. His view was, as rococogurl said, IKEA is the best dollar-for-dollar value out there, and superior to "big box" particle board/MDF cabinets because the hardware is much better. (He also thinks other IKEA furniture is lousy, so that says something.) You need to compare apples to apples, though; to get plywood boxes and all wood drawers, you will pay more. (IKEA's drawers are a version of Blum Tandembox, though, which is an upgrade for many modern lines---so it's not like they're just cheap-o plastic.) The question is not whether IKEA cabinets are better than custom wood cabinets that will cost many thousands more, but whether they're better than the big box cabinet brands that will be in the same price range, none of which have plywood boxes or dovetail joints unless you upgrade (and sometimes not even then, if it's not an option).

    My parents have them in their mudroom too, and have been happy with them. They've actually said that in retrospect they might have considered them for the kitchen, too---it got higher end wood semi-custom cabinets that have had problems with humidity and weather that didn't bother the IKEA cabinets. So there are pros and cons to MDF/particle board, too. They've had some water spills but thus far no damage to the cabinet boxes. If you're worried about this, though, you can either caulk any exposed edges (which is the main issue with MDF/particle board absorbing water) or use a plywood box for that one cabinet, which is what we'd planned to do for ours had we gone the IKEA route.

    To the OP, some of the things on your list there are covered over on IKEAfans, like matching the edging to the doors. When we were looking at them, we planned to order custom doors, too, since we didn't like any of the door styles too much--so that's an option, too. We looked at Scherr's, where they sell edge banding to match the finish on the doors you buy, and where they know IKEA dimensions well.

    I know folks who've used the warranty and had no problems with it. BUT---it only covers the cabinets, not any costs incurred by removing and replacing the cabinet (like getting a counter off if you need to do so). True of most cabinet warranties, I imagine, but something to consider---still valuable for the doors/drawer fronts where things are easily replaced, though.

    The custom pieces are an issue, and that was what made our decision in the end. We needed funny sizes, and while you can absolutely hack IKEA cabinets to get them---just go check out IKEAFans for ideas of what's possible---we didn't want to do the whole kitchen that way. It's also possible to mix and match if you're ordering custom doors; we looked at having Scherr's build a couple of cabinets and all of the doors, which would have saved us a lot over having Scherr's build everything.

    Wonky floor displays is likely installer issues and/or extra wear those get. We were just at a friend's home with six-year-old IKEA cabinets last night and I was checking them out (because we're mid-remodel so I kitchen stalk now...) and they looked to be in great shape, even with toddlers in the house. They used one of the Adel stained doors, I think.

    Finishes can vary a bit---though IKEA does quality control for that. They can change a lot if you get them in different years, because they sometimes change suppliers and "discontinue" a finish only to have it back a few months later in a slightly new color. Many people buy a couple extra doors and drawer fronts to have on hand, which seems like a smart plan.

    Finally, I have heard that there can be issues with getting all the pieces you need in one fell swoop, so I don't think I'd go the IKEA route if I lived far away from one. But I don't---our IKEA is a five-minute car trip away, so it wasn't particularly daunting to have to make multiple trips. (Now, the return lines are another story...)

    HTH!

  • mindstorm
    10 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I agree with plinko and rococogurl. You've done your homework and IKEA doesn't seem like it fits the bill for you. What would you like from your reading public?

    The only thing I find odd is that you say that you've got IKEA all over the house and that you love it but hte kitchens are junk. I have exactly the opposite point of view. I don't care for their furniture as it seems to be mostly soft new-growth pine which is too soft to hold up to pressures and won't keep the screws in - you don't like MDF? Soft pine is *MUCH* worse. The consensus seems to be that IKEA's kitchens are much superior to their other furniture.

    I don't care for dovetails and don't know why the fixation for plywood - MDF is even less pliable than plywood which BTW is much less pliable than solid wood - which is why solid wood isn't used to build cabinetry - too compliant. In many brands, the Blum tandembox drawers are an upcharge over "solid wood" dovetailed drawers ;-). (HD Expo had a very nice line called St. James for instance where i clearly saw this). BTW, Crown Point sells the similar metal drawers on thier new frameless line of cabinetry although I'm sure one can get dovetails from them if preferred.

    My kitchen has mostly all ikea cupboards. When installed I applied silicone to the edges just as a precaution. Still, the plumber has hacked the box at the bottom and there are holes. I had a leak when the kitchen tap conduit sprung a leak - I had tons of water in the cupboard as well as under it. The sink cabinet didn't delaminate; in fact, it didn't even bubble up. I don't know why that is because I wouldn't expect MDF not to swell. Still, it didn't even after a long soak.

    That's not a recommendation to you. You prefer dovetails; you believe plywood is right for woodwork - well, you want "solid wood" which is patently discouraged but still, that is your preference and it isn't IKEA, you want flexibility of sizing. I don't think you'd be happy with IKEA.

    BTW, Rocs, the MDF boxes are made somewhere in either Austria or Eastern Europe - not China. At least the ones I purchased were. The doors were made in Italy (I've heard tell here that IKEA had contracted with Snaidero to have them produce the kitchen cabinetry).

  • mindstorm
    10 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Oops, I've just regurgitated ALL of Artemis' points. Sorry for the conceptual duplication.

  • plinko
    Original Author
    10 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Hi all, went back to Ikea today and got the software working much better. This is a big plus and helping us out bigtime. We continue to be seduced by the low price.

  • rococogurl
    10 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Thanks for the updates on manufacture. Mine were from China but that's a while back. So glad to hear they are making things here in the US. Heaven knows we need every job.

    I found their software very helpful, especially the 3D rendering.

    Also forgot to mention that for spacers and such we used their plinth. Also applied it over fronts of plywood supports for the granite.

    I also found cabinet hardware (varde handles) excellent and unbeatably priced.

  • dretutz
    10 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Don't want to reiterate what has been said--I agree. Pick what you love in your budget. My two cents: I had custom solid wood cabinets that came with the house. This summer I had a slab leak and although no visible water intruded on the house, the concrete slab was damp & steamy. The lower cabinets got swollen enough from adjacent drywall which had wicked up moisture to be totally destroyed. After the mold remediation and taking kitchen down to studs, I looked at custom and high end solid wood cabinets. Then went with IKEA beech. I am delighted. Absolutely sure that a slab leak or flood will destroy solid cherry cabs in a heartbeat. My doors are solid wood and look great.

  • plinko
    Original Author
    10 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    mindstorm:

    thanks for your comments. much of their furniture is very good and sturdy. i don't seem to think that having ikea all over the house but questioning the kitchen is odd. kitchens need to be the most sturdy of builds in a home because of the daily use and the elements to which they are exposed...water, heat, etc...for example, we have two large giant schnauzers. they get a lot of water everywhere when they shake their beards after drinking (but we love them!). maybe i am wrong. i have never replaced a kitchen before.

    all:

    i think this thread was very worthwhile and thanks for your comments. i need to go back and read through these comments again.

    i admit that i may have been playing devil's advocate here but after reading the comments, i see the thread was wholly worthwhile. there are a few things we did not consider. i am still not convinced about the warranty, however. i think the comment about a situation where we might have to replace a cabinet and yet we would still be ahead was very interesting and something for us to consider.

    we had a good day today at Ikea and going with Ikea might be the right decision for us. we could buy two kitchens for the price of one of the plywood big box kitchens. we seem to be liking the completely flat door style (wood..Nexus, I think). those doors seem to be of better quality. i am also not so sure i cannot have a kitchen without the Blum hardware. that hw is just superb.

  • plinko
    Original Author
    10 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    dretutz, thanks for that story about the water damage. indeed it might not be worth spending the extra $ anyways. i was told that mdf and particle expands with water/moisture exposure and this would be reason to go with ply.

  • bmorepanic
    10 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    The way the terms mdf AND particle board are being used above, they are both referring to particle board.

    I have no issue with people deciding to buy ikea. I think it should be an informed choice, tho. Everyone should know what the trade offs are.

    Ikea cabinet boxes are put together in basically the same fashion and using the same parts as billy bookcases. The fiberboard back, the nails, the low-end particle board and the same cam locks hold the sides together. Just like billys, they gain some stability by being screwed together and a lot more by being attached to the walls. Unlike the billys, the box sits on plastic leveling legs that have a decorative cover.

    The door hinges and drawer glides are much better than the average ikea piece, but the drawer bottoms are thin particle board.

    The doors and drawer fronts are made out of assorted things. Most, but not all, cabinet manufacturers offer the same type of hardware that ikea uses except for tandem box drawers.

    Ikea uses an older model of tandem box. The ones offered by others have square sides and can be made of stainless or painted steel with plywood bottoms.

    I harp on ikea particle board quality because it is worse than most cabinet makers use and really doesn't hold fasteners well. I am that kind of idiot who will take anything apart and soak it!

    I personally tested ikea particle board about three months ago from a cabinet side and found that a cut edge deforms with about a one minute exposure to water. Deforms isn't falls apart - that takes more water! :) Where the water came from and how long whatever it is has been leaking would control whether you got a visible problem, a structural issue (leaked around the cabinet fasteners), bubbling of the melamine or no issue at all - like the person with the slab dampness above (altho, since ikea cabinets don't touch the floor, I'm not sure a cabinet that doesn't touch the slab can be used to say anything about the cabinet quality).

    I really don't want to have to replace the sink cabinet - thanks anyway. It would take a bunch of time and effort to remove the dishwasher and the countertop, the sink and the faucet, cut the sink base away from the piping, remove it, install the new $36 sink base that ikea might provide for free and reinstall it, the sink, faucet, dishwasher and counters, repair walls, paint and recaulk. I guarantee I can't do it for $400 - I'm required to use a licensed plumber. If I had a rock countertop, I guess I'd need the stone guys, as well as a carpenter and plumber. That new free sink base will end up costing an amazing sum.

    In the same way, I wouldn't want to replace doors or rely on the ikea warranty for my doors - because the warranty ends when they stop carrying your door style or change the colors. The doors are the most expensive part of the cabinets. I feel kinda sorry for the folks who bought birch doors before the color change - they got about a year left before their warranty is no good on their doors. It's not that they can't get a new door - but it won't match and never will.

    Besides, if I have to replace $3-4k of doors, drawers every 5 years because of accreted dings - perhaps adding toe kicks, cover panels and moldings because of a color change - and assorted costs to accomplish it, I'd be better off having spent the money on better quality cabinets.

    We knowingly used ikea base cabinets - we didn't plan to remodel the kitchen, we planned to rebuild the entry to out house so our dollar outlays were unexpected and in our terms enormous. We talked about the risks and the costs and decided to go modified ikea mostly because we figured that if they fell apart in 5 years, at least by then we'd have more cash. We got the doors from Scherrs.

    For right now, they're ok. We added a lot of bracing and hope for the best. They've made it through the first few months of my somewhat random dh - who managed to ruin ikea butcher block (twice) in the same time frame.

  • mindstorm
    10 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    bmore, a few factual corrections:

    - ... but the drawer bottoms are thin particle board

    The drawer bottoms are 1.5cm (3/8inch) thick particle board. That ain't thin. Most cabinets walls that you probably should have got (I think) are that thick or less.

    -Ikea uses an older model of tandem box. The ones offered by others have square sides and can be made of stainless or painted steel with plywood bottoms.

    *sigh* Blum offers two lines of tandembox drawers - powder coated steel or the inox (polished) steel. Still does. IKEA only invests in the powder coated.
    Bottom can be whatever you want it to be. IKEA offers the 1.5cm PB (BTW, as do all the european brands). If you go get 1.5cm plywood, walnut, teak, wenge, or - wait for it ... *glass* - and have it cut to the same dimensions, I promise you that the tandemboxes wouldn't care. Even with the IKEA logo on it. Oh wait! There *is* no IKEA logo on the drawer frames!

    - I harp on ikea particle board quality because it is worse than most cabinet makers use and really doesn't hold fasteners well. I am that kind of idiot who will take anything apart and soak it!

    Well, I'm glad you didn't come to my house when my sink cabinets got a soaking.
    FYI, IKEA uses PB with thermally fused melamine which permanently bonds the melamine sheet to the substrate. This is in contrast to many other brands using melamine on PB/MDF which use a cold-rolling process to bond the two - there is a vast difference in performance between the two. The bubbling up and chipping of the melamine is more characteristic of the latter than the former.

    - they gain some stability by being screwed together and a lot more by being attached to the walls.

    Absolutely correct. Same as most other cabinets that aren't made to be stand-alone.

    BTW, I agree with you that the warranty is meaningless to me also. A warranty that says they'll replace a cabinet that goes bad is rubbish when the white elephant in the situation is the much more expensive counter on top that would have to come out.

    BTW, while how people fritter their money isn't any of my business, the fact that you chose to redo your kitchen with a brand product that you think so unrobust is no different to those who buy the product because of the warranty and think they've made an investment. If you lose your kitchen in 5 years because the ikea PB turned to powder ... you're not out 3-5K or however much your cabinets cost you - you're out the entire cost of a kitchen remodel. I don't know how much that is but my remodel (kitchen + small bath) was north of $130K - figure that 40K was bath and ~90K was kitchen . Well, I can guarantee you that if I need to replace my cabinets, it is only my appliances that I'll have "saved" on. Fortunately, 5.5 years on, my cabinets are still brilliant and like new.

    I feel about Kraftmaid and some of the HD/Lowes brands the same way and I wouldn't have bet on KM for the world - the risk to me being not the 10K (which I wouldn't feel badly about losing) or whatever it is KM cabs cost but the almost 90K (which I categorically *would* miss) less appliances. So ... I wouldn't and didn't have got that cabinet for the world!

  • dretutz
    10 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Well, I don't know what plywood would have done in my situation. I do know that solid cherry custom wood warped and grew mold.

  • rockybird
    10 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I guess I'll chime in. I have IKEA in my kitchen so 2006. They have held up as well as the expensive brookhaven I have in the baths (the bath cabs cost more than the ikea kitchen). I also had a bad leak under the kitchen sink and to my surpise, the ikea sink cab. looks great.

    When first installed, I had a doofus of a contractor put in a concrete counter. He put in a 3" thick SOLID concrete counter. The counter cracked in multiple areas under its own weight. He removed it (and refunded my money) and I used a dif. ctr. for concrete counters. The ikea cabs survived that massive weight.

    I am really happy with the ikea stuff. I dont have any complaints. I will use them again in the new house I just bought.

  • bmorepanic
    10 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Mostly, I don't understand what you're talking about - particularly with "fritter" and whatever you mean with your 90k statements? I think that paragraph got away from you somewhere. If you meant it to hurt, your goal was accomplished.

    I am already out the cost of an entire kitchen remodel because of an insulation contractor's mistakes and I do mean the entire kitchen, down to and including all of the wiring and a goodly section of the framing. Stuff like finding out the windows in the kitchen were installed without flashing or at least one without a header was just a bonus repair. I know I'm angry about it all, but I'm not sure what part of that "fritter" pertains to.

    I know other frameless lines that are better than ikea and you know what, I do wish I had them. I wish I had double the funding to afford them, but I don't. I didn't have the funding for your remodel.

    I could have spent yet another year or three without a sink or dishwasher, counters or any cabinets to rebuild funds enough to afford better base cabinets or wait until we recoup some cash from suing the dudes. Since any recoup is currently looking like 2013, we chose to have stuff like running water and a sink plus a few cabinets and the range hooked up. The housing department approves of that choice and it kept them from revoking our certificate of occupancy.

    My point in posting was to know what trade-offs you make when you choose a product and do it with your eyes open.

    I'm really not sure what your point is.

    I'd love to come back about your lovely technical jabs, but this is really about as much as I think I want to deal with.

  • mindstorm
    10 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    well I'm sorry you had an idiot contractor. Would it help to know you're not alone? I did too - expensive and a colossal wreck on many fronts - carpenter, plumber, cabinet installer GC and PM. I also know that I'm not alone in that.
    I don't recall know what our outlay grew to, to effect the repairs that the asinine GC's idiotic men necessitated due to their egregious errors. (Flooring cracking due to improper subfloor preparation AFTER the tile in, cabs in and counter in. Improper preparation of bed for tub discovered after tile in, glass installed etc.)

    Still, I speak exactly what I mean when I say that it is silly to put in something as a foundational element that you don't have confidence in. If it hurts, well, I'm sorry but I stand by it. Kitchen (and bath) remodeling is very expensive. It is not smart to consider the core elements at their face-value. The replacement cost of any of Cabinetry / flooring / electrical / plumbing (except for faucets perhaps) isn't 5-50K / 5-10K / 8K / 5K or whatever - it is $50K - $150K or the cost of en entire remodel. So why put in something there you don't have confidence in is beyond me.

    You're not the only person who has had a stressful remodel and contractors bungle on them making both the process and the workload spiral beyond belief. It might do you some good to remember that because I'm not sure that *you* comprehend that when you go off.

  • bmorepanic
    10 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Believe whatever you want and call me whatever you want. I'm done.

  • kpowers
    10 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    plinko, your post is worthwhile - you would not even bothered to post if you were sure of what to do. Sometimes a little support is all that is needed. Seems to me you WANT to like Ikea, since you have trusted it to other areas of your house, but it's a different investment in the kitchen. I think you are wise to get all the info you can and then make your own decision. Case in point, I did just that. I researched Ikea kitchens for a couple of years, could never find a negative review that changed my mind, liked the warranty, the functionality of the drawers etc. I decided on doing ikea cabs with Scherrs doors, even ripped my kitchen out, electrical in etc. Picked up all the Ikea cabs (located under an hour for me) and started the install. Got as far as assembling 3 cabs, and all 3 had some kind of damage to the particle board. My DH and I felt uncomfortable moving forward and did not like the idea of other surprises waiting for us in other unopened boxes. We also didn't like the wimpy assembly methods, the plastic leveling legs etc. It just didn't feel right for us. So we stopped progress, sat on it for a few days and in the end, have decided to take ALL of it back to Ikea. A big headache - as it is taking 3 trips to bring it all back. I believe that things do happen for a reason, and I'm ok with having to return everything because it will lead us to a better place, I am sure. I have narrowed my search down to Conestoga (RTA) and 6 Square (assembled). Both offer me what I am looking for, better construction, matching doors to cab boxes, moldings and trim, high end slides etc. Yes, these will cost more, but not that much more for what I am getting (this is my view, completely, no ill will to anyone with Ikea cabs). Much less of a headache, and I think it will be a better investment. In all, going with Conestoga or 6 Square will run me about 3-4k more, but to me, it is worth it. Hope my experience helps you in making your decision.

  • lucik77
    10 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I went back and forth with IKEA and ended up deciding against it because the installation cost would have been double the cost of the kitchen itself (many contractors did not want to deal with constructing the pieces and going back to the store for replacement and missing parts). For the cost of an installed IKEA kitchen, you can get better quality cabinets with installation included... just something to consider...

  • dianalo
    10 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Lucik,
    It must matter where you are about the installation costs. We are going with their recommended installer and he has to do some custom stuff for us, yet the total cost of purchase and installation are still approx half of what buying any of our other choices were for just cabs alone.
    FWIW - our installation estimate is approx the same price as the cabs themselves. I find that if contractors don't want to do a job, they will quote a ridiculous number so that if you do still want them, they are more than well compensated.

  • plinko
    Original Author
    10 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    kpowers, thanks. I will look into 6square and Conestoga options. I have not done that.

    lucik, I have found that a lot of contractors don't want to deal with ikea box assembly. our contractor is our friend, so that wouldn't be a problem but if we do go with ikea, we'll be doing the assembly ourselves. now as far as the hanging, we would have professionals do this...either our contractor or ikea installers.

    dianolo, we haven't had quotes for any jobs because we have used our friend as contractor in the past but my friends always receive huge $ variation in quotes. like you said, i can only attribute the really high quotes to contractors who simply don't want the work. i wish i had gone into skilled craftsman trade because there seems to be no shortage of work for these people...at least where i live.

  • plinko
    Original Author
    10 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I don't know the trend or history of cabinet prices but is there any way that the high prices reflect the housing boom/bubble that we had?

    thanks for the input rockybird. helps.

  • lavender_lass
    10 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    While I don't have any new cabinets right now (haven't gotten that far) I do like the Ikea cabinets Sarah Richardson (HGTV) used in her farmhouse kitchen.

    She chose a nice cabinet/drawer front...then had everything professionally spray painted. Not a bad price and they turned out very nicely :)

    Just scroll down to the kitchen pictures. It's a cute house! You can also see more of the kitchen at the HGTV website.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Link

  • sw_in_austin
    10 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I haven't read all the replies above carefully so I may not be adding anything new but I wanted to say that we decided on IKEA cabs in our kitchen remodel because of the substantial savings. Our contractor encouraged the use of the IKEA cabs, which he had used on some other jobs (some of the individual carpenters were more skeptical but that's another story). We saved about $6,000 over the Kraftmaid quote we got. We put those dollars to good use, upgrading our counters to soapstone and doing some other custom things.

    I assembled all the boxes (8 lowers and 6 uppers, I think). Everything out of the boxes was in good shape and the assembly was straightforward. It took me about 15 minutes per box (except for the blind corner cabinet -- but again, another story). So I spent about 4 hours putting the boxes together. The contractor would have done it but I did it to save $$.

    Our contractor suggested building 2x4 frames for the lowers to sit on rather than using the IKEA leg system, which he didn't like much. As a result we didn't use the IKEA toekicks, which also looked a bit cheesy to us. Instead the contractor created toekicks that attached to the box frames and were painted.

    We also didn't use the IKEA light rail. Instead the carpenter ripped down pieces of the IKEA cover panel and built light rail and any needed filler pieces from that. To us, it looks great.

    Regarding the not-matching insides of the boxes: We have the Tidaholm door style, which is white oak, and the match to the birch interior was close enough for us. But we're not that picky, I guess.

    We've been using our new kitchen for two and a half years. Loved it from the start and still love it. We've had no problems with dings or scratches or any failure of hardware or surfaces. We did heavily caulk the sink base and haven't had any leaks to test it but we're fairly confident that, barring a flood, we're okay.

    Anyway, it's a choice. Everything's a choice. We made ours and we're happy with it.

  • rosie
    10 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Our story is very similar to SW's. I drove into town and brought most of the unexpectedly heavy cabinet boxes home in my little pickup truck (driving feeling like I was carrying a giant water balloon). My husband and son, neither a carpenter or ever wanting to be, put the cabinets in, also on 2x4s instead of the legs. Painted baseboards are Home Depot thin wood sheeting instead.

    I wanted a custom-fitted wall-to-wall pantry with coffee/tea niche, so they cut the boxes down in depth and in vertical and horizontal dimensions to my specifications. These got custom doors. All very easy, doable stuff, even the cuts, which were all straight, beginning woodworking 101 stuff.

    They installed the dishwasher incorrectly, but we didn't realize literally for some weeks that the hot steam was venting behind and into the cabinets alongside. It was the hardwood floor curling from the steam running under it that clued us in: No visible damage to the cabinets. Ever.

    The notion that my well-installed and supported cabinets will crumble within the next couple of years is absurd. My 30" middle-depth drawer has been holding most of 2 sets of dishes for 2 years: one set of bone china for 16 (rim soups and cups and saucers elsewhere since seldom used) and a set of earthenware for 8. This is all very heavy, but it pulls out with a finger, rolls quietly back with a little bump, and works as well now as when first installed and I love, love, love having this full-extension drawer for the cost of a pizza.

    Now, when I pulled out some of the little pegs that hold the shelves in place to move them to new positions, I wasn't very careful with the pliers and discovered the particle board they set into splinters very easily. So I was more careful after that--no more splintering (well, a lot less anyway) when pulling them out--but absolutely no problem since then with the boxes, shelves, and drawers I left alone, or the ones I wasn't so careful with, for that matter. Once put together, they sit solid.

    If I could have spent $90K with a happy smile for my new kitchen, I might well have done so. Instead, I spent about $1800, which includes long L-counter and island, Ikea wood counters, and custom doors for the pantry, does not include upper cabs because we put windows over the entire counter instead, custom wood vent cover, or appliances from Craig's List. This was also with a happy smile.

    Does it look like a $90K kitchen? No, nor a $50K, but to the undiscerning (no one on THIS forum :), easily comparable in price to those in the new subdivisions popping up all over. I did a pretty nice job of designing, if I say so myself, and all the windows and the few custom touches give it a...custom look. I am always glad to be able recommend this choice to those for whom it makes good sense.

  • intheville
    10 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    We used ikea cabinets for our kitchen two years ago. Ours was new construction, but we have been very happy with the result. My husband is a cabinet maker who specializes in the 100K plus kitchens - dovetails, solid wood, etc. But essentially comparing the two would be apples and oranges. Before I purchased the entire kitchen I assembled one, plain white MDF cabinet and hauled it over to the shop. Everyone was impressed with the COST, especially the blum slides and features like soft close.
    There was a huge cost savings to using Ikea and I did not see a great difference between them and what was available through Lowes - Kraftmaid? I liked the drawer slides on the ikea cabinets, and we used Fagerland pine which can be painted later if I chose.
    I assembled them myself, with a cordless drill and some wood glue, 8 months pregnant in August. That saved a ton of money right there!
    I used the ikea software, painful as it could be, it was easy to drag and drop and know that I had the dimensions right. It also creates a purchase list for you to take to the store. I was able to leave the store with all of the boxes and a few of the cabinet fronts. The rest were ordered but I had to go back and pick them up.
    I used the solid carousel for my corner cabinet. You can also buy expensive Haefle components to make your innards nicer. I liked that I was able to design my own kitchen, made to fit my own cookware and dishes without paying a heavy designer fee. I also have all drawers, a pull out trashcan, a pullout cabinet for my kitchen aid mixer and food processor, pots and pans ect are all in drawers with soft close. I love it, and I love that it cost $4500 when my previous estimate was for $13500 (through lowes). We used their butcherblock counter tops and 24" white farm sink as well.
    One word of advice - if you are using contractors as well for install, etc. I would recommend purchasing, organizing and perhaps even assembling them yourself. It can be overwhelming and confusing and if you have ordered all the components you will be the one most familiar with how to assemble. I had all of the cabinets numbered 1-20, made a diagram and let the boys hang them. We also had our own toe kicks made of pine to match. My cabinets are solid wood and I keep the doors shut so the mismatch doesn't bother me.
    Why do we have Ikea cabinets when my husband does such nice work? 1) time - we wanted to be in our house before that baby came! 2) we can always replace drawer fronts at a later date, we only have 4 upper cabinets that can easily be replaced 3) low debt! we borrowed money to build our house and kitchen savings came right off the bottom line. It was a no brainer for us.
    Good luck!

  • plinko
    Original Author
    10 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Well thanks again everyone for the comments.

    We decided to go with Ikea. They are just too inexpensive to go with anything else and worst case ten years life from an Ikea kitchen = 20 or more from non Ikea solutions (a point well made here by someone else). We decided to put more money into appliances and flooring. The looks aren't perfect but can be mitigated nicely with the right accoutrements, flooring, countertops, and appliances.

  • carybk
    10 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    On a side point that came up above about water damage to different wood types: We had a DW leak that spread through the floor. Our cabinets were sitting on it, part particle board and part plywood. The particle board wicked up the water and expanded-- even when it dried it was useless because of the expansion. The plywood wicked up less water and dried out still in its original shape. So where I can afford it, I would rather have plywood or solid wood on the floor than particle board in contact with the floor when thinking about water damage possibilities. We could have repainted plywood and kept our cabinets, but instead had to replace them all because of the particle board damage.

  • advertguy2
    10 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Ikea cabinets sit on plastic legs/feet. The only particleboard touching the floor is the toekick which can be replaced pretty easily. I guess fridge panels and such would also sit on the floor.