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IKEA Furniture | Can It Be Reassembled?

IKEA is currently one of the biggest furniture manufacturers in the world. They are popular for their affordable furniture, with some of their pieces costing half the price offered by their competitors.  

One of the reasons they are able to sell furniture at lower prices is their flatpack packaging. Most IKEA furniture pieces are made for at-home installation, and while this is common knowledge, there have been contentions on whether the furniture can be disassembled and reassembled again.

IKEA furniture can be taken apart and reassembled. However, this is not recommended. Joins and hardware can be damaged or lost, respectively, and the materials can strip or crack. Reassembling the item would be more difficult than the initial assembly, and the piece is likely to be less stable than before.

How Is IKEA Furniture Put Together?

Since IKEA furniture parts aren’t self-adhesive, connection hardware is used to join them together. 

The furniture typically comes with connection hardware like screws, dowels, bolts, cam nuts, nails, pins, support brackets, anchors, washers, and other small parts. 

The hardware required for a piece of furniture would depend on the material(s) being joined and its orientation. 

For instance, wooden dowels are only appropriate for joining wood-to-wood connections and would not be appropriate for metal-to-wood connections. 

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After the furniture has been assembled, items like dressers, drawers, cabinets, and wardrobes that are prone to tipping over are attached to the wall. The process involves screwing the furniture assembly to wall joists with the help of support brackets. 

Items like floating shelves are also attached to the wall with the help of suspension brackets. 

Although glue isn’t required for IKEA furniture installations, some people apply glue to joints to prevent wobbling and to achieve a stronger hold. 

Is Disassembling the Furniture Easy?

Disassembling IKEA furniture isn’t as easy as you would want it to be. In fact, some items like the PAX Wardrobe and the BESTA TV Storage Unit have been reported to be very difficult to take apart.

The level of ease/difficulty varies from one piece of IKEA furniture to the next. 

Factors that determine how easy the furniture is to disassemble include:

  • How the parts are joined, how the furniture is installed (is it attached to the wall?).
  • The number of parts/compartments and the presence of moving parts. 
  • The size of the furniture.
  • The location of connection hardware. 
  • The design of the furniture, etc.

Disassembling IKEA furniture is basically going through the process of assembling the furniture in reverse. So, if you did the assembling yourself, you should have an idea of the steps required to take it apart and how many connecting parts need to be removed. 

In its bid to make furniture more sustainable, IKEA recently introduced disassembling instructions for its popular products like the BILLY Bookcase, POÄNG Chair, LYCKSELE Sofa bed, MALM Desk, BRIMNES Bed, and PAX Wardrobe.

Alternatively, if you have the assembling instructions, you can use them as a guide, starting with the last step in the manual. 

The key to a seamless disassembling process is having the necessary items handy and taking out the pieces one at a time, so as not to get overwhelmed by the process.

Man disassembling a white crib using a screwdriver

Taking Apart and Reassembling Is Not Recommended

Although the ability to disassemble IKEA furniture offers the convenience of movement and storage, it is advised that you avoid recurrently disassembling furniture pieces and only take furniture apart when it is absolutely necessary. 

Even if you are moving, try to keep the pieces whole.

This is because the process of disassembling and reassembling a piece of furniture places undue strain on its components, leading to issues like loose connection points, weakened fasteners and joints, missing installation hardware, and defected or damaged furniture parts. 

Problems With Reassembling IKEA Furniture

Small Parts May Be Missing

IKEA furniture features an array of small parts like screws, nut sleeves, can lock nuts, hinges, shelf pins, dowels, glides, etc. 

If you’ve ever worked with small parts, you probably can attest to the fact that they always seem to have legs of their own. 

Bigger parts like wooden boards and metal rails are impossible to miss even from a distance.

But because of the number of small parts used for the assembly and their size, they can go missing and you wouldn’t even notice until you are taking stock of the parts or when you need them to reassemble the furniture.  

One way to prevent this from happening is to keep them in a secure location like a bowl or Ziploc bag immediately after removing them from the assembly. 

Keeping screws and other small parts in a ziploc bag or a bowl and a man screwing screws in a wooden board

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However, that doesn’t completely eliminate the possibility of losing parts, because they can slip from your hands while removing them or transporting them to the bowl. 

Materials Can Split or Break

One downside of IKEA furniture is that the materials aren’t always top-tier. As a result, some of the parts aren’t impact-resistant and might not fare well when placed under undue pressure. 

The furniture material and how the parts are joined would determine how they react to being reassembled. 

For instance, most of the wooden furniture items produced by IKEA are made from particle board rather than solid wood. 

Over the years, there have been complaints about the poor durability of particleboard furniture items. So, if the product is already wearing out and you exert more strain on its parts while disassembling or reassembling them, wooden components can crack or even split. 

Newer items can also respond negatively to the reassembling process, especially if it involves activities that put strain on furniture elements.

To limit the possibility of accidental damage to material components while reassembling furniture parts, carefully remove/install the parts one step at a time. 

Stripped/Stretched/Enlarged Connection Points

One of the issues homeowners experience while disassembling IKEA furniture is damaged screws and connection hardware. 

Customers have reported nicks, stripping, breakage, and other forms of defects in connection parts while taking apart IKEA furniture.

Minor issues like nicks wouldn’t affect the functionality of the part. However, if you experience stripping or breakage, you might have to purchase replacements

Some of the causes of defects in connection parts include: 

  • Tightly fitted connection parts.
  • Applying too much pressure while taking out parts.
  • Using harmful tools to remove parts or using drills at high-speed settings.
  • Inexperience.

Depending on the furniture material, removing connection parts can also lead to enlarged connection points.

When this happens, you might have to create new connection points while reassembling the furniture and if that’s not possible, the connection would be loose. 

Drilling to a wooden board

Tips for Disassembly

  • Clear the surrounding area and remove nearby abrasive elements that can cause damage to the furniture. 
  • If the furniture is movable, carry it to a spacious, well-lit location. 
  • Carefully take out the parts and sort them out as you go. 
  • Do not rush through the process. Instead, work slowly so that you do not accidentally damage fragile components.
  • Avoid using harmful tools on the furniture. 
  • Make a video recording of the process so that it can guide you when you’re reassembling it. Alternatively, you can take pictures to document the different stages of the process. 
  • Use the assembly instruction in reverse if you do not have access to the disassembling manual. 
  • Keep assembly hardware and small parts in a secure location. 
  • Do not exert too much pressure on furniture parts while removing them. 
  • Only disassemble the necessary parts. 
  • Keep track of all the pieces. 
  • Label the parts with painter’s tape and a sharpie before disassembling the furniture.
  • For furniture with multiple sections, label the small parts according to where they are installed. This way, you do not have to sort through the parts during reassembly. 
  • If the furniture has storage compartments, ensure that there is nothing in them before you begin. 
  • Lay big vertical furniture like wardrobes horizontally for easier access to the parts. 
  • Remove doors and other moving parts before disassembling other parts of the furniture. 


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