Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Retrofitting Ikea cabinet door dampers to old Ikea cabinets and non-Ikea cabinets

I recently went to Ikea to buy a new cabinet, and noticed that all of their display models now have these soft-close dampers that prevent the cabinet door from slamming. The damper catches the door as it closes, and allows it only to close the last couple inches very slowly. Ikea sells the door dampers ("Integral Door Damper" 2/$4.99) separately from the cabinets. I wondered if the dampers could be adapted to my existing Ikea cabinets. I bought some and found that old-style Ikea hinges can easily be modified to accomodate the dampers.

Left: Old-style Ikea hinge Center: New-style Ikea hinge Right: Door damper

Note that the hole between the adjustment screws in the new hinge is very rectangular, while the hole in the old-style hinge is rounded. The door damper needs to mount in a rectangular hole.
Less than one minute with a Dremel and 1/8" carbide die grinder bit made the hole in the old hinge much more rectangular.

The door damper snaps into the rectangular hole and works perfectly.


Next, I thought that I might be able to use the door dampers for non-Ikea cabinets and also Ikea cabinets that do not use the standard 125* hinge.

I started by making some mounting brackets out of shelving support rod. This stuff shows up in every hardware store. I used a milling machine to cut the pattern out, but it would certainly be possible to use a dremel. The large rectangular hole matches the size of the hole in Ikea's hinges.Next, I mounted the bracket to the interior of the cabinet with two screws. The top-side of this particular cabinet would not allow such mounting, so I mounted it on the bottom.

Snap the door damper into place, and voila! The door now closes silently. This method would work for nearly any kind of cabinet. The dampers cost only $2.50/each from Ikea, and the homemade mounting brackets are even less expensive.

7 comments:

  1. Thank you for the post! You're a life saver!

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  2. I know this is an old post but I just went through this last night and I figured I would do the same. I'm glad to know it works.

    I just bought a house that has STAT yellow cabinets which Ikea doesn't make anymore. I also have the old hinges. When I inquired about the 25 year warranty (like how would they replace something they don't make anymore) they said I would need proof of purchase of the cabinets in order to get the warranty. I'm starting to not like Ikea.

    Thanks for the tips!

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  3. Anonymous, I wish that I could buy more matching cabinets and countertops for my house too. The style has been discontinued, so the only option is to find them used or live with mismatched cabinets.

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  4. Thanks for this thorough info and photos Ben. I am most grateful and can't wait to get started on my retrofit project! (Someone just gifted me with bunch of Ikea dampers because they over-bought for their reno. Nice ;-)

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  5. Any luck with retrofitting the drawer dampers? Great help thank you

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  6. Just bought a house that we found out has the older style hinges when we tried to add current dampers. So glad to have found this. The house doesn't have soft-close drawers either; do you know if drawers from the same time had different hardware as well, or will the currently available ones from Ikea work and just be added to the rails?

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