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How to Design and Install IKEA SEKTION Kitchen Cabinets

How to Design and Install IKEA SEKTION Kitchen Cabinets | JustAGirlAndHerBlog.com
Abby

Hi there, sweet friends! Welcome back to kitchen palooza! 🙂 We are up to our eyeballs in kitchen renovation details lately, and what kind of blogger would I be if I didn’t share those details with you?!

Ever since we started this process, I’ve gotten a bunch of questions about IKEA’s new SEKTION line of kitchens, and since– let’s be honest– Donnie did most of the demolition and installation on this project, I asked him if he would give a detailed rundown on the process!

(PS… IKEA is in no way sponsoring this project. We just really like them a lot and were impressed by their kitchens! 😉 )

This post is a bit longer than some of our normal posts, but there are tons of details involved in a kitchen reno, so we wanted to pass on as much info as we could… here’s Donnie!


This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.

Donnie

In 2015 IKEA made a massive overhaul to their entire kitchen line — AKURUM was replaced by the new line of SEKTION cabinets earlier in the year.

Abby and I were fortunate enough to attend an event at our local Pittsburgh IKEA highlighting the new SEKTION line and some of the updated features. I was so impressed that when it came time to install a new kitchen, we really didn’t look at any other options besides IKEA.

How to Install an IKEA SEKTION Kitchen | JustAGirlAndHerBlog.com

Installing a new kitchen is a lot of work, but it was actually easier than I thought it would be. Here’s how I did it:

1. Browse catalog and IKEA showroom

Abby spent a lot of time pouring through every page of the IKEA kitchen catalog as well as looking at examples all over Pinterest of the type of kitchen she wanted. We had to keep in mind that we have a tiny kitchen so some compromises had to be made (no island or huge lighting fixtures, etc.).

In our numerous trips to IKEA, we also walked through all of the model kitchens – playing with the drawers, looking at sinks, lighting, countertops, and just getting a sense of the type of features we like. Thank goodness for IKEA Smaland!

2. Schedule IKEA kitchen measuring service

After we (kind of) knew what we wanted, we started the whole process by calling IKEA and scheduling a measuring service. It cost $99 for us to have one of their certified reps come out to our house and measure all the details of our kitchen. The cost was later rebated during the purchase process.

At first I thought this was a completely unnecessary step, but then I later learned that if something doesn’t quite fit, IKEA is more lenient with returns of open items if your kitchen was “officially” measured. I’m glad we had someone else do all of the necessary measuring.

3. Remove old cabinets and prep the kitchen

It’s funny that I’m going to boil down this step down to a few sentences. This step was about a week of work. I removed the old cabinets, countertop, and sink. I then chiseled off the old backsplash. This destroyed the drywall so I ended up replacing it in order to have a fresh surface for our new tile backsplash.

I also changed some electrical outlets to line up with our new microwave as well as prepped the plumbing to make sure the water supply and drain was positioned correctly for our new sink and cabinets.

How to Design and Install IKEA SEKTION Kitchen Cabinets | JustAGirlAndHerBlog.com

4. Design your kitchen in the IKEA online kitchen planner

Two or three days after the measuring service was completed, I received an email with unique login credentials to the online IKEA SEKTION kitchen planning software. There you can see your entire kitchen in 3D and build your kitchen around the measurements. From there we added the upper and lower cabinets. It’s a little tricky to get everything to fit – there are not unlimited cabinet size options. 

It was helpful for Abby and I to start with what we knew — general location of sink, fridge, and corner cabinets. We worked our way out from there filling in the top cabinents and the bottom cabinets.

Selecting the correct cabinet widths and making sure everything fit in the planning program took about an hour. There were a few moments of frustration trying to drag cabinets around on the screen and slide them into the right spot, but it wasn’t too bad.

How to Design and Install IKEA SEKTION Kitchen Cabinets | JustAGirlAndHerBlog.com
Abby

I am totally not a spatial person at all– it’s really hard for me to visualize size and fit in a space without actually seeing it. Because of this, I ended up using graph paper and small cutouts of the various cabinets and appliances to plan out the kitchen before we put it into their software.

This won’t be a necessary step for everyone, but if you’re struggling to get everything to fit, you might want to try it. It was really helpful for me to be able to move around the pieces on a small scale, try out different configurations, and see how everything went together.

5. Meet with an IKEA rep in the store to review plan and place order

Donnie

When it comes time to meet with an IKEA rep in the store, I recommend showing up when the store first opens on a weekday. Our IKEA Pittsburgh kitchen department uses a signup form to hold your place in line. The list fills up quickly and people arriving around noon had to wait a while before meeting with a rep.

Together, the IKEA rep and I logged into the IKEA planning software to look at my plan. He reviewed everything to make sure it all made sense. He even had a few really helpful suggestions about the design, and I made some minor changes on the fly based on his input. He was also able to help me add some finishing pieces to the order that I didn’t realize I needed. This guy knew what he was doing and gave me confidence about the whole process.

Once the plan was finalized (about 30 minutes) I placed my order and scheduled delivery. Our total (including sink) was around $3,000. We actually knocked this price down by about $700 when we decided not to use a very tall vertical cabinet that we originally planned for. So for $2,300 we bought all the cabinets, doors, hinges, shelves, drawers, and trim pieces we needed to complete our kitchen. Very reasonable price!

One tip for keeping your price down — cabinet doors and finished trim pieces are expensive.  Cabinet frames, hinges, and shelves are relatively cheap. Our tall vertical cabinet that we initially planned for was really expensive because it was exposed on both sides.

This required super tall finished trim pieces that are pretty pricey. The less exposed cabinet sides you have, the less expensive your kitchen. So it’s not just about how many cabinets you buy; your price depends a lot on how many cabinet sides are exposed.

6. Delivery day!

The delivery was surprisingly quick — I placed my kitchen order on a Friday, and our entire kitchen was delivered on Monday!

The IKEA SEKTION cabinets were packed well and delivered unassembled in about a million cardboard boxes. I think our delivery included 96 pieces, most of them separately packed. We staged (piled up) everything in our living room.

How to Design and Install IKEA SEKTION Kitchen Cabinets | JustAGirlAndHerBlog.com

When I placed my order we were told that we had 10 days from time of delivery to make sure we had all the correct cabinets and other items. It was actually a pretty big task to go through all the item numbers and match everything up with the order. Abby turned it into a treasure hunt game and had Connor help match up all of the numbers.

It turned out that we were missing a few pieces. To fix the problem, I went back to IKEA customer service. They gave us the missing pieces, no questions asked.

7. Cabinet assembly

At first this step seemed overwhelming with the number of boxes piled in our living room. But a few minutes after starting, things made a lot more sense. The cabinet assembly was actually one of the most enjoyable parts of the entire process. Even different cabinet sizes are all assembled the exact same way. I read the instructions for the first one and all others followed the same pattern.

During the cabinet assembly you’re just putting together the frames. You don’t have to worry about cabinet doors, hinges, or shelves.

Even though there are dozens of cabinet door options, IKEA makes their SEKTION cabinets streamlined and simple by only offering two colors of cabinet frames: white and brown. With our nearly white cabinet doors we obviously chose the white frames.

The cabinet frames are not solid wood (very rare these days) but the composite material was nice and thick and the laminate coating seemed very durable. I was impressed with the sturdiness.

After all of the cabinets are assembled and sitting on the floor, you’ll still have dozens of unopened boxes lying around. Don’t worry about these yet.

8. IKEA SEKTION suspension rail installation

Once upon a time I helped my dad install some solid cherry cabinets in their new house. It wasn’t difficult but it certainly involved two people and a decent amount of shimming and leveling.

One of the most unique things about the new IKEA kitchen cabinets is the suspension rail for both top and bottom cabinets. It is possible to hang the cabinets the traditional way, but why would you when you can simply hang the cabinets on a suspension rail?!

The rails come in 84” sections of thick galvanized steel. I spent nearly an hour cutting them down to size. The steel quickly dulled my hacksaw. I didn’t have the correct type of blade for my chop saw, so I ended up using a Dremel Tool attachment to grind my way through the rails. It was a huge pain with sparks flying and my hands vibrating until they were numb. If I did it again I would take the rails to Home Depot and have them chop them down to size for $5 per cut.

Once everything was cut to the correct length, it was time to hang the top rail. The galvanized rails come with a measuring guide that’s important to review before hanging. Also, think through issues ahead of time like how high you want your microwave to sit over your range. Upper kitchen cabinets are hung at a variety of heights, so there is no perfect answer.

Remember that IKEA’s upper cabinets are 15” deep. The extra depth is a nice bonus over standard 13″ North American cabinets. With the extra depth, I felt like we needed to hang the upper cabinets an inch or two higher than our previous cabinets to give ourselves some space.

Before you start hanging the rails, make sure you mark your stud locations. Everything hangs off of these rails, so having it securly attached to the wall is crucial. Unfortunately on one of my walls I was only able to use three studs for an entire 84” section of rail. In this case I also used self-tapping drywall anchors every eight inches or so. After I was done, I grabbed onto the rail with my fingertips and hung to make sure it was secure!

I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to have your rail perfectly level. Check it over and over. If it’s off it will affect the entire row of cabinets. I initially used a laser level but then found that it was a little off. We’re talking about a 1/16” over the course of 6 feet. That’s enough to mess everything up, so I then used a 4’ level that I tested to be accurate.

I installed the rails by myself with a step ladder, but it certainly would’ve been easier with two people. I spent 30 minutes or more adjusting everything before tightening down the rail.

We used a suspension rail for the lower cabinets as well. This isn’t necessary, but I think it made installation easier. Instead of using the SEKTION cabinet legs on the front and back of the bottom cabinets, because of the rail, I only needed legs on the front. 

9. Hang the IKEA SEKTION cabinets

This is cabinet “hanging” in the truest sense of the word! Once the cabinet frames were assembled and the rail installed, I literally just picked up each cabinet and hung them on the rail. I started with the upper corner cabinet and worked my way out, hanging each cabinet and then sliding them into place.

How to Design and Install IKEA SEKTION Kitchen Cabinets | JustAGirlAndHerBlog.com

Once all of my upper cabinets were in place, I checked front to back and side to side levelness. The corner cabinet was perfectly level, so I started anchoring the neighboring cabinets to each other with the provided wood screws.

Make sure to use countersink bits to pre-drill before screwing the cabinets together. This will make the wood screw heads sit flush with the inside of the cabinets without over tightening and causing damage. 

If your wall is a bit wavy (mine is), you may end up with an upper cabinet or two that doesn’t have perfect front-to-back levelness after hanging it on the wall. In these cases you can use some wood shims behind the bottom of the cabinets to bring everything into level. Then when you anchor the cabinets together they end up as one perfectly level unit.

How to Design and Install IKEA SEKTION Kitchen Cabinets | JustAGirlAndHerBlog.com

Once the upper cabinets were installed, it was time to move on to the bottom cabinets. These were harder. For some reason it was a little more difficult to get everything level. There are also plumbing considerations to be aware of.

Most likely you’ll have to cut holes in the bottom or back of the under-sink cabinet to accommodate hot and colder water supply as well as drain pipes. I borrowed my dad’s oscillating tool to make the cutouts. That thing cut through the cabinets incredibly well.

Because the lower cabinet rail is fixed, the only way to level the cabinets from front to back is by twisting the SEKTION cabinet legs.

How to Design and Install IKEA SEKTION Kitchen Cabinets | JustAGirlAndHerBlog.com

These big plastic legs made it easy to change the angle of the cabinets by twisting one direction or another. Super simple! Once the lower cabinets were in place and level, I anchored them to each other just like the upper cabinets.

10. Install doors, hinges, drawers, and shelves

This was a fun step because everything was finally starting to look like a completed kitchen! This was also a really easy step. The hinges are adjustable, so it was easy to make sure all of the cabinet doors and drawers lined up. For the most part, no adjustments were needed.

I was somewhat confused about the installation of our “drawer within a drawer”. At first I thought we had the wrong parts — turns out it was user error (me)!

How to Design and Install IKEA SEKTION Kitchen Cabinets | JustAGirlAndHerBlog.com

11. Countertop installation

We purchased quartz countertops through IKEA, so they arranged the measurement, cutting, and installation through their local provider. We picked “Organic White” with an “eased” edge, no backsplash, and a farm sink cutout. Ceasarstone was the manufacturer, and the installation was done by one of IKEA’s local partners.

We paid $59/square foot for the countertop, but that included measuring, cutting, and installation. Unfortunately IKEA has a 25 square foot minimum for custom countertop installation. That’s not a problem for most people, but our tiny kitchen only needed 23.5 square feet, so we ended up paying a little bit more than we needed to. Oh well.

We did shop around a bit, but we couldn’t find anything we liked in our price range. Also, it seemed like a lot of other companies didn’t want anything to do with this small job. I’m happy we went with IKEA’s countertops.

During the countertop installation, they set the IKEA DOMSJO single bowl farm sink in place, but I asked them not to anchor it permanently. This made the next step easier.

12. Faucet and plumbing hookup

After countertop installation I lifted the farm sink out of place and set it on the countertop for easier access to install our new (amazingly awesome) Moen Align faucet. The faucet is incredible with hands-free operation and was really easy to install. When I opened up the box I was a bit overwhelmed but clear instructions with good pictures solve most problems.

How to Design and Install IKEA SEKTION Kitchen Cabinets | JustAGirlAndHerBlog.com

I then set the sink back into place, made sure it was level, and then anchored it with the provided IKEA hardware to the inside of the lower sink cabinet. I was then able to install the drain flange and hookup the garbage disposal. It was the first time I’ve ever installed a sink. Turns out it’s easy!

I read online that some people were having a hard time finding a garbage disposal with a flange that fit the DOMSJO farm sink. I guess I lucked out because without any research I bought a 5HP Badger disposal, and it fit perfectly.

After the garbage disposal was installed, I hooked up the hot and cold water to the new Moen Align faucet, installed a P- trap from the garbage disposal to the drain pipe in the wall, and used a clamp to connect the plastic dishwasher drain hose to the garbage disposal. This plumbing work took about 6 hours. Nothing ever seems to fit perfectly, so I had to make a trip (or two) to the hardware store to buy a few needed plumbing pieces.

How to Design and Install IKEA SEKTION Kitchen Cabinets | JustAGirlAndHerBlog.com

13. Cabinet hardware installation

You can read about our D. Lawless hardware installation here. It was a little nerve wracking to start drilling holes into the cabinet doors, but everything turned out great!

How to Design and Install IKEA SEKTION Kitchen Cabinets | JustAGirlAndHerBlog.com

The only hiccup was when I drilled through a drawer front right into the face plate of the hidden drawer. Abby may or may not have accused me of ruining our entire kitchen, but thankfully we can just buy a new inner drawer front for $9, so I’m out of the doghouse. 😉

14. Miscellaneous finishing touches

Whew! That was a lot to take in. After all of that there are still lots of little things that need to be done to get everything looking great. I still have to add one more filler piece between an upper cabinet and the wall, install the IKEA SEKTION toe-kick, replace a section of baseboard, and of course our tile backsplash — stay tuned!

How to Design and Install IKEA SEKTION Kitchen Cabinets | JustAGirlAndHerBlog.com

Final IKEA SEKTION Kitchen Installation Thoughts

If you’re considering installing an IKEA kitchen yourself, hopefully this post gives you a better understanding of what’s involved. Sure, it’s a big job and a big time commitment, but anyone can do it.

The planning, demo, and prep work take more time than the actual cabinet installation. If you commit to a project like this, just take it one step at a time and you’ll get through it. In the end, you’ll have beautiful new kitchen that adds a tremendous amount of value to your house.

If Abby and I were building a new house right now, I would again choose to install an IKEA kitchen myself — that’s how much I like the SEKTION kitchen and the entire installation process.


Abby

I will remember that he said that when I ask him to do our next kitchen reno… 😉 Big projects like these are never super quick, but we are making progress each day– baby steps! We plan on sharing each step along the way, so be sure to check back to keep up with the full renovation! If you’d like to start from the beginning, you can see our full kitchen plan here

How to Design and Install IKEA SEKTION Kitchen Cabinets | JustAGirlAndHerBlog.com

…and our first progress report + hardware installation details here

Kitchen Updates and Hardware Installation | JustAGirlAndHerBlog.com

Update: The kitchen is finished! See how it turned out here! And don’t miss my honest IKEA kitchen review!

[Psssttt… Don’t miss our top 100 tips for organizing every single room in your house!]

Thanks for following along! Hope you’re having a wonderful week, friends!

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This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.

94 Comments

  1. Isn’t IKEA wonderful? We, too, are Pittsburghers and when we have friends visit from out of town, one of the “tourist attractions” they always want to see is IKEA! We are always happy to take them as we love looking around. Congratulations on your new kitchen. It is looking good!

  2. Abby and Donnie,

    Thanks so much! This is a fabulous post breaking down the process. It’s going to be gorgeous when you’re all done. I’m actually looking at the gray cabinets at IKEA (I’ve had white ones for over 15… ready for the change. lol). And yes, anywhere you go for countertops have a SF minimum. My husband is the account manager for our IKEA’S here, his company does all their Caesarstone. Thanks again and I can’t wait to see your finished project! 🙂

  3. I love your kitchen! Congrats! We bought the same sink but the double bowl… Just from 8 months of use now my ONLY suggestion is to get a sink liner for the bottom. I have two girls who are old enough to put their dishes in the sink, but aren’t always delicate about it… So by adding the sink liner (which I picked up at Walmart for $8/each) I found it gave me a piece of mind with my dishes not being accidentally broken or chipped. 8 months later I STILL LOVE MY SINK! I hope you guys enjoy it as well! Congrats on the new kitchen, your home just feel so fresh now!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Ooh great tip! Adding a sink liner to my shopping list!! Thanks, Katie!

      ~Abby =)

  4. Sarah@TheOrthodoxMama says:

    What an incredibly helpful post! I’ve always been overwhelmed by the thought of remodeling the kitchen. Thanks for making it seem manageable. I’m pinning this for future use!

  5. This is great!! We recently purchased a home and have been considering buying an Ikea kitchen. Our only problem is that the closest Ikea is 5-6 hours away! We LOVE the kitchens though and they are such a better price than anything we can get locally. There is just a bit more risk involved when we have to measure ourselves and don’t have the luxury of running right back to the store if there is an issue. Hmmm…they look so nice though 🙂

  6. Lauren English says:

    I love that you all walked through this step-by-step! It’s on our house “dream” list (aka not anytime soon) to redo our kitchen and we love the ones we see in Ikea. Seeing how you all did this is super helpful! Thanks for sharing your process. Can’t wait to see the finished result!

  7. Abby and Donnie ~ Wow! That was a huge project you took on! I love how your kitchen is coming along. I can’t wait to see the reveal {I know, I know, one step at a time}! :0) I have the same sink on my wish list! I’m intrigued by that drawer within a drawer, but I’ll bet it’s going to be a much better use of space. Wishing you lots of luck with the rest of this project! Thanks so much for the detailed post!

  8. Your kitchen looks beautiful! I am in the middle of an Ikea reno also. I love Ikea so much and their kitchen system is amazing! How long did it take to get your countertops in? We did their quartz also in Storm on white veddinge cabinets. It’s taking sooooo long for them to get here. I think we are at 3-4 weeks already 🙁 I really wish I had the patience to document everything we did because i looked all over for Ikea Sektion reviews and process but it’s so new. Anyway excellent job!

  9. We are in the process of designing our kitchen now. I have everything in my shopping list right now on the IKEA website. It looks like you have the same cabinets that I have chosen. It’s called an off white, but doesn’t look bad in your kitchen! I was so thankful to come across this post. I’ll be heading to my IKEA next week to make sure our plan is correct, but my husband is a contractor, so I’m not to worri d about the space planning. Thank you again!!!

  10. Quick question….did you have to order the hinges separately? If so, which ones did you choose? I can’t tell by my shopping list if the hinges are included in the cost of the piece. Sorry to bother you with this, but I appreciate your help.

    1. I think when we built our kitchen with the online planner it automatically chose the correct hinges for us. When I had the plan reviewed in store at Ikea they reviewed everything to make sure it would all fit together. I didn’t do anything special to get our hinges. Try building out your kitchen and then generating the parts list. Your hinges should be there. They are really nice hinges btw!

  11. Laura Adams says:

    We, too, have just finished installing a new Sektion kitchen, & I would add a few things to your great post. Along with leveling the rails, I would strongly suggest shimming the rails at this point, instead of just shimming behind the cabinets later. That way, everything hangs plumb & level from the get-go. Our house is newly built, & still needed shimming in several places. Also, we experienced the “user error” you mentioned, when installing our drawer-in-drawers. Pay close attention to the drawings showing you where to mount the hardware that attaches the fronts to the drawers. It differs for drawers that will sit inside another drawer, & also for the bottom drawers in a cabinet. There are three holes in each piece of hardware, & you will be putting 2 screws in two of those three holes,depending on where the drawers will be placed. Also, be careful when opening the packages that contain drawer fronts for inner drawers: there are two little screw caps invisibly tucked into the end of the package, that act as buffers between the screw heads for your drawer pulls on the outer drawer face, & the inner drawer face, so it doesn’t get scratched or dented. I didn’t see these mentioned anywhere, other than a drawing showing them being installed – NOT where they were located in the packaging. Also, we installed a high, pantry cabinet next to the fridge. There was no drawing showing our particular cabinet, so we were left guessing where to put the drawer slides. We needed 3, big hinges for our 60″ door, which severely limited where our drawers would go. In the picture on IKEA’s website, the door is only slightly ajar, showing the 2 high, 2 medium & 2 low drawers evenly spaced. But this is not do-able with that middle hinge in place, so you lose a bit of space in that (expensive!) pantry cupboard you’ve been dreaming of. I’m quite sure there are other things I’ve forgotten that we discovered in the process, but these stand out as the most frustrating things we learned along the way.

    1. You kitchen look great! We are planning now and the Ikea planner in a bit difficult. Our dishwasher will sit against the wall like yours. Can you tell me what you used as a filler on the wall side and how wide it is? Thanks!

      1. justagirlabby says:

        Hi, Clay! IKEA sells pieces that are created for that purpose, so we just used what they provided! Hope you have a wonderful week!

        ~Abby =)

  12. Awesome post! This is so so helpful! Did you put any wood on the side of your dishwasher giving something for Quartz to sit on so it wasn’t directly on the dishwasher? Our cabinets are hung and it STILL makes me nervous that one bar can hold all those cabinets and everything inside.

    Thanks for the post!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      We did! IKEA makes pieces specifically for that purpose, so we used what they had. Hope you had a great weekend, Tara!

      ~Abby =)

  13. I’m not sure if you said this, so I apologize in advance if you did! But how long did this project take you from start to finish?

    Thank you for sharing, very helpful info! 🙂

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Hi, Maggie! For the entire reno, we ripped out the old kitchen the last week of June, and I posted the reveal on October 22nd, so just under 4 months! We went on vacation and had other summer things going on during that time, too, but it was a long process!

      ~Abby =)

  14. Wow this looks awesome. I have one question. How tall is your dishwasher? I bought IKEA SEKTION cabinets for a wetbar I want to install and the wine fridge is 34 1/16 inches tall – if I hang the suspension rail at 32 3/16 inches as in the IKEA instructions and will there be enough room for the wine fridge to fit under the countertop?

    1. Amy Coates says:

      We tried to start our IKEA kitchen plan last night and became easily frustrated, mainly because after measuring, we had no idea where to start. After reading your posts, I think I can do most of it myself! And how fun that will be to show my husband after he gets home from work tonight! Thanks for all the tips—I’ll post as we go in case we run across something that will help someone else. It seems that self-installation can save almost 50% for some kitchens, so who Knows? I might get part of a new bathroom out of the remodel budget thanks to everyone’s helpful hints.

      1. justagirlabby says:

        Best of luck with your kitchen, Amy! It’s a big job, but it is so worth it in the end!

        ~Abby =)

  15. Hi there,
    This is so very helpful. Thank you! Would you mind telling me roughly how long it took you to assemble the cabinets? Thanks so much. It looks fantastic. 🙂

    1. Donnie Lawson says:

      The cabinet assembly took about four hours working by myself. By the end it was just mindless work as they all follow the same pattern and workflow.

  16. Thank you so much for this description of your process! We have been planning our Ikea kitchen for months now and plan to order cabinets later this week at the store. A little apprehensive about installation but I do think we can manage. My main concern is getting everything level and potential uneven walls or floor…house is 48 years old! Another person also highly recommended the 4 foot level. You both did a fantastic job with design and installation!

  17. Jamie Watson says:

    Awesome post! Thank you so much! I was wondering…the closes IKEA is probably 2.5 hours from us. Do you have to be in a certain radius of the store in order to get the custom measuring service?

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Eeek. We are pretty close to our IKEA, so I’m not sure about that. I would give them a call and check on your options. So sorry I couldn’t be more help!

      ~Abby =)

  18. Hi, Abby! I keep referring back to your post for info on the Domsjo sink and appropriate garbage disposal. We are about to install a Domsjo and I’m debating over the garbage disposal. Since your Badger fit perfectly, I’m tempted to go ahead and get that one. However, I’ve read a comment about the finish on the flange (the metal part around the “drain hole”) being an unattractive finish. I believe the comment said that it was dull and a not-beautiful color. This specific user disliked it enough that they bought an additional flange to switch it out to a typical stainless steel finish. All of my hardware will be chrome.
    Have you noticed anything like this? Or, if you have, do you think it’s significant enough to even think about? I know you like things to coordinate so I figure you’ll have 2 cents about this. : ) Thank you, ma’am!

  19. savannahbungalow says:

    Hi Abby — I just discovered your blog (I guess I’ve been living under a rock!) and I am really enjoying it. I’m from Pittsburgh too! (Even though I live in Savannah now). We are installing an Ikea kitchen and this info was great. Quick question: Did you install your backsplash *behind* the DOMSJO sink (i.e., so it’s level with the counter, rather than the top of the sink, which is higher)? I don’t know if that question is clear — but we’re scared of pushing the apron on the sink out too far. Thanks!!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Hi there! So nice to “meet” you! We installed the sink first and then just tiled above it, so no tile behind. We would cut the pieces to go around the curves of the sink as closely as possible, and then used the grout + caulking to finish it out. I hope this helps!

      ~Abby =)

  20. Abby, when the counters were installed, did they use ply wood, some kind of strips or an Ikea item to set the quartz on? Most installers will only instal over ply. Im curious what you used.

    1. I’d be interested to know too! 🙂

      Thanks! Great write up.

      1. justagirlabby says:

        I don’t think they put anything under the countertops; they were right on top of the cabinets. We just had quartz installed at our new house by different installers, too, and they did it the same way. I hope this helps!

        ~Abby =)

    2. you need it under granite,and marble, wouldn’t hurt with quartz so you get an extra 1/2 inch from top of cabinet to bottom of counter top

  21. Abby, did you guys need to use a filler piece between the sink and the cabinet doors. Does that piece come with either the sink or the cabinet or do you have to purchase it separately. Also, do you recall off the top of your head the height of that filler piece. Many Thanks!

    1. Donnie Lawson says:

      We did use a filler piece next to the sink cabinet. I believe we had to purchase it separately and cut it down with a table saw. I can’t remember the height of the filler piece.

  22. Hi Guys, thanks for sharing your experience in a blog.
    We are in a planning stage of our new kitchen (IKEA of cause), so this post is very helpful!
    One question if I may: when you say it took about a week to tear off the old cabinets and prep the kitchen do you mean a full days’ week or did you go to work and prepped the kitchen in evenings?
    Thanks!

    1. Donnie Lawson says:

      Definitely not a week of full days! It’s hard to remember now exactly how long it took. It really depends on how much damage is done tearing out the cabinets and prepping. We had some old backsplash so I had to practically re-drywall the whole thing along with some electrical changes. Many people won’t have that.

      1. Thanks! It’s definitely helping to know what I’m up against.

  23. sarahschuety says:

    Thanks so much for the blog! We’re in Minnesota and just embarking on a new IKEA kitchen. We scrapped the $35K+ idea of a kitchen addition since this probably isn’t our forever home either. We have a galley kitchen but the amount of cabinets we need will probably be similar to yours. If you wouldn’t mind sharing, what was the ballpark cost? (I do realize it’s 2016 now.) thanks so much!!
    Sarah

  24. Jake Robinson says:

    Donnie,
    This is for you… since there is no wall that is plumb and straight (I’m about to install a Sektion kitchen into a 100-year old Schoolhouse) and I’m sure the walls will not be straight/plum – how do you make sure the suspension rail, especially long runs, are not only level (that is straight forward) but is also not hugging the wall and therefore passing along the “waviness” of the wall which seems to me would effect how the cabs fit together? I’ve watched a few ‘installation videos” where they lay the cabs on the floor on their backs and connect the styles together in “one” piece of furniture – then sit this entire cabinet run on a ledger board so at least all of the bottoms of the cabinet are plumb but the tops may develop a small gap. This gap is then filled with a shim at each stud and then secured. Is this just the opposite of hanging the cabs on the rail and all lining up at the top but creating the space or pulling away from the wall (the wall actually moving away from plumb?) Just trying to clarify how the suspension rail accounts for non-plumb “wavy” walls! Thanks for your article – it was very helpful

    1. Donnie Lawson says:

      Great question! You definitely don’t want the rail to follow the wavy-ness of the wall. It will be hard to hang the cabinets. I think you best bet is shimming and an 8′ level. Find your point that is out the furthest out from the wall and attach there. Once you do that I think it will be pretty obvious where you need to shim. I don’t think it has to be perfect as far as waviness, the level of the rail will be much more important.

  25. Elizabeth says:

    Thank you SO much for this posting– it gave me the courage I need to commit to my own IKEA installation. Haven’t done it yet, but I’m not nearly as scared as I was! 😉 Question for you: What is on either side of your dishwasher that supports the countertop? I have a similar situation, but instead of a wall I have a high cabinet planned, and I also have the farmhouse style sink that rests on the counter on the other side. Did you put in extra pieces? Please explain! Thank you!

    1. Donnie Lawson says:

      On the left the countertop is supported by the cabinet. Against the wall, I made my own support out of scrap lumber and made extra sure that it was perfectly level with the other support cabinets.

      1. Elizabeth says:

        Thank you, Donnie, that is exactly what I needed to know! Our cabinets arrive in less than a week– your blog will be a great resource as we are installing them! Thank you again, you all are awesome!

  26. SO i have the 36inch domsjo apron sink and i was told that the counter has to hold up the sink–is this not true? Your kitchen is beautiful! I feel like ours will never be finished but this is inspiring 😉

    1. Donnie Lawson says:

      Maybe things have changed but my countertop is not holding up my sink. The cabinet bears the weight.

  27. Hello! I just found this blog and I had a question. Could you provide more details on how to install the drawer in drawer? I have a contractor doing my kitchen, actually, and he is stumped! Thanks so much!

    1. Donnie Lawson says:

      It was confusing that’s for sure. It’s been too long to give specific advice but it took me well over an hour to figure it out. Your contractor should call the Ikea help number.

  28. Jolin Tay says:

    Drawers section is made with quite a creativity part. Space for small things is provided separately which mostly creates a mess. Nice post thanks for sharing.

  29. I adore your kitchen! It is exactly what I want! Perhaps I missed it, but what are the names and colors of your cabinets and counter top? Thank you so much!

  30. We loved our IKEA kitchen! We had to do all of our planning “long-distance” as we live on an island. Between the on-line planner, the catalog planner and our dedicated telephone person, all went great. Our kitchen delivery was 96 boxes! And even with a couple of mistakes (ours and theirs) things were sorted quickly and painlessly.
    It was a show stopper kitchen. Sadly we no longer live in that home, I miss my kitchen a lot.
    I just thought I’d share my experience, I would never hesitate to go the IKEA route again.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Totally agree, Susan! We LOVED ours and were sad to leave it as well!

      ~Abby =)

  31. francesca says:

    I’m currently looking at these cabinet fronts and at Ikea they look off-white, but in your kitchen they look bright white. Did you get a bright white version or do they just look brighter in your kitchen than they do at Ikea. Thank you!!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Hi, Francesca! They are the regular ones from IKEA. They are definitely not pure white, but the off white is pretty subtle. If you look at our bright white sink compared to the color of the cabinets, you can see the difference. I hope this helps! Have a great day!

      ~Abby =)

  32. Thank you for this post. I’m researching IKEA cabinets right now and this really helped.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      So glad it was helpful for you, Natalie! Have a great week!

      ~Abby =)

  33. Christine says:

    This was super helpful! May I ask how wide the countertops are? I’m trying to decide how much of an overhang to have…

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Eek. We don’t live there anymore, so I can’t measure, but I know standard countertop depth is 25″. I hope this helps! Have a great day!

      ~Abby =)

  34. Hi! Great remodel! Wondering how you knew the hight to hang the top cabinets, as in how far from the ceiling/how much space between the uppers and the lowers? Do the install instructions tell you where to place your suspension rails? Thanks!!

  35. Ashley Bennett says:

    I’m really appreciating your husband’s insights and detailed instructions on what tools & materials he used. Without it, my husband and I would have no idea what incidentals I would need to buy from Home Depot. We’d be stuck figuring it out along the way with many trips to HD. Come to think of it, I think we’ll just make all these purchases off Amazon, thanks for the links!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Yay! So glad it was helpful for you, Ashley! LOVE to hear that! Hope you’re having a great week and good luck with your kitchen project! 🙂

      ~Abby =)

  36. John Webb says:

    Abby & Donnie,

    I loved reading your blog and your experiance with IKEA kitchens. I’m a builder here in Oregon and have been using IKEA kitchen products over twenty years and Sektion opens the door for thousands of possibilities.in design, function and budget for the DIY like yourself’s . I find many contractors can be frustrated with all the parts and installation hardware being different than what they are use to , but it is totally worth the learning curve ! My kitchen is the old akurium with the flat birch doors and wood trim around the edges (one of the cheapest doors ) and it looks as good today as when I installed it sixteen years ago I went for the 20k dollar appliances wolf, subzero, asko and have IKEA laminate counters still going strong. The skies the limit with design. There’s also this Gal named Darlyn at Doors Your Way that will match or make any type of wood or painted door for IKEA and ship it anywhere and all you do is snap the hinge in. Good luck everyone I love the IKEA kitchens!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      We loved ours too! Glad to hear yours are still going strong!

      ~Abby =)

  37. Jane House says:

    Hi! Did you assemble cabinets completely – including shelves and doors – BEFORE countertops went it? I am trying to figure out if we should leave the cabinets empty for the countertop guys? (We are doing quartz too.)

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Hi, Jane! If I’m remembering correctly, we did put in shelves and install doors before the countertops were installed. I don’t believe we put all of the dishes, etc. back in the cabinets until after we had the counters, though. I hope this helps! Enjoy your new kitchen!

      ~Abby =)

  38. Your kitchen is so pretty and the instructions/tips were very helpful! I hope you can answer a last minute question abut the corner wall cabinet. Contractors are here and it doesn’t look like the 15″ door is going to cover the sides of the cabinet frame. Did you do something special to get that door to fit across the cabinet frame? I don’t know why it seems off here – other than I am so exhausted I can’t think straight! Thank you!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      So sorry I’m just seeing this! We just purchased the door that IKEA had recommended for that cabinet and it worked perfectly. Best of luck with your kitchen!

      ~Abby =)

  39. Eric Southall says:

    That was very helpful.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      So glad it was helpful for you, Eric! Hope you’re having a great week!

      ~Abby =)

  40. Alex Hawke says:

    How is everything looking now? Still happy?

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Hi, Alex! We actually sold our house this past summer, but we loved the kitchen until the last minute we were there! It was also one of the biggest reasons the buyer wanted our house. I actually miss my IKEA kitchen because the cabinets were deeper and roomier than the cabinets in our new house! I hope this helps!

      ~Abby =)

      1. Alex Hawke says:

        Thank you for the reply . It was a great help and will keep ikea in the running.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      So glad it was helpful for you, Denise! Ikea is the best! 🙂

      ~Abby =)

  41. Elizabeth says:

    Hi Abby –

    As the nearest Ikea to me is over 250 miles away – I ordered all my cabinets online. Thanks to blogs like yours and others, I’m realizing the importance of the suspension rail. Ikea doesn’t give a great description of whats included. Should I add this to my order, or will the cabinets come with suspension rails? Any other tips on what to order in addition to the cabinets would be greatly appreciated!

    1. Donnie Lawson says:

      I believe I purchased the rails separately but I could be wrong. Call Ikea and check on that. Definitely make sure you have the rails! It makes everything so much easier!

  42. Anne Klassen says:

    Hi Abby and Donnie! After loading 144 boxes into the pickup and driving 125 km home to our decommissioned church we started the assembly of our kitchen. We struggled with cutting the suspension rail for the uppers. Now we’re working on the lowers and I found your blog and scrolled through to find out how you solved the rail issue. I didn’t even think about using the Dremel. Two cut-off discs and five minutes later job done!!! Thank you so much!!!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      So glad it was helpful, Anne! Hope you’re having a great week! 🙂

      ~Abby =)

  43. I know this is a couple years old but I just found this. Your blog was helpful with the pictures and such. We just ordered and am installing our kitchen. We too are in the Burgh area. Sadly our install is not going easily but I still love my kitchen or at least will when it is done and kinks worked out. We had our plan done by their come out to your house and do it all team and several mess ups on their part sadly is the cause for the kinks.

  44. Hey I know this was a while ago, but can you tell me which height wall cabinets did you use? Are those the 30 or the 40? Thanks!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Hi, Allison! We used the 30″ cabinets. Our ceilings were only 7.5′ high, so we didn’t have room for any higher! 🙂 Hope you’re having a great week!

      ~Abby =)

  45. Hi I just wanted to know I see it said $2700 u paid, did that include the price of countertop?

  46. Great article–nice to see your process and particular challenges. We’re in the middle of installing our IKEA kitchen and it certainly is a learning process as we progress.

    One tip for others reading this though… the rails are indeed a pain to cut with a hacksaw. However, stick a cutoff wheel in an angle-grinder and the job is done cleanly and in under a minute. I realize not everybody has an angle-grinder, but they are cheap and if you do home renovations they are indispensable!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thanks so much for the tip, Chris!

      ~Abby =)

  47. Hi,

    Amazing article! We are also in the process to do a similar remodel using the same sink and the same cabinet.

    Would you have a picture of the inside with plumbing? I am worried I won’t have that much space for my recycling and cleaning products.

    Thanks from San Francisco

  48. Hi there, my sister in law and myself are just about to install my kitchen. Since it’s been a few years since you installed yours, how’s it all holding up? Any regrets? or anything you would have done differently? Thanks for your post BTW.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Hi, Arlene! We actually don’t live in that house anymore, but the kitchen was still holding up perfectly when we moved out! I wrote a follow up post on my IKEA Kitchen thoughts here: https://justagirlandherblog.com/ikea-kitchen-review/ , but I would install another one in a second. We loved it! Have fun with your project!

      ~Abby =)

  49. You just saved me $500! “Remember that IKEA’s upper cabinets are 15” deep. The extra depth is a nice bonus over standard 13″ North American cabinets.” I didn’t actually know that. the depth is the only thing I didn’t measure. The only thing I made an assumption on 😛 Glad I saw this before making the purchase!

    1. Abby Lawson says:

      Yay! So glad it was helpful for you, Kris! Hope you love your IKEA kitchen as much as we did! 🙂

      ~Abby =)

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