Are Ikea Cabinets Worth It?
Despite being scorned by some pros, Ikea cabinets continue to remain a popular option for projects on a budget. These seven companies allow you to dress up the boxes.
Ikea cabinets are also popular with homeowners working on kitchen remodels. In fact, the brand’s Sektion line of kitchen cabinets topped all categories in J.D. Power’s 2018 Kitchen Cabinet Satisfaction Study.
The study, which surveyed 2,325 customers who purchased kitchen cabinets within the previous 12 months, determined cabinet manufacturer rankings based on five factors, including design features, operational performance, ordering and delivery, price, and warranty.
Ikea’s Sektion cabinets received 872 points (of 1,000) in customer satisfaction, followed by Thomasville (849) and American Woodmark (846). The Swedish brand performed the highest (over seven other cabinet manufacturers) in all five factors assessed in the survey.
But the brand has also generated strong opinions from readers on the PRODUCTS website. “I have been installing Ikea cabinets in the metro NY area for 30 years,” one commenter writes. “I find that the Ikea cabinets are the best value for price, quality, [and] looks. They use high-end drawers and hinges. The only time I get a call back from a customer is when they want another kitchen in a new apartment. I average three referrals from my customers.”
On the other hand, another commenter writes, “Ikea does not make quality products. They do not make quality cabinets.”
Nevertheless, the brand is the go-to source for many when the budget doesn’t support custom, semi-custom, or even stock cabinets. It’s the option when Virginia Valentini and Francesco Berganze of Spazio Primario run into a project on a slim budget. The duo especially favors mixing high-end products from such brands as Fisher & Paykel, Bosch, and KitchenAid and pairing them with Ikea boxes.
Ikea cabinetry is also an oft-speced product for designer Ghislaine Vinas, who designs gorgeous giant kitchens but also gets her fair share of budget projects. “We’ve certainly used our fair share of IKEA cabinetry and dressed it up with Silestone counters,” she says. “You do get a lot of bang for your buck this way.”
Ikea kitchen cabinets have become so popular with architects and designers that there has been an increase in companies whose sole business model is offering drawer and door fronts to replace Ikea cabinet doors.
Ottawa, Ontario-based Swedish Door says the company was founded with the goal of delivering good design to more people. The company “saw a need where clients could use a more cost effective cabinetry package, such as Ikea and big box store cabinetry, and blend it with customized doors and components to get a personalized look while managing the budget,” its website syas.
Swedish Door offers cabinet doors, drawer faces, panels, and mouldings for Ikea or any other brand of cabinets. Door options include lacquered high-density fibreboard, real wood veneer, Five-piece solid wood, thermally fused laminate, or high-gloss panels.
Sweden-based Superfront claims an equally egalitarian ethos. “We want to give you the possibility to create high quality furniture and interiors at a sensible price,” the company’s website says. “For everyone with an eye for aesthetics know; That what is beautiful does not always have to be expensive.”
To that end, Superfront offers lacquered or painted MDF drawers, doors, and sides, as well as legs, handles, and tops to fit Ikea’s most common cabinet frames. Doors are available in a variety of patterns and colors, or designers may specify custom colors.
Even cabinet suppliers that do custom cabinets are offering fronts to fit Ikea products. One such cabinetmaker is Scherr's Cabinet & Doors in Minot, N.D.
“Although we make high quality custom cabinets, we understand that custom cabinetry often doesn't fit into many people's budgets or schedules,” the company says. As an alternative to build custom ready-to-assemble cabinets, the company now makes doors, drawer fronts, trim, and other components to work with Ikea's Sektion cabinet boxes. It offers the same service for the Ikea’s wardrobes and bathroom vanities.
Eugene, Ore.-based John Webb Construction & Design is a full-service design and build contractor specializing in custom construction, remodeling and restoration for residential and light commercial projects. But the company has launched Dendra Doors to design and build high-quality, custom doors for Ikea kitchen cabinet systems, offering the affordability of an off-the-shelf product with all the style of custom, the company’s website says.
“Our initial idea was to design and build custom IKEA doors for the Sektion kitchen cabinet system (and replacement doors for Akurum cabinets),” the company says. “Given the benefits, it’s proven to be quite popular. We have since moved beyond the kitchen and now provide custom cabinet fronts, cover panels and more for all of Ikea’s most popular cabinet systems: Pax closets, Godmorgon sink cabinets, and Bestå storage systems.”
For those professionals who consider Ikea an option, we’ve done some digging and found a number of brands that can help you step up your game just a little bit more.