IKEA Kitchen Installers

“Should I ask IKEA to install my kitchen?”

Original image by Zboralski 10 min read

Are you thinking about using IKEA’s approved kitchen installers to install your new kitchen?

We did, and really wish that we hadn’t.

Over 6 months later the job is still unfinished…

631 days since the post-installation inspection
(20th Feb 2017)
662 days since the kitchen fitting
(20th Jan 2017)

We made a formal complaint by letter on 11th April 2017, and today we are still waiting for problems to be resolved.

Outstanding problems

Despite regular complaints to IKEA and their approved installers PMH Installations Ltd, 6 months after our installation began the following items are still outstanding:

(Open items for more details)
  • Wrong size worktop was delivered and installed
    • We ordered a deeper worktop to align with our deeper cooker, which has a spacer at the wall to allow the hob lid to open properly. This requirement was confirmed by the inspector when he came to measure the kitchen before installation.
    • We discussed our deeper worktop with the fitter on his first day and he noticed that a standard depth worktop had been delivered instead.
    • We asked for a deeper worktop to be ordered and, after taking his own measurements, the fitter assured us that the shorter worktop would be OK and the cooker would be flush with the worktop. It appears that he took his own measurements without allowing for the spacer, which he had removed himself earlier that day.
    • When the kitchen fitting was completed the cooker was left in place without the spacer, in a position where everything appeared to align nicely.
    • During the tiling the spacer was added and our cooker now protrudes from the worktop – something we had tried our best to prevent throughout the entire process.
    • The fitters blame IKEA for ordering and delivering the wrong worktop. IKEA blames the fitters for installing it.
  • No sealant between tiling and worktops
    • At the post-installation inspection, the inspector highlighted that no sealant has been applied between the worktops and the wall tiles.
    • We were told that this was needed to prevent water damage to the tiles and worktop, and that the installers would add this for us.
    • Over 4 months after the post-installation inspection (6 months after the initial installation), we still have no sealant.
  • Dishwasher is misaligned so it opens out into neighbouring door
    • The dishwasher has been installed at such an angle that it opens out into the neighbouring drawers.
  • Door bar hasn’t been installed
    • We paid for a door bar to be installed, and it has still not been installed for us.
    • As a result, the tiles near the door are at risk of chipping/cracking, as they have been for 6 months since the original installation.
  • Kitchen unit legs aren’t straight, causing plinth to be misaligned
    • One of our plinths doesn’t look very pretty. When we removed the plinth to see why, we noticed that all of the kitchen unit legs (which the plinth clips to) are at wonky angles, preventing it from being clipped on properly.
    • A second plinth – under the dishwasher – isn’t secured to anything at all.
  • Damage caused to cooker, washing machine & drawer door
    • There was an accident during the installation when the fitter knocked a tin of wood oil over in the kitchen. After the installation, we noticed the wood oil stains – including one on our cooker hood which has damage exacly the same shape and size as the base of a wood oil tin!
    • After the installation, we also noticed there was scuffs on the washing machine knob.
  • Drawer door is not installed straight
    • The drawer front to the slim drawer isn’t installed straight. When this was highlighted during the inspection, we were told that this is “common”, and it may not be able to be corrected.
    • We expected a professional finish with the alignment of all the drawer and cupboard doors. Sadly, this doesn’t look like a professional did the job.
    • This is the same unit that has the wonky legs.
  • Kitchen tap doesn’t have enough pressure
    • We were told that IKEA’s RINGSKÄR tap is supposed to work with low pressure systems, but it’s little more than a dribble when running the hot water.
    • At the post-installation inspection, the inspector advised that if we purchased a non-IKEA tap then we would be refunded for the IKEA tap, and the new one would be installed for us.
    • This still hasn’t happened, so we regularly need to run the tap for around 1 minute before we get any hot water.
  • Only half of our cupboard hinges are soft-close
    • We ordered soft close hinges for all of our cabinet doors.
    • During the installation we noticed that half of the cabinet doors were opening out into walls or the cooker hood so, over the phone, we ordered 90° hinges from IKEA.
    • After the installation, we noticed ourselves that the new 90° hinges weren’t soft-close.
    • We then found out that IKEA don’t sell 90° soft close hinges so we’ve found some from Blum instead. These still haven’t been installed for us.

IKEA promotes their installation service as being “time saving”, “worry-free” and to “the highest industry standards”.

Well that’s certainly not true in our case.

We ordered our IKEA kitchen when we found out we were expecting a baby. Now our baby is due in 4 weeks and it’s still an ongoing hassle.

Our experience of

the installation

  • The fitter arrived with the plans for someone else’s kitchen! We had to give him our own copy of the plan so he could begin the installation.
  • The fitter told us that he needed a bank transfer of £2,580 into his own personal bank account on day one of the installation. This seemed a bit dodgy, so we waited for confirmation by the installation company before we made the transfer.
  • It took 7 days to complete a 9m2 kitchen. We know of another kitchen measuring 17.5m2 that was completed by an approved IKEA installer in 3 days.
  • The fitter initially installed the kitchen cabinets too close to the wall, without allowing enough space for our window sill. When we pointed this problem out to him he moved the same cabinets away from window but repositioned them too close to the opposite wall, which meant our fridge door could not open. When we pointed the new problem out to the fitter he took some measurements and assured us that the fridge door would open. At the end of the install, when the fridge was put in place we were proven right. There was not enough room so – for the second time – three wall units, two drawer units and a cooker hood were removed and repositioned.
  • The fitter’s “help” was his young niece. We gave this the benefit of the doubt, but while building our cabinets and helping out in the kitchen she demonstrated little-to-no prior experience of professional kitchen fitting, often requiring instructions for basic tasks. This level of expertise isn’t something we expected from IKEA’s approved installers.
  • During the installation, we found out the installer’s plumber was unable to remove a small radiator because it was a complex job, and if we used their plumber then we would need to book it in for a much later date, delaying the installation and increasing the cost. At short notice we organised our own local plumber. It only took the local plumber a couple of hours to do the job, and they charged us half the price that the IKEA installers had originally quoted to us. 🤔
  • During the installation, we were told that the the fitter couldn’t re-route a gas pipe so we needed to arrange for someone else to do it. This was an unexpected cost and it came as a surprise, as the pipe obviously needed to be re-routed for the kitchen cabinets to be installed properly.
  • After the installation, we noticed there was obvious cosmetic damage to two of our appliances (cooker and washing machine), and one of our kitchen drawers was filled with with dust, screws and other waste.

IKEA’s customer support


Telephone
We called 5 times
IKEA has never answered the phone

Email
LONGEST response time
34 days

an example email

We wrote 11:57 Fri 12th May 2017

“… it's a very good idea to have an inspection with Ikea present …

The ideal time for me would be after 3pm on Tues 23rd May, as I’m already planning to be off work that afternoon. If that’s not possible then please suggest a few other times in that week over email and I’ll get back to you … “

After 11 days we asked again…

We wrote 15:08 Tue 23rd May 2017

“It's now past 3pm 23rd May and it’s been 11 days without a written response from you, so I don’t expect you will come over today.

Please let me know in writing what date you will come over so I can book the time off work.”

IKEA replied 19:57 Fri 26th May 2017

“Please inform us of dates that you’re available for an inspection to take place in the near future so we can organise our diary accordkingly.”

We wrote 08:09 Sat 26th May 2017

“Come over any weekday, during any week. But please do this as early as possible.

An evening appointment after 6.30pm is ideal, so I wouldn't have to take any unpaid leave. If that isn't possible then please come over after 2.30pm so I only need to take the afternoon off.”

We waited 34 days for a reply…

PMH Installations replied 14:15 Fri 30th Jun 2017

“Hi Stan

IKEA have contacted me as they request to book a final inspection with them present. Please can you book in to survey. They said whenever you and the customer can do they will meet.

Kind regards

Peter”

Then, shortly after…

PMH Installations replied 15:53 Fri 30th Jun 2017

“Good Afternoon Stuart,

Stan is looking to book for survey on the 21-7-17 anytime before 3pm please?

He can hold till Monday and could you please message back to confirm.

Kind regards

Peter”

A survey on 21st July is over 10 weeks after our request on 12th May.

Before sending a formal complaint, we sent 4 emails, 1 voicemail and 1 text to the kitchen installers asking for an update on progress.

No response was received until more than 6 weeks later.

the IKEA Online Kitchen Planner

  • Planning the kitchen using the IKEA online software was undoubtedly the most pleasant aspect of the process.
  • It can be tricky to put items exactly where you want them, but overall, IKEA’s Online Kitchen Planner is pretty good.

the in-store planning

  • The in-store planner was very helpful, taking us round the showroom so we could see all the different options.

the in-store finalising

  • This took a long time – we were in the store for over 2 hours during “finalising” (which needs to be done in person).
  • At this point it appears that the deeper worktop was not added to the final order, even though our deeper cooker was clearly highlighted in the planning notes, and the deeper worktop had been requested both by us and the pre-installation inspector.

the pre-installation inspection

  • The pre-installation inspection of our kitchen went really well.
  • We followed the installer’s recommendation of having wall tiles instead of splashbacks.
  • The inspector recommended that we place everything that needs plumbing in the same area, which meant moving the washing machine to the other side of the room. This seemed like a sensible idea, and when we asked if the washing machine would “stick out” we were assured that it wouldn't. Unfortunately, it now does stick out.
  • The deeper worktop was discussed and agreed, with the installer saying that the fitter could use the off-cuts to make us a window sill (which we never got) and some chopping boards.

the delivery

  • On 10th Jan 2017, the day before our delivery, we received an email from the installers containing:
    “During the delivery it is imperative that you have with you your itemised IKEA receipt for the goods you paid for, counting and ticking off all parts, appliances and accessories as you receive them, identifying them by their 8-digit article number on the outer packaging (e.g. 502.056.31). Failing to do so regularly leads to items either being left on the van or not discovered as missing until later in the installation and invariably causes delays and possibly unnecessary expense.”
    We were surprised to find that items were “regularly left on the van” and to find that the customer was responsible for checking the accuracy for the delivery!
  • The delivery was unloaded very quickly and in a different order to the 117 item consignment note, so there was no chance we could check the order was correct before the lorry left.
  • When asked, the delivery men were unwilling to either unload slower or to help with the item checking, so we recorded that the delivery was unchecked in the Customer Comments of the consignment note.

Other complaints

Not directly related to ordered items, but annoying nonetheless:

  • Fridge has been left in our living room
    • As the door bar has not yet been installed despite us having paid for its installation, we risk cracking the tiles if we move the fridge over the threshold ourselves.
    • As a result, for over 6 months we’ve been living with a fridge in the living room of a 1-bed flat, taking up valuable space and making fridge noises.
  • Painting & decorating is held up
    • We did ask for (and expect) the installers to paint and decorate the kitchen, as it was clearly stated by IKEA that they would be able to do so.
    • During the pre-installation inspection, we were told that the fitters didn’t offer painting and decorating, but they knew someone who did. We decided to find our own.
    • We can’t begin the painting and decorating until the kitchen has been finished, so for over 6 months we’ve been living with wrapping over the cabinets, holes in the walls, no window sill and no skirting board.
  • After tiling, the washing machine sticks out 10cm more than before tiling
    • Before the tiling the washing machine fit nicely under the worktop. Now, it protrudes by 10cm. Although we’ve tried to move it back under the worktop we cannot move it any further.
    • The inspector advised that this would be corrected. We are still waiting.
  • UTRUSTA lighting isn’t worth it
    • When we ordered the under-cabinet UTRUSTA lighting, we expected it to sit flush to the wall as shown in the catalogue and showroom.
    • However, there is an unsightly gap between the lighting and the back wall. We’ve been told that they couldn’t install the lighting closer to the wall, as our room isn’t “showroom conditions”.
    • The reality is that the unsightly gap could have been prevented, or reduced considerably, with a more precise install.
    • After the electrics were completed, we also discovered that some kitchen cupboards need a large mains switch box inside them to power the lights. This was not explained to us by IKEA, or the installer, until the switch boxes were put in place.
    • If we knew originally that the lights would not be flush with the wall and the switch boxes would take up valuable cupboard space, we would have ordered different LED lighting.

Our advice

  • Don't use IKEA’s approved kitchen installers to install your new kitchen. The installers and IKEA operate as separate entities, and in our case neither will take the responsibility for the other’s work.
  • Go with a local, recommended kitchen fitter. We wish we had! Their estimate was more expensive, but it would have been worth the extra cost.

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