- Kitchen cabinets, bottom
- This section looks at your options and limitations when it comes to under-counter cabinets, normally referred to as base cabinets. These are the workhorses of your kitchen – and the ones you have to customize the most. You’ll have to work around sinks and ranges (or stoves) and all the plumbing and wiring that comes with it. And this is where you have to think the most about your choices.
- IKEA really limits your options when it comes to consistency and appearance. This section will highlight what IKEA offers standard, and what you can do with a little creativity. I don’t think you should have to compromise your kitchen design just because your kitchen width doesn’t match IKEA the standard. But doing your prep work here can save you tremendous time and money.
- Let’s first look at the pieces as they come:
- All base cabinets are 30 3/8″ tall and 24″ deep (without fronts). With legs, the under counter height ranges from 34 1/8″ to 38 7/8.
- The 24″ deep base cabinets come in the following widths: 12″, 15″, 18″, 21″ 24″ 27″ 30″ and 36″.
(The listed widths are all approximate – i.e. each cabinet really is 1/8″ narrower. It doesn’t make much difference for your planning, but it does make this article a lot easier to read (and write). Don’t worry – I’ll use the exact measures where it really matters.)
- Since the wall cabinets also are 30 3/8 tall, but only 12″ deep (without doors), you can use them instead of full depth base cabinets. This is useful e.g. when you have to work around ducts or plumbing, but also means the inside space of the cabinet is cut in half.
- All cabinets are made from 3/4″ thick particle board. All the cabinets by themselves are called frames by IKEA. A bottom cabinet frame consists of bottom, two sides, a plywood back panel and two particle board cross members on top connecting the sides, but leaving the top otherwise open (assuming you will be covering this with a counter top anyway). The back panel is attached with nails in an indent in the side/bottom panels (so the back is flush)
All fronts/doors are 7/8″ thick and you have the following standard options:
- 30″ full height doors
- 24″ high door(s) combined with 6″ high drawer(s) or 6″ open space (for waterfall sink or range front.
- 3 drawers, 12″ + 11.5″ + 6″
- 4 drawers, 11.5″ + 6″ + 6″ + 6″
- Picture of bottom cabinet here
If you are planning on using doors, cabinets from 12″ to 27″ use one door. The 30″ and 36″ cabinets require 2 doors – full height or combined with drawers as mentioned above. If you buy the 24″ doors for the 30″ wide cabinet, you have the option of buying 2 15″ wide drawers or a single 30″ wide drawer
But if you want drawers, unless you plan on using their 4 drawer combosolution, you are out of luck. The 4 drawer solution has two wide, deep drawers at the bottom and two half size 6″ deep drawers next to each other at the top. The top drawers require a middle divider attached front and back holding up the drawer gliders. You cannot mount the divider under a cooktop, so a metal front bar is available to forego the drawers and just mount the two drawer fronts for looks. This doesn’t cost you anything extra as you cannot buy only the deep drawer fronts by themselves anyway. For consistency you might want to enhance the appearance of the dummy drawer fronts with drawer handles.
If you are installing a sink in the frame, you really have no choice but to install door fronts, as the sink and associated plumbing typically goes deep down into the frame and prevents you from installing drawers. Again IKEA suggests you combine doors (mostly) below the sink and install 6″ drawer fronts on the steel bar as explained above rather than full hight doorsThere are a couple of options here
- If your cabinet is 30″, you can buy a 30″ drawer front and at least use instead of the 2 15″ pieces and you now have a nice consistently designed front
- If your cabinet is 30″, and you have space below your cook top (i.e the cooktop only goes 1″ or 2″ below the countertop, which is pretty common) you can buy a 30″ drawer front and a 30″ drawer (only comes in deep). To make this work, you will have to cut the metal back panel of the drawer to fit. this is not for the faint at heart and requires a special tool, but well worth it as you will be rewarded with consistent looks and an awesome extra 30″ drawer for cooking utensils and/or spices