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Enyar
Enyar Dork
5/12/16 8:06 a.m.

I’ll be honest, I haven’t shopped around much more than Ikea and now Mid Continent Cabinetry. If you have other suggestions I’m all ears but at this point we’re starting to run out of time and it’s time to make a move.

About us; We moved here in October and use the kitchen a lot. We cook almost every meal at home, brew a lot of espresso and bake a bunch of cookies. Having something durable is key. The plan is to live in this house for at least 3 years and afterward we would continue to own the house but as a rental property.

I’ve done a lot of research about Ikea and I really like the design. Sure, MDF may be less desirable than plywood but these cabinets are well built and pending no major water leak, I’m confident they would hold up. I like the drawer design, I like that I can get replacement parts 5 years from now if something breaks and I like the style. What I’m less certain about is my BPUs that I want to do with the Ikea cabinets. More about that later.

For the Midcontinent Cabinetry I like that they have plywood boxes and they come painted white (note…not off white) and ready to go. We would be picking these up through a friend of a friend that is supposedly giving us a good deal. What I don’t like is these cabinets don’t score very high review marks and I haven’t seen them in person.

My Options

Number 1: Standard Ikea cabinets with the “Grimslov” faces. These faces are shaker style fiberboard with a foil finish. This is the cheapest and easiest option. What I don’t like is they are off white in color. I’m not thrilled about the MDF and I think the wide shaker panels are less appealing but I really don’t like the off white. These cabinets after sale discounts would run around $3,100 out the door.

Number 2: I call this the Ikea BPU+ plan. The idea here would be to get standard white boxes from plan #1 but swap out all the faces with the “Bjorket” faces and then have the cabinet faces painted white. I like this plan because I get the Ikea design I like, the door face style/color I like plus the cabinet doors would be Birch instead of the fiberboard. What I’m worried about is how the painted finish would hold up over the years. The other issue is once the fronts are painted they obviously wouldn’t be under warranty anymore (though the boxes/hinges etc still would be). I’m estimating around $600 to have the 20 faces painted (previously quoted $410 for 14 faces). These cabinets after sale discounts would run around $3,900 out the door (including paint). Number 3: This is an option that popped up late. Through a coworker we could get these cabinets (called “Adams”) for a pretty good price. It’s an all plywood construction with a maple veneer face which I really like. I also really like that we can get these in the color we want and they come already built. What I don’t like is that this company, Mid Continent Cabinetry, doesn’t really have great reviews. They also don’t have the euro style cabinets and some of the trick drawers you can get with Ikea. Otherwise, on paper and in pictures they look pretty nice. We’ve also never seen this in person but I’m trying to track down a dealer so we can take a look. These cabinets would run around $4,520 out the door. I’m curious as to what you all think would be the best option. My wife has her favorite and I have mine, but they don’t align (surprise surprise). Some options are easier than others and other options will have a better look but may not last as long. Also curious as to what you think of the kitchen layout.

spitfirebill
spitfirebill UltimaDork
5/12/16 8:12 a.m.

Of your options, I would go with the plywood and veneer. I just hate mdf.

Around here in the 70s-80s, carpenters used to custom build the cabinets, often in the house, out of birch plywood. We seem to have lost that skill.

Duke
Duke MegaDork
5/12/16 8:17 a.m.

I'd say that if you keep your eye on the forum, there's a guy in south west England who will show up and offer to sell you some before too long.

Enyar
Enyar Dork
5/12/16 8:18 a.m.

I will add that our house currently has the original cabinets from 1980 and although hideous, the particle board cabinets are still mostly standing.

szeis4cookie
szeis4cookie HalfDork
5/12/16 8:22 a.m.

Is retaining the current boxes and putting new doors on an option? Or are you making major layout changes? Thoughts about getting used cabinet boxes from the Habitat for Humanity ReStore and refinishing?

T.J.
T.J. UltimaDork
5/12/16 8:24 a.m.

I just installed some cabinets that I bought through the Cabinet Joint. These come ready to assemble, but they are not MDF Ikea stuff with camlocks. These are real cabinets and you can customize them to get exactly what you want/need. Mine are hard maple fronts and full plywood box and drawer construction. They were easy to assemble and I had fun putting them in. I would at least take a look at their site and see if it is something you may be interested in. Compared to getting cabinets from Lowes, these cost about the same but I was able to customize them to fit my needs where the Lowes versions at the same price point I couldn't. I also got plywood instead of mdf for my effort of assembling them myself. I used Ikea butch block counteryops. When I am finished with the last touches of my project, I may make a build thread here about it.

SVreX
SVreX MegaDork
5/12/16 8:34 a.m.

If durability is your primary issue, forget IKEA.

They make pretty stuff, not durable.

The issue is not the material, it's the joinery. Their faces are fine.

I don't mind IKEA- I used them in my own house. I would never use them in a property I intended to rent.

For a rental house, either they need to be built like a Mac truck, or cheap enough to be disposable. IKEA is neither of those.

KyAllroad
KyAllroad UltraDork
5/12/16 8:34 a.m.
szeis4cookie wrote: Is retaining the current boxes and putting new doors on an option? Or are you making major layout changes? Thoughts about getting used cabinet boxes from the Habitat for Humanity ReStore and refinishing?

This. If the layout is good enough and the cabinets aren't trashed you should be able to make them look pretty nice with properly applied paint and elbow grease.

I took pinkish pickled oak cabinets and created "French country" for a couple hundred bucks and a few weekends. People would guess I had 20 grand in it when I was done.

Enyar
Enyar Dork
5/12/16 8:40 a.m.
T.J. wrote: I just installed some cabinets that I bought through the Cabinet Joint. These come ready to assemble, but they are not MDF Ikea stuff with camlocks. These are real cabinets and you can customize them to get exactly what you want/need. Mine are hard maple fronts and full plywood box and drawer construction. They were easy to assemble and I had fun putting them in. I would at least take a look at their site and see if it is something you may be interested in. Compared to getting cabinets from Lowes, these cost about the same but I was able to customize them to fit my needs where the Lowes versions at the same price point I couldn't. I also got plywood instead of mdf for my effort of assembling them myself. I used Ikea butch block counteryops. When I am finished with the last touches of my project, I may make a build thread here about it.

Got any preliminary pictures? I just submitted a plan to them to see what they say.

Enyar
Enyar Dork
5/12/16 8:41 a.m.
KyAllroad wrote:
szeis4cookie wrote: Is retaining the current boxes and putting new doors on an option? Or are you making major layout changes? Thoughts about getting used cabinet boxes from the Habitat for Humanity ReStore and refinishing?
This. If the layout is good enough and the cabinets aren't trashed you should be able to make them look pretty nice with properly applied paint and elbow grease. I took pinkish pickled oak cabinets and created "French country" for a couple hundred bucks and a few weekends. People would guess I had 20 grand in it when I was done.

We're making some major changes to the layout so unfortunately this is not an option. Plus we have 2 different types of cabinet boxes at the moment.

Enyar
Enyar Dork
5/12/16 8:41 a.m.
Duke wrote: I'd say that if you keep your eye on the forum, there's a guy in south west England who will show up and offer to sell you some before too long.

Say what?

Enyar
Enyar Dork
5/12/16 8:43 a.m.
SVreX wrote: If durability is your primary issue, forget IKEA. They make pretty stuff, not durable. The issue is not the material, it's the joinery. Their faces are fine. I don't mind IKEA- I used them in my own house. I would never use them in a property I intended to rent. For a rental house, either they need to be built like a Mac truck, or cheap enough to be disposable. IKEA is neither of those.

Hmm ok noted. Like I said I plan on living here a minimum of 3 years and more likely more than that. I don't think we would be here longer than 10 years. It really depends on markets/ retirement.

MadScientistMatt
MadScientistMatt PowerDork
5/12/16 8:44 a.m.
KyAllroad wrote: I took pinkish pickled oak cabinets and created "French country" for a couple hundred bucks and a few weekends. People would guess I had 20 grand in it when I was done.

Not to threadjack, but do you have any pictures? My house is on a set of 1970s cabinets that could use a cheap facelift.

T.J.
T.J. UltimaDork
5/12/16 8:48 a.m.

In reply to Enyar:

Here is a blurry out of focus picture. My cabinets are for my office and not a kitchen. Six base cabinets in all ranging from 18" wide to 30" wide. I have better pics, but they are not uploaded to photobucket yet. I just grabbed a random one and put it there to link to it and now see it was a terrible pic.

I ended up doing my plan in autocad because sketchup and I don't get along very well. The cabinet joint website has a lot of how to videos and the assembly really was as easy as theur videos make it seem.

I'll go back and get a better pic later - I've got work to do now.

Antihero
Antihero GRM+ Memberand Reader
5/12/16 8:51 a.m.

Go to ziggys and look at their knockdown cabinets. I have the cherry ones, they should be far cheaper and built from actual plywood

Fueled by Caffeine
Fueled by Caffeine MegaDork
5/12/16 8:53 a.m.
Enyar wrote:
Duke wrote: I'd say that if you keep your eye on the forum, there's a guy in south west England who will show up and offer to sell you some before too long.
Say what?

Canoe baiting I see.

KyAllroad
KyAllroad UltraDork
5/12/16 9:14 a.m.

In reply to MadScientistMatt:

No pics of my own. It was the house I lost in the divorce but a quick google image search gave me some examples.

Before:

<img src=" photo image_zpskozacrkc.jpg" />

After:

<img src=" photo image_zps7suwwbjq.jpg" />

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/12/16 9:27 a.m.

I did an Ikea kitchen a few years ago. I glue all the joints along with the usual fasteners and they've held up really well so far. The fitted drawer inserts and soft close hinges and sliders feel really good.

Since I live 300 miles from the nearest Ikea, I did all the design work on their 3D tool, took it to the store and picked up a trailer full of stuff. Worked perfectly, I had everything I needed and didn't have to keep running out for more. If you want a different color, I wouldn't stress about painting. It's highly unlikely you'll have a warranty claim on the door itself.

A friend went to some online company for custom cabinets for a walk-in closet. Submitted drawings, they did him a custom design, etc. He's really proud of it but it looks like hell and is really inefficient at the use of space.

spitfirebill wrote: Of your options, I would go with the plywood and veneer. I just hate mdf. Around here in the 70s-80s, carpenters used to custom build the cabinets, often in the house, out of birch plywood. We seem to have lost that skill.

The quality of my Ikea stuff is far and away better than the 1976 custom built birch plywood that I tore out. Granted, it lasted 35 years - but it wasn't going to last 40. If it had been a rental house with idiots in it (hint: set your rent high) they probably would have survived a single decade. Not everything used to be better.

Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
5/12/16 9:34 a.m.

When my ex redesigned her kitchen, she went with Barker Cabinets which are like really nicely made Ikea cabinets. I have Ikea cabinets in my own house (came with the house). Never again.

The nice thing about Barker is you can do fully custom sizes, which is great if you need to work with a few fixed item locations. The PO of my house used stock cabinet sizes, so the kitchen sink is annoyingly off-center from the window.

My ex's kitchen has all sorts of custom features and weird cabinet sizes. And she has a fairly large kitchen. IIRC, the total cabinet bill was about $6K (we were still together when she started the process). She did the assembly and most of the installation herself. I've seen the kitchen since she finished it. It's beautiful.

slowride
slowride HalfDork
5/12/16 9:42 a.m.

Home Depot/Menards have estimator tools also. I have one Home Depot cabinet in my kitchen, it's OK.

NOHOME
NOHOME PowerDork
5/12/16 9:55 a.m.

Never say never. You just need to broaden your imagination to work the Answer into the equation...

Enyar
Enyar Dork
5/12/16 7:04 p.m.
Keith Tanner wrote: I did an Ikea kitchen a few years ago. I glue all the joints along with the usual fasteners and they've held up really well so far. The fitted drawer inserts and soft close hinges and sliders feel really good. Since I live 300 miles from the nearest Ikea, I did all the design work on their 3D tool, took it to the store and picked up a trailer full of stuff. Worked perfectly, I had everything I needed and didn't have to keep running out for more. If you want a different color, I wouldn't stress about painting. It's highly unlikely you'll have a warranty claim on the door itself. A friend went to some online company for custom cabinets for a walk-in closet. Submitted drawings, they did him a custom design, etc. He's really proud of it but it looks like hell and is really inefficient at the use of space.
spitfirebill wrote: Of your options, I would go with the plywood and veneer. I just hate mdf. Around here in the 70s-80s, carpenters used to custom build the cabinets, often in the house, out of birch plywood. We seem to have lost that skill.
The quality of my Ikea stuff is far and away better than the 1976 custom built birch plywood that I tore out. Granted, it lasted 35 years - but it wasn't going to last 40. If it had been a rental house with idiots in it (hint: set your rent high) they probably would have survived a single decade. Not everything used to be better.

Agreed, although the Ikea materials may not be as strong as plywood/maple, its built smart. That coupled with the softclose features I think really minimizes the wear and tear on the cabinets.

We will likely have everything delivered because we live pretty close to Ikea and I don't want to make it fit on my small utility trailer.

As far as the materials go, I honestly believe its a fine material as long as you keep water out of it. Our current kitchen lasted 36 years and it's not even MDF, it's particle board. Just ugly as sin.

Ian F wrote: When my ex redesigned her kitchen, she went with Barker Cabinets which are like really nicely made Ikea cabinets. I have Ikea cabinets in my own house (came with the house). Never again. The nice thing about Barker is you can do fully custom sizes, which is great if you need to work with a few fixed item locations. The PO of my house used stock cabinet sizes, so the kitchen sink is annoyingly off-center from the window. My ex's kitchen has all sorts of custom features and weird cabinet sizes. And she has a fairly large kitchen. IIRC, the total cabinet bill was about $6K (we were still together when she started the process). She did the assembly and most of the installation herself. I've seen the kitchen since she finished it. It's beautiful.

Why don't you like the Ikea cabinets? I just took a look at the Barker website and those are NICE! But I priced out a single 15" lower cabinet and its $316 vs $138 for the Ikea MDF/Foil equivalent.

Datsun310Guy
Datsun310Guy PowerDork
5/12/16 9:16 p.m.

Go with your wife's choice. Happy wife, happy life.

Is she helping you pick out your next compressor or floor Jack?

Mezzanine
Mezzanine HalfDork
5/12/16 10:53 p.m.

I just ripped cabinets that were plywood and particle board out - nothing to worry about with particle board as long as it doesn't get wet. In addition to IKEA, the following list was included in an article I referred to in my build thread:

The same magazine had a write-up on painting cabinets, and I bet you could do a terrific job that would last very well. You wouldn't have to worry about warranty issues with painting - most of the things you'd likely make a claim on aren't going to be painted anyway.

Mezzanine
Mezzanine HalfDork
5/12/16 11:01 p.m.

Regarding your layout, it sounds like you'll be sticking pretty close to the current layout, which will definitely be the cheapest, fastest, and easiest option. Layout looks fine - snug, but that is really a function of the space you have to work with. The area between the stove and the sink is where ALL of your prep and work will be done, so consider your lighting for that area carefully.

Assuming you aren't really changing the layout, I'd second some of the earlier advice regarding getting new doors made up for the boxes you already have - read T25torx's thread where he did just this with spectacular results. Mid-way or most of the way through THIS page. To really get the cost down, reusing some or all of your existing cabinets and just get new doors (and hardware?).

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