The Bathroom Cabinets (1/3)

Brooke here.  I have all of these pictures and blog post ideas ready, and then I realize I should probably, you know, actually write them.

Let’s start with the posts about the bathroom cabinets.  This is the first in a three-part series, with audible screaming.

When we started planning the bathroom renovation, we priced out what we needed.  A local company said that two cabinets and a vanity would come to slightly less than five thousand dollars in the sizes we needed.  We sputtered and choked and fled.

Now, Brown and I are members of the Ikea Generation.  Flat-packed furniture holds no terrors: our entire bedroom and living room sets were delivered via Overstock and assembled with an Allen wrench.  We watch a lot of DIY Network (because DisasterHouse) and they recommend ready-to-assemble cabinetry if you are on a budget.   Hey, we’re on a budget!  Bingo, bango, sugar in the gas tank, let’s buy these things online.

Because the company recommended/funded/sponsored/etc. by DIY Network didn’t have the sizes we needed, I began checking other RTA cabinet companies.  Now, I’d like to remind everyone that I am a professional researcher.  All I do is locate information and write it up in tidy white papers (industry term, not actual object; it’s digital on my end and they can print it out on colored oaktag for all I care).  It’s usually very boring, but my Google-Fu is exceptional and I can spot a bullflop site from three links over.  I tell you this so you’ll know that I did my due diligence before I placed the order; I not only checked with the Better Business Bureau to conform this company was real and located in California, but I called the National Kitchen and Bath Association to make sure they were members, as the company’s website claimed.  Got it?  Got it  Let’s move on.

The lack of labels should have been a tip-off.  "Do not feed after midnight" should have been a minimum requirement.
The lack of labels should have been a tip-off. I would have felt better with even a small “Do not feed after midnight.”

The website said it would take about 20 minutes to assemble each cabinet, so Brown planned for two hours, just in case.  He begins by carefully out all of the pieces of the cabinets, then calls me in to inspect our new quality “all wood” products.

This is a good time to mention that I left my camera out in the rain and all pictures are literally phoned in.
This is a good time to mention that I left my camera out in the rain and all pictures are literally phoned in.

ME: …

BROWN: Technically, pressboard is all wood.

ME: …

BROWN: So these are all wood, except for the plastic laminate.

ME: … are you even sure that’s plastic?

BROWN: Nope, but I am sure it isn’t wood.

I go back into my office to find out what the company’s return policies cover.  Okay, I can return them if I am dissatisfied with the quality, good… Products need to be in original packaging?  Bad, but I suppose we can repair the boxes… Oh, I have to pay for return shipping?  Bad.  And a 25% restocking fee?  And the sales and discounts I found are not applied to the restocking fee?   So my total refund would be about a third of the entire purchase price?

Brown calls me in again.  I tell him we’re stuck with the cabinets, so he needs to make sure they are as solid as possible when they’re assembled.  He blinks, then hands me the assembly instruction sheet he’s just found.

Worth a thousand words, English or Chinese, your choice.
Worth a thousand words, English or Chinese, your choice.

And then I think I went to go buy liquor,  because while it is a bad idea to mix power tools and alcohol ninety-nine times out of a hundred, that hundredth time is absolutely mandatory.

Fortunately my husband enjoys both carpentry and puzzles.  It took two days but he eventually had all of the cabinets assembled so they looked factory-perfect.  Then my contractor does a dry fit for the cabinets and tells me the two tall pantry cabinets are about six inches too deep.  We have two choices; we can either go into the wallboard and studs and set the cabinets into the walls by three inches, or…

And the second post in this series is about how we broke down the assembled cabinets and cut them to size.

3 thoughts on “The Bathroom Cabinets (1/3)

  1. Ok, this is my worst nightmare. And honestly why we actually sucked it up and went with Ikea for our kitchen. Can’t wait for the next post.

  2. Dear lord. I paid a lot for my kitchen and installing it, and my single bathroom cabinet was quite expensive. But right now I’m so glad… My symphaties.

  3. This isn’t about cabinets, but shelves.

    Recently, my spouse and I moved into The Last House. We could order wonderful wooden bookshelves at ~$350 per case. Or we could get wooden Ikea bookshelves at $130 per bookcase. Long story short, we seriously considered the “wonderful” ones–until we read that they were shipped flat and “easy to assemble.” So we got the wooden Ikea ones. Not perfect, but I’m always amazed when people whine about Ikea. Maybe if I had $1200 per book case I’d do things differently, but 1,070 buys a lot of books…

    In any event, GOOD LUCK!

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