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Ikea Kitchen Trim Obstacles: Creating A Box Around the Fridge

I'll admit that trimming out an Ikea kitchen makes me nervous and Jason will say he simply doesn't like it. Today, I'll attempt to describe how we trimmed out around the refrigerator. Let me add a disclaimer, this was a fairly difficult project and while we are attempting to explain it, if you are confused or have questions, message us!

In our previous kitchens, we boxed out the refrigerator with cabinets requiring no trim work and making it very simple. If you want an easy Ikea trim out around the fridge, just order the tall cabinet(s) and the 36-inch wide refrigerator wall cabinet.

The refrigerator trim in our current kitchen was a little more challenging for two reasons:

1. Our upper Ikea refrigerator cabinet wasn't the same width as our refrigerator. Initially, we were planning to buy and install a full sized refrigerator beside a full sized freezer, so we didn't purchase the above refrigerator upper cabinent that would run the length of a standard width fridge. The full sized fridge and full sized freezer are not standard refrigerator width. We (I) got cold feet at the last minute on the purchase of a full sized refrigerator and full sized freezer, but also were trying a make up a little in the budget. (FYI: From a space and storage standpoint, we regret not purchasing these.)

2. Open Shelving / Wall of Tile: One side of the refrigerator houses our open-shelving, wall of tile. This option did not give Jason a typical upper cabinet to help with stability and installation of the refrigerator panel

Here's How We Created Our Box:

Materials you'll need: 2 full-sized refrigerator panels from IKEA // nails // Ikea cabinet install screws // liquid nail glue

Tools needed: 100 tooth saw blade (this is a game changer) // miter saw // nail gun // saw horse // level // clamps

1. We removed the previously hung Ikea refrigerator upper wall cabinet and pulled out the refrigerator. We trimmed down the two Ikea refrigerator panels to fit the length / width of our cabinets and refrigerator. After the measuring, this step really requires two adults. In our case, Jason fed the panel through the saw and I stood back to make sure that it fed smoothly through and rested on the saw horse.

2. We installed the Ikea panel alongside the upper and lower cabinets, according to Ikea instructions.

3. In the case of a wall of tile / floating shelving, here is how we proceeded. We attached the lower portion of the panel according to Ikea instructions. For the upper portion, Jason:

A. Installed 2x4 blocking inside the box to give stability and a source of attachment. Make sure that its level before you perminately attach it to the wall.

B. Nailed the Ikea fridge panel along the outside of the panel toward the concealed blocking (this is behind the fridge) to stabilize the Ikea panel. These nail holes will be covered by the tile.

4.Create the facing. Jason cut down an Ikea filler piece to the facing size needed. We've found the 100 tooth saw blade really makes a clean cut, so we highly recommend having a quality saw blade, like the 100 tooth. The goal was to not have any visible nail holes because with IKEA facing, you can't really fill in nail holes and paint Ikea filler pieces. In order to accomplish no visible nail holes, Jason first glued a trimmed 2x4 to the panel. He kept this in clamps until the glue fully cured. He then screwed in the blocks from behind, much like IKEA recommends installing their face pieces to the side of cabinets.

5. Jason screwed the facing into the Ikea panel following the Ikea instructions. (Again, screw from inside the 2x4s and into the Ikea panel)

6. Jason added another 2x4. He attached this to the original 2x4 but also attached it to the Ikea panel). This enhanced stability.

7. We hung the refrigerator cabinet back on the Ikea rail system in order to install the 3rd and final trim piece. This piece was added to the bottom of the refrigerator cabinet in a similar method as the above side trim peices. Jason cut a 2x4 the length of the fridge cabinet and installed it to the bottom of the cabinet. (Remember, the screws go in from the 2x4 side into the refrigerator cabinet) The trimmed panel piece was glued, screwed and clamped to the 2x4. Again, screw from the back of the 2x4 and into the panel face so that no screws show.

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