Update! (January 21, 2015)
We now have final sizing and pricing info for SEKTION in the United States. See pictures, pricing, and more details here:
We're big fans of IKEA's kitchen cabinet system, AKURUM. It offers value, a great warranty, and modern design for a fraction of the price of custom and semi-custom cabinets. I installed AKURUM cabinets while renovating my own kitchen and have been very happy with them (see how they look).
But there have been murmurs and rumblings about the demise of AKURUM, and IKEA has officially announced the news: AKURUM will be replaced by a new kitchen system, SEKTION, starting February 2015. Read on for more details and lots of photos!
Quick Facts: IKEA is replacing its popular kitchen cabinets with a new system, SEKTION. SEKTION will go on sale February 2, 2015. It will not be compatible with AKURUM, the current cabinet system.
Note: All photos in this post are of the METOD cabinets available in Europe. We expect the SEKTION cabinets to look quite similar but there could be some differences for the American market.
What's So Great About IKEA Cabinets?
IKEA's kitchen fittings and cabinets are sold in modular elements of cabinets, drawers, and fronts, so you can assemble an entire kitchen yourself and customize it, to a point. It's a painstaking process and a lot of work to plan a kitchen and assemble each cabinet — but the cost savings are often enormous for those building new kitchens and renovating.
→ Read more about buying an IKEA kitchen: 5 Things We Learned While Buying an IKEA Kitchen
IKEA also outfits their cabinets with high quality hardware made by Blum and high-end features like soft-close drawers. Add on a 25-year warranty and in my opinion you can't beat their product for the price.
What Is AKURUM?
AKURUM is the current system of IKEA cabinets. Every drawer, base, front, and fitting is part of the same system. All of the measurements align and it's easy to plan a whole kitchen because everything is part of the same system.
→ Read more about installing an IKEA kitchen: How We Assembled & Installed Our IKEA Kitchen
AKURUM was introduced in 1995 and since then IKEA has sold over 7.7 million cabinets worldwide. Many homeowners and cooks have been pleased with the system, rating it very high in the 2012 and 2014 J.D. Power U.S. Kitchen Cabinet Satisfaction studies.
What Is SEKTION?
SEKTION is a brand new system of cabinets from IKEA and it will replace AKURUM completely.
A change to the IKEA cabinet system is a big deal. But it's not a surprise. Last year IKEA in Europe began changing over to a new system, called METOD. It seemed to be just a matter of time before this new system also came across the Atlantic. The new system, however, will be called SEKTION here.
When Does SEKTION Replace AKURUM?
SEKTION goes on sale in North America February 2, 2015.
What's the Difference Between SEKTION & AKURUM?
Details are a little bit fuzzy still, but we can learn some from looking at the METOD cabinets already on sale in Europe. There will almost certainly be differences between METOD and SEKTION, just as there were differences between the European and North American versions of the previous cabinet line. For instance, European cabinet dimensions are in metric measurements, and the American ones are in imperial (inches). American cabinet sizes also need to accommodate American appliance sizes.
Having said that, here are a few things we know:
What We Do Know So Far About SEKTION Cabinets
- More modular with more options for cabinet sizes and configurations.
- New internal fittings that quite frankly look nicer than the current options for AKURUM.
- Integrated internal lighting options.
- Hanging rail for lower cabinets to make installing lower cabinets easier.
What We Don't Know Yet About SEKTION Cabinets
- The exact configuration options and sizes
- The available finishes
- The pricing - IKEA says it will be "comparable" with AKURUM
Do SEKTION Cabinets Work With AKURUM?
The million dollar question: Nope. They are incompatible. AKURUM and SEKTION are entirely different systems, built on a different "grid," as IKEA puts it. This means that if you have an IKEA kitchen now, the new doors and cabinets will not interface with your current system. You can't use a SEKTION door on an AKURUM cabinet, and vice versa.
But What If I Need to Replace an IKEA Kitchen Part??
All IKEA kitchens come with a 25-year warranty, and this will be honored completely for all AKURUM kitchens.
But if you want to buy cabinet parts or add on to your current kitchen, then hurry up: it sounds like IKEA is planning to discontinue AKURUM production at the end of 2014.
There are also third-party suppliers who can make doors for either AKURUM or SEKTION cabinets. I've worked with Semihandmade and they are great. Here's their info on the change:
→ Read more: Semihandmade and the New IKEA™ Kitchen
Should I Wait and Buy SEKTION Instead of AKURUM?
One more million dollar question: If you're planning a kitchen remodel, should you wait until SEKTION is released in February?
This is a tough question and really up to you. If there's something you see and like in the METOD photos (like the nicer internal fittings, for instance), it's not too long to wait. But if you're on a timeline, then know that AKURUM will be fully supported and warrantied just like the new system.
Read IKEA's FAQ on the Change
→ AKURUM/SEKTION Kitchen Information at IKEA
Stay tuned for more info, too, as the system rolls into stores in February. As soon as we get peeks of the actual cabinets and finishes we'll share here!
→ Read Apartment Therapy's take on the new system: The Inside Scoop on IKEA's New Kitchen Cabinet System: SEKTION