Friday, August 7, 2015

Ikea Sektion Cabinets with Barker Doors

When we decided on using Ikea cabinet boxes with Barker Doors there were a lot of questions:

  • Is it even possible to use Barker doors with Ikea cabinets?
  • Can we use Ikea's blum hinges?
  • What size doors should we order?

I called Barker cabinets and checked out the help forum to see if their doors can be use on Ikea Sektion. From the forum:
We can make any size door needed within reason. Our doors have been used on IKEA cabinet in the past, but we do not provide the sizing sort review for accuracy. For a better alternative to the IKEA cabinet, try our cabinet line at It is better quality, much more custom, solid wood alternative, and the cost is usually only slightly higher than that of an IKEA cabinet. Just saying :) [Barker Forums]
Barker takes the CYA stance on the question. Fair enough, they don't want you ordering 1000's of dollars worth of cabinet doors on their advice and run into a problem.

We just had to bite the bullet and try it.
To use Barker doors on Ikea boxes you must:

  • Order the doors in the right size.
  • Order the correct hardware to attach the door to the Ikea Cabinet.
  • Predrill holes on the Ikea box in the  right place to attach door to the cabinet.

Ordering Barker doors in Ikea door sizes:

This is pretty easy. Ikea doors are 1/8th inch smaller in Height and Width than the size of the Ikea cabinet.

For example:

The door on a 18x30 wall cabinet will be 17-7/8" x 29-7/8".
Ikea Grimslov Door

This is true for all the doors except the doors for the 37" corner cabinet (the one with the lazy susan)!

The measurements for the 37" corner cabinet doors are: 13-1/4" x 29-7/8"

Bjorket 37" Corner Cabinet Door

All that's left is to pick a style! Barker door styles.

Ordering the correct hardware:

The hinge and hinge plate to attach Barker doors to Ikea cabinet boxes are:
   ( has them on the cheap with free shipping and we get a small commission)    

If you want to know more about how we selected the right hinge hardware check out this post.

Where to predrill holes to attach Barker doors to Ikea Boxes:

Barker drills their hinge cups at 3-1/2 inches from the top and bottom of the cabinet door.

Barker Hinge Cup Locations
You can customize this but it is going to raise the cost of the door dramatically. To use the 3-1/2 inch hinge cup location, install the hinge plate so the center is of the hinge plate is 3-9/16" from the bottom or top of the cabinet (this is the 3-1/2 distance plus 1/16 for the reveal ).

Mark your center with a tape measure and a ruler, then use a Blum hinge plate guide to mark where you want to drill your holes.  The use a 5 mm bit to make your holes!

Hinge Mounting Template
Where to pre-drill to attach Barker drawer fronts:

The drill pattern for drawer fronts is a little tricky because the drawer alignment is not as adjustable as cabinet doors and getting everything to line up is a booger! To get the right drawer alignment, we ordered a spare Ikea Hageby drawer front for less than $10 to use as a template. Take your 5mm drill bit and drill all the way through the pre-drilled holes in the Ikea drawer. You can then line this drawer up on your barker drawer and drill through the Hageby drawer into your Barker drawer and you will have perfectly aligned holes for the Ikea mounting hardware.

Adding electrical tape helped the drawer stay together when drilled.
We found using a collar on the drill bit helped to make sure we didn't drill too deep and a few pieces of electrical tape on the Hageby drawer helped it stick to the Barker so it didn't move around while we were drilling.

Line the Hageby drawer front with the Barker front and make your holes.
Cover panels for the exposed sides of Ikea Boxes:

Ikea Sektion cabinet boxes only come in white or a dark wood color. Ikea sells cover panels to finish the sides of the boxes to match the doors. Custom doors means you need to have custom cover panels! Luckily, we found a way to do it on the cheap using furniture grade plywood. Check out the article HERE.

That's it! Once you have the drawer hardware installed, hinge plates mounted and hinges installed on the door, the doors and drawers will just "click" right in. By taking the time to figure out how to use Barker doors on the Ikea boxes we got the look we wanted for about $2000 ($1700 for the doors and $300 for hinges). That was much cheaper than the quotes I got from Scherrs ($3800) and Semihandmade ($4500)!

Coming up: Finishing cabinet doors. How to finish them and is it worth it to DIY?


  1. Question, which hinge did you use for your corner wall cabinet (if you had one?). We installed the 110 degree blum hinge and the door would not open enough so we tried one of the 155 degree hinges that we got for the pantry door (because of the pull out drawers) and although that works fine, there is a large gap on the right side/the side the hinge is on- of the door because the hinge pushes the door off the frame quite a bit (almost as if the hinge plate needs to be pushed further into the cabinet or something?) thoughts? I am not sure how to post a pic to show you...

  2. Ruth,

    We used this hinge for our corner cabinet:
    Clip-top 170 Degree Hinge Overlay / Self-Closing (#71T6550)

    this hinge between the Bi fold doors:
    60 Degree Cliptop Bi-Fold Self-Closing (#79T8500.10)

    1. I should have also asked if you used a different hinge plate for the corner wall cabinet? This dang corner wall cabinet is just not quite right and I keep meaning to ask if you used a different hinge plate. "Amazon" suggested 3 different hinge plates (depending on what the door overlay should be). I have the hinge plates that you used on all the other cabinets currently installed with the 170 degree hinge... but maybe the hinge plate should be different? Thoughts...

  3. I need a post on how the hell to drill the correct position on the drawer front hardware so they line up with the drawer inserts HELp!!

    1. I added it to the post!!! Sorry! The drawer fronts slipped my mind!

  4. Of course ! Should have ordered a drawer front lol. Cuz this one was a doozy! Luckily after much deliberation I just got out the measuring tape and some adhesive putty to place the hardware temporarily in place...about 2 hours later I got the first drawer in on the first try. Sweating bullets tho. It's all good until you realize the bottom drawers need the hardware higher to compensate for the bottom frame of the cabinet. Haha. No one will ever see those two extra holes I made tho! You are super helpful! Many thanks!

    1. FYI the utrusta trash pull out ...ya know the one pull out I kept trying to install but literally got to LAST.... It comes with a template that should be sold separately for all of us custom door front people... It's a template for the exact measurement on all the drawer front hardware. You don't know what you don't know I guess.

  5. Are the Ikea drawer fronts 1/8" less on Heighth & Width, like you said the doors are? Putting in an order with Barker after reading your post. Thanks for the help.

  6. Yes. Take 1/8 off the width and height for all doors and drawer fronts, so all of your doors and drawers will end in 7/8. (Unless you have any funky custom Ikea hacks). So a 18" base cabinet that's 30"H would need a door or drawer that's 17 7/8 W by 29 7/8 H. good luck !

  7. Thanks for this information! Do you know what the correct hinge cup location would be if you were to request a custom placement? Thanks!

    1. Dahlia,

      The correct hinge cup location to use Ikea hardware is further from the edge of the door than Barker's standard of 3.5mm. If you want to use Ikea hardware I suggest buying a Harlig door for $10 and using it as a template to get your hinge cups drilled locally. A local cabinet shop in my town charges $10 per door.

      If you wanted to use ikea's rows of double holes and the hinges recommended in the blog post I believe the measurement is 3 inches but DON'T go by that! I recommend measuring off a Harlig door. I'll post actual measurements next time I make it to IKEA!

  8. Use Homedepot purebond plywood:

  9. Hi, I have found your blog extremely valuable. Thank you so much. We're getting custom cabinet doors from a local cabinet maker for Ikea boxes. Do you know if we can use the Ikea hinges that come with the Ikea boxes? If yes, are there any specific things to keep in mind. Also, we are getting custom drawer fronts. The kitchen is being installed by people familiar with Ikea kitchen cabinet assembly. Is there anything we need to let them know to avoid issues. FYI, I have no corner cabinets.

    Thank you,

    1. Rajee, you can use Ikea hinges provided your cabinet door maker places the hinge cups in the same location as those on Ikea doors. I would suggest buying a Hageby door and drawer front to use as a template to drill the hinge cups on the doors and mounting location for drawer hardware.

    2. Will do. So Ikea doors have the hinge cup in the same place i.e., a certain distance from top/bottom of a particular door, regardless of the door size?

  10. Hi, Is the calculation to reduce every door by 1/8th the same for a double door cabinet? should both doors be reduced bu 1/8th?

    Thank you

  11. Hi there! So glad I stumbled across your posts about this because my wife and I have been trying to decide between IKEA, Semihandmade, and Barker but hadn't considered combining IKEA and Barker! Quick question though, did you use the furniture grade plywood to make your fillers and toekicks as well? Or did you do something else? Thanks!

    1. Yes, furniture grade plywood purchased from Home Depot.

  12. Really helpful post!! Thank you for sharing. Just to confirm: were you able to use the standard Barker hinge cup location with the IKEA base for cabinet doors? I know the hinges have some flexibility in them to change the door placement, but wasn't sure if that will still work with the pre-drilled holes in the SEKTION base or if you had to drill those. Thanks!

  13. Adam, you will have to drill your own holes to place the hinge plates in the correct location. See the picture about 2/3 of the way through this post!

    1. Thanks Ross -- that blog post is super helpful! So it sounds like you used the standard Barker hinge cup on the door itself and just customized the placement on the base, is that right?

    2. Yes Adam! That is correct.

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  15. Great tips! After looking at Semihandmade and learning they discontinued the line I liked (horizontal grain sequencing) and the cost, I've decided to order furniture grade purebond and make my own. This had a lot of the information I was looking for. Though for the price of those barker doors it may not be worth the trouble, will need to check those out.

    What was the reason for drilling your hinges at 3" (jig in photo) rather than 3 1/2" that you write in the post?

    1. The picture was from another project, sorry.

      The hinges need to be drilled 3-9/16" from the cabinet edge. This gives you the 3.5" to match the Barker standard drill pattern plus 1/16 to compensate for your 1/16 reveal. Remember you are ordering your doors to be 1/8 smaller than the cabinet size; so a 18x30 inch cabinet box gets a 17-7/8 x 29-7/8 door. By mounting the hinge plate at 3-9/16 and using the hinges I speced out, you will have a 1/16 inch space around the entire door.

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