Discuss Fess Up!! Lessons Learned During Installation Page 12 on IKEAFANS.com. We're Personalizing the IKEA Experience. Fess Up!! Lessons Learned During Installation - Please limit the posts in this section to questions and answers about assembly and installation issues only..
Dont collect random "as is" doors and cabinets, before you have a final plan!! My basement is full of drawers, doors and even lazy susans that I am "hoping" to use in a kitchen remodel. The doors in "as is" are so cheap, compared to new (usually $15), that I started collecting Adel birch, then changed to Ramsjo black, and for awile thought the Nexus drawer fronts were Ramsjo, so I have a bunch of them, plus lots of other "bargains" that I know I will never use. DON'T GET CARRIED AWAY "in case". Unless you have an installer friend, and then you are like a treasure trove to him!! Also, if you are lurking in "as is" (I spent all summer there) get to know the products well -- the 21" drawer or door can look like 18 inch, a short drawer isn't very useful if you wanted a full depth drawer; Besta doors can look like Akarum etc.
when using a staple gun (in this case compressed air) to attach the backs of cabinets (particularly the uppers where i could not nail because of the ridge at the top and bottom) make sure you are angling it so that both staples go into the sides of the cabinet and not through the back. Our contractor made a bit of a mess with one while in a hurry and punched holes into the back of the cabinet. It wasnt that big a deal because it is the cabinet that is above our stove and microwave and i cant even open it without a step-stool so i dont think anyone will notice.
I just finished assembling the last unit of 4 Pax wardrobes, 2 corner assemblies and 10 drawers. I assembled one unit each nite after I got home from work. I did all 10 drawers tonight. Took my time, used hand tools only (no power) and all went extremely well.
After finishing the drawer units and handling them it became evident that they are not very robust. I decided I would fix them before installing them in the Pax units so I grabbed my hot glue gun and 10 sticks of glue.
I laid each drawer on the floor bottom side up and put a bead of hot glue all the way around all 4 sides where the bottom of the bottom panel meets the sides. The increase in strength and rigidity was noticeable even before the glue had cooled completely.
In each drawer shipping box there were 2 strips of fiberboard (same material as drawer bottom) used as packing material. The strips are about 1" wide and 18" long. I applied hot glue to one side and attached 2 of these strips equally spaced to the bottom surface of the drawer bottom running east west between the side rails to prevent sagging.
Total time per drawer about 5 minutes, total cost about $3 in glue. The difference in strength and rigidity is well worth it.
To glue or not glue the cabinets when assembling?
Was told by one person to glue and then another said NO.
While I'm sure you've figured this out by now, there's no need to glue the IKEA cabinets together. They're well engineered and if assembled and installed correctly, they'll give you years of good looks and hard work. Glue is neither suggested nor required.
I forget to allow plenty of time, so get into a hurry or stressed and make mistakes.
I try to do projects when I'm bored with them or tired, or i keep going on project too long ( should have stopped for lunch). That leads to cutting corners, not foreseeing problems, losing temper when things go wrong etc.
I was once reduced to complete tantrums by trying to assemble furniture my mother in law had kindly bought us for our new baby. In hindsight the problem was- we had a new baby. I was exhausted! Of course that just made it easier to get hung up on "got to get it built before mother in laws visit" . In the end my brother in law came & built it, and I bought him beer.
Life is such that we cant always do our projects under perfect circumstances. But no good comes from not allowing for that. We recently got a lot of furniture for both children's bedrooms, which meant it did all have to be unpacked and assembled before bedtime. There was no space to have half-assembled units. Thank goodness we hired someone (via our local Ikea store) to install it all- he worked really hard all day, much more quickly than me because he'd built all these things before. but he still only just made it.
I suppose the moral of all this is: know your own limitations and stretch them, but stretch them gently!
Well, I’m not quite done yet so I still have more opportunities to screw up but here are my lessons learned so far:
1) Drywall – Because we had soffits to rip out, a built in pantry to demo, damage on ceiling due to popcorn scraping, and all the old wiring in the kitchen was being totally replaced, we went ahead and ripped out all the drywall in the kitchen and redid it ourselves. Umm, I wouldn’t do it again. Not only was it really heavy and very difficult (for us), but it just doesn’t look as nice as if a pro had done it. The seams are noticeable. So, my lesson is that sometimes you should hire a pro, even if you are willing to do the hard work. You may be more satisfied with the outcome.
2) Ordering – Read the posts and articles on putting in your order first. I won’t go into all the gory details, but we had a lot of problems with our order. About half were my fault and half were my Ikean’s, so it seems that you really have to know and understand all the parts and the process before ordering. My order was not arranged by cabinet, so it was very tricky to check. Thankfully my local Ikea isn’t too far away. I’ve been to Ikea no less than 5 times to return parts/doors and order different ones. Also, triple check that you have all the right doors before starting to drill them for handles (we drilled before installing the doors and drawers, I don’t know if others do it that way).
3) Partition for 30” and 36” drawer cabs - We didn’t realize we needed this part installed since it comes separate from the cabinet stuff. They need to be installed in the cabinets before the countertop went on (they screw in from the top). We had to rig it: went ahead and screwed in the long screws into the top of the partition, then cut off the screw head. Then we used Loctite on the screws and inserted them into the holes in the top of the cabinet to correctly center the partition and provided some stability. Then we used two L brackets on each side, and added a second metal partition rail to the back. It worked, they are quite sturdy. Still, I recommend, you know, doing it the right way.
4) Tiling – I’m a rookie at this. I learned that whatever you do, don’t mix your thinset too thin. Ditto grout. Also, I learned you can pull out the outlets farther from the wall to accommodate tile behind the outlet cover for a nice clean look (I learned this after the tile was installed and cut to but up against the outlet cover instead – lovely Ikeafans folks pointed me to how to correct and/or buy oversize outlet covers)
That’s all I can think of for now. If nothing else, I learned that I am capable of doing a lot more than I thought, and that everything takes twice as long as you think it will!
The bolded #3 is so imperative, that it needs repeating.
This also happened to me, currently actually, and am looking for a fix such as this.