I have built most IKEA products, from simple bedside tables to large, complex wardrobes. I have seen the best and worst that IKEA have to offer (there really isn't much of the latter). However, the complexity of some items can be a massive challenge for a lot of people.
Here are my 5 most difficult to assemble products from IKEA, in no particular order.
Stuva Loft Bed
Mid sleepers are great when you have limited space and the Stuva loft bed is fab, it has lots of storage space and even a desk with drawers, but it is big, really big. It is also very heavy. You will need two people to assemble it. You will also need a fair amount of space in which to assemble it in.
Plus, because this bed so large you need to carefully plan how you are going to assemble it before you start. To make matters worse, there are multiple sets of instructions for different sections of the bed. There isn't just one set of instructions to tell you where to start and finish.
However, once assembled correctly, you will be super proud of yourself for building it and your kid will absolutely love it!
Like the Stuva loft bed, the problematic part of assembling this wardrobe is the multiple sets of instructions. If you have chosen a wardrobe with two doors and three drawers you will need to plan what order to do things before you start assembling anything. If the wardrobe simply has two doors and a hanging rail, all is well. Well, almost. This particular wardrobe frame is very simple to build as the back panel simply slides into place. However, because the back panel isn't “fixed” to the top, bottom or sides it can be quite unsteady and will need to be secured to the wall. This will require an electric drill and the correct wall fixings.
Wardrobes are never the easiest item to put together, mainly because they are so large. But a wardrobe where you can choose both the width and height of it, how many doors it has, the type of doors it uses (hinged or sliding) and what interior accessories it has can be a step too far for most DIY assemblers.
Now don't get me wrong, PAX wardrobes are great! And I personally think they are one of the best wardrobes on the market. They are stylish, affordable and customisable. The fact that they are customisable is what makes them so great.
However, what makes the PAX wardrobe system so good is the same thing that makes it so complicated to assemble. These wardrobes come in many parts which you have to choose when ordering. For example there are the frames. Multiple frames are fixed together to create the body of the wardrobe. Then there are the doors. You may have to drill holes in the hinged doors for the handles. The sliding doors are even worse because they also need to assembled and a pair of sliding doors consist of over 40 pieces (and that doesn't include the fixings!). You can also choose what interior accessories you want, such as drawers, baskets, lighting and shelves. You will need to plan the location of all of these items before you assemble and install them. Read my PAX Wardrobe Blog for more information about all the different components that make up the PAX range.
Just like the Stuva range, each of these different parts have their own instructions, there is not one master set of instructions available to tell you where to start and finish.
Nordli Chest of Drawers
Chest of drawers should be pretty straight forward to assemble right? Well, not when it comes to the Nordli drawers. These drawers are available in a few designs, but because they are modular you can add extra sections or extra drawers. This means, like the other items you have just read about, there are different sets of instructions for different parts of the drawers. Plus some drawers are wide and some are narrow. Finally to throw some extra confusion into the mix, the narrow drawers can sit on top or below the wide drawers. Nordlis are so confusing!
The Platsa wardrobe system is similar to the PAX system, but lacks the quality and finish of the PAX. As such it is slightly cheaper. It is however more versatile with regards to shape and size as frames can be stacked on top of each other or fixed next to each other.
Like the Stuva wardrobe, the back isn't “fixed” to the frame so you will need to secure the wardrobe frames to the wall using an electric drill and suitable fixings. Tip: Make sure the frames are level before fixing them to the wall.
This system has many different size frame options allowing you to utilise unusual shaped areas for storage, such as in a loft room where the ceiling slopes (See image). However, you will need to be extremely well organised when assembling any storage system with multiple frames of differing sizes. Plus to make matters worse you can chose to have doors, drawers or open sections.
You will also need to choose the correct feet for your design. The standard frames come with round flat feet which can be adjusted to allow for a slightly uneven floor and work well on a laminate floor. However, they may not offer enough height for a carpeted floor and the doors/drawers may “drag” on the carpet. In this instance you may need some taller feet.
The complexity of this system is what makes the Platsa range difficult to assemble.