New cabinets are a big investment that will be a focal point in your kitchen. With so many options available, making a decision can feel overwhelming. Both custom and Ikea cabinets come with their advantages and disadvantages but one is not necessarily better than the other. What it really comes down to is what you value most in your project. Do you value having a highly unique design? Or do you just want some cupboards fast? Here are a couple of key factors to consider that will make your decision easier.
One of the biggest decisions you will make when picking out your new kitchen cabinets is their design. If you have some idea of what you want but aren’t set on a particular design, you should consider Ikea cabinets. One of the biggest benefits of Ikea is the fact that they mass-produce sets cabinets in a range of sizes, colours, finishes and features that you can pick and choose from. While the process may be easy, this leaves little room for individuality.
If you have a particular design in mind or want something that’s truly one of a kind, custom cabinets are your best option. With custom cabinets, your options are almost endless which means you can get very creative. Another benefit of custom cabinets is that you can choose the size of each cabinet and customize the layout of everything. This is a great option if you have an odd layout with a lack or excess of space. You’ll be able to have cabinets that fit no matter the shape or size of your kitchen, in exactly the style you want.
There is a big difference in the quality of materials used in Ikea and custom cabinets. Ikea cabinets are typically made from particleboard and MDF, materials that are both susceptible to water damage and have a shorter lifespan as compared to plywood or wood. While these materials do not have the lifespan or studiness of others, they are easy to replace as they come from the Ikea warehouse.
Custom cabinets can be made from a wide variety of materials and they also benefit from having sturdier construction and joinery methods. As each cabinet is custom built just for you, you also have the option for tougher hardware such as hinges and drawer sliders. This means that you can make sure your cabinets are as sturdy and long-lasting as possible, depending on your material choices.
Design & Materials Consideration: Do I want to spend time designing my cabinets and customizing every aspect, or do I want something that looks good and is easy to pick from a couple of options? Think about how much time you want to spend on the look of your cabinets to help you decide which option is better for you.
Often times, cost is a big factor in determining which cabinets to buy. While you may think you’ll save a ton of money by going with a big box store, this isn’t always true. In fact, if you have an odd layout or are trying to maximize space in a small kitchen, custom might actually be a better option for you. This is because Ikea cabinets are mainly one size fits all and if your kitchen isn’t a standard size, you’re going to have a very hard time trying to fit them in. Another cost factor to consider is that you will have to hire a separate company to install Ikea cabinets, and if they do not fit, it will be up to you to figure out a solution — and pay for it.
With custom cabinets, you really get what you pay for. As all choices are up to you, you can adjust what you pick to fit your budget. This means that you can select a cheaper material to save some money and put those savings towards creating custom cabinets that perfectly fit your unique layout. This is a great benefit to those trying to squeeze every inch of storage out of their kitchen.
Custom cabinets generally cost more than Ikea cabinets due to the amount of time and labour that goes into them. Also included in this cost is full customer service and a crew who will install your cabinets for you. If there are any problems or discrepancies, the cabinet company holds full responsibility and will fix any issues. They are responsible for the entire project, from measurements to installation.
Cost Consideration: Do I want to spend more money knowing I’ll get exactly what I want and support from the company during the entire process? Or, do I want to figure the details out by myself so I can save some money upfront?
Time and Labour
While custom cabinets may cost you more initially, you will be saving yourself time and labour in the long run. Adding custom cabinets to your kitchen is a full-service project. The company will do everything from sitting with you to design the cabinets, to taking measurements, to building and finally to installation. They will also take care of any issues or touch-ups. While you will spend your time deciding what the cabinets will look like, there is much less demand for your own time and labour to complete this project.
Keep in mind that going with a custom cabinet company will take more time than buying from a big box store. This is because they have to take the time to get involved in the design process versus just going in and picking up an already assembled set. If you’re in a rush to complete a project, then custom isn’t your best option.
Ikea cabinets require more of your personal time and you will have to do some heavy lifting. While the process of choosing your cabinets might be faster, it will also require more work. You will have to measure your kitchen yourself and ensure these measurements are correct. If they’re not, it’s up to you to pay for this mistake. You will also have to hire a separate company to install your new cabinets at an additional cost.
Time and Labour Consideration: How hands-on do I want to be in this project? Do I want to trust a company to do everything for me, or do I want to be the one taking the measurements and installing the cabinets?
There’s no denying you can create a beautiful kitchen with Ikea or custom cabinets. Which you should choose ultimately comes down to what you value most in your project. If you want to quickly update your kitchen, do not care about it looking unique, and are fine to do some of the labour yourself, consider going with Ikea cabinets. If you value a truly custom look above all else (time and money) and want to have a professional company take care of the details for you, go with custom cabinets. No matter which option you go with, you can find a pro on HomeStars to help you achieve your kitchen cabinet goals.