Installing IKEA Kitchen Cabinets and Countertop | Basement Kitchenette Update

Guess what? Mum’s basement kitchenette is almost done with all of her IKEA kitchen cabinets installed! I’ve been delaying writing this post as we’re waiting for her new sink to arrive and I was hoping to get it installed in time for this update but, alas, we’ll have to wait a bit longer.

After the drywall passed my half-ass stamp of approval I spent a day assembling all the cabinets (and watching made-for-tv mystery movies).

All the cabinets we’re using in this kitchen are from IKEA and will have the off-white GRIMSLĂ–V doors. I installed the wall cabinets first using the suspension rail and starting at the inside corner on the far right. Because neither of our walls are straight I had some trouble installing the wine unit in the corner. Chris helped me get it into place and screwed it into the studs in the side wall. I will need to add some trim later to hide the gap and the wood shims he used to keep the cabinet straight.

Once the wine cabinet was in, the rest of the wall cabinets were really fast to install.

Installing the Cabinets

We used IKEA cabinets when we created our large island in our main kitchen, but I had never installed their cabinets on the wall before – the rail system made this very easy – although I don’t love the look of the little doodads that attach to the bottom of the cabinet to hold it out from the wall (to make up for the thickness of the rail at the top).

I think IKEA really designs these wall cabinets to be installed with a valance, which would hide the doodads AND any under cabinet lighting. As we only have 13″ of space that is just not an option for us. Once the backsplash is installed I’ll try to hide them with another piece of trim.

The base cabinets were also really easy to install with the suspension rail. This was especially great because I could put them in place, dry fit the dishwasher, and then adjust the cabinet placement as needed (which I definitely had to do a couple times). To finish off the side of the dishwasher I cut an IKEA cover panel to fit and screwed it directly to the wall into the studs. This was especially fun because in addition to the not-straight walls, the basement floor is also slopped. So fun.

But! With the cover panel installed, dishwasher and base cabinets in place and everything levelled (thank goodness for adjustable feet) I was ready to install the countertop!

Customizing the Laminate Countertop

Mum chose one of the prefabricated laminate countertops from Ikea that has a concrete look. These pieces come pre-cut to 74″ or 98″ so it can be easily customized to fit your space. I cut ours to length quickly using our circular saw and my Kreg Accu-Cut jig and then used some contact cement to apply to supplied edge banding. The countertop lines up with the edge of the upper cabinets so that we can have a nice clean line for the backsplash tile. It means there is an overhand on the left side and a gap between the base cabinet and the fridge. I’m not sure what we’re going to do about that yet (fill it? leave it?) – that’s a problem for another day!

Now, of course, Chris has pointed out that the new location of the sink is almost directly underneath one of the electrical outlets – oops! Good thing I have a resident ‘electrician in training’ who can help me relocate the outlet! He’ll be working on that while I wait for the sink to arrive.

After the sink is installed it will be time to try my hand at tiling for the first time and then tackling all the little fiddly bits like baseboards and trim. Wish me luck!

Oh yeah! The fridge arrived!

3 thoughts on “Installing IKEA Kitchen Cabinets and Countertop | Basement Kitchenette Update”

  1. Did the cabinets for your diy large kitchen Island not have a kick plate? Is this why you did the 2×4 base?

    1. Hi Lisa! The ikea kick plates attach to legs which are not sturdy enough to support a freestanding island. We did the 2×4 base to secure the cabinets to the floor and then used MDF as a DIY kick plate. Ikea has an island base kit but we figured it was cheaper to build our own instead.

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