IKEA Kitchen Base Cabinet System: Know Before You Buy (2023)

If you're getting ready to remodel a kitchen, your budget can mean the difference between making it happen this year, taking out a home improvement loan, or passing on it altogether. Ikea cabinets have a reputation for being well-built, low-cost, and, if in stock, you can bring them home the same day that you buy them. Known for their clean, Scandinavian aesthetic, Ikea has many styles to choose from for the cabinet facing so that you can get nearly any look with their cabinets.

But, if there's one thing that Ikea is known for, it's confusing building instructions, lots of steps, and hours upon hours spent trying to build one piece. So, while you might save money purchasing the pieces, factor in your sweat equity, and, if your DIY skills are not up to snuff, you'll need to hire someone to build and install it for you.


Click Play to Learn About the IKEA Kitchen Base Cabinet System

Ikea cabinets are solid and function well—they fit the bill if budget is your primary consideration. They have one base system: SEKTION, a frameless kitchen cabinet system (In 2015, it replaced the AKURUM discontinued line). They are medium-density fiberboard (MDF) and particleboard mixed with wood, metal, glass, and melamine foil. Also, Ikea only comes in specific sizes, so you have to make the cabinetry fit your space and not the other way around. Planning an Ikea kitchen for your area requires a lot of configuring to make it work, but they have an easy-to-use 3D planning tool online to simplify the process.


  • Affordable

  • Many styles

  • User-friendly 3D online planning program

  • 25-year warranty

(Video) 5 reasons to buy IKEA kitchen cabinets


  • Not solid wood; questionable quality

  • Difficult to install; long wait


  • Not custom-made

Pros of Ikea Kitchen Cabinets

Ikea kitchen cabinets are known for their clean lines and affordability, serving as a cost-conscious choice for those who have a tighter budget.

Good for the Budget-Conscious

If you're going to do a kitchen remodel and you have a smaller budget to work with, then explore the world of Ikea cabinets. You can end up paying at least 1/4 the cost of custom cabinetry. For example, a kitchen that would typically cost $25,000 in custom cabinetry can end up being about $6,000 if you had shopped at Ikea. It will be one of the more affordable ways to redo your kitchen without breaking the bank.

Many Styles to Choose From

Although there is only one base cabinet system with the frameless SEKTION, you have some 15 different styles to choose from ultra-modern and contemporary to traditional moldings and Shaker-style drawer fronts and cabinet doors. Frameless cabinets have doorsthatcover the entire front face of the cabinet. Frameless cabinets impart a European or modern look for a sleek appearance that emphasizes other kitchen areas such as appliances, flooring, or tilework.

The colors of the fronts, drawers, and cover panels are varied too—white, black, beige, gray, navy, green, and wood tones. The wide variety of drawer pulls, and cabinet handles enable you to personalize your kitchen to your taste.

Planning Made Easy

If you have an hour to spare, you can redesign your kitchen with all your kitchen measurements. The online planner guides you through a step-by-step process to use their online 3D mapping tool. Or, you can make arrangements to meet with an Ikea kitchen planning expert online or go to Ikea to see the pieces firsthand and design your new kitchen with a planner at the showroom. The 3D tool allows you to visualize what your new kitchen can look like with Ikea cabinetry installed.

25-Year Warranty

Knowing that the SEKTION Ikea cabinet system has a 25-year warranty might set your mind at ease. It can be reassuring to know that your investment is covered against defects in the material and workmanship. It also covers all fronts, UTRUSTA hinges, MAXIMERA full-extension drawers, legs and toe kicks, cover panels, Deco strips and molding, and most cabinet frames. The warranty does not cover any cabinetry that has been altered or normal wear and tear, cuts or scratches, or damage caused by impacts or accidents.

Cons of Ikea Kitchen Cabinets

While cost is a significant consideration, others make quality construction, workmanship, and materials their top priority. Also, planning and installation need to be effortless and hassle-free.

Not Highest Quality

Some kitchen rehabbers will not consider Ikea cabinetry based on the materials they use for their cabinets. Their cabinetry may have some wood, glass, and metal, but since the cabinets are mainly made with medium-density fiberboard (MDF) and particle board, it's a big dealbreaker for those looking for all-wood construction. The integrity of MDF and particleboard can get damaged and degrade when exposed to water or screws turning into the boards. Although Ikea's 25-year warranty can be reassuring, it does not prevent problems from occurring in the first place, and comparatively, all-wood construction stands up better.



Some Ikea kitchen DIYers have complained that the melamine-fronted doors get dinged and chipped much sooner than expected. To avoid your drawers and cabinet doors from eventually looking shabby, one DIYer suggests installing all the base cabinetry from Ikea but instead getting all-wood cabinet doors and drawer fronts from a custom cabinetry store.

Installation Woes

Ikea maintains its reputation for having complicated instructions and being a hassle to install. If you buy an entire cabinet system, it can be confusing when more than 100 boxes arrive at your home. And, you have to check that you have every single piece. The installation is not a weekend project for a DIYer.

You can hire an Ikea professional to haul in and install them, making the process easier, but it can take months for an appointment. Then another option is hiring an independent kitchen cabinet installer near you. Since Ikea furniture and cabinetry are popular, many local carpenters and subcontractors are familiar with their installation.

Not Custom-Made

Custom cabinetry is built on-site in your kitchen to fit your space, whereas Ikea furniture is made to the specifications of their instruction booklet.With an Ikea cabinet system, you can choose from various width and depth sizes for their base and wall cabinets. The sizes are standard, so they should come close to your kitchen dimensions.

You will be able to choose where to put drawers versus cabinets, plan shelving, and pick the cabinet facing, but you're locked into their depths and widths, which limits people with oddly shaped spaces or unique needs. For taller or shorter people, customized cabinets can take a person's size into account versus Ikea's one-size-fits-all approach.

Cabinet Sizes

Ikea offers several widths, depths, heights, giving kitchen planners some flexibility to design a kitchen that can suit their needs. Some custom offerings include L-shaped corner cabinets to accommodate corners in your kitchen with doors opening right or left, high cabinets that serve as a pantry or cupboard that are floor to ceiling, and cabinets that go above built-in appliances like microwaves or refrigerators. You can also order a base sink cabinet with an open-top to accommodate a drop-in sink.

Base cabinets siton the floor and, as the name implies, act as a base for other things, such as countertops, cooktops, microwaves, and ovens.Since base cabinets occupy floor space, they effectively define the footprint of your kitchen. All base kitchen cabinets are 30 inches high. After adding the legs and toe kick, the total height becomes 34.5 inches. Adding a countertop brings the full height to 36 inches. Ikea only offers laminate and butcher block wood countertops in standard dimensions. To get marble, granite, other stone, or other surface materials, you'll have to purchase them elsewhere.

Cabinet PieceHeightWidthDepth
Base cabinet30 in.12, 15, 18, 21, 24, 30, 36 in.14.75, 24 in.
Base corner cabinet30 in.38, 47 in.24, 26, 38 in.
Base sink cabinet30 in.24, 30, 36 in.24 in.
Upper cabinet15, 20, 30, 40, in.12, 15, 18, 21, 24, 30, 36 in.14.75 in.
Upper corner cabinet20, 30, 40 in.26 in.26 in.
Top cabinet10, 15, 20 in.24, 30, 36 in.24 in.
High cabinet80, 90 in.15, 18, 24, 30 in.14.75, 24 in.

Frame Color

The frame is the color of the cabinet box, and it comes in white. While this choice matters, it is less important than it may seem. Most ends of your cabinets will butt up to other ends or appliances, so you will never see them. You might have two exposed ends; often, you will have none. Frame color matters most on the inside. A clean white interior makes it easier to see inside, and it will be easier to notice when it's dirty and needs a wipe to keep it clean.

Doors and Drawers

IKEA's names for door and drawer front styles are not descriptive, so you have to sort them by sight alone. The 15 or so door and drawer fronts work with the SEKTION base cabinets. Always look for any notes on the product description to make sure the doors or fronts are compatible with the cabinet boxes and with specific types of hinges and other hardware.

Legs and Toe Kicks

Legs and toe kicks are sold separately. Legs are required to keep the cabinet boxes off of the floor. Toe kicks are optional and are not used with all legs.

  • Legs:The basic legs are plastic and adjust to help level the cabinets on uneven floor surfaces; the plinth strips hide these. There are also metal legs with screw-type adjustment and sturdy bases; these are more like furniture legs that you don't cover.
  • Toe Kick:A plinth by IKEA is a narrow strip of plastic that covers up the legs; these serve the same purpose as toe-kick boards found on conventional cabinets. So, when the plinth is installed, the cabinets have the outer appearance of resting directly on the floor, though the inner legs support the weight.


While IKEA cabinets offer a great appearance at an accessible price, many homeowners question if they can withstand tough usage over a long period. If you expect them to be installed in a space that undergoes significant wear and tear—such as a busy family kitchen with several kids or a high-traffic office kitchen—it is important to research thoroughly if they will hold up for you as well as cabinets from other manufacturers.

(Video) 6 ODD features of IKEA kitchen cabinets [BEFORE YOU PLAN]


Which IKEA cabinets are best quality? ›

Conshohocken, PA (October 9, 2019) – IKEA SEKTION Kitchen cabinets were ranked “Highest Customer Satisfaction with Kitchen Cabinets” for 2019*, by J.D. Power, a global data & analytics company that represents the Voice of the Customer.

What to know about IKEA cabinets? ›

IKEA cabinets come ready to assemble (also known as RTA) in “flat-packed” boxes. They're “frameless,” meaning you make use of all the space inside the cabinet, and are designed to hang on a rail system, with adjustable plastic feet on the base so they don't sit directly on the floor.

Are IKEA kitchen units any good? ›

Customer reviews

“We bought our kitchen from IKEA early this year, and I have been very impressed with the quality by comparison with other kitchens I have had in the past that we paid more for. The units are well-designed and the doors are sturdy, with a tough finish that stands up to family use.

How to choose a kitchen from IKEA? ›

5 steps to buying an IKEA kitchen
  1. Find your kitchen style. Take some time to dream a little, look at some ideas, consider your needs and decide what you want in your ideal kitchen. ...
  2. Measure your kitchen. A great plan starts with a great measure. ...
  3. Plan your kitchen. ...
  4. Shop, order and get it home. ...
  5. Install your kitchen.

Are IKEA cabinets solid wood? ›

Observers of IKEA kitchen cabinets like to point out that they are not real wood but rather are made from medium-density fiberboard (MDF).

How can I make my IKEA kitchen cabinets look expensive? ›

If you are considering a traditional or transitional style IKEA kitchen, you can make it look more polished and finished by adding stock molding like crown molding, light rail, and baseboard from your local big box store. Crown or cove molding can help build your cabinetry up to the ceiling for a fully built-in look.

How durable are IKEA cabinets? ›

So what is the quality of IKEA cabinets really like? Simply put, they are incredibly durable.

Why is Ikea kitchen so cheap? ›

Because IKEA products come disassembled and flat-boxed, their prices don't need to account for significant storage space, transportation costs, or the labor required to put them together. (Of course, if you prefer, you can have your products assembled for you, for an additional fee.)

How much does it cost to install a kitchen from IKEA? ›

How much does it cost to have an IKEA kitchen professionally installed? Kitchen installs typically cost 50% of the purchased kitchen price. For example, if the kitchen cost $3000.00, the installation would be approximately $1500.00. However, each kitchen project is different.

How many times a year does IKEA have a kitchen sale? ›

The 2023 IKEA Kitchen Sale could happen.

Back in the day (2019), they would run amazing IKEA kitchen sales 3-4 times per year.

Why are IKEA base cabinets only 30? ›

Since base cabinets occupy floor space, they effectively define the footprint of your kitchen. All base kitchen cabinets are 30 inches high. After adding the legs and toe kick, the total height becomes 34.5 inches. Adding a countertop brings the full height to 36 inches.

Can you use any sink with IKEA cabinets? ›

You can use your favorite sink or cooktop without having to resort to an expensive option like a custom-made cabinet. The best option is to customize an IKEA base cabinet to make it work for you.

How much do you save with an IKEA kitchen? ›

In most cases, savings will be $1,000 and up. So, if you are interested in, fasten your seat belt and let's go! The total cost of the IKEA Kitchen project can be divided into 4 main categories and on each of them, you can save 5%–20%.

What are the three grades of cabinets? ›

Cabinets are grouped into four grades based on quality of construction: ready-to-assemble (RTA), stock, semi-custom and custom.

Are IKEA cabinets less expensive? ›

Affordable. Yup, they really are pretty significantly less expensive than other cabinet options, especially custom cabinets. But this will really depend on the size of your kitchen and the extra fixings you throw in.

How hard are IKEA cabinets to put together? ›

IKEA cabinet drawers and doors are very easy to assemble. Just pay attention to the small differences between top middle and lower drawers. We chose their Grimslov collection because we like the design and color of the cabinet fronts. At this point your kitchen is functional and you can start using it!

What is the most sold item in IKEA? ›

1. Billy bookcase. The Billy bookcase has cemented itself firmly as one of the most popular products in the IKEA family. It is estimated that every five seconds, one Billy bookcase is sold somewhere in the world.

What is the most popular kitchen cabinets now? ›

Shaker Style

Shaker cabinets have quickly become one of the most popular cabinet styles for kitchens of every type. The simple, square-paneled doors look flawless with any hardware. This kitchen features dark-hued shaker cabinets with striking brass hardware that leaves the space feeling clean and modern.

What is the most popular kitchen layout? ›

L-Shape Kitchen

An l-shaped kitchen design is typically the most popular layout among consumers. It includes workspaces on two adjoining walls running perpendicular to each other. This layout works well when there are two cooks in the kitchen since the work area is nice and open.

What color cabinets make the kitchen look bigger? ›

Go with Light Colors

Light colors are more reflective than dark colors and they will make your kitchen appear bigger as well as more open and airy. Light blues, greens, or pale yellows are other great colors to make your space look larger than life.

How to make IKEA not look cheap? ›

Here are five simple ways you can customize and upgrade your IKEA furniture.
How to make your IKEA furniture look more expensive
  1. Knobs and pulls. ...
  2. Furniture legs. ...
  3. Make it float. ...
  4. Change the tops. ...
  5. Switch the fronts.

What makes kitchen cabinets look expensive? ›

Colours such as creams and beiges can make a kitchen look elegant and expensive. If your kitchen is modern, you can use dark colours, such as blacks and greys, which can make it look lavish and extravagant. White reflects light and makes the space look bigger, so complement white with some wood and metallic highlights.

Can you put IKEA cabinet doors on existing cabinets? ›

If you have old cabinets that are still in good shape but the doors are terrible, you can use IKEA cabinet doors to replace them. This way, you can save a ton of money. IKEA cabinet doors come in various sizes so it is not hard to find items to fit your old cabinets.

How long does it take to install IKEA kitchen? ›

A proficient installer will be able to assemble and install an IKEA kitchen in a couple of days, if you are not experienced in this, allow 4-5 days. A proficient installer will be able to assemble and install an IKEA kitchen in a couple of days, if you are not experienced in this, allow 4-5 days.

Does IKEA deliver kitchen cabinets? ›

Yes, IKEA Delivers—Here's What You Need to Know Before You Order.

Do IKEA remove your old kitchen? ›

We can even take your old kitchen or appliances away with us for recycling.

Is Ikea kitchen cheaper than custom? ›

It goes without saying that the biggest difference between custom and Ikea cabinetry is price. If you took an Ikea kitchen with the same configuration, and you made it custom, it would realistically cost you 3 times the price, but every service is included.

How long are Ikea kitchen orders taking? ›

IKEA kitchens are typically available for immediate takeaway or next day delivery.

How long does the average person spend at IKEA? ›

Here are a few tips to make it easier and take note: While store manager Trisha Bevering says the average consumer spends 2½ to 3 hours in an Ikea trip, you'll spend more time there if you haven't been to an Ikea before or even as you come to know the store. Pretend you're packing for a trip: Go light.

Will IKEA design a kitchen for you? ›

Our free kitchen planning service includes an in-store or online consultation with a professional IKEA kitchen planner. The IKEA kitchen planner tool can help bring your ideal kitchen to life. You will get a 3D layout of your kitchen and a parts list to make ordering easier.

Do you have to use IKEA countertops with IKEA cabinets? ›

From the side of experienced IKEA kitchen installers, I would say that there is no specific need to go particularly with IKEA when it comes to the countertops. Especially considering that you can save money and have a better stone selection if you find the right alternative.

Are IKEA kitchen cabinets made of plywood? ›

IKEA cabinet boxes are made of fiberboard and melamine foil. Cabinet doors and drawer fronts are made of fiberboard. They are covered in melamine foil, paint, wood, or glass.

Do IKEA kitchen cabinets need to be assembled? ›

You can do it yourself but you don't have to

Our kitchens are designed to be simple to install and assemble yourself, but we're here to help as much as you would like along the way.

Can you use normal appliances in a IKEA kitchen? ›

Any Brand of Appliance Works With IKEA Cabinets

No matter what appliance brand you buy, it will work with IKEA kitchen cabinets. That's because IKEA's modular system means we can fit cabinets around your choices.

Do you have to put legs on IKEA kitchen cabinets? ›

Every kitchen base cabinet and high cabinet needs legs. Choose whether you want to emphasize a style or expression in your kitchen with visible legs or if you prefer to hide the legs behind a toekick.

Does IKEA install kitchens and bathrooms? ›

Bathroom installation

The service includes the installation of every IKEA bathroom cabinets, both base and high cabinets, assembly of accessories, mirrors, wash-basins, taps and strainers, and lighting.

How much does it cost to redo kitchen with IKEA cabinets? ›

Gutting the old kitchen, installing new flooring, installing the cabinets, adding an accent wall, and doing some small repairs that popped up landed my total labor and minor materials cost just under $7000, for a total cost of just over $15,000 for my IKEA kitchen remodel in January 2022.

How much does labor cost to install IKEA kitchen cabinets? ›

Installation Costs for IKEA Kitchen Cabinets

Your installer or contractor may calculate his fee one of three ways: by the linear foot (you can expect $150 – $380 per linear foot for total installation); per cabinet (you can expect to spend between $150 – $500 per cabinet); or one price for the entire job.

Is IKEA actually cheaper? ›

Shoppers love IKEA because of how affordable its furniture is. Many IKEA products cost about half the price of competitors. Part of why IKEA's prices are so low is that it packs everything flat to save on storage and transportation costs. See what else IKEA does to keep its prices so low.

What is the difference between IKEA Grimslov and Bodbyn? ›

The grimslov is a Thermofoil door and the Bodbyn is a painted door so you'll have a reasonably durable and strong door.

Does IKEA make high quality furniture? ›

When you shop at IKEA, you should not expect to find heirloom quality furniture. While most of the products are certainly affordable, longevity is not typically a common attribute. (Very often affordability and quality do not go hand in hand unless you are buying used furniture.)

Are IKEA kitchen cabinets MDF or particle board? ›

IKEA's cabinets are made out of MDF (MDF stands for Medium Density Fiberboard) wrapped in a very durable melamine finish… And no, MDF is not the same thing as particle board… It's MUCH stronger and can be used for the same building applications as plywood…

What does sektion mean in IKEA? ›

Doors For Ikea Cabinets. Kitchen (Sektion/Akurum) Bath (Godmorgon) Media (Besta)

Are IKEA cabinets the most affordable? ›

Affordable. Yup, they really are pretty significantly less expensive than other cabinet options, especially custom cabinets. But this will really depend on the size of your kitchen and the extra fixings you throw in.

How can I make my IKEA kitchen look expensive? ›

IKEA Kitchen Hacks: 12 ways to make your affordable kitchen look...
  1. Build out the island. Image credit: My Bespoke Room. ...
  2. Polish with paint. Image credit: My Bespoke Room. ...
  3. Upgrade your cabinets. Image credit: My Bespoke Room. ...
  4. Splurge in small amounts. ...
  5. Crown-moulding. ...
  6. Replace the worktop. ...
  7. Change the hardware. ...
  8. Split tone.

Why is IKEA kitchen so cheap? ›

Because IKEA products come disassembled and flat-boxed, their prices don't need to account for significant storage space, transportation costs, or the labor required to put them together. (Of course, if you prefer, you can have your products assembled for you, for an additional fee.)


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