Building a custom home, especially in a hot market like Toronto, can be expensive, very expensive. If there’s one area of the home that costs the most it’s the kitchen. It’s also the area that sees the most use, which is why custom home builders never like to go cheap in kitchens. However, cheaper price doesn’t always mean cheap quality. More homeowners, kitchen designers, and home builders are turning to IKEA for their kitchen cabinets due to the good quality, stylish designs, and reasonable price.
If you’re trying to figure out if IKEA is the right route for you, here is everything you need to know about IKEA kitchens and cabinets.
Cheap in Price, Not Quality
By far the most appealing thing about IKEA kitchen cabinets is their price. The exact cost of them will depend on how large the area is and what style you choose, but expect to save big compared to other big box stores (like Home Depot or Lowes) and especially compared to custom built.
The thing people don’t realize about IKEA cabinets either is that they’re made the same way that custom cabinets are, just without as many options or customizations. The actual materials of the cabinets are particle board with plastic laminate over it. This might sound cheap to you, but the fact that they’re not real wood is a good thing, as wood expands and contracts which can cause paint to chip or crack. Particleboard cabinets are sturdy and durable so there will be little issues in terms of quality.
Does IKEA have the best quality cabinets? No. But they do have good quality cabinets for a fair price. In fact, the quality is probably better than other brands like Kraft Maid and for a far less price.
You’ll Have To Do It All Yourself
What we mean by this is that part of the reason IKEA is so cheap is that they provide you the product and nothing else. Like anything from IKEA, the cabinets will arrive in pieces, which you will be responsible for getting together. You can hire someone to do it, either through IKEA or someone you find on your own, but that responsibility falls on you and not the store. This isn’t much of an issue if you’re working with a custom home builder as we will take care of that, but if you’re handling it on your own it’s something to keep in mind.
There Aren’t Tons of Options
A downside of IKEA cabinets is that there aren’t many extra accessories or modifications. If you’re looking for a narrow spice cabinet or a flip down sponge drawer you’re out of luck. The good news though is that an external professional can modify IKEA cabinets fairly easily. Many homeowners primary use IKEA but end up spending some of their savings on adding changes. The end result is a kitchen that looks like it has custom made cabinets but without the price tag.
Their Hardware is Great
We don’t mean hardware as in the knobs and pulls on the exterior of the cabinets (although they do have that too!). IKEA’s internal hardware such as hinges, legs, dampers, and glides are great. They’re high quality but not too pricey. Who doesn’t want soft close drawers so you don’t have to hear the kids banging it shut every day?
For external hardware, IKEA has come a long way. Their own line is reasonably priced but the options lean towards modern designs. Feel free to look at other places for external hardware, but know you can rely on IKEA if you want to.
They Come With A Warranty
IKEA offers a 25-year warranty on their kitchens, so make sure you save that receipt. A bonus too is that the warranty is transferable. If you ever sell your home or buy a new one with an IKEA kitchen the warranty can be passed on. The only catch is that it has to be installed according to IKEA specifications.
Measure, Measure, Measure
If you’re using a custom home builder or kitchen designer this won’t be as big of an issue for you, but make sure you measure everything before ordering cabinets. It’s a good idea to have your appliances picked out ahead of time too so that you know their sizes. There is no such thing as a “standard” size for appliances so don’t think you can do the cabinets without thinking about those measurements.
Use Their Planning Tool
Even designers and home builders are guilty of using IKEA’s kitchen design planner, even if we’re not planning on going with IKEA cabinets. There are a lot of design software out there but IKEA’s is quick and simple to use. It’s a great way to play around to help you visualize how things will look. Don’t completely rely on it, you’ll still need to measure and make sure the layout works, but it’s a good tool to have.
Go The Delivery Route
Delivery will take another week or two, but it might actually save you time. IKEA kitchens have a lot of components that need to be tracked down and bundled. If you go to the store and get it the same day chances are the store won’t have everything you need at once. That means multiple trips back possibly to multiple stores, just to get everything you need. Getting the items in pieces will also make it harder to keep track of everything so we recommend you plan for delivery.
There Are Style Options
IKEA has a number of different cabinet lines for their kitchens, most of which come in different colors and designs. This is great for homeowners because it means you aren’t cornered into choosing between only two designs. However, just be careful, as cabinets may be discontinued. We suggest you order everything at once and not wait to get a certain piece down the line because it might not be available then.
Hold Out For Sales
Sure IKEA kitchens are already affordable, but who doesn’t want an even bigger discount? IKEA tends to have sales a few times a year, so hold out for them. You can save 10-20% on cabinets and other kitchen items, which can result in thousands of dollars in savings.
Don’t wait to plan the kitchen during the sale though. Make sure you already know exactly what you want and have everything planned. The salespeople will be too busy to help you with sales. Ask about their sale policy too. Sometimes they’ll honor the same even if the cabinets are purchases before or after it. This means you’ll get the discount without the mad rush.
As a custom home builder, we emphasize custom. However, custom-made cabinets aren’t always feasible for people. Or maybe homeowners want to save money to spend it somewhere else. Either way, IKEA cabinets are definitely worth considering. They look good, they’re high quality, and they’re well priced. If you want to learn more about building a kitchen feel free to contact us.