Why We Chose Ikea Cabinets for a Kitchen Remodel Instead of Home Depot or Lowes

Remodeled kitchen with Ikea cabinets
By
Eric
on
February 22, 2020

If you are looking to purchase new kitchen cabinets but are on a tight budget, then find out why you should go with Ikea cabinets instead of Home Depot or Lowe's. Check out the pros and cons of Ikea cabinets.

If you've ever remodeled a kitchen or are considering a remodel soon, then you know how stressful it can be to pick the right cabinets. Cabinets are the biggest expense for a kitchen remodel, and you don't want to mess it up and get the wrong kind. 

There are almost countless cabinet lines to choose from, which doesn’t exactly make the process any easier. Plus, you have to decide between custom cabinets versus box cabinets.

We are preparing for a kitchen remodel soon so we read and researched cabinets for months. Finally, we narrowed down our final choices to Lowe's, Home Depot, or Ikea.

After lots of talking, research, store hopping, and stressing, we finally decided to go with Ikea cabinets. We considered Home Depot and Lowe's, but in the end, Ikea won our vote for several key reasons.


1) Ikea Cabinet Quality is the Best for Their Price

If you are on a tight budget, then you will get the biggest bang for your buck at Ikea. Lowe's and Home Depot do offer box cabinets for similar pricing to Ikea's cabinets. However, they are not made with as high-quality materials as Ikea cabinets. 

When comparing Home Depot versus Ikea cabinets, the Home Depot cabinets felt much cheaper and they weren’t made as well. Their base wasn’t as thick or as durable.

We faced the same issue when looking at Lowe’s versus Ikea cabinets. Lowe’s did have some cabinets similar to the quality of Ikea, but at twice the cost.

Ikea builds their cabinets with thicker bases and you can choose extremely durable faces for your cabinets. In addition, there are standard additional features for Ikea cabinets which I'll talk more about later.

We ended up choosing a high-gloss turquoise cabinet for our kitchen. We chose high-gloss because they are scratch resistant and easy to clean. In addition, the turquoise will look fantastic with our light walls and white backsplash.

You do need to know that Ikea's Sektion cabinets are flat packed - meaning you will need to build them or find someone to build them for you. Personally, I would rather build them myself and know they are built well and to my standards.

In addition to the high-grade materials used, Ikea cabinets and drawers have soft close hinges. This means the doors and drawers will never slam again. Imagine never having to hear a slamming cabinet door at home ever again :)


2) Ikea Customer Service is Simply Fantastic

When we went to Ikea, I was simply blown away at the quality of customer service they offered. After interacting with a handful of employees, I couldn't find a single disgruntled or grumpy employee. They were all willing to help us find what we need when we headed to the kitchen department. 

The lady who helped us finalize our kitchen plan even stayed past her shift to help us! When we wanted a different color cabinet piece, they made sure we got just the right color - and quickly too.

All of the employees were happy, helpful, and more than willing to answer our questions. I've never had a favorite retail store, at least not until now. 

Ikea is now officially my favorite retail store, and I'm not even ashamed to admit it. I even received a survey to fill out from Ikea. I never fill out surveys, but I filled out this one because of the top-notch customer service Ikea offers.


3) We Picked up 99% of Everything In-Store and they Shipped the Rest

Ikea makes smarter cabinets

Another reason Ikea is amazing is because every Ikea is essentially a showroom and warehouse. What that means is you go into Ikea and will more than likely walk out with what you planned on buying (and perhaps a little bit more).

For example, Ikea had all of the cabinet supplies we ordered already in stock except for 3 pieces. I was actually pretty happy they had a few pieces out of stock because there was literally no extra room to pack more cabinets into our little car!

Fitting 13 flat-packed cabinets into a Chevy Sonic is quite the feat to be honest. Let's just say we're experts at Tetris now. RIP our car's shocks.

For those 3 pieces they didn't have in stock, they said they could ship the order directly to our house in less than a week. We only paid $9 for shipping and it did indeed arrive in less than a week right to our front door.


4) Shop, Eat, and Pick-Up Your Order - All in a Few Hours Time

Overall, the whole process of buying cabinets from Ikea was so easy and convenient. We had a pre-made model of the kitchen plan we wanted using Ikea's Kitchen planning tool. It’s like having an assistant kitchen designer on your computer.

It's pretty nifty and we used it to make a 3D model of all the cabinets that we wanted to put in our kitchen. It gave us a good idea of what we needed before we actually got to the store.

When we got to the kitchen department one of the employees actually helped us finalize our initial kitchen design. She caught a few things we overlooked and was definitely an expert at kitchen planning.

She reviewed our plan and even made it better. The overall planning time only took 45 minutes or so in-store. It went even more smoothly because we went in prepared with our plan.

We then paid for our order - and even got a 10% discount because of a sale they had going on for kitchens! Once we ordered the cabinets, we got hungry and went to the cafeteria - my favorite part of the store :) 

I've heard people say that Ikea meatballs are good. But, man oh man, they really are so good! I was amazed at how good they actually taste. I would almost drive the hour and a half to Ikea just for the meatballs.

After eating, we waited about another hour while they finished gathering our order. Once the order was gathered, we loaded everything up into our car and we were off.

From start to finish, the whole process only took 3 hours - which is amazing considering we planned, purchased, ate dinner, and left with the cabinet supplies during that time.

I loved the Ikea cabinet buying process, at least as much as I could have. It's a great experience that neither Lowe's or Home Depot can provide.

Final Pros and Cons of Ikea Cabinets

Pros

Durability - There’s no doubt Ikea’s cabinets and hardware are extremely durable. At ~¾” thickness (18 mm to be exact), the cabinets can hold a lot of weight. In addition, the cabinets’ surface is coated with melanine, which is scratch and moisture resistant (yes please).

Soft Close Hinges - Ikea drawers have a soft close built into them while you can buy the door dampeners for your cabinets. The door dampeners were well worth the small, extra cost to never have to hear a cabinet door slam again. 

Practical Cost - Ikea cabinets aren’t the most expensive cabinet nor are they the cheapest. They are, however, the most cost-effective cabinet you can buy in my opinion. After researching other cabinet lines and taking into account durability, style, and cost, we decided Ikea had the best value for cabinets. 

Tons of Different Sizes and Styles - It’s pretty safe to say that Ikea will have the cabinet front that matches your style. They’ve got sleek and modern fronts, traditional and sophisticated, and more. Check them all out here.

25 Year Warranty - Ikea’s Sektion cabinets in particular come with a 25 Year Limited Warranty. Any company that offers a warranty that long really stands behind their products.

Cons

You Have to Build Them Yourself (unless you hire someone) - Ikea cabinets do come flat packed, which means you do have to build them unless you have a handy friend or want to hire someone to build them. 

Cabinets Not Completely Custom - While Ikea cabinets have tons of options for cabinet fronts, they aren’t completely customizable. However, Completely custom cabinets are at least double the cost. 

Beware of Plaster Walls - Our house in particular had plastic walls with curved corners and parts of the wall that jutted out. It was a headache cutting the backside of the cabinets because our house has such erratic lines. You’ll most likely be fine if your home has drywall installed.


Ikea Cabinets Purchase Summary

So far, I am more than impressed with our purchase from Ikea. All of the supplies are solid and well packed. There will be a learning curve to assemble the cabinets. I'm excited and anxious to start building them. 

I likely will say a few choice words when I assemble the first couple of cabinets. I think I'll get the hang of building them after the first or second one and then I'll hopefully be an expert.

Update: Ikea Cabinet Review

Since originally writing this blog post, I’ve built and installed the cabinets so thought I would write an Ikea cabinet installation review.

All of the cabinets came in their own box with all the screws and hardware you need to build them. The only tools you will need are a screwdriver and a hammer. The first cabinet I built took me about an hour, but I just followed their wordless instruction page which was easy enough. 

It got a lot faster after I finished building the first cabinet. I got to the point where I could build a cabinet in 15 minutes which was cruising compared to the first one. 

Installation is also pretty painless thanks to their easy hanging method. You simply screw the horizontal metal strip onto the wall studs, and then just hang and secure the cabinets onto that.

Make sure you are securing it to the studs or the cabinets run a risk of falling off the wall - which is not good. We found a good stud finder on Amazon to prevent this and make sure we were screwing right into the studs.

Curved corner installing Ikea Cabinets
Our devil kitchen during the middle of the remodel with its curved, plaster walls.

Overall, the cabinet assembly and install went so much better than I could have expected. The unexpected issues we ran into during installation were just because of the rounded walls of our old, quirky house. 

If you are considering which cabinets to buy for your kitchen remodel and you're on a tight budget, then I strongly recommend Ikea cabinets.

You will be impressed at the quality of cabinets you receive for the price. You'll experience excellent customer service and the experience will be *relatively* painless.

And in the end, you get Swedish meatballs and good food. What more could you ask for?

If you have any questions about Ikea cabinets that I didn't discuss, feel free to leave a comment or drop me a line.

Ikea Kitchen Remodel Before and After Pics

If you're wondering how the kitchen remodel went, check out these before and after remodel pictures. We're super happy with how they turned out :)

eccentric kitchen before remodel
Before
Eccentric kitchen before remodel

ikea kitchen after remodel
After
Ikea Kitchen after remodel