Most people use IKEA cabinet system when they put up their kitchens. This is because IKEA kitchen cabinets are very affordable, cleverly designed, and trendy. Despite these advantages, the installation of an IKEA kitchen can be very nerve-racking, mainly because these cabinets are delivered unassembled. Many people find the installation process quite bothersome, but when you know the tips and tricks to do it, it can be enjoyable.
Here are 10 tips and tricks you need to know to make the IKEA cabinet installation process easy and fun.
- THE PLAN
The kitchen design is very crucial in the whole installation process. You can waste a lot of time designing your dream kitchen’s cabinets and may miss a lot of essential details which can affect the process. To avoid this, it would be best to hire a professional designer who you can work with to put up the design you have in mind, without compromising the piece-by-piece details. In addition to that, an IKEA kitchen could either look really good or really bad. The positioning of the cabinets can screw up the electrical and appliance locations. You can even have your professional kitchen planner/designer provide a 3D layout of your kitchen and a parts list to make ordering the bodarp doors, base cabinets, cabinet fronts, and wall cabinets more convenient.
- VERIFY MEASUREMENTS AND DIMENSIONS
During the planning phase, it is extremely important to make sure that the measurements and dimensions are accurate before ordering the cabinets. One missed measurement can affect the design and positioning of the appliances because some might not fit. If you do not trust your measuring skills that much, you can always seek help from a professional measurement technician and have him visit your home.
- CHECK IT IN!
Since the cabinets are unassembled and come in parts, it is important to make sure all the pieces are complete. You are only given 48 hours by IKEA to report an error as part of their responsible disclosure, so it’s best to be sure than sorry. You can count all the pieces or check the parts list at the store before leaving. It’s necessary to do an inventory and organise all the kitchen cabinet boxes before starting your build. You can also sort the boxes either by item or by cabinet.
- PARTS BIN
In assembling the kitchen cabinets, it is important to get a parts bin. A magnetic one is highly recommended since most of the smaller parts are made up of metal. In this case, even if the parts get knocked over, they wouldn’t fly out and make the installation process more tedious and time-consuming.
- RIDE THE RAILS
Using the mounting rail system is optional but it is absolutely helpful. You can use the rail system to hang the kitchen cabinets in place and slide them along until you’re happy with the position. It requires you to provide fasteners in attaching the rails to the wall but using the rail system is the easiest and most precise way to install the kitchen cabinets.
- MORE POWER
Although the use of power tools is strongly discouraged in some online articles and guides, when done with ease, they are the way to go if you want the installation process to be completed quickly. However, overdoing it will damage the pre-drilled holes and the cabinet itself. You need to be very careful when using these power tools and a lot of adjustments should be made. You can adjust the clutch of the drills to control the power and to avoid possible damages. Some small and light but powerful drills also have speed selectors which make controlling the power even easier.
Also, remember that even if IKEA is known for Allen wrenches, they are not needed during the installation of the kitchen cabinets. You can also prepare a hammer to nail the MDF backings onto the cabinet backs.
- PREVENT CHIP-OUT
The parts of the kitchen cabinet could be easily chipped especially if you use power tools and blades to install them. There is no need to worry though since there are some precautionary tips to prevent them from chipping out.
Screws can easily be powered through with the use of power tools but pre-drilling the cabinet boxes will prevent the surface edges from chipping out.
If you also want to install cabinet lightings or rip off a filler piece, you may want to use a painter’s tape along the cut line before drilling a hole using a hole saw or a circular saw.
To prevent the backside from blowing out when the bit blasts after drilling completely through the kitchen cabinets, it would be a good practice to clamp the sacrificial piece of scrap wood to the back side. You can hold the sacrificial scrap of wood and the jig with one clamp.
- MANAGE TRASH
IKEA kitchen cabinets come in a lot of packaging. This simply means that if you do not manage these cardboards and plastics, your kitchen could turn into an apocalyptic wasteland which makes it even harder to work in. Your tools, screws and cabinet parts will surely go missing and will be very hard to find if they’re buried underneath these trashes. Your workspace should be clutter-free to maximise your time and space for easier kitchen cabinet installation.
- DON’T FORGET THE LITTLE THINGS
Noisy cabinets could be very irritating especially when you open and close them in the middle of the night. You might get disturbed during your deep sleep, or you may disturb others. To prevent this, you can buy door dampeners. They are not that expensive and they can give you peace and quiet.
- DO IT “LIGHT” NOW
If you are planning to add lighting to your kitchen cabinets, it would be better to have them installed during the initial installation process. In that way, having lights installed will be easier. During the installation of the lighting system, it would also be better to make sure that the lights work before permanently installing them.