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IKEA Cabinets?


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James's Forum Posts: 4

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By James in Taylorsville, UT on 11/21/2005


Hello,
I'm considering using the "IKEA" cabinets in a project. I have heard that IKEA is a great place to buy furniture and other items. If anybody has used IKEA in the past, I would like to hear your opinion.


Thanks,


James


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By Michelle in KS on 11/21/2005


Hi James.

I personally am not a fan of IKEA (don't like the style), but have never seen them in person, so don't let my opinion have anything to do with what you think of them. 

That said, there's practically a cult following of these cabinets at another site I frequent, thathomesite.com. If you go to the kitchen forum there, and do a search on IKEA, I'm sure you'll find more than enough on all the wonderful attributes of IKEA cabinets.

Good luck with your project!


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By Netie in Salt Lake City, UT on 11/21/2005


See also: ownerbuilderbook.com/forum/ThreadID=1891

IKEA came out with two raised panel door styles and an even more modern door (sweet integrated handles!) The raised panel door comes in a dark white oak stain or paint white.  There is of course the Adel line that we're going to use - a flat panel w/ 4" stiles - "Shaker Style" 

Try the IKEA Fan Site for info on the product from lots of folks who've 'been there, done that' - it was started a little while back by a couple back east who fell in love with the product.

Here's the Garden Web Ring that the above poster was referring to:

gardenweb.com/forums/kitchbath


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By James in Taylorsville, UT on 11/21/2005


Netie,
thanks for replying... about how much did you spend on your cabs w/IKEA? How large is your kitchen?

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By Lorina in Prescott, AZ on 11/22/2005


FYI - we are also going to use the IKEA cabinets. Since we are building a modern style house, some of their frameless styles are perfect for us. I love the price, but when I saw a Consumer Reports Magazine comparing, I believe, 14 different cabinet brands from cheap to expensive and IKEA came out at number 4 - that sold us. I don't remember the issue, but you can check it out online with a subscription of something like $4/mth.  The only downside is they come flat-packed as I understand most large items do at IKEA, but I guess are easy to assemble (or can be done by cabinet installer.)

They also have a kitchen planner which has helped us (though also frustrated us at times!)

Good luck,

Lorina


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By Netie in Salt Lake City, UT on 11/23/2005


James - 

We scrapped the house plan that we first started with, so this is the best recollection I can do from a year-old memory and THREE other house plans later...

Lowest-end KraftMaid (w/o installation) at - The BORG - to IKEA's highest end (self-assemble and install). The kitchen was a 10'x10'x10' "U" shape, double (back to back) lowers for the side open to fam. room and a door to the formal dining on the other with uppers, and a "4th" wall that had two pullout pantry units and the refrig... This plan had A LOT of cabinets - the HD kitchen guy thought I was nuts - hey - that's not the first time I've heard that - lol :-) 

Bottom line:

$17,000 plus install at an estimated $2,000 = $19,000

versus:

$4,800 plus shipping @ $400 plus a week ($_ _ _ _ ) of your paycheck & benefits.

Our math came out several thousands of dollars ahead - which is why hubby agreed to consider the product. If I had the money for custom tiger maple integrated flat panels - yeah - I'd ditch the IKEA line. As owner-builders who will put sweat equity into the building of our house, we have to pick the trade that will be most efficient and advantageous to our pocketbook - and sanity.


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By Ambryn in Santa Cruz, CA on 12/6/2005


We used IKEA for our kitchen remodel. We priced out KraftMaid at $7,000 (no install), and then bought the IKEA cabinets for $4,200 and spent close to a week putting them together...

Plus side--they look nice, have a different style than most cabinets, metal drawer sides are pretty clever, and the price was good.

Minus side--what a pain in the butt to put together all those cabinets!!! Very lightweight particleboard, bizarre toe kick attached to plastic legs.

If I had to do it again, I would not do the IKEA cabinets. Especially if I planned to stay is the home for a while. If I were going to flip the house, I might buy them and have a day laborer put them together... maybe.


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By Netie in Salt Lake City, UT on 12/7/2005


Ambryn - I assume you went to work during the day and didn't labor on assembly all week long. The consensus from others who have done the complete installation: the first cabinet takes 45 minutes, second 30 minutes, and then 10-20 minutes a pop thereafter. When you have 20-plus cabinets to assemble it can really add up, but working with a partner seems to make assembly process speed up.

You didn't mention your kitchen dimensions, but to use your numbers for an example - with the "linear foot" method that folks are most familiar: Take a 12x16x12 U-shaped kitchen at 40 linear ft. - divided into $7,000 for K.M. (plus install) - that's $175 per linear foot. Then take IKEA (less any time off work) at $4,200, divide by 40 linear ft. and that's $105 per linear ft. $70/linear ft savings. To a lot of people it is completely worth giving up a week's worth of evening TV, and then saving a typical installation charge of $1,500-2,500 for a weekend... 

Consumer Reports ranked IKEA 4th and K.M. came in several spots lower - but the IKEA cabinets are only as good as the installer - so if anyone's thinking of saving money here - think hard about how patient you are with 1/16th of an inch.

What is the thing The O-B Book says: "A dime saved is a dollar earned." We just need to carefully decide which dimes we choose to pick up.


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By Jill in Elizabeth, PA on 12/7/2005


Our IKEA here in Pittsburgh offers a kitchen workshop and a kitchen assembly workshop each month. I went and even won a $100 gift card! They walk you through all the different styles, give you some pointers, and show you their computer program that allows you to design and price out your kitchen. Then in the assembly workshop, they show you how to unpackage the cabinets for easy assembly, how to separate the parts to the best advantage, and how to quickly install the tracking. I thought it was extremely helpful, and they even supplied the names of some local installers if you decided to go that route instead.


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By Ambryn in Santa Cruz, CA on 12/7/2005


Yes, that is true; it did save a significant amount of money... I can't complain about that. And yes, you are right, I didn't take time off of work to assemble them, and since it was the first time I've done a kitchen cabinet install I was slow. I looked at the Consumer Reports article and I can see what they are looking at. If you consider the quality of the drawer slides, hinges, and the easy-to–use upper cabinet install rail, they are a decent value.

The only major complaints are 1) Having to put them together--you have to admit they are a very cheap particle-board box. The invoice breaks it down - Cabinet $22, Doors $150 (not exact, just for example), 2) I hated the plastic legs that you put under the base cabinets. (I have seen in the concrete countertop book where they built a plywood base for them), and 3) There are no upgrades. Want soft close drawers--too bad, want plywood box--build your own, want fancy trim or accessories--maybe they make it, maybe them don't.

But this is just my two cents, if you have decided that you are trying to save money on cabinets, then take a look. They definitely beat the crap out of Mills Pride or the like... no question about that!


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By Ted in Northport, AL on 12/7/2005


Cabinet pricing was something I've been digging into quite a bit lately. I've priced Home Depot (nice stuff $22K), local cabinet reseller ($19K, local cabinet builders; and then through word of mouth stumbled across a guy who was working for a big cabinet shop but now out on his own ($6K for 47 linear feet Installed!!). He buys the doors either MDF or can get solids (I'm looking at maple). 

Basic birch construction w/MDF doors and laminate tops is $90 per linear foot installed!! He told me the solid doors would go up quite a bit... $10 per door. He has recently gotten hooked up with a couple home builders and has gotten a bit busy but I'm planning on using him. We recently went to look at a home that was for sale where he did the cabinets, mantels and tub surround, looked pretty good for the money. The ones we saw were done in a painted glaze.

I've come to find that the good buys and quality construction aren't generally at the home stores or in the Yellow Pages.

Ted T.

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By Kenneth in Lees Summit, MO on 12/8/2005


I am with Ted on this one. My cabinetmaker operates in a very rough area of town, no marking on the exterior walls of what is inside the building (this equates to very low overhead). He doesn't operate a showroom, but is always willing to show you what he is working on today. In his area of town, no one would come visit anyway. All of this equates to very low overhead. The next idea is that he is a craftsman. He wouldn't sell cabinets without installation (and for my house, he subcontracted the installation and was not happy with the subcontractor, even though I was). 

Upgrades such as ball bearing slides, all-plywood boxes (no particleboard or Melamine in his cabinets), etc. are all just part of the craftsmanship. This pride in his work equates to nice quality cabinets. All told, I got much nicer cabinets for a better price than I could have ever found elsewhere, but at higher risk (he is a small shop, mostly relatives, if something happens to the shop or someone at the shop I could have been completely out of luck). The only way to find these guys is word of mouth as they don't advertise (my cabinetmaker didn't need to, last I talked to him he was booked for the next eight months), so talk to everyone you know about who they hired for custom cabinets. They turn up, but not easily.

I was going to order all of my closet systems from Ikea as you certainly cannot beat the price and they are well respected for what they are. Certainly not as nice as my cabinetry (but I really don't want to wait another 8 months), and probably a bit cheaper anyway, but the shipping cost to my locale is a bit too extreme. Shipping increases the costs by over 40% since we don't have a local source. They won't let me arrange my own shipping (I have shipped more material for less cost), and I think they are charging me flat rate or based on cost shipping, and not actual cost, or at least not using an appropriate freight shipper. I can appreciate that shipping costs money, but increasing their prices by 40% delivered is making me look into other options. 

My question for people using IKEA, what shipping method are you using and at what cost? Or are you dealing with a local IKEA dealer?


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By Ambryn in Santa Cruz, CA on 12/8/2005


The "local" IKEA for me was three hours away, and although I offered to pick up the cabinets at the store they wouldn't let me. I'm not really sure why, but they weren't in stock and they said that I would have to pay shipping to the house. I think I paid about $400 (same as Netie) for the shipping and they came on pallets from a small lift gate truck. I can't remember if there was a name on the truck (I'm sure it wasn't an IKEA truck).
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By Netie in Salt Lake City, UT on 12/12/2005


"The only major complaints are 1) Having to put them together--you have to admit they are a very cheap particle board box. The invoice breaks it down-Cabinet $22, doors $150 (not exact, just for example)...,"   


C
heap as in flimsy or poor quality or just inexpensive? IKEA uses 3/4" low-VOC MDF, whereas most major cabinet manufacturers use 5/8" MDF unless you upgrade. Besides DH's opinion as to quality, I trust Consumer Reports #4 ranking. 

BTW, I'm not a 'cult member' of IKEA - although I'm ecstatic they're opening a Salt Lake store. If I find a small and/or new cabinet shop that has really sweet prices w/good quality- I'd use them - then hubby will apply his labor to saving us money elsewhere.


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By Ambryn in Santa Cruz, CA on 12/27/2005


As far as Consumer Reports, I value their opinion, but we can't take everything they say as gospel, otherwise we would all drive Hondas and Toyotas....

Anyway, I've thought about what you've said and went to Home Depot and looked at the cabinets that are on display to compare quality, and I can see where in general, all of the basic cabinet boxes are cheap, flimsy, and not of high quality in my eyes. So in this respect, the IKEA are equal to stock Kitchen Maid and the like and at significantly less money. I still stand by my list of dislikes, and on my new project I will still try to save money on as many different parts of the house as possible, however, I want quality cabinets in the kitchen and unfortunately, IKEA will not be my first choice. 


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By Thomas in Hernando, Ms, MS on 1/13/2006


I think your cabinets look great - especially the dark ones around the fridge. Those Medium Brown Birch IKEA cabinets are most likely the ones I am going with as well. Do you like the finish on them? They are drastically less expensive than box store or custom cabinets - PLUS the frameless cabinets are even more expensive than framed cabinets usually.
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By Lori in Reno, NV on 1/13/2006


James,

We drove to California to check out IKEA. The cabinets appeared to be of good quality, but I didn't look real close. I liked most the styles they had on display, so I took a catalog. It really is a big savings, but they didn't have a lot of features I wanted. So, will see what we do when it comes time to order. Since our kitchen is so large, it will probably come down to the money.

IKEA also has a good website - try it: ikea.com

Lori

 

 


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By Dustin in Cedar City, UT on 7/22/2006


One thing have seen you can do about reducing shipping costs and you are far away is ro rent a U-HAUL truck and pick them up from the local IKEA store. I saw DIY Network show (Dream House) where they had a huge amount of IKEA cabs and they were in Colorado. The closest IKEA was Phoenix, AZ. They flew to Phoenix, rented a U-HAUL, picked up their order, and drove it all home to Colorado.

I have also read that some folks are buying IKEA cabinets without the doors or fronts and getting custom doors, since they may want some other sort of wood for their cabinets. There are several websites that offer just drawer fronts and doors, any way you like. I'm considering that for my house.

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By Kenneth in Lees Summit, MO on 7/24/2006


Being from the Midwest, we don’t have IKEA to just stop in and shop. I have been considering different ways to finish my master bedroom closet, mostly using locally available materials and/or installers – almost one year after we have moved in and the master bedroom closet still is just a couple of rods (not the only part not quite completely finished). However the IKEA Stolmen is very modern and would fit exceptionally well into our décor, but I don’t like the idea of placing a fairly significant investment on what may well be junk and shipping is also expensive.

 

However I was recently close enough to Baltimore recently that I took a better portion of a day at IKEA. There are two things you will say about stuff at IKEA; either “This stuff is great, and the prices are great, wow,” or “This stuff is junk, I can’t believe anyone would actually buy this stuff.” There is no middle ground. 

 

I looked at the Komplement wardrobes and found that these are actually much nicer than most installers in my area. Typical of most, they are veneer MDF, but the veneer looks very nice. The IKEA Komplement is also much more cost effective than the systems available locally to me, even accounting for shipping. I really liked the Stolmen, although the black veneer is much nicer looking than the white (I wanted the white; I am uncertain now).

 

Some of the kitchen cabinets look fantastic, I was suitably impressed and even more so when you consider the price. The boxes are fairly solidly built, although again they are MDF (typical of any mass-produced cabinets you get from the BORG). On the drawers, only the fronts are wood, probably how they keep their prices down (no all-hardwood with dovetail joints on this stuff). Again the veneers looked to be nice quality. If you are looking for a butcher block or solid hardwood countertop, the IKEA offerings are pretty nice and again a bargain compared to other sources.

 

All told, I can see why people are fanatical about IKEA (If I had one locally, I would certainly shop there regularly). I am going to order the Stolmen wardrobe system, even accounting for shipping it is better than anything I could get locally (although I have made no decision about whether I will order black or white). I have certainly seen some higher-dollar kitchens in my area where the cabinets where not as nice, although they don’t measure up to the custom cabinets I have (I found custom cabinetry locally go be more cost effective than off-the-shelf solutions). If you have an IKEA somewhere close by, it is definitely worth taking a trip to look at their offerings.


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By Birgitte in Alamogordo, NM on 2/28/2007


Our entire apartment is furnished with IKEA and we love it so much we will use it in the house we are going to build in NM. Very inexpensive and decent quality and great design.
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By Samara in Kansas City, MO on 3/7/2007


I live in Kansas City and would like to know who this custom cabinetmaker is. Please PM info to me. Thanks


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By Jan in Easley, SC on 3/1/2010


Hi James.

We also considered IKEA cabinets, but then a friend told my husband about cabinetsupply.com and ready to assemble cabinets (RTA). We did our research and compared prices, warranty, complaints and customer service. We ordered our cabinets on a Saturday, they arrived on Thursday of the same week. Their customer-service team stayed in contact with us, giving us directions on inspecting boxes for shipping damage when they arrived, and inspecting the items for any manufacturer defects. They were patient with us when we had questions and went out of their way to ensure our happiness. We also received a HANDWRITTEN thank-you card.

Jan


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