An IKEA hack is one which involves using items purchased from IKEA and using it in ingenious ways which it was not intended to do so to achieve a means. Today we are going to look into installing IKEA Utrusta hinges on BESTA storage cabinets, so the doors can open vertically upwards instead of sideways.
My journey starts with using IKEA BESTA as a base unit. Notable, it is one of IKEA’s best-selling and affordable living storage solutions. Also, it is one of the most versatile modular storage units. Also, it can be configured to be placed on the floor, stacked, wall mounted, you name it. However, when it comes to door hinges, I noticed that BESTA has discontinued their official line of vertical hinges, leaving consumers stuck with only side opening hinges.
My quest for BESTA vertical hinges
Moreover, vertical hinges allows you to open doors upwards. Additionally, I needed a vertical door for the ease of opening of a top mounted cabinet. So that I could open my doors safely by design, and without coming in range of my ceiling fan blades. Also, access to my upper shelving unit be more easily accessible via an upward lifting cabinet door.
Furthermore, in my search, I discovered that IKEA also has a line of kitchen storage solution as part of their METOD line of shelves & drawers. These units looks surprisingly similar to the cheaper BESTA range and uses a separately branded UTRUSTA range of door solutions.
IKEA Utrusta hinges on BESTA cabinets
In a nutshell, METOD offers shelving solutions as well as this hinge for their kitchen doors. Also, the UTRUSTA is mainly meant for IKEA line of kitchen storage solutions, where they are able to take heavy wooden doors in the excess of 80cm by 40cm with ease. Notable, the hinges are also able to take on doors with heavier glass panels too. Hence, this makes the UTRUSTA hinge a rather versatile vertical hinge indeed.
Additionally, each UTRUSTA hinge comes with two hinge units priced at $40 per set. They come with two self-sprung arms with a clip on arm. This allows you to mount the main power unit into your storage casing and separately mount the arm clips onto your doors. One $40 set is required per upward swinging door.
Test fitting the doors
Furthermore, the UTRUSTA spring unit also has a rather heavy damper which activate as you are about to completely shut the door. This allows you to close the door without slamming. Also, when closed, the weight of the doors holds the unit shut. A light tilt lift of the door open activate the spring unit and the door opens up wards automatically.
Also, you can adjust the speed of which the door lift by adjusting a spring weight screw on either of the unit itself. This prevents mishaps such as your door from immediately springing outward when opened.
Working out the door weight numbers, bringing these two together. The UTRUSTA vertical hinges are able to take BESTA cabinet doors as they are actually similar in size and weight of the METOD doors. But some adaption is required due to the lack of mounting points. So let’s start hacking this IKEA hack today!
Mocking up the fit
I used double-sided tape to hold the door the arms for a test fit. When closed, the doors sits flushed to your case body. Hence it gives the unit a rather clean exterior look without any handles. Setting the hinge arm involves some bit of trial and error. Also, for the cabinet unit you need any additional mount 3mm hole about 8.5cm from the top.
Additionally, you need to mark 2 mounting holes from each swing arm. Which means 4 holes per door. The center of these holes are located 8.5cm and 12cm from the outer longer edge of your BESTA door. Also, both of these holes are located 3 cm from the outer shorter (height) of your door.
Through a series of test-fitting, I found this mounting position allows the arm and door to sit nearly flush from the outside. This allows you to lift the door without knocking into the cabinet body, and also allows the doors to be fully shut without any visible gaps from the sides.
Pulling out the tools
Now to secure the arms in place. The good news is that this hack does not involve any form of intense woodworking, just some simple marking and small-hole drilling. As the drilling is a rather evasive move, and as the saying goes measure twice, cut once. Or in this case, drill once.
Moreover, the challenge is to adapt the UTRUSTA mounting points to that of the BESTA. Also, considering that BESTA doors are designed to be opened sideways and not upwards.
Hence one side of the door has this circular cut outs which eats into the mounting point of one side of the door. I filled these areas with concrete putty which allows me to drill into them securely after. Additionally, from your marking holes, it be recommended to drill pilot-holes on where you intend to mount the arm clips. Thereafter use regular wood screws to bolt the arm hinges securely into both ends of each door.
Adjusting the fit
Also, if your doors do not fit perfectly after securing them in. The good news is that the clip-on arm unit has about half a centimeter of free-play adjustment. Also, this allows you to fine tune your door position and correct any minor misalignment. This ensures that your door is closed flushed to your storage case frame.
Lastly, the good thing is that all the mounting points are hidden inside the interior of the doors. So you won’t be able to see the mounting areas or arms when the door is closed.
Finally, and there you have it. All in all, hope you like this hack, merging the best of BESTA and UTRUSTA all in our package to achieve a goal which they are not designed to do so. Now that’s an IKEA hack.