Having designed and installed many Ikea and non-ikea kitchens, we have compiled a list of pros and cons so you can know a bit more of what you’re committing to.

IKEA kitchen beforeIKEA kitchen after


  • Get it now. In stock cabinets eliminate the typical four-to-six-week wait, and allow you to replace damaged or misordered pieces without a delay.
  • Expect quality hardware. Full extension soft-close drawer slides and adjustable hinges come as standard with Ikea.
  • Organize. Ikea has a decent selection of interior organizers like spice inserts, lazy susans, etc. with the option of adding more from a third party supplier like Lee Valley or Richelieu.
  • Save. Thousands of dollars can be saved by assembling and installing yourself (if you have the skill, time, and ambition).
  • Splurge elsewhere. Lower cost of cabinets might mean you can splurge on counters and tile!
  • Get quality. The cabinet boxes are made of 11/16” particle board. If you want to nit-pick on quality, almost everyone else uses only ⅝” thick particle board (yes, 11/16” is thicker than ⅝”)
  • Cover your bases. Ikea’s 25 yr warranty is comparable or better than the competition


  • Expect design limitations. Ikea has a smaller selection of door styles, wood species, wood stains, and thermofoil colours.
  • Be wary of wood doors. Wood veneers are spliced together resulting in a patchy look. (Tip: Go black and you won’t notice, or just turn a blind eye)
  • Accept space challenges. There’s no 33” wide cabinet. If a 36” is a bit too big, you have to go with 30” and have a huge filler strip, which is unsightly and a waste of space.
  • Know your hidden costs. The advertised price does not include delivery, assembly, and installation (add in another $1800 to $2500 for the average kitchen, or sacrifice your own time, talent, and energy).
  • Pay attention to key details. The melamine cabinet boxes don’t match the doors (unless you go white or natural birch). This means you can’t get an open shelf or glass-door cabinet with a wood-veneer or colored interior to match. This is a huge deterrent in using open shelves and clear glass.
  • Forget about trim and extras. Crown moulding anyone? Ikea’s trim pieces are almost non-existent. While this may be ok for modern minimalism, don’t try to design a chunky island with turned posts, baseboard trim, and bar brackets.




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