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Kitchen designers who work with IKEA products
updated: Mar 18, 2014, 1:10 PM

By Edhat Subscriber

We are considering our first kitchen remodel, a small and modest affair that would use IKEA cabinetry, but it turns out we are almost totally clueless about this and need quite a bit of help even to get started.

I have tried and tried to use IKEA's planning software, but have found it essentially unworkable. That alone is probably a sign that we need to talk this over with a pro, but for some reason, I am having trouble finding any local kitchen planners or contractors who specialize in IKEA merchandise.

Do any SB edhatters have experience with IKEA-based kitchen remodels?

Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 COMMENT 503928 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-18 01:21 PM

My husband remodelled his parents' kitchen with Ikea products and the help of some local carpenters/plumbers/contractors a couple years ago. It came out really cute and works well, and cost a small fraction of what a custom build would have been. Cabinets etc need to be assembled and hung and it will definitely go faster and better with a "pro", but most independent carpenters can do it and they can also measure and help you figure out what to order. He did use a local company for the countertops. You may not find anyone who specializes in Ikea and the kitchen remodeling stores don't want to work with it because it cuts heavily into their profits but a small project general contractor can do it well.

 

 COMMENT 503930 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-18 01:22 PM

Great for a rental property. Not so great for a place you actually live in. Sure you might save a buck, but you are not adding value to your biggest asset. You will regret it if you go this route.

 

 COMMENT 503932 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-18 01:29 PM

I've seen the Ikea in Europe. It doesn't wear well. Its a good cheap solution, but the working phrase is "Cheap". You will definitely get what you pay for. (By this, I mean the merchandise, not the installation quality.)

Perhaps look for another company that does kitchens? I have been very happy with kitchens from Scavolini (an Italian manufacturer). You pay a bit more, but the build quality is lightyears beyond Ikea.

 

 COMMENT 503939 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-18 01:43 PM

The nearest IKEA is in Burbank - they are very helpful and can help you navigate the software and make the right choices. They helped me with a recent remodel and it turned out well. I got a local general contractor to do the finishing work. It was very easy. It's worth a trip down to their store so you can see the finishes, colors etc. If you are able to, bring the materials back with you - their shipping fees are expensive. Best of luck with whatever option you decide to go with.

 

 COMMENT 503946P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-18 01:48 PM

We did our kitchen with IKEA cabinetry. Love it!

We went down to the Burbank store with room/window measurements. A kitchen planner helped us refine it and generate the shopping list. The materials were delivered to our garage for about $200. We assembled it ourselves. It wasn't that difficult. We've been very happy with it. This was about 3 years ago.

Call and ask when the kitchen department tends to be slow and make a point to get there then. There's a lively community of IKEA enthusiasts online, Gardenweb and Houzz are good places to start for ideas and hacks.

 

 COMMENT 503954 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-18 02:13 PM

RTC Services. Google them. They did both my Ikea kitchens and I wish I had them involved in the planning stages. They have been doing it for years and no one does it better. Fast and efficient. Ikea kitchens are all they do and they know the product line better then the people at Ikea. They go all the way to San Luis Obispo! And I love my cabinets! Seems everyone that is against the idea doesn't have Ikea cabinets. They wouldn't still be doing kitchens if their product didn't stand the test of time.

 

 COMMENT 503957 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-18 02:22 PM

Not great for rentals. The boxes are all particle board and will fall apart within 1-2 years
Stick with solid wood only

 

 COMMENT 504003 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-18 05:12 PM

I have solid oak door cabinets from Jack's kitchens. They were build in Minnesota. Not very expensive. Hung them myself--you need a level and just enough skill to find the studs in the wall.

 

 COMMENT 504004 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-18 05:21 PM

Love Ikea kitchens, cheap and pretty easy. A lot of assembly needed but if you can read instructions it is not hard.

As for the 1-2 year comment, that's crazy. They have a 25 year warranty and have lasted very well for me. You'd have to be pouring water on particle board for it to last 1-2 years. Water does not get poured on kitchen cabinets in general and I'm not talking an occasional spill. No recommendation on a contractor, sorry but DIY is doable

 

 NATURE BOY agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-18 05:40 PM

No experience with Ikea's kitchens, but to add my 2ยข, i have an Ikea desk, bed, and couch, and after 14 years of regular use they are still going strong, not falling apart. And these were lower-priced even for Ikea. People either love or hate their stuff, very little in-between. Count me in the "love" column.

 

 COMMENT 504010 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-18 06:15 PM

I second RTC Services. Very happy with our Ikea cabinets after our first year.

 

 COMMENT 504049P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-19 01:32 AM

"Particle board," aka medium density fiberboard or MDF, is perfectly good for cabinets. It's very strong and solid. Our custom built-in-place mid-century style MDF cabinets have been going strong for 15 years. The doors are plywood with a rabbeted lip and bullnose edge. Everything is painted to match our existing 1950s kitchen, looks great and you can't tell the old from the new. This was all custom-made by the carpenter and much less expensive than buying pre-made and then having it fitted into our space. Also our job had some non-standard depths and widths and custom-built was best for that, too.

 

 COMMENT 504074 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-19 09:13 AM

We installed an Ikea kitchen in our home 6 years ago. Couldn't be happier about it. Everything still looks and works great. The cabinets come standard with high end hardware (hinges, soft close drawers) for much less than you would pay elsewhere.
There's a great and very helpful online community (just google ikeafans), they have experts that help with design and installation questions.

 

 COMMENT 504080P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-19 09:19 AM

great cabinets. great designs. great value. We had them in our office for 10 years and they held up well. It sounds like you are not a DIY-er, though, so I would definitelt recommend getting help. There are many, many decisions to make and things to consider when you buy, put together, and install cabinets.

 

 COMMENT 504084P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-19 09:23 AM

I am the OP, and I am so grateful to those who have responded. Your specific recommendations have been very, very helpful.

Actually, we have friends who put in an IKEA kitchen about 17 years ago, and the fact that it still looks terrific and functions so well is a big factor.

Unfortunately, their contractor is no longer available, and although we would love to hire someone in SB/Goleta who works with IKEA stuff--if there were anyone--we are delighted to read such good recommendations for RTC Services in Burbank. What great information!

 

 COMMENT 504094 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-19 09:30 AM

Love our IKEA cabinets. We have them in our rentals and have had no problems whatsoever. They're fun to put together and the fitment is precise. If it doesn't fit together, you did it wrong. The instructions are easy. The only word they use is "Click!" It's not like reading those broken English instructions from Home Depot cabinets.

 

 COMMENT 504127P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-19 10:12 AM

Any chance an IKEA will ever touch down in this county?

I would love to see this over a WalMart Super Center any day.

 

 BONNER agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-19 11:27 AM

I would definitely use a contractor familiar with cabinet installations specifically Ikea. I went to Burbank and got help with a measured layout for my utility room, installed 8 years ago, heavily used, still look and function beautifully. Recently renovated cute 50's style kitchen with Ikea cabinets and all my rental tenants want to copy as they're so impressed. It's who installs them as to how well they hold up. But I drove to Burbank in my little pick up and brought it all back, good to talk in person to get most out of order.

 

 EARO65 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-19 11:42 AM

Please use local contractors. They do good work, and care about the community. If you use contractors hired by large chain stores, they have no links to the community, and don't care about their work.
We have never been disappointed by the local people we have used.

 

 COMMENT 504199P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-19 12:14 PM

We would LOVE to use local contractors, but suspect that familiarity with the IKEA line is--as mentioned in the discussion--important for the best results. Unfortunately, we simply have not heard any specific references for locals who have this kind of familiarity.

 

 COMMENT 504216 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-19 12:46 PM

We used Ikea for cabinets and countertops in a second home. We had to pay a bit additional for travel, as it was not in the Ikea contractors' immediate service area, but it was worth it! They knew exactly what they were doing (they work exclusively with Ikea), and we love the result. We chose a high-gloss lacquer cabinet finish, and Caesarstone countertops - we would do the same in a nanosecond if we had to do it all over again. And don't forget the money you will save!

 

 COMMENT 504256 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-19 02:48 PM

Ikea cabinets are cheap for a reason; they use poor products that will not hold up over time. They aren't real wood. When they fall apart, then you have to go buy more cabinets. So maybe doing it right the 1st time is better. Call our carpenter/ tiler Adan Arrellaga 252-5428, and he can help you with layout and make great suggestions. He can help you find most products. You don't need a contractor. We would never use Ikea, even in a rental.

 

 COMMENT 504336P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-19 10:28 PM

Interesting that the compliments about IKEA kitchen cabinets come from folks who actually purchased them while the complaints about quality come without any detail to substantiate the claims.

 

 COMMENT 504738P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-21 08:57 AM

Again, thank you all for your comments and suggestions.

 

 COMMENT 505109 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-22 07:14 AM

We put in Ikea at our vacation house and we also put in Home Depot at the house. Honestly, Ikea is jyst as good if not better. There are pros and cons to both. IF YOU BUY IKEA WAIT FOR THE KITCHEN SALE!!!!!! YOU SAVE A TON. When we bought, the sale included a percentage off on labor. We bought appliances also and saved a ton.

 

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