A First Look at Assembling IKEA’s New Kitchen Cabinets, SEKTION: Part 1: Construction
This week we’re learning more about IKEA’s new SEKTION kitchen cabinets, thanks to the help of Dan Goldman from Brooklyn’s PANYL. Now we’re about to see SEKTION in action!
Earlier this month Dan and Ron Youmans of The Kitchen Couple installed a SEKTION kitchen in a Boerum Hill, Brooklyn rental apartment. Here’s a play-by-play of their installation experience.
Here’s what the space looked like when Dan and his team arrived: “The kitchen had hardly any storage or counter space, the cabinets were old and grimy, and the refrigerator loomed over the room like a stainless steel elephant,” Dan says.
Meanwhile, a nook directly opposite the sink sat empty.
“We planned to install new base cabinets in a U-shape, with an L-shaped run of upper cabinets above the stove and sink,” Dan says.
Opposite the stove would be a peninsula with additional storage.
The far side of the peninsula would be a breakfast bar, framed in by vertical counter panels, and finished with a large trim panel.
And that stainless steel elephant of a refrigerator? It was getting moved to the nook opposite the sink and boxed in with trim panels and cabinetry.
Base Cabinet Construction
“IKEA SEKTION flat-pack assembly will be familiar to anyone skilled in the IKEA arts,” Dan notes. “Although many small changes have been made, notably to the design of the plastic legs and the suspension rail system, the basic assembly is comparable to AKURUM.”
After cutting an opening in the back panel for plumbing, Ron and his team installed the first SEKTION corner cabinet.
The floors were quite warped, so it took some tinkering to level the corner cabinet with the legs.
The new suspension rail system allows you to slide the mounting brackets onto the rail first, and then pass them through large rectangular cutouts in the back of the cabinet. “This is an improvement over the prior method, in which you had to peer through a tiny hole in the back panel to locate and thread a bolt though a small nut,” Dan notes.
Once each cabinet was level, Ron tightened a threaded plastic peg to immobilize the connecting bracket on the suspension rail.
“After joining the DÖMSJO sink cabinet to the first corner cabinet, we left a space for the dishwasher,” Dan says. “The run continued with another SEKTION corner cabinet, a trash bin cabinet and a five-drawer MAXIMERA base cabinet.”
Ron used a sawzall to remove the baseboard molding between the wall and the adjacent cabinets.
The entire base cabinet run was then pushed flush against the wall.
The last step was to rip a piece of AKURUM PERFEKT trim panel to cover the back side of the peninsula cabinets.
Wall Cabinet Construction
“The brackets can be slid onto the rails first and then inserted through the openings in the cabinets, or they can be attached to the cabinets first before sliding them onto the rail,” Dan says. “Once the cabinet is in place, the plastic peg is rotated a quarter turn to prevent the brackets from moving along the rail.
We assembled most of the cabinet frames before Ron arrived, allowing him to make quick work of the upper cabinet run.”
The box-in of the refrigerator was another place where Ron’s deep experience paid off. “Again we used AKURUM PERFEKT trim panels which Ron cut to size and braced to the floor and wall,” Dan says.
Dan continues: “The SEKTION system is designed to work with IKEA’s appliance line. This refrigerator was significantly wider than an IKEA model, so for the over-fridge storage we fastened two 30” wide SEKTION microwave cabinets together and then turned them onto their sides.
This is why shelf peg holes and cabling slots are visible. Ron sandwiched this assembly between the two trim panels before fixing them to the wall with a suspension rail. The suspension rail brackets are covered by IKEA’s standard plastic snap-on covers. (They haven’t upgraded those, unfortunately).”
Installing the MAXIMERA drawer slides was straightforward. However, there were quite a bunch of them!
The first completed MAXIMERA base cabinet!
Thanks, Dan, for sharing this project with us!
More IKEA News from The Kitchn
- IKEA Is Totally Changing Their Kitchen Cabinet System. Here’s What We Know About SEKTION.
- A Guide to IKEA’s New SEKTION Kitchen Cabinets! We’ve Got Sizes, Prices, and Photos
- IKEA’s AKURUM vs. SEKTION Cabinets: What’s the Difference?
- 10 Kitchen Ideas We Picked Up From IKEA’s New 2015 Catalog
- 15 Smart and Inexpensive Kitchen Goods to Buy at IKEA
- 15 Reasons You’ll Want to Visit IKEA in February