Monday, October 28, 2013

your questions answered / faq's about our ikea kitchen

For those of you new to my blog, In the Summer of 2012, Aubrey and I took on an kitchen renovation that combined the big box store cabinets (Ikea) with some high end items, budget items and of course - a few DIY's. The result of the hard work in months of planning and research paid off, and I am in LOVE with our kitchen. The kitchen has got an awesome shout outs from Nicole, was featured in The National Post and Sam featured it in one of her articles as well. And weekly I see people re-pinning pictures of the kitchen and my favourite candid photo - Aubrey laughing as demonstrating his trash pullout. ;) It's great fun seeing something we put a lot of sweat (Aubrey), tears (me out of frustration) and effort (both of us) into, circulate and be an inspiration to others. 

I've tried to organize past posts on the kitchen as best as possible but I still get a lot of e-mails every week asking about little elements that we picked, or if we're still liking the kitchen a year later. So to help new readers I decided to post the most frequently asked questions about our kitchen here. This post will go in our "Popular Post" roundup - where you can also find a lot of posts that will help you. I really, really recommend you read through those posts as if you are thinking of doing an Ikea kitchen, a lot of information is in that section. Especially our post on Tips & Tricks for buying an Ikea Kitchen. 

Now, all of this being said - as much as I try to help people out with questions, I can't stress enough that the best answers are going to come from you walking into your local Ikea, or home hardware with your own measurements and asking for advice. Measurements are key - so having your own measurements on hand when you go to a store. All that being said -  after the jump I've compiled all of our frequently asked questions directly related to our kitchen. Remember, a lot of the great posts are in this section so do pop over there if you're thinking of an Ikea kitchen.


Q: When does Ikea have their Kitchen Sale?
Q: I think it happens twice a year, we took advantage of the sale around May. I would ask around and see when they may host their sale. See Part #3 in our Tips & Tricks for Buying an Ikea Kitchen for more on buying during their sale.  *Update - The sale is happening September 30th to November 4th, 2013 so it's possibly safe to assume there is a Fall sale and a Spring sale. I stress that you should go into Ikea before the sale in order to design the kitchen. Once the sale starts - it becomes crazy busy in the store and you'll be hard pressed to find an associate in the kitchen area to help you.

Q: Are you still happy with your Ikea cabinets?
A: Yes. :)

Q: Are the Adele Doors off white?
A: Yes. But given the right lighting (pot lights) and matching it with the right accent choices (like countertop and backplash) the white doesn't look off white at all. See more on the doors below. 

Q: Did you use ikea's organization items for the inside of the drawers? utensils etc? 
A: Yes. By the design of the drawers, you're "forced" into buying their organizational drawer units because the drawers have slanted insides (for the top drawers at least) which means traditional fork/spoon divider trays won’t fit. So we ended up buying their drawer organizers. But it's not a negative as their drawer units are actually quite nice. (See the photo above)

Q: What are the measurements of your cabinets?
We get this question a lot and we have varying cabinet sizes. This post on how to make a cookbook shelf using Ikea cabinetry shows you some of the cabinet sizes.  Ps., I'm not totally sure how our measurements will help others so I haven't gone into great detail answering this one. Really what it comes down to is what fits in your kitchen - so again, bring your measurements to Ikea and they are there to help!

Q: Your door handles, are they from Ikea as well? I wondered whether you had ideas of where I could source handles.
A:  Our door handles are from Hickory Hardware and were supplied to us from the manufacturer but you can find them on special order at Lowes or if you are in Toronto, at Upper Canada Hardware. See this post on our hardware.  I recommend popping over to our Kitchen Shopping Guide to see our full list of where everything came from. The finish is polished nickel. 

Q: What is the thickness of your countertop?
A: We ordered a countertop that was 1.5" with a miter joint. We bought Caesarstone and the colour is Misty Carrara. In Canada Caesarstone is not sold via Ikea. You have to find a fabricator that deals in Caesarstone to order it for you and cut it to size and obviously install. You can see who we hired in our Kitchen Shopping Guide. 

Q: What brand of subway tile did you buy?
A: We bought our white subway tiles from Home Depot. At the time our Home Depot only sold one subway tile style so I didn't pay much attention to the manufacturer. I went through photographs and found the one above that shows Aubrey tiling and all I can see on the box is the company Daltile

Q: Did you paint any of the cupboards? The off white color of ours is not my favorite but I am not sure it is worth the money to have them professionally spray painted. Would be interested in your thoughts on this!
A: I was worried about the Adele doors too but I can assure you, you needn't worry - We love them! In the end with the bright pot lights and matching things like the counter and backsplash -  the doors appeared whiter vs. creamy. See our shopping guide here. 

Q: How noticeable is it that you backsplash, cabinets and counters all different shades of white? Would you do the white subway tile over agin if you had the chance?A: Because of the amount of pre-planning in accent choices, the off white doors are not noticeable at all.Once everything is installed and you're looking at everything straight on it is fantastic. We're really happy with all of our choices in the kitchen

Q: The Ikea Adele doors are shaker style, do you find dust collects on the groves a lot?
A: Yes, but not a lot.  I often take a cloth and do a quick wipe down weekly or every other week when I'm cleaning the counter anyways. It's not major and it doesn't bother me at all. I'd rather have the look of shaker doors and wipe them down monthly (which doesn't take any time at all) vs. a flat door. 

Q: "How did you attach the door to the drawer on your trash pullout? Did you need additional support up the door? Is it still secure after months of use? What drawer is it (fully extending/deep fully extending)?"
A: Instead of using a drawer front we used a full size cabinet door. And we used the drawer kit that is meant to be a bottom drawer, in order to have the most stability possible. It is a fully extending drawer. 
Q: "Can you tell us the measurements of the wood used in the valances on your top cabinets. Also how you attached them together (nail or glue) and how you attached them to the cabinets. I love how yours turned out!"
The valances are 1.5" tall. It's a standard 1x2 piece of lumber found at any major lumberyard. These are what hide the under cabinet lighting from plain sight. We primed and painted them in advance. They are miter cut and attached with small L brackets on the inside to remain out of sight.

Q: "I was looking at the pictures of your kitchen and I see that the back of your upper cabinets are flushed to the wall. When I look at our uninstalled cabinets sitting on the floor, I see two pieces that stick out (top and bottom) and I know once we install them to the wall they will stick out and leave maybe a half inch gap along the back. What did you do to hide this? Use filler?"
A: That's what the cover panels (or gabels) are for. We didn't need them because of the layout of our kitchen - the gaps all hide because of trim or walls that jut out. But all you need is to buy the panel from ikea that matches your cabinet door colour and then cut it to size. Also ---- You can also return those panels if you don’t use them, we got back a few hundred dollars after the fact by returning stuff, so if you don’t use those panels, do return them! 

Q: "What is the height of your cabinets, and in particular what is the height of the cabinet above the microwave? It looks like it fits perfectly in line with the bottom of the adjacent cabinets, which I am hoping to achieve with ours."
A: The cabinet above the microwave is 24" tall in order to have an even line across the top. The other cabinets are 39" tall.  

Q: "Did you use any panels to finish the ends of the runs of cabinets, and if so, how did you do it?"
A: We found it unnecessary to use end panels because we had the brightest white cabinets that Ikea sells. This wouldn't have been possible if we had gone with a cabinet colour other than white. 

Q: Roughly would you be able to say how much you budgeted for your reno? And I recall you saying you had ordered the cabinets just or after the chaos of the Ikea sale- can you remind me again of those details so we can take advantage as well.
A: Here is a rough breakdown of some of the main things that were necessary. Cabinetry was $4,000, Counters $4,000 (which is on the higher end of counters because we splurged on quartz) and hardware was $500+. Depending on what else you need to do in your kitchen (Move plumbing, electrical, new floors, lighting, and whether you're hiring someone to do all the work) the price of a new kitchen can vary greatly. Here are a few areas that we managed to save on: Doing the demo ourselves, assembling the cabinets ourselves, not putting drywall behind where cabinets are going to stay permanently... Lots of little areas where you can save, contribute to the savings in the end. 

There you go! I hope this helps! Again, be sure to visit our POPULAR POSTS that include a lot of posts on Ikea Kitchens. 



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