IKEA Varde Wall Cabinet Hack




Ikea Varde wall cabinets are 27.5 inches wide. Most wall studs are 16 inches apart. Some, like our one wall are 24 inches apart, which is actually just right for the Varde wall cabinet hardware. We read several suggestions, including cutting out the wallboard, mounting a 2X4 onto the studs, replacing and patching the wallboard then continuing from there. That was a no go for us, since any number of things could go wrong, and end up in expensive repair. We decided on a different route, using plywood instead.

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Step 1: Plywood Base

We went to Home Depot and bought regular 3/4 inch plywood. You can get birch plywood, and if I had the option again, I would spend the extra money. We had Home Depot cut the board to the height we needed, and we cut the lengths ourselves, allowing an inch or so if needed.

We marked the studs on the wall. One wall had them 16 inches apart, and the adjoining wall had them at 24 inches apart. We measured from the corner, and marked our plywood accordingly, adding in markings for the Varde hardware supports. We did this by laying the plywood down on a flat surface (garage floor) with cabinets in position, aligning the tops of the cabinets flush to the topside of the plywood. Then we traced the Varde bracket positions onto the plywood using black Sharpie.

We then mounted the plywood onto the studs, and placed the IKEA bracket screws in their place, as well.

Step 2: The Wall

We hung the cabinets to make sure we had them measured correctly and to make sure they were level, before proceeding. As you can see a bit of the plywood shows under the cabinets. This is where I might consider going with the birch if I had the choice again. It only needs to be lightly varnished, and would look much more a part of the cabinetry.

The wall was then taped for caulking, priming, and painting the plywood. Due to the way the cabinets are mounted, we decided not to use the IKEA cabinet backs, which are white.

Step 3:

Since we decided to abut the cabinets on the two walls, a few minor adjustments needed to be made. The doors add about an inch depth to the cabinets, preventing us from totally adjoining the corner cabinets. After mounting the cabinets, you're ready to install, adjust the doors, and shelves.

Step 4:

To finish it off, we bought a piece of birch plywood to fill in the hole under the cabinets, and in between, to make it appear seamless.

I had decided to eventually move photos from our hallway to the kitchen. Since the overhang from the plywood ended up being more pronounced than we had anticipated, I decided to use that overhang for my first row of photos.

And now we just fill 'em up!



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    10 Discussions


    6 years ago on Introduction

    I'm sure sometimes you go through this stuff and you figure you'd do it differently "the next time", right?

    Here's a couple of things to consider, typical drywall is 1/2", almost always, so instead of surface mounting the wood, cut the drywall out to be filled with the wood that you are using. In addition, you don't need a piece that is the same size as the cabinet, some simple 1/2"x4" pine would go good in this situation. You could put one at the top and one at the bottom.Then your cabinets are all flush mounted and nothing will stick out.

    The other idea mentioned was the rail system. These are faster to put up, but not exactly flush to the wall, so something to consider.

    Also, typically when you install these cabinets, they are joined on the floor often in larger sections all together connected through the face frame. It then doesn't really matter how far apart your studs are when the weight is distributed across the entire structure.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    I've mounted kitchen cabinets in a similar way, and it definitely makes things a lot easier. Regarding Ikea cabinets specifically, they should come with a metal rail that you can mount to the studs, and then mount the cabinets to the rail using their sliding fasteners.

    Good thinking though!!

    1 reply

    7 years ago on Introduction

    Interesting. This highlights the different construction techniques between Europe and North America. I had never heard of "studs" in walls before I started to live here, nor had I heard about two-by-fours that are actually not quite two by four... Quirky ;-)

    1 reply

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    lol... almost all wood sizing in off by a half inch do to sanding and planing the ruff cut lumber at the mill. Im getting ready to get some wood milled that i took down on my property, gonna make a mantle and coffee table with it. Im getting it all ruff sawn and just smoothing the table top and top of the mantle so nothing i put on them falls over.. other than that, it will remain ruff sawn with all the knicks and dings and saw marks.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Hey PCAIRIC:
    The lumber used to be a true 2 x 4. I own a house built in 1880 in Arizona and up in the attic, you can see what is called "rough sawn" (meaning it is not sanded down like today's lumber and has a tendency to catch fire quickly). Our timbers in the attic are truly 2" x 4" but most of it is MUCH larger as the standard was to overbuild. There was far less engineering knowledge on the subject in the 1800's.

    What is behind those lovely walls in the Europeans buildings? We have always wondered when we stay in Prague. We see the internal demolition of the old buildings but never get to see the re-construction.

    1 reply

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Yeah, the old "Real" 2x4s werent sanded and planed, that is the reason for todays nominal sizes. I too had a house built back in 1901 and when I was repairing the damage from a really bad termite infestation, i ran into problems i hadnt thought of while putting up the drywall, it seems the old "2x4's didnt jibe well with todays 1.5x3.5" studs...lol I had to actually chisle down the old studs a half inch thinner. run the circular saw at 1/2" deep and make a cut like every 2 inches from top to bottom then pop out eacht little 2" section with a chisel oh the joys of owning an older house! lol

    Does your attic timbers have the big old wooden pegs joing them or did they use the old square nails?