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Ikea about their cabinets?

by Chris last modified Jul 24, 2013 10:12 AM
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Ikea about their cabinets?

Posted by Chris at July 30. 2005

I really hate Ikea's quality, and although I love some of their designs, I won't buy a single piece of furniture from them.
That being said, has anyone got any input about their kitchen cabinets? Buying an alternate, higher quality original design will eat up my total reno budget.
Is it worth breaking my Ikea celibacy for their kitchen cabinets, or will they suffer the same fate as every other item I purchased from them during University?

Re: Ikea about their cabinets?

Posted by Miriam Huthinson at August 01. 2005

My parents just redid their kitchen and so far, have been really satisfied with the outcome. All the kitchen cabinets as well as the counter, wall fixtures and shelves were from Ikea. They live in Albuquerque, New Mexico and made a special trip to the Ikea in Tempe just to get them. The kitchen has been finished since January and is holding up just perfect, no complaints. The problems arose during the design process. For example, there are two sizes of sink cabinets in Ikea's line and my parents opted for the smaller of the two due to space constraints, only to find out that non-standard size sinks would be the only thing to fit in it. The sink had to be special ordered and it was pricey! If you do decide to go with Ikea, make sure you work out kinks such as this first. That said, the quality has been great.

Re: Ikea about their cabinets?

Posted by Adam Burke at August 01. 2005

I've just finished installing the Ikea Akurum cabinets in my kitchen. The boxes are fairly typical Ikea... plastic laminate over particle board. They are pretty fragile during the install but I think they'll hold up well once installed. The doors are much heavier. I used the Adel in creme in a more traditional kitchen and I think the doors are made of MDF with a thick coat of lacquer which makes them pretty tough. If you get the Adel in birch, the doors are solid wood. I think this is the best combination of lasting quality and Ikea value. The hardware is really pretty nice on the drawers and hinges. This is where the real value comes in I think. They're easy to install comparatively. In the end, you get much lower quality boxes than a higher-end kitchen would have, but doors and hardware are well made. Maybe consider making your own boxes or getting them made out of plywood.

Re: Ikea about their cabinets?

Posted by Nicole Herold at August 01. 2005

Ikea kitchen cabinets have a higher quality than their other furniture. So, yes, break your celibacy. They will treat you well.

The box construction is similar to any other mainstream non-faced cabinet maker out there. The hardware is all by Blum. Most other manufacturers (e.g. Diamond) require you to upgrade to the Tandom Blumotion drawer glides that Ikea uses as standard. All the praises are being sung at[url href=]The Ikea Kitchen Fan Site[/url]. Obviously it's going to be a little biased :cool: as am I.

Of course if you need real proof of the quality, Consumer Reports rated it 4th (out of 14) in their August '04 issue . It came in under Omega(Expo $1055), Fieldstone (Expo $1020), and Diamond (Lowes $630). Unfortunately it didn't rate it against the European brands like Scavolini and Pogenpohl, but the $290 price is amazing for the quality.

Re: Ikea about their cabinets?

Posted by Betty Hable at August 02. 2005

I want to know why candedone1 hates IKEA? I haven't made the trip to buy furniture but I was going to. I was interested in the slipcovered furniture.

Have you had a bad experience with it or other products?

I bought ceiling track lights and have been very pleased with them and always get compliments on the look from people who normally only like traditional surroundings. Help before I buy! Bbob:huh:

Re: Ikea about their cabinets?

Posted by Jeffrey Rous at August 02. 2005

My experience is that the quality is really hit or miss. Some items are cheap and still not worth the price and some are really great values. You need to get to a store and check it out for yourself before buying. For example, apart from the kitchen stuff, I have not seen anything with drawers that I would buy. On the other hand, some of the dining tables I have examined are really well made. Overall though, my usual impression is that I would gladly pay an extra 30%-50% for a 30%-50% increase in quality.

Re: Ikea about their cabinets?

Posted by Steve Schafer at August 02. 2005

My wife and I have been shopping for dining chairs, and we were disappointed with all of the ones at Ikea. None of them looked like they'd withstand much abuse before the legs started loosening.

Apart from the Kyoto chair from DWR, which is surprisingly well put together for the price (comparable to Ikea prices), it looks like you have to spend at least $200-300 for a well-built wooden dining chair.


Re: Ikea about their cabinets?

Posted by jakob clark at August 02. 2005

I have a two seater table by them that is ridiculously crappy. It was cheap and it shows. It is very nice looking, but it won't last long.

On the other hand - I have the Lilburg sofa in my TV room. The wife wanted a sofa that I wouldn't bitch about when the dog got up there with her, so we bought it. It is all hardwood (pieced together, but hardwood) and is pretty damn sturdy. Very comfy too.

I would make sure and read the materials list beforehand. Some 500 dollar sofas on there are particleboard while the Lilburg ($200 I still can't figure it out) is solid wood and better made.

I basically use it as filler. If you want a piece to last forever you have to pay for it (unfortunately).

Some people would be better off finding vintage danish no-name/lesser-known designer stuff on ebay. Some of it is very well made and very cheap bc of the lack of a designer label.

Re: Ikea about their cabinets?

Posted by Chris at August 02. 2005


Well, Ikea uses the lowest possible quality and large, their veneer is but a manufactured paper that looks like wood.
The construction materials on even high grade furniture is bound to be a manufactured wood of some sort, but Ikea uses the absolute cheapest form of particleboard. It holds up to zero use, much less abuse.

Sure Ikea will give you the look, but they rarely deliver the look for long.
Throughout University I purchased many Ikea items and it's my experiences with their furniture that has made me swear off of them for life.
(Now, picture frames, linens, mirrors, flatwear etc. are a different thing, I speak ill only of their furniture.)

I am an anal retentive furniture owner and my pieces are not abused, nor are they subject to cruel and unusual punishments (save the occasional and proverbial roll in the hay)...and Ikea fails to give primacy to quality. A quick examination of the construction materials gives this away instantly.


Re: Ikea about their cabinets?

Posted by Splatgirl at August 02. 2005

I just ordered ~$5K worth of IKEA cabinets for my new kitchen. I figure that would be roughly equivalent to $40 or $50K worth of cabinetry by any other lower end maker, which would have meant I couldn't afford to have the kitchen I want/need.
Do I expect them to last forever? No, but I'm the kind of person who gets sick of stuff and wants to change it in five or ten years anyway.
Sounds like you're not that person.

Re: Ikea about their cabinets?

Posted by Adam Burke at August 02. 2005

I wouldn't worry too much about the kitchen cabs. The doors and hardware are the parts that take the most abuse and as stated, these are pretty well made. Just be gentle while constructing the boxes and installing.

Re: Ikea about their cabinets?

Posted by Chris at August 02. 2005


I make a lot of my own furniture, and do most of the designs for my house.
I'd tackle the cabinets myself as I did in muy old condo, but it's just such an arduous task that I'm not going to put my relationship (or me) through it again.

I don't expect things to last forever, but I want them to represent in quality the investment I've made in them financially.
I don't like crap, whether I'm going to keep it forever is an entirely different issue. I wouldn't buy a fibreglass Lamborghini body on a Fiero chassis because, IMO, function and fashion go hand in hand.

You don't make money off a property by outfitting it with crap. Superficial aesthetic veneers, be it a kitchen, bathroom or bedroom, are transparent to even the least descriminating buyer. I was simply asking about experiences with quality and longevity of a product and wasn't concerned with my preference du jour.

I'd love to see pictures of your kitchen when it is completed...public opinion on this matter are swaying my opinion--hinges, drawer slides and doors are the main concern. I can always reinforce or make my own bases.


Re: Ikea about their cabinets?

Posted by Michael Ramsey at August 04. 2005

We are going to buy some ready to assemble cabinets from a manufacturer we found on ebay. I noticed they dont have an auction up right now, but you can see the quality in some of these.
This is the company we researched this spring. We contacted everyone they sold to on ebay and asked them about the quality, assembly, etc. Everyone said they loved them, recommend them to friends, etc.

I have been in some Ikea equipped kitchens, and while they are nice looking, I would look for something a bit sturdier than pressed board with thin veneers. It has been my experience that that type of furniture doesn't last very long, and in a kitchen environment, I want something that I know will last and can take some water too. Hey, everyone spills stuff from time to time. :)

So, there is a few more options for you. Look into some RTA cabinets, you probably wont be sorry you did.

Re: Ikea about their cabinets?

Posted by Mark Meyer at August 04. 2005


While I agree wholeheartedly about the crappy quality of the IKEA boxes, I would suggest to you to make the boxes yourself out of cabinet grade plywood, and then outfit them with drawers, doors and hardware from IKEA. The drawer boxes can't be beat for the price. They are sheet metal with radiused plastic corners, and the aforementioned Blum hardware. Many of the door and drawer faces are actualy top notch, especially the aluminum and glass fronts, as well as the stainless fronts. The IKEA kitchen design is set up in such a way that you literally have to order each piece seperately anyway (which is why they have the specialized kitchen consultant folks to help with the ordering) so my preference would be to build boxes to match the IKEA hardware and kit it out with the off-the-shelf stuff IKEA has that is of god quality/value.

Mark Meyer

Re: Ikea about their cabinets?

Posted by Michael Ramsey at August 04. 2005

Oh, that's something I didn't know. I dont have an Ikea close enough to browse and see that you can purchase drawers and faces seperately.
Now that.... changes everything.

If I were to drive to a store (or take the train perhaps) in chicago, you mean to tell me that there will be a kitchen consultant there, who can sell me just the faces, drawers, etc?
I think i am about to change my mind about ikea.
I love the cabinet designs, but the construction of them left a bit to be desired, in my opinion, so if we can build the boxes (not exactly birdhouses, but I think we might be able to manage) and outfit them with their front pieces etc, then I think I am going to have to make a trip.

Re: Ikea about their cabinets?

Posted by Adam Burke at August 04. 2005

Pay close attention to the door construction, some of them are better than others. The solid birch Adel is probably your best bet, but there are more modern, cool looking ones with veneers.

Re: Ikea about their cabinets?

Posted by uncleho at August 28. 2005

You don't make money off a property by outfitting it with crap. - candidone1

Here in lies the problem.

What % or buyers ARE clued in enough to judge good from bad... or even average?

I don't consider myself an expert, but I do think I'm far better educated in certain elements of quality in things housing. Unfortunately... I find that speaking to a lot of folks... most only care about size and I gotta have vinyl siding, because I hate painting.

McMansions are built with chinsy Merrilat cabinets in my part of town. No better than IKEA. Ignorance of the buyer allows crappy construction, design, and materials... but hidden behind a half-way nice facade (the doors are the only OK component).

America is so built around the bottom dollar and that is why stores like IKEA succeed. I cannot say bad things about them, becaue their prices are even better than Target!!! Their styles are modern and hip, but since people are so more into IMAGE today... they could care less to know about durability. Who needs these products to last when the fashion will change in 5 years and you need to keep up with the Jones? At least you didn't blow several grand more on Merrilat or the EGO-brand stuff from europe. Speaking of which, I have seen the construction of some Poggenpolhs and Siematics and they too are particle board boxes... albeit just thicker... and those crazy suckers want $50k or more for their kitchens!!! WHat's more BS - IKEA or Poggenpohl?

Re: Ikea about their cabinets?

Posted by richierod at August 28. 2005

Hey Uncleho-
That's furniture board NOT particle board!;)


Re: Ikea about their cabinets?

Posted by Christy Kilgore-Hadley at August 31. 2005

I would love to spend the money on nicer stuff, but what if you have a very minimal amount of money and just plain need some damn furniture? We live in Podunkville, Illinois and if I can choose crappy stuff from Wal-Mart that is fuax country or cheap stuff from Ikea that at least doesn't make me want to throw up looking at it, I gotta say, I am going with Ikea.

Also, for kid's furniture it can't be beat. I have a crib that is on it's way to lasting through two kids and it is holding up nicely. I think the kids' stuff is a little like the kitchen cabinets - they step it up a notch.

Also regarding the children's items, since Ikea sells the same products all over the world, the children's products must meet safety standards for every country. That's reassuring, even if they won't be passing it along to their grandchildren.

And just for fun - here is something everyone will enjoy: [url href=]Elite Designers Against Ikea.[/url]

Re: Ikea about their cabinets?

Posted by Matthew Melonio at August 31. 2005

cfcek2... that link is just brilliant! Instant smiles! Thanks!:)

Re: Ikea about their cabinets?

Posted by Jennifer Tipton at September 01. 2005

Don't forget Target. I've noticed over the last two years that they're becoming a mini-Ikea.


Re: Ikea about their cabinets?

Posted by Christy Kilgore-Hadley at September 03. 2005


Yeah - I remember when they used to be purely Pottery Barn knockoffs. That's a change for the better. Also, I like most of that Isaac Mizrahi stuff.

Re: Ikea about their cabinets?

Posted by Jennifer Tipton at September 03. 2005

And another surprising place to find quality bath accessories is Bed Bath and Beyond. I spent a lot of time looking at the Ginger 'Surface' and 'Kubic' collections, and then I ran across Motiv which is less a expensive line from Ginger. The 'Sine' design is really nice and simple -- I think it's the one we'll go with. It's chrome covered brass -- just like the high end companies.


Re: Ikea about their cabinets?

Posted by Jermaine Greene at December 31. 2005

[quote:And just for fun - here is something everyone will enjoy: [url href=]Elite Designers Against Ikea.[/url][/quote]

hahahaha! Thank you! Our living room is outfited by Ikea and my wifes wardrobe is the Ikea Hopen design. BOY is that some THICK particle board. The ONLY fear I have with the stuff is IF we move to the town where I work. I DO wonder how this stuff will take a true blue MOVE. I fear not very well. That OR I'll have to completely dissasemble to wardrobes and shelves to ensure the survive. Some of this stuff is BIG, so that's a major job. Otherwise, LONG LIVE IKEA FOR JUST BEING THERE! As the poster before me stated, don't forget that the only comparable alternative for years was the Wal-Mart double-wide look from years past. (It should be noted, even THEY are trying to get past that. THANKS, target)

Re: Ikea about their cabinets?

Posted by Steven at December 31. 2005

I bought 2 large wardrobes from IKEA, the birch cabinets with the aluminum/frosted glass sliding doors. they took awhile to assemble( a few beers and cuss words for the first cabinet). I was worried about strength when assembling but ended up being pretty sturdy once put together. Very slick in adding closet space to rooms and also used one to organize my whole office clutter behind frosted glass doors. Nothing really out there to compete w/ their modern design. i dont think i'd consider taking them apart for a move though. they are a permanent fixture in my house upon sale! Of course i will highlight them as custom built in wardrobes and storage!

IKEA is definitely hit or miss on quality. Just like any other store, some of it is great, some of it is crap. We report, you decide!

Re: Ikea about their cabinets?

Posted by Kevin Dickson at December 31. 2005

The Avsikt cabinet doors have extruded, anodized aluminum and frosted tempered glass. Excellent longevity if you put it on a decent box. Anybody else's is five times the cost. Unfortunately, the size selection is limited. Same goes for the stainless lower cabinets (Numerar). Just use open shelves to fill the gaps.

Re: Ikea about their cabinets?

Posted by Nancy Stronczek at January 02. 2006

We are in the process of remodeling our kitchen. The previous owners had IKEA cabinets. I don't know what line the cabinet frame was, but the fronts were Ädel birch/birch veneer. One of the base cabinets was a 30 wide cabinet with two drawers. The center arm that separated the two drawers collapsed, so the drawers never opened/closed properly. The cabinets were only 2 years old when we bought the house, and they had 2 teenagers, so I don't believe they had much abuse.

When we decided to remodel, we priced out some IKEA cabinets. With all accessories (finishing panels, handles, etc.) the cost was around $5.5K. I found a local dealer who sells Bertch Legacy cabinets, a semi-custom line, and we got wood cabinets (not MDF) for just under $8K. This price included maple wood w/honey stain, 42 uppers, a custom fit cabinet for cooktop, finishing panels, outside corners, toe kicks, slide out shelves in base cabinets, handles and an incredible limited lifetime warranty. These cabinets have solid wood frames/door fronts and the sides and backs are built from 1/2 plywood. They are framed cabinets, so they are much sturdier than IKEA's frameless design. The toe kicks are 1/2 plywood stained to match the cabinets, and even the corner pieces (used to frame the finishing panel on the island) are solid wood. These same cabinets retailed at a high-end design shop for about $15K, so I really got a steal on them. I can't stop praising the quality of the cabinets as well as that of the dealer.

We chose the Odyssey door style in maple wood w/honey stain. The picture on their web site doesn't show the true beauty of this door.

Re: Ikea about their cabinets?

Posted by mordo at January 03. 2006

I'll throw in my $0.02 worth re: IKEA kitchen cabinets.

I agree with other posters that their hardware quality is on par with many manufacturers. It's all Blum and the drawer boxes are great. I used the Adel birch and it is a sturdy door/drawer front. The only significant issues that arise in their boxes is that they are shipped knocked down and they assemble with cam fasterners and the backs are just tacked on. It is not the sturdiest construction but consider two things: this is not furniture. It doesn't get moved around and it doesn't suffer the racking forces that moveable furniture does. If the boxes are installed securely and treated reasonably well, they will last indefinitely. The sides are 19mm particle board. That's considerably thicker than most other mass-market boxes like KraftMAid, Merillat, etc.

The other thing to consider is that it is easy to make them better than the KD construction allows. I glue all the dowel joints, glue and staple the backs on and definitely don't use the tatty plastic feet they sell. Make solid timber or plywood bases or use the nice stainless steel legs they sell. For sink cabinets, I infilled the space between the top rails of the box with 3/4 ply. Then make your sink cutout.

This, of course, doesn't help if you're unable to do this sort of work, but most things are pretty easily handled if you're the DIY sort.

Now IKEA sofas? That's a whole different story...

Re: Ikea about their cabinets?

Posted by Annie Miller at January 14. 2006

HighTower Group is the top importer of high QUALITY Scandinvaian furniture... about three stars higher than IKEA. The prices are not low, but the quality is fantastic.

Be good...


Re: Ikea about their cabinets?

Posted by woody at January 20. 2006

If you are not happy with IKEA and have a low budget, why not continue to stay away from IKEA and just install shelves in the kitchen for the time being. Shelves instead of cabinets is a cool way to make the room feel bigger and although you have to stack thing neatly all the time, it's kind of a cool modern thing to do right now.
Save you money for a couple years, then by the cabinets you really want, that will last for the lifetime of your home.

I am with you, I hate the quality of a lot of IKEA's products. But, my wife did by a set of plain white ceramic cereal bowls that are a great size, good quality, and look good in their modern, minimal whiteness.

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