Fitting an Ikea Kitchen

Discussion in 'Kitchen Fitters' Talk' started by stonemason, Feb 22, 2020.

  1. stonemason

    stonemason Member

    Going to fit a Ikea kitchen in the next few weeks for my daughter. I've just realised that the cabinets fit flush to the back wall on a rail, and there is no gap for the service pipes at the back of the cabinets.

    Question: Do you just notch the cabinets at the back to allow for services, not ideal I know, but whats my options. All suggestions welcome please.

    Thanks in advance
  2. longboat

    longboat Screwfix Select

    The sensible option would be to send it back and buy a proper kitchen.

    Other than that, you'll have to run all services at floor level, struggle as best you can.:)
    Good luck.
    two trowels, Abrickie and Jord86 like this.
  3. Jord86

    Jord86 Screwfix Select

    Batten the walls out and buy deeper worktops.
    WillyEckerslike likes this.
  4. Greentram

    Greentram Member

    Jord's answer is the best, though may not be practicable if you've bought the units. 650mm worktops are readily available and give more space for appliances, storage jars etc, also more room for under top appliances.
  5. WillyEckerslike

    WillyEckerslike Screwfix Select

    There's no scope for scribing out of vertical walls either so you may need to batten out anyway. Depending on the layout you may need deeper end panels as well.

    I've never fitted an IKEA kitchen but I have modified one for a client and I thought it was alright in terms of build quality and fittings. The doors/drawers were a wooden design which looked great.
  6. greenback78

    greenback78 Active Member

    Ikea kitchens are fantastic for the money if you have nice straight walls and don’t have services running behind. I’m extremely happy with mine. But in my last house I fitted Howdens as I needed the void behind plus some flexibility in cabinet widths.

    You can notch out the cabinets but you need to make sure they are absolutely square as any damage to the back board can stop this.

    jord’s idea would work but Ikea cabinets are also deeper than standard so worth bearing that in mind. Also the cabinets are hung on rails so your batten needs to be big enough to accommodate this.
  7. Jord86

    Jord86 Screwfix Select

    The best answer is Longboats, send the cack back and buy something that’s not designed by people that don’t have to put their reputation on the line by fitting their own product.
  8. greenback78

    greenback78 Active Member

    Annoyingly, they are so very close to being perfect. The rail system is great for hanging and lining up the cabinets, the interior storage solutions are great and in typical Ikea fashion they are easy to assemble. The lack of a service void is infuriating, as is their inability to produce cabinets in any widths with an odd number, leaving you the job of scribing far too many filler pieces. Also their plumbing fittings are shocking so always should replace with something from our good hosts at the very least rather than using what's included. The build quality is however, really good compared to other retail outlets e.g. Wren, B&Q, Wickes etc.
    WillyEckerslike likes this.
  9. Jord86

    Jord86 Screwfix Select

    I agree about the hanging rail because the best ideas are the simplest in my opinion, but ease in time saved of fitting wall units is no good if you take four times longer trying to bodge units over pipework. Not that I’ve fitted millions of kitchens, but every make Ive ever experienced has one form of really good idea or system, and a load of mediocre other ones.
    greenback78 likes this.
  10. ajohn

    ajohn Screwfix Select

    Having fitted one there can be 2 options. Run piping etc underneath the cabinets or inside them. The cabinet legs hold them 90mm of the floor so there is space against the wall as well as just running on the floor. In my case due to where the sink and pipes are those pipe run in the cabinets. I replumbed so all services came down in a corner - also shortening the hot water pipe run from the boiler at the same time. ;) Tap got so hot I fitted a mixer valve at the source so all hot is at 40C now throughout the house.

    The back panels are inset a bit so could be notched at the back for cables if needed. ;) Not sure what electrician would make of that depending on where the switches / sockets are. Cables can run horizontally or vertically off those. Safe zones are along the top of the wall and also I think along the bottom. Conduit on the floor should be ok. You'll need to look where the legs fit to the cabinets but I'm sure there is space.

    I found it best to remove the skirting board where the floor cabinets run. I do that sometimes anyway - remove the lot and replace with MDF painted before fitting with screws. Save crawling around if they need painting again etc. Much easier to paint when they are off as well.

    Units running off a corner cabinet are fun. They are square and the walls may not be. Make sure you average the wall error out between both runs. Joint the worktops square to suit the cabinets and trim the back to suite the wall. I used some hefty angle brackets to fasten the cabinet to the wall. Used the Ikea screws on the cabinets - m6 hole with a spur drill suits the screws they provide. Check they are M6 holes. ;) Pretty sure they are.

    We have a tall floor cabinet for an oven. I packed that off the wall due to how worktop runs up to it. On their displays they seem to trim down the width of the worktop so that not much is left sticking out. I just use a strip of timber and painted it to match the cabinets. Black wood effect in our case.

    I did hang the wall cabs on the metal strips. Some use brackets - a lot of trouble. If the walls aren't even vertically the edges may not line up. That may need some packing to correct or if not too many and not too bad the cabinets can be fastened together. Or maybe more brackets just at the bottom.

    Personally I think it's decent stuff and the lack of space at the back isn't a problem given a bit of thought. I fitted several floor cabinets and installed stock drawers in them. The height of these can be as needed unlike conventional drawers. Much better than shelves as they can be pulled fully out to get at what's in them. ;) Means the cabs do need firmly fixing to the walls. On one there is no space between them so added fold down chest handles so that they can be pulled out.

    They do provide some extra depth on the worktop as well - for trimming. Things would need arranging to check but that could also be used to gain more space at the back.

    The corner cabs - if I did it again I might be tempted to dismantle completely and make it suite the walls. Needs a router etc and within reason probably wont interfere with anything else.

  11. ajohn

    ajohn Screwfix Select

    ;) One thing I will add - it took me a lot longer than I thought it would. Old house and needing to do a number of things as a result. One plasterer did a decent job. Couldn't get hold of him. 2 others ****. I spent hours filling as I knew that they could be a problem and still have a bit of that to sort out. Decided to fill after tiling and also bought more and different tiles..

    Some may remember when I started. I still have a bit to do but most things have laid down and died now. Part of the problem is that when I pay some one to do work and it goes wrong it takes me a few months to simmer down and get in the mood to get on with things.

  12. ginger tuffs

    ginger tuffs Screwfix Select

    you could buy some 2 x 1 timber and white hardboard and make your own service void in each cabinet but think of extra work and money when you could send it back and buy one with voids in them
    Jord86 likes this.
  13. ajohn

    ajohn Screwfix Select

    Thinking where stuff can be run is a lot simpler.

  14. Jord86

    Jord86 Screwfix Select

    It’s a bit late to think about where stuff can be run when the tools are out and ready to go though, it should have all been determined well in advance, which it very rarely is. Plus, how many people happily pay a plumber or fitter to alter or recess any pipework on top of their fitting quote, delaying the fit and adding to the cost further? You can get dozens of styles, sizes, colours, textures and shapes with all manner of kitchens today, why would anyone choose a box with no void that adds work and aggro over a box that has a void and less aggro, apart from the possible lesser cost?
    ginger tuffs likes this.
  15. ginger tuffs

    ginger tuffs Screwfix Select

    most people only look what size units are required not whats behind them as they cant see because services are in void
  16. ajohn

    ajohn Screwfix Select

    I think they probably mostly suite diy in some respects along with tricky situations, For instance keeping a working kitchen and flat pack taking up a lot less space than built units. I needed to level the floor. Taking everything out to do that wasn't on so done in sections. Needed too keep a sink usable - fortunately moving that anyway so that allowed pipes to be run in a more sensible place than they did. Old stuff taken out when the new sink was usable. A gas bloke did some repiping as well so more problem pipes went. My brother had similar problems when he moved recently. Sold floors pipes all over the place. So did the same as me bought new stuff down in a suitable place and later took the old stuff out.

    My biggest "issue" was the corner cabinet. Needed to leave worktop usable for Xmas so fitted one run flush to the wall. If I had fitted even one cabinet on the other run I would have evened out the wall error even if I didn't fit worktop to it, that may have wasted some but over all would have saved time.

    Would I be prepared to trim backs to suit a wall - no. The rails are a bit of a problem with that but if a wall isn't flat they can be bedded flat. Floor units are probably best mounted on brackets. It's a pity Ikea don't supply suitable that are adjustable but it's easy to find ones that can be used. Position, fasten brackets to the wall and spot trough to fix the cabinets. A void could be provided that way if needed - worktop width has to be considered. When the rails are used they add to the "void" that's already there. I'm wondering about buying the sealing trip they do to cover that but probably wont. I'd say in practice 15mm pipe might run there. Cable easily without.

    If some one wants to do this their advisers always mention a few things and it is unlikely to be as simple as their pdf suggests unless all walls are flat and square. They mention the lack of a void, don't mention using brackets rather than rails but do mention filler strips and suitable sizes for hiding problems. They use a different worktop width to others for trimming and if some one wants to fit themselves they need to do the joints as fitters do not via the method that comes with the jigs.

    ;) They allow an amazing time for people to taken mistaken purchases back and have an interesting replacement idea if something goes wrong while fitting. They know that people generally take longer than they think to actually do the work.

    Several companies sell flat pack. I went for Ikea because I tried putting a lot of weight on a drawer pulled all of the way out - it creaked but survived but the telling part was stock drawers that really do make floor cupboards useable. Nothing is worse than trying to find stuff on packed full shelves.

    The wall cabs are too deep IMHO. That may mean that worktop lighting might be a good idea - wiring easily hidden with the finishing trims they sell.

    LOL If some one fitted tap connections in a void so I couldn't get at them personally I would be a very unhappy bunny also what is needed to turn them off.

  17. inttroz21

    inttroz21 New Member

    stonemason, I've had almost the same issues, but in my case I was trying to make a kitchen table to be fitted to the IKEA kitchen set, and the only thing I was wondering is that would it be okay if I would use water-based polyurethane for it or not. I found few of them here ( url: ). Seems like there is nothing better than Minwax is on the market for nowadays, although it has some alternatives.
  18. rogerk101

    rogerk101 Screwfix Select

    I fitted IKEA kitchen units throughout my current kitchen and really enjoyed the fitting experience. They're now 12 years old and looking as good as the day they were installed. My washing machine is in its own utility room, and my dishwasher is in the unit right next to the under sink unit, so having the services running inside those two units doesn't present any problems. So what if you can see some pipes if you remove everything that's in the units?
    Frankly I can't think why a customer would be happy with anything other than back-to-wall units like IKEA's. Throwing away what amounts to a huge amount of storage space on ALL base units just so that a fitter can run a few pipes behind one (maybe two) of them seems really wasteful.
    As said above, electric cables and hot and cold feeds can all be run under the cabinets. The only 'service' that can't be run under the units are the waste pipes, so 'problematic' only for sink, dishwasher and (sometimes) washing machine.
    JustinB and fff like this.
  19. longboat

    longboat Screwfix Select

    No amount of marketing spiel will discuise the fact that they are cheap, nasty and a right pain in the rear to fit.

    It's like buying a car without any seats because the pamphlet hails it as having the biggest luggage space in its class.

    Don't like em one little bit.
    Ditto, their odly sized beds.
    Ditto, the dubious lights.
    Ditto, the layout of the stores.

    The meatballs are also off putting in colour alone.

    The mere utterance of 'shall we go to IKEA' is even more off putting than eating the anaemic looking meatballs.

    Retail shopping in general, which they are a part of.

    The carcasses don't arrive pre-assembled.

    Sheer awkwardness.

    The standard furniture stuff is perfectly acceptable and good value though.
    Jord86 likes this.
  20. greenback78

    greenback78 Active Member

    To reiterate what I said earlier, the kitchens are very good quality (I’ve fitted two) and easy to fit IF you don’t need services running behind or a variety of widths.

    As much as it pains me to defend Ikea (God knows I’ve taken enough stuff back that’s been damaged), they have made UK beds for about a decade now ;)

    They can keep their meatballs though!
    JustinB likes this.

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