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Are IKEA Kitchen Cabinets Worth The Savings??? A Very Honest Review One Year Later

If you’re anything like us, you’ve always been curious about IKEA cabinetry. I mean they look pretty in pictures but how do they hold up? How much do they really cost? Are they worth the savings? How comprehensive is IKEA’s cabinetry customer service? The list of questions goes on but today ALL of them will be answered now. Enter Amanda (a fellow blogger and past EHD contributor). She and her husband decided that they would cash in on the undeniable savings and go the IKEA route for their kitchen cabinetry. Today she is showing us her beautiful kitchen and giving us all the juice. Amanda, take it away…

Hello! I’m so honored to be sharing a post with you today about my experience using IKEA Kitchen Cabinets for our kitchen renovation. But first, let me properly introduce myself. I’m Amanda Holstein, a blogger turned interior designer specializing in Airbnbs and small businesses here in the Bay Area. 

Here’s my story: My husband and I bought our little 1960’s cabin in Mill Valley in 2017 and have spent the last few years renovating it from top to bottom. And since this was our first home and our first renovation, a lot of questions came up. Most of them ending with, “WTF are we doing?”. That was especially true when it came to the renovation of our kitchen. With a tight budget (thank you, very high Bay Area real estate prices), deciding where to splurge and where to save was a big part of the discussion. When we saw that IKEA was having a deal on kitchen cabinets (you’d get 30% back in the form of a gift card), we thought what the heck.

Since my husband will choose saving money over time any day, and I don’t quite have the patience for that, this was a fun one for our marriage. 😉 Let me tell you, we learned a lot. About the cabinets, I mean. So I thought I’d share what I learned during this specific part of our reno process for those of you in renovation mode! Let me start with the pros of IKEA cabinetry. 



Yup, they really are pretty significantly less expensive than other cabinet options, especially custom cabinets. But this will really depend on the size of your kitchen and the extra fixings you throw in. Our cabinetry and appliance total came up about $6,500 and we have a pretty large space so I’d say that’s not too bad. (Emily here. If she had gone custom, these cabinets would have easily cost $25k and not including any appliances… So a HUGE money saver.)

Good Selection

For the price, I’d say they have a decent selection of finishes and designs. Of course, they’re not super high-end, but I wouldn’t expect that anyway. IKEA does seem to have somewhat of an eye on what’s trending though so we went with the most shaker-looking option they had. While it may seem like a “con” that each design only comes in a limited number of finishes & colors, but that also made our decision-making process much quicker (big pro). 

Extra Features

They actually offer a lot more than just cabinets. You can get affordable drawer pulls and cabinet handles, slow close drawers,  and panels for your dishwasher or fridge so they blend in with the rest of the cabinetry. They even have decent appliances. We got our fridge from IKEA and it’s great! They also have pantry cabinets which we took advantage of. We went with another countertop company to make sure we chose something durable but they do have a decent selection of countertops (I just can’t vouch for the quality).

3D Layout Planner

IKEA has its own easy-to-use 3D Kitchen Planner on their site that is a must. I highly recommend going in-store and using it with one of their customer service people. There are certain details I didn’t realize I’d need that the customer service rep made sure we included. I wouldn’t say they’re very useful in coming up with layouts for tricky spaces or anything, but for a basic kitchen design, they are knowledgeable for sure. The system then pulls from your design and creates an itemized list of exactly what you need to purchase (and since it’s IKEA, that’s a whole lot of parts). 


Logistics Are Complicated

Having a million different boxes show up to your house is probably the worst part. This is if you choose to have your own contractor (or husband, which I do not recommend) install the cabinetry. It felt incredibly disorganized and took forever to keep track of each little item and then build it all (it is IKEA after all). Also, if you are missing an item, which is hard enough to figure out, we all know their customer service isn’t great. For example, we were missing these bars that go on the side of a deep drawer to hold everything in and the process to get them was so difficult that we just gave up.

It Takes Longer

Because of the difficult logistics and the DIY aspect of IKEA, the install takes longer than you might expect. However, I have heard that if you have IKEA install it themselves, it goes a bit more smoothly. Our timeline was June 2018-October 2018. This also includes taking down a huge fireplace and the wall between the kitchen and living room. So it would have been quicker if we didn’t have structural changes. (From Emily: For reference, if you get custom cabinets made then you have, on average, a lead time of 4 -10 weeks. This is after your kitchen is fully demoed and precisely measured. Basically it’s also a lengthy process but probably less of a headache since someone else is building and installing.)

Not High Quality

We’ve only had our kitchen for about a year and you can already see some wear and tear. For example, our dishwasher just barely hits the drawer next to it when you open it and I can see the paint starting to chip off. You can also feel how lightweight the doors are, which sort of gives it away that they aren’t real wood. I’ve never had anyone notice though! I guess that is to be expected when you go the more affordable route.

They’re Not Custom

Because the cabinetry only comes in specific sizes, it can be tricky to configure into your unique space. It took a lot of trial and error with their 3D Planner (we were in-store for at least 3 hours. It was miserable, even after 2 hot dogs.) 

So, if you’re trying to figure out if IKEA cabinets are for you, here’s what it comes down to. You’ll save money but probably not time (or headaches). My suggestion and what I wish we had done now is gotten our cabinetry from IKEA, but our cabinet doors from somewhere else (like SemiHandmade). That way they would wear better and we could have gotten a more high-end finish. But overall, I’m super happy with how our kitchen turned out. I think mixing in some more expensive pieces like our Fireclay tile (Moorish Knot) and Caesarstone countertops (countertop total was $4,500) helped elevate the cabinetry. In the end, it was nice to find some savings somewhere in our renovation!

Before I go I thought it would be fun to show you a before and after…

Better right? Well, be sure to comment if you have any other questions about my cabinetry experience or if you have any of your own tips and tricks you learned from going the IKEA route or just want to connect. You can find me at and @amanda_holstein on Instagram. Come say hi!

Kitchen Resources:

Fireclay tile (Moorish Knot)

Caesarstone countertops

Window Treatments

Pendant Lights

***After photos by ComePlum


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184 thoughts on “Are IKEA Kitchen Cabinets Worth The Savings??? A Very Honest Review One Year Later

    1. I’ve had Ikea cabinets for 3 years now. Work great for me. No issues or wear whatsoever so far. You just have to install them correctly. Great customer service too. Couldn’t be happier with the choice

      1. We installed ikea cabinets in 2009. 11 years later, they are definitely showing their age. The insides are fine, the hinges are fine, the wear is just very evident on the doors and drawer fronts themselves. We will probably eventually just replace the fronts. They have not held up to normal use.

        My husband is an architect with lots of carpentry experience, so installing them was no real problem and I’m confident we did it correctly. We appreciated saving money on them. But I can’t say that I would recommend them. Maybe this is unrealistic, but I expected to build the kitchen just once.

          1. Woah, what?! I’m planning on doing a kitchen in a few years and my biggest wishlist item was metal 1950s-60s cabinets. I was going to go with IKEA because it gives a similar look, but wanted metal so badly… I can’t believe someone does metal fronts for IKEA! You’re amazing, Heather, thank you! You can have my firstborn, 😀

      2. Absolutely agree. I have them for 2 years (same design doors as blog post) No issues, our contarctor installed them.

      3. I’ve had Ikea cabinets for 5 years and they still look and work great! I put them all together myself and didn’t find it very difficult or time consuming.

    2. We’ve had our IKEA kitchen for over 2 years, no issues with chipping paint or wear. We have kids and 3 pets. We also had our contractor customize some of the boxes to fit our space, so we do have a custom kitchen at a lower price and a faster pace – we redid our whole main floor in 5 weeks, so speed was also one of the reasons to use IKEA.

    3. I think you forgot to mention that the cabinets are made in China, like 90% of their furniture sold in the US. Depending on the door style and quality, that is what can raise prices, some are also made in China.

      1. This may be true for other Ikea products, but the kitchen cabinet components are not made in China. The boxes are made in the U.S. the hardware is manufactured by Blum, a major name in the cabinet industry.

      2. Jose, if you bought IKEA’s kitchen and related parts, you will see they have labels regarding origins of manufacturing (by law.) They are actually produced mainly in Europe and US.

  1. Great post and lovely kitchen! We’re getting ready to deal with several kitchen remodels at rental properties, and are considering IKEA cabinets and Semihandmade fronts, so it’s good to read what you’d do differently.

    One question for Emily’s team that’s unrelated to this post: is “no Wednesday post” the new norm? I apologize if I missed an earlier announcement since it’s been going on several weeks, and I realize 6 days of content is still a lot, just want to save myself the time of checking in all day if there are no loner going to be posts on Wednesday. Thanks!

    1. I too am happy with whatever you’re doing / planning but would love to know the new schedule – even if it’s in flux. Thanks!

      1. We all notice what appears to be disarray in the EHD posting and scheduling.
        Seems the staff has been downsized significantly recently – perhaps that’s part of the problem?
        Where are all the posts of design projects the EHD team is involved in?
        Are there any design projects any more? We never see any…no before and after photos, no moto projects, the projects of former staff members which started off with a bang are never revisited and apparently never completed? We are all wondering out here – and missing design content.
        Please come back!

    2. I’m curious about the new posting schedule as well. It seems like Emily was just talking about having “afternoon snack” posts, but posts have felt really inconsistent lately.

      1. Yes! Same curiosity! Would love to know the schedule and what happened to the afternoon snack – just for the purposes of planning my own afternoon snack at work 🙂

    3. So glad you loved the post! In terms of our posting schedule, yes we have been playing around with not posting on Wednesdays. We have just been SO busy with prepping the new site (coming soon!), along with a handful of new design projects that just started in the new year. Those should start revealing soon as well, but as anyone who has ever taken on a design project, those take time along with added lead times for any installs or ordering. Another reason we’re testing out a “no post Wednesday” schedule is because we had a fair number of readers saying that they were having a hard time keeping up with us posting 7 days a week. So we’ve decided to try 6 days of new content on SOME weeks, but haven’t decided yet if that will be a permanent schedule. As always, the internet is kind of the wild west of the editorial world, and we’re always trying to adjust and see what works best. In reference to the afternoon snacks, we decided that while we are transitioning to our new site format we were spreading ourselves a bit thin, and risking “only okay” blog posts being published as snacks. We may bring those back sometime in the future! What I can say is that I promise that we have more MOTOs (like Julie’s last month), some new non-MOTO reveals, and a feel-good flash makeovers coming to the blog soon. xx

      1. Thanks for the update! Much appreciated. Although curious why a new site is needed, as this one seems great. Looking forward to what’s to come!

      2. Thank you, Jess!
        I think you’ve spoiled us with previous transparency and announcements about schedules. I had in mind that if something’s going to change (afternoon snacks coming then going, no Wednesday posts) you’ll let us know. It’s so helpful when you make an announcement about the change so that I don’t keep checking back – even on the end of a Tuesday post, a casual “and we’ll see you Thursday with the blah blah blah!” would be great.

        Also, of course, take all this with a grain of salt, because you owe me (and us) nothing! I appreciate all the content over the years, and hope you and Emily do exactly what you need to do to make your work a happy, sustainable operation.

        1. “Also, of course, take all this with a grain of salt, because you owe me (and us) nothing!”

          I respectfully disagree — this is the work of Team EHD. Given that this blog is the sole driver of business (as the team does not take on design clients), they actually DO owe us, their consumers and customers, content. It’s fine if they want to mix up the schedule of posting to see what works best, but let us know! A quick post saying “Hey, over the next three-four weeks we’re going to be testing new schedules/regularity of posting, please bear with us” is the absolute least they can do. Our visits here help pay their bills, their salaries, so it’s not too much to ask to be shown the respect of being kept in the loop. I’m over these changes happening with no announcement, and finding an explanation buried in the comments of a random post. Quite frankly, it’s not good enough. (Don’t get me wrong, I love the design content that EHD posts (not so much the fashion/lifestyle content…), but I’m starting to feel like the audience is being taken for granted. From other comments on this post and others, I don’t think I’m the only one.)

          1. Chelsea I agree with you.

            Just announce what the new schedule will be…transparency is much appreciated!

            Nothing on the internet is free. The clicks for traffic; clicks on shopping links; comments all are revenue for the blog. We are the reason EHD makes a living.

          2. I agree with Chelsea. I appreciate this blog and all the hard work the team does — truly! But as a reader, it feels very strange for you all to announce some big changes and then not follow through. If plans change, cool! But let us know in the same manner you announced them. I really don’t think that’s too much to ask.

      3. Are you also moving toward a lifestyle blog focus rather than just design? I feel like there have been more posts that have nothing to do with home design.

    4. We used Ikea cabinets and Semihandmade fronts in our last house and I LOVED them. Redid our kitchen in the house we’re in now and used a cabinet company (not custom built, but supposedly an upgrade) and I wish we had gone the Ikea/SH route – I liked the quality so much better. Good luck!

  2. IKEA doors are actually fine.. I recently removed a 20year old IKEA kitchen, painted it and put it in a different space

    The issue is the quality of the carcasses. They’re junk. We ended up rebuilding most of them using new materials

    In our main kitchen we have a custom wood kitchen. That will last a hundred years. That is the difference.

    So the very last thing you should do is buy the carcasses and change the doors.

    1. I mean, I’d love a fully wood kitchen, but where I am that would cost $30k. So it’s what you can afford.

      1. Also, it’s unlikely that anyone will want a hundred year old kitchen. Times change, people change the way they use spaces, tastes and styles change.

        1. Don’t be so sure. While my cabinets aren’t quite 100 years old, they’re 77, I wouldn’t even consider taking them out. They were custom made and look like built in furniture, even on the inside. I’m complimented on them constantly. If I needed a tweak I’d have a custom cabinet maker make whatever pieces I need, matching them exactly. Luckily the layout is perfect so I can’t imagine anyone wanting to get rid of these.,

    2. The cabinet boxes are pretty consistent with European cabinetry. Europe has more strict environmental standards and furniture board and MDF are standard there. For some reason wood cabinets are still king in the US, but it doesn’t mean they’re better. Most of the time wood means laminated plywood cabinet boxes that are thinner than a European frameless cabinet and not nearly as moisture stable.

  3. 3 years after my first Ikea kitchen and it’s still very nice. I went with their install though.
    They came and built it very quickly – there was a problem with the countertop (it came without the hole for the sink!) so it took an additional month to arrive but they brought us a stand-in from their ‘as-is section’ in the meantime.
    I’d say go for it if you have a tiny budget and no need for custom measurements cabinetry,

  4. We are finishing up our Ikea install. We paid the $250 to have the kitchen measured professionally and get an online designer. The money is refunded upon purchasing items. The designer wasn’t particularly creative (not an issue for us because I knew the design plan I wanted, I just needed someone else to measure accurately and then plan how big the filler panels needed to be), but she made sure we ordered all of the hinges and toe kicks that would have been easily forgotten. The price is excellent. My husband has done the installation, which has been a hassle but we knew that going in. We are very pleased with the axstad cabinet fronts. I disagree with the author’s opinion about customer service. We have made several returns (a few quality issues, a few changes that we made to our plan) and the customer service has been outstanding, no questions asked. I’m very pleased so far. There is a long warranty on cabinet fronts, so the author should consider exchanging her worn cabinet fronts and adding a clear “bumper pad” at the friction point between the dishwasher and drawer front. Ikea will deliver everything for less than $100. There are soo many boxes! No matter how much money you are trying to save, just pay for the delivery. A minivan will not get the job done!

    1. My experience is basically exactly yours. A few changes, super easy returns, we used ekestad fronts, which actually ARE wood, and have held up very nicely. We LOVE our ikea kitchen. Very pleased with it. And it actually does look quite high end 🙂 Had nothing but excellent customer service. We are super handy and did it all ourselves, but I can see how things could go wrong if you weren’t handy, haha. It’s a HUGE job.

  5. 3 years after my first Ikea kitchen and it’s still very nice. I went with their install though.
    They came and built it very quickly – there was a problem with the countertop (it came without the hole for the sink!) so it took an additional month to arrive but they brought us a stand-in from their ‘as-is section’ in the meantime.
    I’d say go for it if you have a tiny budget and no need for custom measurements cabinetry.

  6. You don’t have to demo your kitchen before ordering custom or semi-custom cabinetry. Existing kitchen stays in place 99.9% of the time…demo happens once cabinets arrive or get close to arriving. Otherwise, great write up!

    1. Yeah I thought that was super weird too. We had semi custom cabinets installed and they didn’t demo until the new cabinets had been delivered.

    2. In Emily’s experience (since she has typically chosen to create a different layout than the original) this was the case. The custom cabinet builders she has worked with didn’t want to take the chance of not getting exact measurements. But it’s nice to know that that’s not always the case!

  7. I loved our Ikea kitchen remodel! $7500 for cabinets, appliances, tiles, lighting, and counter (we did oak butcher block that we made ourselves so $135 in materials for an entire hardwood counter). We took the room down to the studs and built it back out again. While the sizes aren’t custom, I didn’t feel too limited because of the easy way to stack and configure the cabinets. We moved this past summer into a home with a poorly designed kitchen layout (seriously, cabinets run into each other and some you can’t reach because an appliance is in the way). I fully intend on doing another Ikea kitchen here!

  8. We have an ikea kitchen with doors from Scherrs. We put it in 6 ago and it’s held up well and looks nice. But we installed ourselves and are still not done with trim and side panels etc! It was a process for sure. I’d definitely do it again, but you need to devote lots of time and mental energy to it. And it’s much easier to do wall to wall rather than cabinets that should lots of side panels etc. I think altogether our medium size kitchen cost about $7000 for cabinets (not hardware.)

    1. Ikea cabinets and semihandmade reno last year, over here. Love everything about it. Honestly, if you build supportive frames (as opposed to simply hanging them and using the cheap little legs) underneath the carcasses, as well as a few other things, they seem to hold up a lot better. The prep and planning are the biggest challenge. But, if you are doing open layout (ie: island with a wall of counter/cabinets), it’s super malleable.

      I found the YouTube page “Up to Kode” to be super helpful for tips and tricks.

  9. What a beautiful kitchen! I think the big con of ikea cabinets is that the boxes aren’t plywood, so moisture will damage them. Also I don’t think it’s fair to compare IKEA prices to custom cabinets – a more apt comparison would be other prefab lines. There are lots of prefabs with plywood boxes, like RTA cabinets or Kraftmaid Vantage.

    1. Moisture will undoubtedly damage plywood as well. Ikea box is 3/4. Hard to find at anywhere near that price point.

  10. Great article and gorgeous kitchen! Not sure if the materials IKEA use are different in Europe but my husbands a joiner (carpenter) and has fitted many a kitchen…he really rates the IKEA carcasses (more than many brand which are 6 times the price) but not so much the doors in their cheaper painted ranges…but for £10 a door I think it depends on what you need from them…if you’re on a super low budget they are an amazing option to transform your space and create the home you want and need…If it’s for a rental where you think they might need to be replaced more often due to more use/damage or because you redecorate to keep up with the latest styles, it might be in your interests to have a kitchen where the doors can be replaced more often for less money…I would say the most important place to spend your money on is the install and the carcasses because an expensive kitchen fitted badly with carcasses that sag and move will always give you trouble xx

    1. Same in the US. The carcasses are fantastic (if you put them together soundly, which some DIYers don’t do) and the Blum hinges are great. Fronts are a little cheap, but can always be changed out or custom used instead.

  11. What a great post!
    I was expecting something a bit longer, or more indepth, but devoured this.
    We’re considering installing an IKEA kitchen in a modestly sized kitchen. Our house is pushing 100, so it was a boon to check out the styles at IKEA and see that there’s one to look comfortable in our old lady of a house (same as Amanda’s).

    Friends have done IKEA kitchens and used an IKEA installer who moonlights out of hours.
    IF we go the IKEA route, we’ll employ him, if he’s still around, because we installed an MFI (UK company) kitchen many moons ago and it was agonising to do! Even with an engineer, roof carpenter and jack of all trades working collaboratively! Nightmare!

    We live in Australia, so IKEA isn’t quite as cheap here as the USA, partly due to the exchange rate, but frustratingly, mostly due to IKEA’s absurd pricing policy for Australia. An investigation was done into how we’re expected to pay more here just because IKEA says Aussies WILL pay more (and so, we do, because that’s the way it is…gggrrrr). That said, trades and custom anything in Australia cost more!! Why? Because resources mining drives the economy here and therefore, sets the expectations for high trades wages here and in the cities, where there’s no mining, the trades (or “Tradies” as we call them – everyone and thing has a nickname in Australia) expect high wages…so we pay them.
    It’s so ridiculous, byt it’s the way it is.

    So…we’re seriously considering an IKEA kitchen. Our old house has zero straight anything, walls, door frames, floors…..all of it. This old girl’s got a few nuanced slips and crinkles for sure.

    We could go custom, but because this house is original, whoever buys it after us will slap a massive extension on at the back and possibly go up as well to get city views across the river (Perth), so it’d be wasted money for resale! Australian homes are stupidly big, unnecessarily huge and with just the two of us and our scruffy dawg, our house is big enough as is for us.

    A neighbour a few houses down has a slightly similar house and they chose an IKEA kitchen, so it’s encouraging.

    Emily….maybe you could run a world-wide competition for an IKEA kitcgen with planning and install??!?? It’s a global company… every single reader could enter and truly have a chance at winning! Whatcha think?
    Need a guinea pig O/S project? Pick us! ?

    Again, great post! More of these, please.

    1. @rusty – I had an ikea kitchen with semi-handmade fronts installed last year in a 100+ year old house. I chose to use Ikea’s recommended planner & installer. The planner was terrible but the installers were great. It took 2 of them 2.5 days to unbox and install my kitchen which is 9′-8″ x 14′-0″. They also have spare parts on hand, so in case a component is missing, they can easily provide it. My advice on installing precision made cabinetry in a house where no wall, floor, or ceiling is straight, is to allow generous gaps between the end cabinets and the walls and a good amount of space between the uppers and the ceilings, and hang the base cabinets at the highest point of the floor. (My floor and ceiling slope a good 3″ across the room!) An expert installer will fill in all the gaps (scribing) with the toe kicks and filler pieces. Because this work requires skill, I wouldn’t DIY scribing in an old house. These guys hung everything plumb and you don’t even notice the wonkiness of the house because of the seamless scribing. The one lesson learned with ordering the fronts from a different supplier than ikea is you have to plan the deliveries of both. For me, I had the ikea boxes sitting in my (tiny) house for 3 weeks until the semi-handmade boxes came in, because ikea delivered the same weekend I ordered, while semi-handmade took a few weeks, and then I had to fit into the installer’s window. The semi-handmade boxes arrived later than expected due to an issue with the shipping company, and I lost my installation window and then had to wait an additional 2 weeks to get rescheduled. :/ Once the cabinets were installed, I had another subcontractor install a marble counter. Because the marble guys take exact as-built dimensions, they do not start the counters until the cabinets are installed. So I had to wait another 3 weeks for the counter (they were very busy). If I had used ikea for everything, the kitchen would have been ready from boxes to baking in about 1 week’s time. In the end I think I would have been just as happy with one of ikea’s white counter options as my marble, and it would have saved a lot of headache and time. I also realized that the semi-handmade’s options are really nice, but in my house one of ikea’s standard options still would have turned out really pretty. So my advice is do as much through ikea turn-key as possible to really reap the benefits and avoid a lot of coordination, delays, and hassle. It would also save a tremendous amount of money.

      I agree with other comments that spending as much time as needed up front in planning ikea pays off. I took a lot of time and went through many iterations until I found the one that worked the best.

      1. Oh, Leanna, thank you so much for responding!
        Yes, sounds like great advice! There’s no way we’d try this one as an install for us to handle. I’ve heard that the Ikea installers have spares and bits n bobs on hand. Thanks for the tips about the wall end cupboards too -makes sense.
        In Australia, we don’t have Semi-handmade, so we’re planning on buying the shaker style fronts from Ikea. It’s just us and our aging dawg, and we’re careful, so I think it’ll last.
        Funny thing with being so careful….things don’t wear out!! And then it’s tricky to update, because it seems wasteful, even when we find good homes for the stuff we replace. Ha!
        Thanks again ☺

        1. Pretty sure AUS has several companies that are the equivalent of Semi-handmade, but their names are escaping me right now.

  12. We have installed 3 Ikea kitchens, including one that serves a very busy event space — there is a wedding almost every weekend of the year, and this is where caterers prep dishes and decorators put together flowers, etc. They are all holding up really well! We did get them installed by some carpenters we know, but since we live in a rural state, I’m not sure if Ikea install was even an option and would surely cost more than our local labor market.

  13. Nearly forgot… Amanda, if you install some simple molding at the top of your upper cabinets, you’ll ‘disappear’ those shadow, creepy crawley hiding places between the cupboards and the ceiling.

  14. We used IKEA cabinets for our first house. One thing I was impressed with was the internal hardware: hinges & drawer closures. At the time, 2014, they were Blom, which is apparently top-of-the-line cabinetry hardware. I noticed the difference immediately… smooth open and closing of every door and drawer. Nearly silent! Our previous cabinets were loud and clackity every time someone was in the kitchen. Loud cabinets are a bummer when one person has to get up earlier for work and the other is trying to sleep in a bit.

  15. We’ve done four Ikea kitchens in houses that we’ve flipped. I always had someone design the layout for me, as I never had the time to devote to it. We also hired a contractor to do the installation so that added to the cost. Installing yourself would be a huge money-saver.
    We used Semi-handmade door and drawer fronts on one of the kitchens. I’m not sure if I would use them again. I found it to be a huge hassle trying to coordinate the Ikea order with the Semi-handmade order and I was not impressed with the Semi-handmade delivery service. Ikea’s delivery service was much better. I also didn’t like ordering expensive door fronts from a computer screen. I would rather do it from a showroom where I could see the actual product. The door fronts that we chose ended up being a little lighter in color than I had been expecting. (Next time, I think I would look for a local option to make the custom door fronts.)
    I also found Ikea’s customer service to be great when it came to returning or exchanging things, but not so great when a piece was missing. We were missing the burner caps for a gas range and getting the parts was a huge hassle and took over a month to get. We used Ikea appliances on only one of the kitchens and I was not impressed with the quality of the appliances but since I was not the end user, I really can’t speak to the long-term quality of the appliances.
    All in all, I love the look of the Ikea cabinets and love that you can customize the interiors with their organization products. You can’t beat the price and buyers seemed to love the look of the cabinets too.

  16. I did Ikea boxes and Semi-Handmade fronts in my NYC apartment renovation four years ago and have no complaints on quality. We did have our wonderful architect, project manager, and construction crew design, install the cabinets, and also make finishing pieces to really tie everything together. The kitchen is a tiny open kitchen, and the cost for custom cabinetry here was a whopping 30k even for such a small space!!! It would be even more for a larger kitchen as pictured here. All in our solution cost about 10k. including the custom work described above. I would do it again in a heartbeat. I do think the very professional install we had done likely helps with the “quality” issues, e.g. there are NO issues with cabinets hitting other cabinets and things like that due to very, very precise planning and install. Also, where there is wear and tear it’s actually on the Semi-Handmade fronts. Unfortunately it’s just a reality of painted wood cabinetry that if you, for example, bang a fork into the cabinet door it’s going to ding or chip slightly. Not something that can be avoided with pricier cabinet fronts IMO. The actual internals of the Ikea cabinets have shown no wear or damage over four years.

  17. We just purchased a home that came with an Ikea kitchen that had been installed about five years ago. It has the tinted glass cabinets, and while I don’t think they are what I would have picked myself, they are AWESOME for keeping clean- way better than the painted wood cabinets I had in my old kitchen. I also like that because they’re glass, basically none of the cabinet boxes are exposed, so there is less chance of damage to the plywood. We also have their dishwasher with a matching front- the hinges on the dishwasher are loud, but it cleans dishes great.

  18. Disagree with the “not high quality” comment. They aren’t solid wood and custom…no one that is looking at Ikea for a kitchen expects that I hope, but they ARE leaps and bounds better than our crap builder grade “upgraded” cabinets.

    1. Totally agree. MOST cabinets nowadays are not solid wood (and solid wood is $$$$, so a different conversation entirely). Ikea is way better, in our experience, than builder grade options and most of what is stocked at Home Depot, Lowe’s, etc. But, the cabinets are only as good as the installation.

    2. Agree. From Europe I am writing – I have had the third ikea kitchen now (previously I had one for 10 years and it was flawless!) and I think they are super good quality. And they look high-end compared with lots of other kitchens from stores. Customer service is also very customer friendly – they immediately replaced the 8-year-old countertop (which was damaged by our fault!) for free.

  19. We installed our first Ikea kitchen 7 (!) years ago when it was still the Akrum line and the fronts were Adele off white shaker style. It was a small galley kitchen in a 1950s ranch. We now rent out the house and the kitchen looks as good as the day we installed it. People knock thermafoil drawer fronts but I’ve been so, so impressed with how easy they are to maintain. No one knows our kitchen is Ikea! We paired the cabs with white subway tile and Carrara marble countertops. We put in a Bertazzoni cooktop + wall oven and other non-Ikea appliances. It’s still, to this day, one of my favorite rooms in that house. The only thing that’s shown its age is the toe kick-+ but it is so easy to replace. While we don’t have kids, this kitchen has survived renters, dogs, and lots of parties! We are getting ready to install another Ikea kitchen in our new house and can’t wait to have soft close drawers and an airy space. I agree with this post that adding in more high end elements makes the kitchen really pop, but the comment about “not quality” related to paint chipping sounds like an installation mistake that could have easily been avoided.

  20. We have IKEA cabinets with Semi Handmade doors. My husband installed it himself; we had pros do the counters (quartz from a local tile store, which was actually slightly cheaper than IKEA). I think the cabinet boxes are fine. They don’t really look custom, but they are sturdy enough. Installation was also really fast, even DIYing it – they have a pretty easy to use system. Maybe because our kitchen is small, we didn’t have much trouble finding the right pieces. Semihandmade ended up charging us a HUGE surcharge to re-deliver the door fronts inside the lobby of our apartment building (not even inside our apartment or on our floor) rather than leaving them on a pallet on the sidewalk in front of the building, which is what they tried to do the first time their delivery truck came. We were at work, and our super turned them away. We’re still annoyed about this, as bringing something inside a building is pretty standard for delivery; it didn’t occur to us that they would try to leave them outside. They were also really unhelpful and rude when we complained. After two years, the finish on some of the panels right next to our range is starting to pull away from the underlying MDF from the heat. So I’m not convinced the quality is that big an upgrade from IKEA.

  21. We installed a HUGE ikea kitchen last spring. My husband did it all which was horrible (I mean the man has a real job so it took forever) but the kitchen itself is insanely beautiful. We’re redoing our house and have contractors coming in and out constantly and they all believe it’s custom. We had our architect layout the kitchen and then went into ikea and the specialist helped pick out boxes that best fit the measurements (you must know all your measurements before going in to a specialist!). We used the cabinet face out of Denver and were able to get trim pieces so that there are no gaps which is what really makes the difference. Custom our kitchen cabinets prob would have run us over $40,000 but ikea kept it around $15,000 (boxes, custom fronts and nice pulls). There are companies in California who specialize in installing ikea cabinets and helping you trim it out so in the end you have a custom look kitchen-it will prob also save your marriage lol. But of course there’s a price tag for that. I’d def do it again! There are so many companies making fronts and trim pieces that you can really walk away with a custom looking kitchen/bathroom/closet.its just a matter of sheer will power if you’re tackling it yourself.

  22. I love our IKEA kitchen. Two years in and I don’t see any wear on the cabinets. We chose one of the sturdier door options and I assume the poster did not. We paid for the ikea design service to come to our house to measure and create a layout. It was $250 and we received it back as credit towards our purchase. Using the ikea design service is the best way to go. They made sure to order all the various pieces needed and the design service gives you the cabinet layout. To stay organized I went through and marked each box with the cabinet number on the layout. When it came time to build the cabinets and install them, it was a much smoother process. Hanging the cabinets was fairly easy since it uses a technique similar to a French cleat. Each cabinet has feet to allow you to adjust to the floor height. The cost for ikea to build and install I felt outweighed the benefits of the ikea kitchen, so we opted to install ourselves. The design service and install are two separate options available, so it’s worth utilizing the design service regardless of if you install yourself or use ikea install.

  23. Going on 6 years with an IKEA kitchen. Holding up structurally really well and absolutely no issues with things falling apart. If you are semi-handy and enjoy home reno’s, then I’d say go for it! It is true about the long wait, though. I think we were in the store for ordering about 4.5 hrs.

  24. Shop around people. We looked into Ikea cabinets but it absolutely didn’t make sense financially for us as we live in a pretty expensive area (Baltimore/Washington suburbs). By going with a local business that did everything but the countertops we were able to get real wood semicustom cabinets installed for only a couple thousand more than the Ikea cabinets would have cost. They also worked fast. They didn’t do demo until the cabinets were delivered and the cabinets were installed and ready to be measured for countertops within a week of demo (which included making a half wall and opening up a doorway/installing a beam). They were great and their cost for everything was 33% less than other quotes we’d gotten for just the cabinetry.

    1. Kate – Sounds like a great experience! I’d love to know who you used, if you don’t mind sharing. I live in the DC area and am considering a kitchen renovation.

  25. Thanks for a great post. I wanted to add a different perspective to this discussion. In 2005 (!!!) we installed IKEA cabinetry in an elementary school. We installed it in two kitchens and in every classroom. This cabinetry is not painted, so that does impact things. After 15 years of VERY hard use, all of the cabinetry looks amazing and still works. We’ve had to replace a few kick plates and tighten the hinges, but otherwise we have had no problems. In our situation almost everything breaks because of such high use and I find the quality of the IKEA cabinets remarkable. The cabinets are one of the things that we have NOT had to replace. At the time we bought them because it was all we could afford, but it turns out that they were a great investment. I don’t know if they still sell the kind we bought, but if you are wondering if they will hold up, they sure did in our experience.

    As a comparison, in my home we had custom cabinets that (in retrospect) cost a ridiculous amount. After 8 years we had to have all of the cabinetry repainted (they are painted white). If I were to do it again, I would install IKEA at home. Seriously, I don’t like my custom cabinets five times as much 🙂

    I know that this isn’t a design focused comment, but I thought it may be helpful to read.

  26. If installing upper cabinets, make sure to include under cabinet lighting. We did, and I thought it was a luxury but turns out it is a necessity. Ikea upper cabinets are 15 inches deep and cast a big shadow if the under cabinet lights are not on. We are very pleased so far with our Ikea kitchen.

    1. Agreed! I just installed a new IKEA kitchen and the under counter and in drawer lights make it look AMAZING! Worth every penny.

  27. We didn’t do IKEA and I am so happy we did custom. We supported a local business and have a beautiful kitchen that fits our space perfectly and gives off a good feeling. I know that if we ever want to reface the cabinets the boxes will last forever, and very likely outlive us. If you can afford it, go custom! 🙂

  28. I too put in an IKEA kitchen, my brother-in-law, Sister and I. Back in 2018, we removed flooring and cabinets and installed Ikea’s but I have a totally different outcome. We found the cabinet s easy to build, and they still look great, no wear is showing. The IKEA 3D planning was great I paid for the designer to come to my home, he took measurements and completely utilized all the space in my small kitchen. I guess it depends on what you ordered from IKEA. I took pics throughout and was quite pleased with the outcome. We had fun building this kitchen. The only thing I wouldn’t purchase was the faucets again, the water flow is small and the handle and the drain cup broke after 6 months.

  29. I’ve had my Ikea kitchen for 3 years, and I still love it every day. The soft close doors and drawers are excellent. In order to keep it from looking TOO Ikea, we did go with different vendors for counter tops and drawer pulls, and I think this does “elevate” the look. I’ve had multiple contractors walk through the kitchen for other work, and they frequently compliment us on how nice the kitchen is. They don’t even know it’s mostly from Ikea!

    In terms of wear and tear, it’s holding up well so far (though of course hard to say if it’ll be here 50 years from now like the cabinets found in older homes). The kitchen still basically looks like the day we moved in. All the doors and drawers still work perfectly, nothing is misaligned, shaky, squeaky, or sticky. The only real wear and tear I’ve noticed is right next to the stove where grease has splattered onto the black cabinets and doesn’t seem to come off no matter what cleaner I use. I’m not sure how to fix this since the cabinets aren’t actually painted; they have that sort of Ikea faux finish. However, you don’t really notice the splatters unless you catch them in the light at just the right angle.

    The ordering and install was a lot of work. We probably took 6 hours planning things with Ikea’s software, but PRO TIP, you can use it remotely from anywhere. You don’t have go in-store – my husband was working on it from home on his computer. We also opted to build the cabinetry ourselves – a 5-6 ft tall pile of flat pack boxes showed up at our house one day, and that was pretty intimidating. But, we built it all over the course of a couple days and then had our contractor install it. My husband would have done it, but I didn’t trust him to hang everything perfectly straight in a 80-year-old house 🙂

    Is custom better? Of course. But when the savings is SO drastic, I’d go with Ikea again any day of the week.

  30. We’ve installed two Ikea kitchens and one custom so far. Maybe I don’t have a very discerning eye or something, but I honestly cannot tell the difference in quality between the custom and Ikea kitchens we’ve had, except that one cost a lot more than the other two. I have come to understand that when Ikea cabinet quality complaints arise, it tends to be more from installation / space planning errors than the actual quality of their product. For example, I may not be understanding the post correctly, but if her dishwasher is “hit[ting] the drawer next to it,” that’s an incorrect space planning or installation issue and would probably cause wear and tear no matter what cabinet company she used. I will also say this — the installation of an Ikea kitchen is expensive if you hire a professional to do it (which I highly recommend). We used a company that markets themselves as expert assemblers of Ikea kitchens, and their assembly and installation cost was literally four times what my contractor had quoted for assembly and installation even if we had we gone custom. This is because Ikea kitchens are indeed very complicated to put together — we had literally hundreds of boxes arrive at our door when it was delivered. Despite the elevated assembly cost, though, we still saved significantly over if we had gone custom. And the kitchen looks great and functions well. So I would definitely recommend an Ikea kitchen, with the caveat that you really need someone who knows what they are doing in laying out the kitchen, assembling the parts and installing the whole thing.

    1. I forgot to say — Amanda’s new kitchen looks truly beautiful. I especially love the tile choice for the backsplash. 🙂

    2. I had the same thought, Deepa. We hired a phenomenal installer, and if he heard about a dishwasher hitting the drawer next to it, I know he’d immediately say there was an error in the installation that needed fixing.

  31. I want to also disagree with a couple of the cons here. We DIY our kitchen at 6 months pregnant to replace the builders grade kitchen. First it’s fast. Yes a few hours in store to get the details right but they were delivered in a week or so. Second I don’t think it was disorganized. Pregnant me labeled every box as they came in the door so I knew which cabinet it was and then I assembled them as my husband requested them. Third they are not “low” quality. You can’t compare to custom of course but they were much nicer (thicker presswood boxes) than the builder grade which I’d assume came from a RTA shop or big box store. The hinges are all Blum which is what custom uses. I agree that you need to do a nicer backsplash and counters as well as pulls or knobs. I’d also recommend doing the trim pieces and under cabinet lighting. Get a little creative, lots of blogs out there with ideas on how to fill spaces that aren’t a perfect fit. I’d do it again in our new house as would my husband.

    1. I totally agree with everything you said! My first IKEA kitchen is 15 years old… it still looks great! I did my parent’s open concept kitchen with IKEA cabinets 3 years ago, with a huge island… creativity and YouTube!! I’m currently designing my 4th kitchen with IKEA (I’m the neighborhood IKEA go-to… lol). A professional designer’s blog: has great tips also. She LOVES IKEA too!

    2. I agree with you 1000% The quality is actually great, and if you take the time to get the filler pieces right and add the under-cabinet lighting, it will look VERY custom.

      I’d add that Ikea’s quartz is Caesarstone…a wonderful product.

  32. We are contractors in Colorado. We did a large wet at in our private basement and decided to give them a try. I can see where would be cheaper for Bay Area but was a lot more expensive than what we, as contractors could buy cabinets here for. A total pain, bad quality and if they get your order wrong like the guy in our Denver store did, cost us tons of time and hundreds more in shipping to get right parts. Paid more in shipping cost then the parts cost. Add to the fact you can not call the stores to let them know of their errors. We will never use again. Now a bathroom vanity is ok( the word is Ok….) Also you might as well add the cost for using their people to put together because no real instructions and nothing like traditional cabinets. Just say NO!

  33. Our painted custom cabinets chip and we spent over $20,000 on them. Because of the all the customization, etc. it was worth it to me, but it did mean that we couldn’t afford to put in cabinets in the laundry or mud room during the renovation. We’ll probably do Ikea cabinets in the laundry room. They seem to have held up well in the kitchen we put in our old, now rental, house at the same time we did the renovation in our new (to us) house.

    I completely agree about having them delivered to the house, that usually there is one thing missing or on back order, and that having someone professionally install them makes a huge difference.

    Lastly, I echo those questioning where the Wednesday posts went? For a group that tends to share a lot about their business and business processes, having an entire weekday go missing for a month without comment seems really weird. I’d rather have Wednesday back than the weekend posts (though I enjoy those). I have lots of things I can do on the weekend, but weekdays without a Wednesday post find me grumpy and stuck at my desk trying to eat breakfast without something to read.

  34. I’d like to add that the actual installation process for Ikea cabinets is AMAZING compared to what you would get at a big box store. Ikea uses a wall hanging bracket for upper and lower cabinets which makes the leveling process a breeze. Our concrete floors are basically a wave though, if you have a super level floor then this probably wouldn’t matter.
    We’ve got the DIY Shaker SemiHandmade doors in our kitchen, spray painted them ourselves, and have created a fully custom look at a fraction of the cost. Obviously, your handiness level will be a big part of how custom Ikea can look.
    Their drawer glides and hardware are also Blum brand, which is great quality. We’d do Ikea boxes again in a heartbeat and recommend them to many.

  35. Also have IKEA cabinets and have had them for 1.5 years. Ours have actually held up really well with only a few chips here and there which I’ve covered up with matching paint. It just me and my husband so the wear and tear from kids and pets may have a different impact. We sat down with an IKEA kitchen specialist, which is free, to help us design our kitchen. I agree with the different doors tip, what a great idea! Also, the slow door closes always fall off.

  36. We did an IKEA kitchen 4 years ago. I designed my dream kitchen at PoggenPohl. It was going to cost $140K for cabinets. Designed same look at IKEA for $11K. Hired an online IKEA designer for $500. Received completed design in 5 days. Took only 2 hrs of my time. Paid $49 for delivery. Hired IKEA recommended installer. Two guys. Completed whole kitchen in 10 hours and hauled away boxes. $1500. In 4 years, we’ve only had to replace 2 hinges (for free). We considered Semi-Handmade fronts but were getting anxious on the budget knowing when I get tired of the cabinet faces in a few years (and replenish savings), I can easily and quickly upgrade with Semi-Handmade. (Total scope: 30 drawers, 15 cabinets, 3 pantry, 9 trim pieces, + upscale hinges, organizers, liners, handles, auto-open feature). Loved the whole process. Was 100% worth it to spend the $2000 to hire experts to design and install.

  37. I had IKEA upper cabinets put into my kitchen 12 years ago and I am 100% satisfied. No problems whatsoever. Although my contractor did tell me at the time that the labor cost would be higher. I was able to figure out how to fit them exactly to match the existing lower cabinets and keep all appliances in place. If I want to change it up, I may change out the doors in the future, but I will probably keep them as is.

    Your kitchen looks very nice!

  38. For a professional designer’s review, please check out and you may get a better idea of how to maneuver through an IKEA design/install. I agree they take some time to assemble/install, but I’m designing my 4th IKEA kitchen. My 1st IKEA kitchen is 15 years old, and still looks great! Lots of customization if you’re creative. Overall, no other “off the shelf” cabinets can compare. There is a company that creates IKEA cabinet fronts, if you want more options. My advice… start small – get some practice assembling IKEA products, and utilize YouTube’s countless instructional videos on IKEA products.

  39. I haven’t even gotten to read all the comments yet, but I had to throw in my experience. We JUST finished our Ikea kitchen in December, and could NOT be happier. Here are my big tips:

    Use Inspired Kitchen Design for the drawings and purchase list! They are incredibly reasonable, fast to turnaround the project, and the purchase list has ever SKU you need, so no spending hours in Ikea placing your order! Could not have been easier (and the Ikea design software was a pain in the a** to use, in my experience).

    We went with Semihandmade for the fronts, and they are great quality and well worth it, but we did shop them during a sale (which they have many of throughout the year). The kitchen looks totally custom.

    My biggest recommendation, especially if you’re in the Pacific Northwest (I’m in Seattle), is to hire BRAVE ELEMENT to handle your install ( and @braveelement on IG, check them out!). Wes is an absolute MASTER, has installed Ikea for YEARS and can customize anything you can dream up. Even hiring out the install on our kitchen, it was overall still significantly more reasonable than going custom.

    Oh, Ikea’s appliances are re-badged Whirlpool! You can even get the exact Whirlpool item numbers that correspond to each item in case you need to buy replacement parts or anything. They’ve just removed the branding on the fronts. Their appliances are definitely great, no need to be worried about that.

    Last tip, Ikea stocks Caesarstone, which is a fantastic product. I wasn’t wild about my local Ikea’s third-party installer (bad reputation at the time), so I got a quote from Ikea for the countertops and install, and shopped the quote around to local stoneyards for the EXACT same Caesarstone product. Several were willing to match or match plus a few hundred dollars, which was so, so worth it for a better quality installation (invisible seams) and great customer service (compared with Ikea’s install partner).

    If you’re thinking about an Ikea kitchen, give it a chance! And if you have questions, please feel free to ask; happy to answer anything.

    1. I should add, we used Inspired Kitchen Design for the stuff mentioned above, but our amazing installers, Brave Element, now do measure, design, purchasing, etc., so they are a one-stop-shop. Anyone in the PNW should def check them out. (not getting anything for recommending them…just a very happy customer!)

  40. We have an Ikea kitchen. I love it. We’ve had the cabinets for 3 years and haven’t had any problems. I would strongly recommend having a consult with an Ikea kitchen designer. As someone else said, the cost is reimbursed if you purchase the cabinets. We mocked everything up ahead of time but the designer caught a few things, made some improvements, and prepared all of our order lists. We also hired the contractors Ikea uses for the installation – they were excellent and made sure everything was level and even which was no small feat in our old uneven house. To elevate the look a bit, we got nice pulls and really nice tile for the back splash. I like knowing that in 5 or so years that if I want to I could get new fronts to change the look without having to change all of the boxes.

  41. Oh wow, your experience was very similar to mine. We weren’t even going to redo our kitchen but decided to at the last minute and, for budget reasons, went with IKEA. I get constant compliments about the kitchen and people are always surprised that it’s IKEA (which is surprising bc, to me, it is so very obvious).

    I would say the pros are definitely: price, looks, the fact that if something DOES chip (like a drawer front) there is the option to just buy a new one, and a big one: the fact that all of IKEA’s drawer organizers fit perfectly within the drawers leading to some serious organizational magic.

    The cons are: quality (def. a little flimsy, esp. the trash drawer); I too wish I had gone with Semi-Handmade! Also, the set cabinet sizes make it impossible to customize, so in one area my cabinets couldn’t go all the way to the ceiling which bums me out.

    In the end, though, I would have had to live with an old, gross kitchen for a long time if we hadn’t gone with IKEA so I’m so pleased it was an option.

    I should also mention that we paid to have a designer come to our house to do the measuring and create a plan. I think it cost under $300 and then when we used them to install the kitchen we got that money back in credit. That was worth it!! She came up with all kinds of ideas from seeing our space. I highly recommend that to anyone seriously considering an IKEA kitchen!

  42. I had such a horrific experience with Semihandmade that I would caution those who are not instagram influencers to really think through using them. I think if you have a platform with thousands of followers, I’m sure their customer service is great and responsive. However, we received the wrong set of doors, defective doors, and absolutely no help from their customer service. It was terrible – and they still owe me around $2k. Nightmare.

  43. As a custom cabinet shop owner for 25 years i will tell you di not waste you’re money on thes particle board vinal coated cabinets. If you see wear and tear after one year what will it look like on 5? I rep a brand of rta cabinets that the quality is amazing! All 5/8 10 ply boxes, solid wood dove tail drawer boxes, soft close drawer guides and hinges. Look for The Cabinet Spot. They are awesome and customer service the best!

    1. Seems your assumptions are contrary to most people’s actual experiences here.

      Besides, this being an assemble-yourself product- if something does get chipped or smashed- you can easily repair it.

  44. I recently moved away from Marin (Bay Area) due to the high cost of living. I left my home for Texas. As a kitchen designer there I found that if residents could afford to buy a home, they could not afford to fix it up. This isn’t necessarily the issue here in Austin. Anyway, I have helped friends back home design with European style cabinets, as well as builder grade and custom. The one problem I have heard with many European cabinets is the drawers have very low sides, so things fall out and get pushed into the back of the cabinets. Have you found this to be true?

    1. Things do not fall out or get pushed to the back of our Ikea drawers, and we have ALL drawers for bottom cabinets. In them we store pots, pans, dishes, spices, rags, serving dishes, etc. We added Ikea glass inserts on the sides to close the opening, for a nicer finish – but honestly don’t think it’s necessary.

  45. I have been buying and installing Ikea cabinets for 20 years in over 25 kitchens and bathrooms. The product has mostly stood the test of time in my rentals. Some finished are better than others. The gloss finished crazed over time and the product was changed so no replacement was available through Ikea.
    This year, after seeing the elevated prices and considering the extent of the assembly, I tried something else. What a great decision! I purchased Hampton Bay Cambridge white Shaker from Home Depot. This cabinet is fully assembled, all plywood construction and installs in a fraction of the time with little effort. Many sizes are off the shelf and many others quickly available from their catalog. My last kitchen cost $2500 for the cabinetry and $1500 for the stock granite countertops from a small shop. A one day install of white subway tile and it looks wonderful.

  46. Ikea is awful all the paint is peeling off the front cabinet faces. Cracking etc. Completely a waste never again

  47. Hi Amanda! I love your kitchen! Could you please share the exact details of your tile? The colors, the gloss etc? Also is the countertop Cloudburst concrete?

  48. I’m considering these as well for my remodel. I bought, assembled, and installed two bases for my laundry room 6+ years ago. The countertop is the only part showing wear, though I can’t say the cabinets get anywhere near the use a kitchen would. I also used 100% ikea furnishings when I gutted my bathroom about 3 years ago and those items are holding up great even in a high humidity environment (though a little hard to clean). My ikea corner desk is a piece of junk, though, with the laminate bubbling and peeling in multiple places and the corners also peeling.

    I currently have the original 1950’s maple cabinets in my kitchen and they’re sturdy but barely functional. The drawers have zero hardware- they just slide via friction on the frame. I also was given 9 various Kraft cabinets for free for my bar from a friend who was remodeling and those are pretty awesome. I’ll price those out as well as ikea. If the price difference is a few thousand, I’ll go with the better quality; but if we’re talking a 10k+ difference, then ikea it is.

    Also, those Semihandmade fronts are disgustingly expensive. If that’s how it’s going to be, I’ll make the fronts myself.

  49. For the drawer issue with it hitting the dishwasher door, this is definitely an install issue. It is one you can easily fix though. There are screws on the side of the drawer that let you adjust the drawer front from side to side. Really easy and so important in keeping them from getting damaged.

    I installed our Ikea kitchen almost four years ago now. I installed them myself and found it to be really easy, but I tend to be good at stuff like that. (Also, I am a married female and I do have to say, I get a bit offended when other women imply that something is a project for a husband. I can and do much more renovation work than my husband does. I may not be as big as him, but you learn to use leverage when needed and do enough of it and you’ll find yourself getting stronger too!)

    My biggest recommendation for anyone doing an install on there own is to sort and organize all of your materials before you begin. I placed each box in the spot where it was to be installed, then opened each and every box before I began so that I could make sure all of the parts were there.

    We’ve been happy with the look and wear of our cabinets. And haven’t had any issues. The entire reno was under $10,000 yet it looks like we spent more than twice that!

    1. I LIKE YOU. Yes, woman can and should be as good as men at handiwork! When I was growing up, I was responsible for doing the dishes and my brother was responsible for yardwork. Happily, I have a husband who answers all my questions and expects me to change my own oil, install my own dishwasher, etc. after hearing an explanation / seeing a demonstration. Never too late to learn! After all, he knows he may not be available one day, or anymore…

  50. After doing substantial research online and in showrooms, we decided to install IKEA cabinets in the kitchen of our 1940’s home. They are fantastic and still in great shape after 4 years of constant use. They are as good as the very high-end cabinets we installed in a previous home. We used their designer and their installers – (with a 20 year guarantee if you use an IKEA-approved installer vs self-installation). No complaints – love them, love the kitchen!

  51. We went with IKEA cabinets when we added a second kitchen to my mom’s house. We had an IKEA-certified installer put in the cabinets and it went great. The IKEA designer was not helpful in the store (we did use the IKEA kitchen design program at home and called it up at the store) and she ordered some things incorrectly and didn’t order things we needed. The installer was able to work with what we had. We only had to make one trip to get a few necessary parts that were left out. We bought the cabinets during their sale. For a nominal fee we were able to store them there and have them delivered when we actually needed them. Our very large kitchen gets a lot of hard use and the cabinets are holding up fine even after 7 years.
    In fact, we used kitchen cabinets in our closets because they were sturdier than IKEA’s actual closet cabinets.

  52. We did our kitchen with IKEA and Semihandmade last summer and I have to say it was an overall great experience! Final kitchen shown here:

    I designed the kitchen layout myself with their planner. We double-checked it at the store and made sure we included everything we needed. We let the kitchen planner know we were doing Semihandmade for doors and panels and they removed them from our kitchen order for us. We then sent our plan to Semihandmade and they helped us make sure we had everything we needed from them. Everything was delivered in a timely manner and Semihandmade replaced the one door we received from them that was wrong without any issues.

    My husband and I built all the boxes and interior fittings for the cabinets but we had our contractors hang them. I think I’d do it the same way next time as the building can be really time consuming (and expensive to hire out). But hanging them is something you want to get right and after watching our contractors do it I was happy it wasn’t us.

    We’re thrilled with the Semihandmade finish (we did white supermatte shaker). It wipes well and unlike what Amanda is describing the doors feel heavy and substantial. We also love all the fittings and customization we were able to get from IKEA to organize with. I also love that we could go back and buy an additional shelf or organizer any time.

    It’s worth noting that my husband and I are very handy and meticulously organized people, so getting the tiny details of designing/ordering/building right wasn’t too difficult for us, but it probably isn’t for everyone.

  53. We did our kitchen in 1987 and it lasted very well and helped sell our house 30 years later. Our cabinets predated the arrival of Ikea to the Northwest so we went with stock cabinets with real wood door and drawer fronts. I would guess it was similar to Ikea with Semi-homemade fronts. I designed my own kitchen with graph paper and T square, long before computer aided design. But what was astonishing was how quickly it all happened. It took two weeks from start to finish and they’d torn out down to the studs in all six directions! No plumbing got moved which made it a lot quicker.
    We only paid $14,000 including appliances in 1987.
    But I still think Velinda has me beat at budget kitchen remodels. I’m still shocked at how much people spend on their kitchens and then never actually cook in them.

  54. Great post! I work in a similar field (decorator focused on STRs) and of our last 4 kitchens we’ve done 2 IKEA and 2 custom. If you have the means custom is TOTALLY worth it in so many ways. We’ve ended up doing custom on the smaller ones and my heart SINGS when they are done…. with IKEA they are just *done* ?.

  55. I’ve had my IKEA kitchen for about 22 years – white with butcher countertop, it’s timeless really, but
    about a year ago the lower cabinet doors and drawers started to peel a bit and in the long run I have to replace the cabinet doors/drawers. I still love my pull-out pantry and the way it is designed with baskets not touching the sides, no ant will ever get in there (important when you live in SoCal). I love that the shelves are adjustable and there are many add-ons to buy for cabinets and drawers alike. For the price I paid it I certainly got my money’s worth. Assembling IKEA products takes some getting used to it, but I
    am from Europe, we practically grow up with IKEA furniture.

  56. Have an IKEA kitchen for over 5 years now, demo’ed the old, ordered the new and installed all the cabinetry but had professionals install granite (IKEA options are not that great). I have had zero issues to date and frankly love the setup. It doesn’t compete with high-end custom cabinetry but it beats site built and other box store cabinets (Lowes, Home Depot, etc.).

    To be as happy, check out the setups in person, use the kitchen planner and ask questions to the IKEA staff. Also be prepared for hundreds of boxes and packages of your initial order. I had over 1000 of them my first trip! Once you learn the assembly and installation method (takes 10 min) installation is smooth.

    Note, I live 15 min from an IKEA showroom so it was not a big deal to make the half dozen trips to purchase/return items as needed during installation. Note, this could have been more efficient if I better planned for it.

  57. We’ve done IKEA twice. We figured our arrangement at home on the IKEA kitchen planner so we weren’t in store figuring all this out. Also we found that SemiHandmade is way expensive if you went to IKEA to save money. The previous owners of our new house didn’t measure well enough to know when to put in filler strips so we have the same problem as you with the dishwasher. We would most certainly do IKEA again.

  58. I love this! I bought a condo last year and while it’s somewhat updated (think 2000’s) there are certainly updates I’d like to make overtime. The kitchen is one of them. I love how your finished product looks but I could how IKEA wouldn’t be the best quality. I like the idea of mixing high and low though. Quick q: do you like having your microwave so low? I usually see it above the stove. I personally always spill stuff when it’s above — ha! Ideally, I’d love mine at counter level. Cheers to your home!

    — Tillie

  59. Thank you I’ve always wondered myself since all their space saving and storage ideas for cabinets always draws me in the showrooms. I love the look of their chopping block counter tops, I’ll look for a review else ware but glad to hear that their appliances are good. Really dig their rang hoods and fridges.bso thank you again for your honest opinion.

  60. We used IKEA cabinets with Semihandmade fronts and everything looks great 1 year in! The Semihandmade gives a more custom look with more expensive feeling doors, but it looks more elevated than just IKEA. Also, HIGHLY recommend paying an installer who has worked with IKEA before (they will coordinate this in your local market) – ours were installed within 2 days, which included the assembly of all the cabinets (so we didn’t have to sort through all the boxes ourselves!) We also took our top molding all the way to the ceiling so there was precision my husband or father-in-law wouldn’t have been able to replicate.

  61. I have installed 2 IKEA kitchens in homes I flipped which were fine as time was of the essence. However I discovered Cliq Studios cabinets and have installed 4 kitchens recently using their product and will not go back to IKEA. Cliq Studios cabinets are all-plywood construction, built to order and available in beautiful paints and stains. The cabinets arrive boxed and ready to install. The quality is much better and the price was only about 10% more than IKEA. The only hitch is the 4-6 week lead time but well worth it if you can afford the extra time.

  62. After researching IKEA, I was concerned with durability. I opted to go with, an online purchase. They do a free design and the designer we worked with was fantastic! Quality is top notch, plywood box, dovetail drawers, soft close doors and drawers. Cost was a fraction of big box stores, delivery East and timely, design selection great. Highly recommend this company!

  63. IKEA sells name brand quartz countertops, so no worry about quality there. We used IKEA for our counter because it was 25% cheaper than the EXACT same product sold by Home Depot (even installed by the same third party company). Their cabinet materials leave a lot to be desired though. Most decent cabinet boxes are made out of high density fiberboard (HDF) which can withstand a lot more stress and force around the hinges and shelves than the medium density fiberboard (MDF) that IKEA uses. And once those hinges get pulled out by the screws in the cabinet box, there is nothing you can do to fix them. They have lots of nice features that you can fit into other cabinet boxes by other vendors but if you have kids or a family I’d recommend staying away from IKEA for your cabinets.

  64. We inherited a year-old IKEA kitchen when we moved to our current place, and it’s held up magnificently! My partner and I are both avid cooks and not particularly careful or gentle when closing doors, but no signs of wear or tear yet. FYI, we have the BODBYN grey fronts from IKEA with non-IKEA pulls, in case the quality varies by front style.

  65. I have an ikea kitchen… I did pay for their installation service and countertop (quartz) and everything is amazing. It was very affordable. I placed my order on November 16th 2019, everything was delivered on Nov. 29 kitchen was installed on December 5 and counter top was measured on 12/9/19….. and installation occurred on December 23rd right in time for xmas!

  66. This made me remember an article I read recently that started along the lines of “my clients wanted a designer kitchen on an IKEA budget…I had to pull out every designer trick in the book.” And you know what the clients budget was? Wait for it. . .
    $150k. Yes. $150,000. Uh. Ok.

  67. We did this and got custom cabinet fronts and trim from Scherr’s and had them painted locally (Scherr’s does paint but we needed it done faster). Logistically it was kind of a nightmare, but the cabinets look great now. We also did Ikea countertops and they’re not perfect quality, but ironically, where I am they actually *are* Caesarstone.

  68. A quick note that ikea quartz countertops are, in fact, caesarstone! I’m an interior designer and while browsing at my local ikea I thought their quartz looked mighty familiar. They are renamed by ikea but they’re caesarstone! The quality is great and you can’t beat ikea’s install costs.

  69. HELLO

    My name is Willson, I got your information online while surfing the internet for a reputable countertop contractor service. I would like to know if you do kitchen countertops and do you accept credit card as method of payment?

    Hope to hear from you soon


  70. We had a fairly large kitchen with an island and it came to 8k for hardwood cabinets (semi-custom Shenandoah from Lowes). That was on sale too. There wasn’t an IKEA nearby otherwise we would have considered! I wonder how big boxers compare in quality over time. Being real wood we didn’t have any chipping problems and loved the look.

  71. You can adjust how the drawers close 🙂 we did a lot of that on our IKEA drawers & doors and they all close wonderfully, with the perfect tiny gap! That would probably help your dishwasher issue.

  72. We had a similar experience with missing components, drawers, and extras in our delivery. After multiple emails, phone calls, andctrips to the store, we also gave up and lost hundreds of dollars because of it. I would not order from there again and have the items delivered. That is how they take advantage of you. Pick it up in store and do the inventory in the lobby, even if it takes 6 hours. IKEA treats customers poorly, for sure.

  73. I lived down the road from an IKEa for many years and always wanted a kitchen. But when we moved to another state it was a logistical nightmare. Instead we went with Lowes and got Craftmaide. It was the best choice. Solid maple cabinets with woodbacks, soft close drawers and the same blum hinges as IKEA. The planner and person who measured were topnotch. I got many extras like pullout shelves on the base cabinets. I have avery lage kitchen which I redesigned and have a 60in island-all totaled to $11,757. I did no work. The crew was just terrific.

  74. Ikea kitchens are the bomb! Their white quartz countertops are Caesarstone, at least in Northern VA. It’s been 2 years since renovation and couldn’t be happier. We have easy to clean and VERY durable Ringhult fronts. And surprisingly, the only items made in China was the under counter cabinet lighting and glass doors. Ringhult doors/drawer fronts were made in Italy and cabinets made in the USA!!!

  75. I recently remodeled my laundry room and kitchen at the same time since they are adjacent to each other. Ikea cabinets installed in both rooms. I have limited space in both rooms so expanding one way or another was not an option. I needed to make use of my space cleverly. I had used the kitchen planner for a while trying figure out the best layout. Ikea kitchen planning service was great assistance and very knowledgeable. In fact, the guy that helped me at Ikea had remodeled his own kitchen with Ikea himself. I selected Ikea cabinets because I’ve always liked them in store. My contractor had a cabinet maker that he worked with but when I met with him and explained what I wanted he told me that he couldn’t customize his cabinets. ??? I had a plan already made at Ikea so all I had to do was place the order for delivery. I contacted 3 Ikea installers including the one that Ikea uses for availability and price. Only one contacted me promptly. They reviewed my planner and gave me a price for installation and they were available when I needed them which was 4 days later. Assembly and install took 5 days. They were very experienced with Ikea cabinets, efficient, and friendly. As for the Ikea cabinets, I think they are a solid product. Installer customized 2 blind corner pull out cabinets to fit my space which worked great. As for the drawer dividers, I’m not impressed. They are a little small for my flat ware and knives. The accessories are made for Ikea products. I read somewhere that Ikea has a contract with rev-a-shelf for their pull outs. I actually did an Ikea hack in my laundry room for storing the broom, dust mop, mop and the cleaning products. Essentially, it’s a smaller cabinet cut down to fit inside the larger cabinet. My old kitchen had 2 pull out cutting boards. I really miss them. I was told nowadays that pull out cutting boards are custom not standard. I really would have liked to keep them with the Ikea cabinets. One important thing I learned was to pay attention to the space needed for my plates, cups, and bowls.. I selected two 24″ cabinets for symmetry but storage of these items is limited as the old cabinet was 30″ and fit everything nicely. Also opting for in and under cabinet lighting is probably a good idea during install. I passed on this option and am still trying to figure out lighting options since I have a dark corner. Also, I am looking at toe kick storage for maximum use of space. We are still working on a 3″ filler space pull out too. It has been almost 4 months since the remodel was completed. My kitchen is so much better that it was before with more use of space and more storage. I would remodel again with Ikea cabinets in another house if needed and I recommend the product.

  76. Hi ! I just wanted to add that IKEA has installation services and that you can purchase their quartz countertops, that come with installation, from them. And that their Quartz countertops are made by Ceasarstone. Thank you. I loved hearing your perspective.

  77. If you are on a budget and live near a store, Ikea cabinets are an excellent option. I got my cabinets and countertops (Caesarstone) from Ikea. I was able to buy everything during the kitchen event sale, which saved me 20% off the cabinets and counters. I hired a guy through Yelp to build and install them. He was awesome and well worth the money. His crew built and installed them in one day. A month later I bought Pax cabinets for all my closets (22 linear feet) and paid the same guy to build them, grand total $1300.

    Someday I might replace the doors with one of those custom door styles from SemiHandmade or another supplier, or even a new Ikea style. I like that I have the option. I have found that contractors are really anti-Ikea, and I think that might simply be because you don’t need a contractor to buy and install Ikea cabinets.

  78. Beautiful kitchen and great feedback! I just had to chime in that the quartz counters at ikea are…Caesarstone! The collection is more limited but priced similarly to Caesarstone counters you purchase from a kitchen and bath showroom. Just a funny secret!

  79. I have had my IKEA kitchen for 6 years. When it was delivered 3 days after ordering. Installation was a breeze as the instruction are very clear (always can check youtube) it is holding very well and still doesnt show sign of age.
    I am definitely happy with it and will get an IKEA Kitchen again.
    Customer service sucks thu and do your design at the store as mentioned you forget that you will need this and that

  80. I installed IKEA Cabinets in our Kitchen 6 Year ago ( The 80s look needed to Go ) The $99 or so ? Dollars to have A professional come out to measure , do the Cad , Have the Items tallied Doors / Hinges / handles / other items . It was so worth it . I built the units in our gauge , as we Gutted the kitchen ( Self ) i was so lucky to have a coworker that was a Handy man in a former life , He and i installed the units with very little issues . Placing All the trim items was the hardest task as you need precision cutting ( Molding ) to Make it look Good no gaps !! A nice brad Nail gun is the trick . The hinges are High Quality with soft close , on the drawers / Cabinets we dont have any issues with unusual ware and doors or other ware items . Me and My wife have been Very Happy with Our choice . And for the Price you cant beat it . Thank you

  81. I agree. Being a contractor in central Austin there is tons of renovations going on. The one thing I tell clients about ikea cabinetry is there is not much modification that can happen to the cabinets. You are stuck with what they have that can fit in your kitchen. Though I have been involved in a few kitchen remodel a where we did I modified ikea, change box sizes and add non ikea doors, in the end I do not know if there is real cost savings. The hardware from Ikea is great though and you can beat the price. Happy cabinet hunting

  82. Sounds like a hack job installation. Why would a dishwasher hit the drawer? I have a 8 year old ikea kitchen and it still looks great.

  83. Wow, I disagree on many points here. First, Amanda, you can adjust the door/ drawer faces so they don’t bump your dishwasher! There is a little notch on the side of the drawer, a quick YouTube search can help with this. Second, I find the doors pretty weighty compared to real wood. Also, if you were missing side bars from drawers, that’s because you were sent or ordered the wrong depth drawer! Since everything is prepackaged, it’s rare if not impossible to be missing the parts inside the package. However, with the drawers especially, you can put the same sized face on any of the drawer boxes, which can lead to confusion, this issue I have had experience with!
    The trick with Ikea kitchens is to plan them on the software, with as accurate measurements as you can do, and then take your plan to Ikea. Their designers know the little in and outs and their software is better than the consumer software. Schedule an appointment on a weekday, and make sure you know what you want going in. Working with a designer also helps the ordering process, because the website is infuriating.
    I agree, the ordering and delivery can be cumbersome, and the customer service is not great. But installation can be a PIECE OF CAKE, the trick is that your assembler and your installer can’t take for granted doing it by really have to follow the exact order of assembly per the instructions, even when it seems like nonsense.
    I’ve designed and assembled 3 Ikea kitchens, one with the door style that Amanda used, and they’ve absolutely held up fantastic (4years). I will never ever do a kitchen with a different brand of cabinet.

  84. Yes they do take time to put together, but after a couple the rest get easier.
    We never had a problem getting a missing part, but getting through to service on phone was a problem. It took time.
    At store service, the people were very pleasent to deal with and helpful.
    We have done 2 kitchens and are planning on another one. Our third one in 6 years. We keep down sizing.

  85. Thanks for sharing! Looks great!

    I’m really curious about your stovetop/range in the middle of the island with no exhaust hood. Do you have a down draft installed? If so, how does it work? If no, do you wish you had one? We have a kitchen remodel on the horizon with almost the exact same layout— I’d love to hear the good, bad & ugly about the range/stovetop- in-the-middle-of-the-island-without-a-hood conundrum. Thanks!

  86. I love what you did in your kitchen! Looks really great. We used IKEA cabinets in our kitchen when we built our home 4 1/2 years ago, b/c…money was out. My bro-in-law is a master craftsman and I ashamedly asked him his opinion. “IKEA is used all around the world so they are doing a lot of things right and well. I wouldn’t hesitate to use them on a smaller budget and expect/hope to get 15 years out of them.” I have noticed that I don’t love things to last a lifetime since my own preferences/style changes every 10-ish years. And it sure seems like many people re-do their kitchens every 15-25 years anyway despite the level of quality or craftsmanship. Lastly, I have seven kids…there are nine of us in this family, and I know that no matter what quality cabinets we installed, they would be well-worn after 10 years. We are nearing the halfway mark and there is one ding where my sons were throwing butter knives (They insist not at each other…not convinced) and one hit a cabinet. I’m blown away with how well they are holding up. When it is time to replace, I think I will follow your advice and just do the doors with Semihandmade or some other company, but for $5000 kitchen cabinets, I am beyond happy.

  87. We built a peninsula with Ikea cabinets (3) and SemiHandmade DIY fronts, and I actually wish we would have gutted our old cabinets and replaced them all. We love the organization, soft close drawers, etc.

    I personally don’t find the assembly difficult, you’ll get the hang of it pretty quick. I know I only did 3 so you have to multiply that by a lot to get a full kitchen but I’d say it was still an ‘easy’ task.

    We are renovating a flip house next door and our realtor told us for the price point we want to sell at, IKEA cabinets are a big no-no. Just because they might signal to the buyer that your priority was cost effective not quality and it would give them pause. Just thought I’d share that tip for anyone considering in a higher price point home!

  88. We went the IKEA route 3 and a half years ago in St Louis. We still love them and highly recommend them to everyone. We did use the IKEA contracting company through the whole process. They sent a representative to our home to walk through everything from planning out the layout, cabinet selection, exactly what needed to be ordered, etc.. We did have to go to IKEA to then order and pay for it, and was able to get our 30% back there and then to use to order and pay for our countertops. When all the boxes showed up, we were so happy that someone else would be figuring all of that out. It took the installers 4 days to put together and install. They discovered a couple of wrong pieces, gave them to us to take back and gave us the part numbers of the replacements. The whole process of using IKEA for our kitchen was a breeze and we would do it again.

  89. 100% wood kitchen cabinets are not sold by Ikea or Home Depot for that you must go to a kitchechn specialized store and ask for it. the wood ikea and homedepot or panda sells is Birch with play wood.

  90. If you have a dishwasher that hits an adjacent door or drawer front AT ALL, that is LOUSY design. Couple that with the inept cam lock attachments used to assemble, and the equation becomes Ikea = Junk.

  91. We did our Ikea kitchen in 2012. We chose the reddish brown ramsjo cabinets with a cream island. Our cabinets are still perfect and have no signs of wear. It is beautiful and very popular with guests. We saved over $20k in just cabinets. We also picked up, assembled, and installed ourselves. We also bought our fridge, microwave hood, and sink at Ikea but not our countertops.
    We have no complaints and would do it again in a heartbeat.

  92. I have had my Ikea Cabinets for 13 years and they are aging great. We went down to the studs on our remodel. our contractor said to buy our cabinets first. he took real measurements of the cabinets and built our kitchen around the cabinets. everything fits like they were custom cabinets. we also went with butcher block countertops from Ikea. Still looks great after all these years

  93. That was an interesting read for me being in the business. Some worthwhile information I would add is while you certainly could spend $25,000 on custom cabinets, the more apples to apples comparison would be stock cabinetry. In that case for 14 cabinets I would expect the price range to be between $4200 and $8600 depending on the options and quality. The assembly would be handled for you already, the assembly would carry a manufacturer’s warranty (usually about 5 years for stock), and if the company you buy them from is run well, all the parts will have been counted multiple times including at the time of delivery by people who do it all the time. You’d also most likely have access to a career kitchen designer that would be able to design the kitchen layout in about 30 minutes.

  94. I feel much more positively about IKEA cabinets. The real winner is that the boxes are built well and when installed correctly, wear like much more expensive units. Get custom doors and use an experienced installer for a better overall experience.

  95. I’ve picked out two Ikea kitchens, and I feel good about both. With both, we used the on-line planner at home but had the kitchen experts in store put the actual order together, which was key in getting things we wouldn’t have thought about, like spacers, hardware, and end-pieces. Actually, I would never try to order a kitchen without help. With the first kitchen, we made doors ourselves using the Ikea doors as patterns, and then returned the Ikea ones. This was super helpful because we needed to know exactly where the screw holes went. We had our builder install them, and I agree, the logistics were messy. In the end, we just resigned ourselves to multiple trips to the store to exchange the wrong things and get new things. If you live nearby, it is worth the effort in cost-reduction, and the service in-store is great–we never had a hard time returning anything, even without receipts. With the second kitchen, I had the kitchen installed by the Ikea contractors, and then decided to paint the shaker-style cabinets to get a more custom look. I ordered the style with the wood veneer and sanded them lightly, taped the backs to ensure a clean line, and primed and painted them. They came out really nice, and they look handprinted in a good way. I have had no issues with chipping. Overall, Ikea has amazing hardware and functionality–like drawers in cabinets, organizers, etc., and I feel like I got the look of a custom kitchens for way less. I am an advocate, if you have the time and patience to ‘earn’ the drastic savings!

  96. More than a bogus review, no? The author installed the cabinets themselves and yet try to compare the difficulty with contractor installations. Apples and oranges.

    The author claims low-quality but admits that the dishwasher “just barely hits the drawer next to it.” That would be an installation error and “hits” cause damage. Nothing to do with the IKEA drawer.

    As for custom fits and time planning the layout, she would have had to do the same thing with a custom-built kitchen. There’s a lot of gap-filling and shimming by contractors as well.

  97. My husband and I are in the process of buying our first house as well and the kitchen cabinets definitely need a refresher. Glad to come across such an open and detailed review from somebody who has already been through the process. Appreciated Emily’s notes also to put everything in perspective.

    I love the hardware! Especially the sink. Is that from IKEA as well?

  98. I had Ikea kitchen cabinets installed 6 years ago (the glossy modern style) and they look just as good now as when they were installed. My contractor initially pushed so hard against using them – but by the end she was telling me how easy they were to install, and she has since used them in other projects.
    Would absolutely install them again.
    My hairdresser installed the same style in her salon (7+ years ago) ago and hers look great as well — and you can imagine the wear and tear they go through!

  99. Or you could have gotten new custom doors for your old cabinets, made from real wood and probably last forever. My ikea kitchen cabinets have discolored and chipped. Even the semi handmade seems to use the same materials as I remember. And now ikea has a new set up and I couldn’t even just buy new doors. Oh well.

  100. The original cabinets look like solid wood, are they?

    It was such a nightmare when we did our reno (well, we pretty much did the whole place), so I don’t think I’d want cheaper cabinetry that would eventually look like hell and/or need to be replaced. I don’t want to go through it again! At my age, this cabinetry will be it until I die or check into the old folks’ home.

    We went custom because we had a small awkward space. And we got lots of individuality. If you’re looking for the standard, looks-like-every-other-white-kitchen, than IKEA is probably fine.

  101. I’m surprised to hear your cabinets are chipping. We did the high gloss foil Ikea Abstrakt doors on our cabinets (now discontinued I think) 12 years ago and they still look brand new. I love my Ikea cabinets. Would use them again in a heartbeat if we move.

  102. I’ve had my IKEA kitchen (Nexus Birch on the old Akurum bases) for 13 years and it looks nearly identical to the day we put it in. We put high end soapstone counter tops on it with stainless steel backsplashes and range hood. It’s a timeless, classic design. My neighbor has the freestanding cabinets from 15 years ago (I forget their name – it starts with a V) and her experience is the same – looks as new as the day they were put in. We take care of our kitchens, but by no means baby them. I have two kids, she has 4. I had a 150 lbs German Shepherd for 7 years of the 13 so it’s been used, HARD. Still looks and functions great. Well worth the money.

  103. Those old wood cabinets you tore out lasted longer than your IKEA cabinets, or just about any new cabinets, will last. This new trend of ripping out kitchens and replacing them in 10 years is as bad as fast fashion. I mean people are ripping out granite countertops right now because they’re unfashionable. Stone. Countertops. Won’t be long before “shaker” cabinets are being ripped out. That’s a lot of environmental waste.

  104. Hi.
    Do you.ll do delivery to India..Goa
    Hve visited IKEA n Dubai when I had gone on a holiday n did lots of purchasing liked d stuff hence wanted to know if delivery could be done to here..thks

  105. I always want “before” pictures like it would’ve been shown when it was new. It’s hardly a fair comparison to say “here’s what I’ve kicked to the curb. What a loathesome beast it is”, then “here’s my dressed up new pride and joy! Love it as much as I do!”

    At least Before wasn’t taken at dusk with a flash as the main light as if to say “yeah, we had to try hard to make it look bad”.

    These are general comments about the genre

  106. Great kitchen! We love IKEA cabinets and have had good luck with them in rentals where they get a lot of abuse. Hint: if you install cover panels between the appliances (I.e., dishwasher), it will give you more space for opening the doors and drawers. I had a pretty solid idea of a layout, but we hired IKD to do they design for us (it was $250 in 2016). We are 4 hours from the nearest ikea and didn’t have the luxury of spending a day in store to figure it all out. They came up with some options that I hadn’t thought of, and even the in store designers were surprised about. The soft close doors and organizing options are superb, especially for the price. I would definitely Do an IKEA kitchen again. In fact, we just remodeled our basement for a studio for me and did it all with IKEA. My husband and I gave it a custom built-in look with molding, and you’d never know it was IKEA.

  107. We did Ikea cabinets with SemiHandmade fronts and Emtek handles for both a small kitchen and a bathroom at a weekend beach cottage we enjoy and use as an Airbnb and had great success. The Semihandmade fronts were a hassle but worth it. We had to find a rep in the area and make an appt just so we could look at finishes in person and compare them with countertops. Then took a very long time to arrive but elevated the finish of the kitchen for sure as did the Emtek handles. Without a doubt, the Emtek handles are worth every penny. We found the ordering, planning and purchasing of Ikea cabinets a breeze. The secret is to open the boxes and confirm all of the parts are there before you begin assembly. It might seem like a lot of work but when we did high-end custom cabinetry at our primary residence with a professional with 20 yrs of experience doing the organizing, she made multiple measuring mistakes and the process dragged on for months. If you have an existing configuration that you like, can design your own space or have someone else who can figure out the configuration before you go to Ikea, these cabinet boxes with SemiHandmade doors are a great savings.

  108. We’ve gut-renovated two kitchens using IKEA cabinets, as well as used their cabinets and counters as the base for an office remodel – so I have a lot of feelings on what works well, what doesn’t, and what really makes a difference. If you want to see the various remodels in stages, it’s @ daysofourhouse.

    Key pros – the cabinet bases are fantastic – lots of size options (height, depth and width); I LOVE the drawer within the drawer feature as it gives you lots of storage space and flexibility, but a more cleanliness exterior look; their feature to add glass panels to the sides of the drawers goes really far in making the drawer interiors look nice; soft-close features; Blum hardware as folks as mentioned is a good brand; and in general I’m happy with the quality.

    Door fronts – so my general belief is what makes a game changer difference is not going with their door options, but picking up custom doors or doing some else custom to make the doors look less off the shelf. Relatedly, I’d add being flexible to use one custom cabinet or other feature to go along with the rest being IKEA, also makes a big difference.

    In our office, we used tall cabinets with their ash doors, but paneled the exterior and created an additional open cabinet at the top (those are all painted in a dark blue).

    For both kitchen remodels, we worked with Scherr’s Cabinet, which seems more under the radar than SemiHomemade. They specialize in IKEA fronts and have a huge number of options, including the ability to have your doors painted any SW color your heart desires. There’s a lot of reasons I really like them – very good quality of work; the painting and wood options; numerous door types; even with shipping from ND, I still found their prices really good; and because they are also a cabinet shop they can make you another cabinet or other kitchen item to help make the kitchen more custom. For both kitchens, in addition to door fronts, I had them do toe kicks; cabinet sizes I needed that IKEA didn’t offer (for instant several build ins – fridge and and microwave/wall oven); and island end pieces.

    Net net – base cabinets + custom elements makes the difference to go from good to really, really good.

  109. I put in Ikea cabinets in my last house (after 3 other kitchen remodels) and I loved them. One thing this post doesn’t mention is the exceptional fitted drawer organization and hidden drawer options… Game changers! I also considered semi handmade drawers and got 3 samples – two of the three came delaminated! It’s just mdf with lamination on top, similar to what the author of this post used. I ended up going with a wood front from Ikea (now discontinued lackerby). They were light weight but no issues!

  110. We have had our IKEA kitchen for 8 years now & even with the wear & tear of 5 kids it’s in great condition. Ours is a wood door that’s stained so no paint to chip. One of the big pros for me was all the internal organization options they had. We also did a suite of IKEA appliances & they have not held up well. But overall well worth the savings.

  111. We installed Ikea cabinets with custom painted fronts from The Cabinet Face in Denver in our mountain house. I was able to get my kitchen which includes a 12 foot island, the laundry room, a six foot bar, 3 cabinets in a storage room, and all the vanities in 4 bathrooms installed with custom painted fronts for less than $35000. I shopped around extensively before going this route and there is no way I could have gotten it for less or even close anywhere else. Everyone is so impressed with our kitchen. 1 ½ years later it is holding up well and I love the organization.

    I won’t lie, it wasn’t easy. My builder had a bad attitude about Ikea kitchens so he left me to deal with it. I hired the installer. He was great and customized cabinets where needed. If I was doing it again, I would work with a kitchen planner who has experience doing this. It would have saved time for sure.

    In comparison, we installed semi-custom cabinets in our Denver kitchen from BKC six years ago and I hate them. They are not holding up well at all and they were twice the price.

  112. I’ve done two IKEA kitchens, one in 2008 and one in 2018. I would highly recommend an Ikea kitchen designer who comes to your home, measures, discusses your needs and puts together the plans and part list, so all you have to do is go to IKEA and hand the the list.

    If you use an experienced IKEA installer, it takes a day to install the cabinets.

    I used Semihandmade unfinished fronts and had them painted. That added to the cost but I was able to get the color I wanted. The paint is a little more sensitive than the IKEA finished fronts, but was worth it.

    Last I saw my kitchen from 2008 with the high gloss white fronts, it still looked great and didn’t have any issues.

    Los Angeles IKEA designer – Rodney from RF Design.
    Los Angeles area installer – Michael Castanon MC Woodworks

  113. We have IKEA cabinets, installed last year. I wanted a modern European style kitchen without handles, and IKEA is the only place that makes it possible at an acceptable price. My kitchen was installed by an incredibly skilled IKEA kitchen installer (if you need someone near San Jose, CA, I have a reference). He was meticulous, and my kitchen looks like a built-in. That really helped elevate the kitchen from generic IKEA to something really cool looking. I also love the interior options, the bamboo drawer inserts and the big drawers for appliances etc, because you can see everything so well. One year later, I am still happy with my kitchen. I also purchased the Caesarstone countertops through IKEA, but would not use the matte version again. They look amazing, like concrete, but you can see every fingerprint on the matte. So far, no complaints about IKEA kitchen. I think I would have despaired though if we would have assemble ourselves; the kitchen came in about 150 boxes of varying sizes …..

  114. I got that same style of cabinet but in a light wood. My father did the layout and install (bless him). Around 15 years later, they still look amazing! I think the color has deepened a bit over time, but not much and they all look even. I know my dad did some extra reinforcing to how they hang on the wall, but other than that, it’s pretty standard and I still love them.

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