Q: How are IKEA kitchens and cabinets?
I recently saw an ad for an IKEA kitchen that looked beautiful. The cabinets were the AKURUM/TIDAHOLM line. The ad was all about "top-of-the-line". It sounds like IKEA is producing kitchen cabinets with more high quality materials, such as solid oak, now.
Does anyone have experience with IKEA kitchens and cabinets recently? Are these moving toward more high quality materials. ...I really like the look of this kitchen and wouldn't mind saving money. But, this is an investment, right? I would love some advice.
A: Short Answer: They look good, but lack quality and longevity
I have a very passionate opinion on this subject, so get ready for a long-winded answer.
I have been in the business of quality kitchen cabinetry for 15 years, working with numerous cabinet companies and suppliers. I have purchased Ikea furniture. I have also looked closely at their cabinetry. It is a shame that they are so appealing and are promoting "quality" and a great warranty.
The fact is that the same materials that are used for their furniture are used for the cabinets. How long does an Ikea table last before it starts to show wear? Maybe 1, possibly 3 years if you go easy on it. We are talking about a kitchen, an area that gets rough, day to day use. Not only would it be a shame that one would choose Ikea for their kitchen, but in the end be more expensive than a quality product. You will need a new kitchen in 5 years (I guarantee it), you have just wasted time, money and material resources (not to mention that they are made in China). This is also harmful to the environment. The "greenest" kitchen is the one that lasts as long as possible.
Now, you also must think about the assembly of these cabinets. They are sold "KD" knock-down. So you, or someone will be assembling each cabinet, each drawer, each piece of hardware. The cost of labor to do this is extremely expensive. If you order factory cabinetry, you get machine-precision assembly, quality materials, and customer service that 100 times over surpass that of Ikea.
You will also have to buy their appliances because Ikea cabinets are made smaller than a standard American cabinet, and most likely will not accommodate standard appliances.
While Ikea cabinets look nice, they are not quality. If you are looking for an inexpensive quality cabinet, look at Diamond, Columbia or Kraft Maid. I'm sorry to rain on the Ikea parade, but I urge you to research other options.
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