Budgeting Your IKEA Cabinets Explained by Professional Installers

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Learn how to better understand the costs for an IKEA cabinet installation

Whether you’re just beginning your first IKEA kitchen remodel or are an experienced DIYer, installation costs are commonly a source of confusion for IKEA customers.

As certified design professionals, our designers hear this a lot. That said, we recognize there are many considerations for your IKEA remodel project, such as your IKEA cabinet choices; design theme options; how (and when!) to navigate your local IKEA store; how to create a project checklist; how to find an installer and contractor in your area, or whether to assemble and install your IKEA cabinets yourself.That’s why we’re here: To guide you through the entire design process so that you’ll have a fully realized IKEA kitchen without bursting your budget.

That means helping you to better understand installation costs for your IKEA project, as explained by installation professionals.“[Installation costs] are like an optical illusion,” says Ron Malka, owner of Kitchen Assembly in Boca Raton, FL, experts in IKEA cabinet installation. “The customer may be impressed with the overall cost of the kitchen, but they don’t see the hidden costs associated with installation because it’s a ready to assemble (RTA) product that involves more labor.” He adds that factors such as the materials chosen; the configuration of the layout, and whether the space is measured properly can also affect the installation costs.

These are crucial points. Why? Because, even if an IKEA customer has been researching examples of kitchen designs on design Web sites like HOUZZ, most are probably unaware that a typical IKEA kitchen costs $13,500-$19,000 (depending on the kitchen size; type of cabinets, as well as other accessories and appliances you select). (Source: https://www.remodelingcalculator.org/ikea-kitchen-remodel-cost/) In addition, many retailers (including IKEA) and cabinet manufacturers use the 10’x10’ standard kitchen measurements because they’ve neglected to compare the linear feet (LF) to the final price for a range of actual designs. Correctly calculating non-standard kitchen measurements is the most accurate method to determine real-life linear feet pricing.

ikd ikea kitchen floor plan

The bottom line is if you’re an IKEA customer ready to budget your installation, then now is the time to listen to IKEA installation professionals. These professionals will ensure that your IKEA kitchen cabinets function as well as they look, plus they will save you time and money by doing the installation correctly the first time.

Let’s check it out!

Understanding IKEA Cabinet Installation Costs

When you begin your IKEA kitchen remodel there are several installation cost scenarios.

Your installer may calculate his fee: By the linear foot (you can expect $150 – $380 per linear foot for total installation); per cabinet (you can expect to spend between $150 – $500 per cabinet); or one price for the entire job. The average IKEA kitchen has about 20 cabinets. For a smaller IKEA kitchen, you can expect to pay on average around $2,500. Larger IKEA kitchens would bump up that price to closer to $3,600 or more.

ikea kitchen rendering

Michael O., owner of IBEABuilder based in the San Francisco Bay, CA area, explains: “The range of installation costs for a kitchen is about $150-$200 per cabinet, and that’s for the cabinets, doors, drawers, cover panels, kick panels, filler pieces and pulls — that’s not including appliance installation or electrical work or demo. I price by the job, but before I give an exact quote I need to see their plans. I take in factors like if there’s an island and whether it’s being fastened to a wood floor or concrete floor (which takes a couple of hours more to do). There are a lot of tiny little factors.” Other factors include whether there are corner cabinets and whether the design calls for stacking wall cabinets,which both require extra time.

Also, remember that the price will go up if the cabinet fronts you select are custom or modified from a third-party cabinet manufacturer.“The biggest price difference in parts and labor (excluding appliances and countertops) is definitely fronts,” Michael says.

Kiko Livingstone, a professional IKEA installer from Los Angeles, CA, adds that it’s very important to know that installation costs vary. “For a 10’x12’ kitchen cost will be based on the cuts, the lights, whether there is an island and the type of countertops being used. If the countertops are stone or marble that will require special tools and a fabricator to install, as well.”

Additional Installation Costs

IKEA cabinet installation costs are typically based by the box or drawer; although they can be based by the job or linear foot, as mentioned. A key distinction for IKEA remodelers to realize is that a cabinet comes in a box and a drawer comes in a separate box. They do not come in the same box.

Ron explains, “The drawer needs to be assembled and installed with the cabinet so there’s literally a price per package [box]. We charge $89 for cabinets that have doors and shelves. If you have a cabinet that doesn’t have shelves and doors, but has four drawers, then I count a box for the cabinet and four more boxes for the drawers. So it’s going to be $89 for the box plus $25 for each box of drawers.” By comparison, IKEA charges a flat rate of $129 per box regardless of whether it’s a cabinet with drawers or doors.

save money

You may be wondering: “Can’t I just do it myself and save money?” You can, if you really know what you’re doing. “Most [IKEA customers] don’t have the knowledge [installing IKEA cabinets] and make mistakes,” Ron says. “They don’t know when you assemble the cabinets you have to really push the back piece of the IKEA cabinets into the groove and make sure the box is square. Most people don’t do that and the drawers and doors come out crooked. Clients think they saved money but then I need to redo the whole thing and they wind up paying more.” Or,like in the case of IKEA customer Barry from North Port, FL, there is potential for your project to turn into an installation odyssey that wreaks havoc on your time.

If you must assemble and install your IKEA cabinets, then make sure you measure properly. “A quarter of an inch can really throw off a job,” Michael says. “You might have to get a new cabinet and then the cabinet’s not in stock. Then you have to reschedule your countertop service provider to take new templates so it becomes a chain reaction.”

Save Time and Money

Fortunately, there are things a customer can do to reduce parts and labor costs associated with IKEA cabinet installation.

One is to make sure your IKEA cabinet boxes are not placed far away from the kitchen. This will cut down on delays on the installer carrying boxes to the kitchen before actually starting assembly and installation. Secondly, let the installer rely on the actual inventory list rather than you organizing the cabinets in your own system, which can lead to confusion. Lastly, make sure the kitchen is ready for installation in terms of the location of the plumbing, electrical, and that all drywall is completed.

Ron concludes: “Overall, the most important part of installation is planning. Make sure you professionally measure, design and plan your kitchen. Once you have the right person your IKEA installation will go very smoothly with no surprises and no extra charges.”

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