Ikea/MFC cabinets - adding face frame and doors

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Tocaliteb

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Hi all,

Apologies if this has been asked before (I did search and couldn't find a similar thread).

I'm currently renovating a utility room. My original plan had been to build all of the cabinets and doors myself. However looking at current prices of MDF and birch ply, I thought it might be better to buy premade cabinets for the majority of the project and only build the cabinets that need to be custom fitted to the room and/or appliances they'll be housing.

Most of the off-the-shelf cabinets seem to be made of MFC or some other chipboard product with which I have zero experience. Does anyone have any experience of adding face frames and inset doors to MFC cabinets? I'm a bit concerned that they might not have the strength required to hold everything together. I'm intending to make the face frame (40mmx20mm), rails and stiles (80mmx20mm) from poplar (tulipwood) with a 6mm MRMDF panel.

Is this a complete non starter? If not, what fixing method would you recommend - dominos, pocket screws, other? PU glue, PVA, Titebond, something else?

Many thanks in advance.
 

robgul

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I would have a look at the possibility of rebating the face frames (say 5mm) so that they fitted "into the face of the cabinets" to give some strength and support, and fix them with something like NoMoreNails, perhaps with thin brads too. Something like this (in plan view)

face-frame.JPG


. . . and I'd go for B&Q cabinets rather than IKEA - IME the B&Qs are better made.
 

Doug71

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You will be fine fixing to MFC cabinets and they will be plenty strong enough.

I have made a few kitchen fronts for a customer who fits them to off the peg cabinets. I think he actually just uses small corner brackets on the inside, doesn't sound great but suppose they will be hidden behind the frame legs.

You would be fine with biscuits/dominos and pocket hole screws.
 

Inspector

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Here one can get cabinets with frames. The doors (overlaid not inset) were separate and were hung after the cabinets were installed on a version of 32mm hinges. That's what I put in our house but really wish I had bought frameless. Frames take up space making the openings smaller. Can't you get them there?

Otherwise use pocket screws to attach the frames to the cabinets. It's what they were designed for way back when.

Pete
 

glenfield2

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I sometimes wonder if this sort of job is worth the trouble - we bought all our units from here: DIY Kitchens | Discount Kitchens, Doors & Cheap Kitchen Units
UK made, solid cabinets not flat pack, doors already fitted, lots of styles and the cheapest I could find. Four years on and lasting well.
There’s job enough in installing a kitchen nicely IMHO.
 

petermillard

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For carcasses of standard sizes like kitchens I always recommend that folks buy rather than build, and spend their energies on the fun twiddly bits like doors and panels. IKEA kitchen cabinets we’re always decent enough, though you needed to be careful about the sizing, and the lack of a service gap to the rear - been a while since I looked at them, so don’t know if that‘s changed. As @Doug71 says, MFC is plenty strong enough to attach a face frame to - biscuits, pocket-holes, dominos, whatever you have access to.

I’ve fitted a couple of DIY Kitchens back in the day, and they did the job well enough. Nasty piston soft-closers on the doors, but that may be what the customers specced of course. 🤷‍♂️👍
 

clogs

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Vamos, Crete, GREECE.......
Nothing wrong with Ikea cabinets, just fitted a load.....
will upgrade my holiday rental house with them.....not sure if we want the standard Ikea up market doors or get some from somewhere else (only because of the colour range, glossy smooth but not white or mushroom)
Again I will use a 40mm Granite worktop with just a few extra stiffeners to carry the extra weight....
Agree with the inspector get open frames.....unless u want something special....or ur heart is set on it....
wish we had something like DIY kitchens around here.....
it's either Ikea or 20 grand for a kitchen, nothing much inbetween....
for us it's better economy to bin the cupboard after 5 years (when they get scruffy) and re-use the work top........
 

glenfield2

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I helped my daughter and son in law build an IKEA kitchen in their flat must be 25 years ago. Still going strong even with granite tops. I wonder if today’s IKEA ones would last so long? Doubt it to judge by the abysmal quality of some
other IKEA stuff I saw on a recent visit.
 

Southdownswolf

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I sometimes wonder if this sort of job is worth the trouble - we bought all our units from here: DIY Kitchens | Discount Kitchens, Doors & Cheap Kitchen Units
UK made, solid cabinets not flat pack, doors already fitted, lots of styles and the cheapest I could find. Four years on and lasting well.
There’s job enough in installing a kitchen nicely IMHO.

I've just ordered a kitchen from DIY Kitchens, due to arrive in about 4 weeks.
After pricing up making it myself, it just made sense to buy rather than build at today's prices for materials. A few finishing touches will be hand made, but most of it supplied by DIY Kitchens.
 

Tocaliteb

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Thanks all so much for the replies. This is very useful info. I’ll definitely go down the pre-made carcass route and make the face frames myself.
 
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