When you talk to contractors, you keep hearing the same thing over and over again when you mention an IKEA kitchen:
- We don’t do those
- My cabinet guy can match their prices per linear foot
- They look cheap
- They are poor quality
I disagree with all of that.
One of the main reasons contractors shy away from IKEA is because of the kind of construction. IKEA cabinets are based on the European “frameless” construction that hasn’t been used too much in the United States until recently. I’ve found that most tradesmen, whether they be cabinet fabricators or plumbers, are quick to reject anything out of the norm. I really don’t blame them as I’m sure they’ve seen all sorts of trends come and go in their business. However, there’s doing things up to code and there’s giving the customer what they want. I can see why a plumber would look at an IKEA sink and say, “the inspector isn’t going to approve this.” But I can’t be the only customer requesting an IKEA kitchen, right?
For us, it means we will install the cabinets ourselves (a task we weren’t averse to doing and we’ll save about $2500).
Price: measuring cabinets by the linear foot is like measuring a piece of cake in inches: even though the measurement might line up, cake comes in different sizes, have a varying number of layers and of course is made with a varying quality of ingredients. You wouldn’t compare a store-bought birthday cake to something from my beloved bakery, so why would you do it for cabinets? I think the answer is it’s hard to compare apples to apples when it comes to kitchen cabinets and so they need something to measure it by, even if it’s not a very accurate measurement. But here’s what I’ve found: you get more bang for your buck with IKEA. All those linear foot prices I saw at the big box stores were only for the cabinets. Once you started adding hinges and interior fittings, the latter of which can transform a cabinet from useless to priceless (see my current pantry for a perfect example), the price skyrockets. And don’t forget installation. These cabinets don’t come with directions for the DIY inclined and you’re stuck with whatever installer is on hand. So if you’re dead set on not using IKEA, take that linear foot price and triple it. With IKEA, many of the lower cabinets come with pull-out functions and drawers. The pantry cabinets have several pull-out functions. Having to add these after you’ve already purchased traditional cabinets is a pain. No thank you.
And then there’s the cheap argument. I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.
The last three images are from one of my favorite blogs. It was the reassurance I needed to go ahead with an IKEA kitchen and know that with some attention to detail I could get the results I want. I’ve read a lot of kitchen renovation tips and they say hardware is a place to skimp, but when you’re using IKEA you should splurge. Aubrey and Lindsay did this, along with great plumbing fixtures, and it really works. They also added extra plinth pieces and moulding at the top of the uppers. This will make your kitchen look custom and not like it’s right out of the IKEA box.
For my own kitchen, I used the IKEA cabinets simply as a base for more luxurious materials.
The Cambria counter tops are gorgeous. It really takes our white kitchen to the next level.
The result is fantastic. The cabinet hardware is made by Richelieu and we were really happy with that as well. They’re a bit more interesting than what IKEA had to offer and since we were saving money elsewhere, why not splurge a little?
And honestly, go to a big box store, look at something similarly priced to IKEA (if you can figure out what that is) and tell me they feel any better than IKEA. I found that the cabinets were of a poor quality and made out of the same MDF as everything else.
I’m sure if we had the money and got custom cabinets will all the interior fittings we wanted, we’d be extremely happy. But it doesn’t make sense for us to put in a $30k kitchen in our little condo and we’d much rather go on an awesome vacation next year instead of financing a kitchen this year. So for us, IKEA is the way to go.
Have you installed an IKEA kitchen? Do you like it? Let me know in the comments!