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Welcome to the Kitchen Section: here we build and install an IKEA Kitchen
How to install a new IKEA Kitchen

Purchasing a kitchen from IKEA can be a real hassle, (it was a nightmare for us) but to be fair the kitchen was purchased for a reasonable price, the units were good quality and sturdy, and the finished kitchen looks great.

Fitting the IKEA Kitchen: it may be best to let qualified professionals install the plumbing and electrics, but the rest of the assembly and installation work is pretty straightforward and should be within the scope of most 'weekend DIY people'.

1. Kitchen Layout and Planning
  Layout & Planning your kitchen: A) Triangular layout tried best for traffic flow. B) Determine the main focal point - in this case the old fire place which will house the new oven (extractor fan & lights installed in the old chimney). C) Location of sink & other plumbing issues. D) Cooker position & exhaust vent. E) Adequate counter space. F) Electrics - enough for counter top appliances. G) Telephone, TV connection…

Square and sound walls: if applying new plasterboard & insulation as part of the refurbishment, try to keep the walls square and level as this will make the installation process a lot easier! Uneven floors are not a major issue since the legs on the kitchen units are height adjustable. Identify where the electrical cables and plumbing pipework are located and draw on the wall - so as to not drill into then during the installation process.


Protect finished floors: use cardboard or a tarpaulin to protect floors during the installation process.

  Our kitchen is from IKEA. The cabinets are FAKTUM and the doors have a solid birch frame with a birch veneer panel from their Adel range. IKEA kitchen units come in a wide range of different widths, which enabled us to get a near perfect fit in the limited space available. The better the fit, the more it looks like a 'custom kitchen'. The IKEA website has a free software download which is excellent for helping you design a scale layout plan!
2. Building the cabinets

Building the cabinets: Open the flatpack, ensure the pack is complete, review the instructions. Lay the 2 side panels face down onto the cardboard. Using the screws provided, install the 2 corner braces into what will be the upper/back section of the cabinet. Here we use a cordless drill/screwdriver with the torque wound back as to not strip the mounts.

  Screw the 8 lock shafts into the holes provided.
  Use a couple of drops of wood glue (provided) into the each of the dowel holes, and insert the wooden dowels into the 2 upper supports and the base shelf. Insert 4 metal lock disks into the larger holes and turn them with a screwdriver to align so the hole faces outwards.

Install the 2 upper supports onto the side panel


Give the lock disk a turn and you'll feel it grip and tighten on the lock shaft.

  Inset the remaining lock disks into the base panel and align
  Install the base panel onto the side panel and tighten the lock disks
  Install the other side panel onto the unit and tighten the lock disks.
  Lay the back cover onto the back of the unit so the white side facing inwards and the big holes align with the corner braces. You may need to push on one of the unit corners to ensure it fits squarely onto the unit, and when it does, fix it into position using the small nails provided. Use all the nails, as this panel is a structural member providing strength to the unit.
  Turn the unit upside down and insert the leg mount followed by the adjustable legs. If the unit is to be attached along side another unit the leg mount should installed so part of it extends out to the side enabling neighbouring unit to rest on it as well.
  Continue to build the base units and roughly position them in place. Look at the metal corner braces as these will be the fixing points. To aid installation you might consider fixing wooden batten to the back wall(s), or simply opt for the screw and anchor method as we have done here.
  Remember those units with appliances, you'll need to cut out a section of the back panel to allow for electrical & gas connection. This is our oven unit and to aid ventilation we removed a good part of the back panel. There are 2 metal tracks on the lower section of each side panel, it designed so that the oven will sit on these.
3. Modifying a kitchen unit
  Modify a unit: Our layout incorporates an old brick fireplace so we need to chop out the back section of this unit. To begin, layout all the base units to give you the exact positioning for cutting
  Draw where you'll need to be cutting. Here on the top brace, and the bottom panel as well.
  Cut 2 sections of 1"x1" timber to size.
  Screw them onto the bottom panel and top brace
  Mark where the back panel will need to be cut
  Cut the back panel
  Fix the back panel sections with small nails. Note we've kept the top brace intact for this process, otherwise the unit joints would be damaged during the nailing process.
  Then cut the bottom panel and top brace with a jig saw
  Place the unit into position and check the fit. If an internal self is to be fitted, use the bottom panel as a template and with a pencil draw a 'cut line' on the shelf.
4. Attach the units together then fix to wall
  Once the base units are all in position and roughly level with one another, you can start to attach the side panels together using the bolts provided.

  Gently clamp the units together to their side and top edges meet perfectly. If you clamp is rough you may want to use a small piece of cardboard so as to not damage the surface of the cabinet.
  Use a wood drill bit and drill through from one cabinet to the next. You'll need a hole near the top and bottom of the unit. Ensure you don't use one of the holes allocated for the door hinge… see instructions or check alignment with one of the IKEA doors.
  Insert the female part of the bolt into the new hole, then the male part and tighten. Careful not to over tighten or you'll crack the melamine surfaces.
  Continue until all the units are attached. Using a level adjust the legs to ensure the top is level.
  Install the mounting screws where appropriate and fix the base units into place using the metal plates as shown here (on this wall unit). Depending on your layout you may find that you only need a few. Don't over-tighten the screws, just enough to hold them in position.
5. Wall units: assemble and fix to wall
  Wall units: The building and installing process is the same as with the base units. To install the wall units, calculate the top height of the wall unit, then draw a level line onto the wall at that height. Use a step ladder, lift the first unit up to the line and draw where the mounting holes will need to be drilled.
  Drill and install your mounting screws (note: to avoid drilling into any electrics or plumbing, use a detection device). In some installations it may be easier to install a wood battens and mount the wall units onto them.
  Hang the wall units onto the 2 mounting screws and insert the metal places. Tighten the screws just enough to hold them into position for now. The units will need to be clamped and bolted together before the final tightening.
  Install the remaining wall units, and clamp the side panels tighter, and align. Then drill panels and insert female then male bolt sections.
  Level the section of wall units and tighten the mounting screws.
6. Countertops / worksurfaces: installation
  Countertops are pretty straightforward to deal with. That said, we messed up with this one. Basically we thought a simple grey melamine top would not clash with our green-grey slate floor, but it did, in a big way! So we when back to IKEA and got the Pronomen solid birch worktop (see photo) and repeated the installation process. We then salvaged the grey worktop for the utility room and the potting shed, ah… happy days! Anyways here's how we installed the first grey worktop...
  The sink unit: cut the worktop to length (with cut side to the wall). Ensure the counter overhangs the base unit enough to still protrude over the door when installed. Draw in pencil where the sink & drainer are to be positioned.
  Measure the amount of overlap the sink edge has
  Draw a cut line based on the amount of sink overlap. Drill a hole on the line so that the jig saw blade can be inserted. If you don't want the circular section of worktop falling on your foot insert a large screw so you can hold onto it.
  You'll notice that when cutting on the top of the worktop the melamine has a tendency to chip (which is OK because the sink has such an large overlapping edge), but when you are cutting worktops to butting up against each other, cut from the underside of the work top to achieve a cleaner cut.
  Check the sink fits well, and there is adequate space to install the sinks mounting brackets. Continue cutting the hole for the drainer (if required). Holes for the taps are easily be installed by simply drilling large holes for the supply.
  Other appliances such as this gas hob usually come with a layout plan indicating the dimensions of the hole.
  To install the worktop, apply a light bead of silicone to the top of the base units, lay the worktop into position, and insert a few small screws from underneath (i.e. through the base units top support and into the underside of the worktop).
7. Installing the hinges and cabinet doors
  Door hinges: IKEA hinges look like complicated things, but they are easy to install and simple adjust.
  Simply push the base of each the hinge into the pre cut holes.
  Then push the lock plate of each hinge down into position. It snaps shut. That's it!
  Then fit the hinge mount onto the unit side panel. There are pre-drilled holes for these, just double check that you are using the correct ones. Install the top and bottom mounts with the screws provided.
  Hold the door into position, push the heel of the hinge into the groove…
  then press on the back of the hinge to lock it into position.
  There are two adjusting screws on the hinge, which will allow you to align the door with its neighbour.
  Handles are a simple to install, just decided where you want the handle to be positioned. Drill 2 small holes for the handle and install. To speed the process, make a template by removing the handle, hold a piece of paper so its in line with the top and side edge of the door, and poke a pencil through each hole. Use the template to layout the other handles.
The good bits of purchasing an IKEA kitchen
The bad bits of purchasing an IKEA kitchen
    For more information on IKEA Kitchen units click here...
A few things to consider:

Layout: a few things to consider… A) Triangular layout tried best for traffic flow. B) Determine the main focal point - in this case the old fire place which will house the new oven (extractor fan & lights installed in the old chimney). C) Location of sink & other plumbing issues. D) Cooker position & exhaust vent. E) Adequate counter space. F) Electrics - enough for counter top appliances. G) Telephone, TV connection…


Our kitchen: cost
Link: visit the IKEA website click here...
  © 2006