I love the clean and simple lines of the IKEA Godmorgon sink and wall cabinets for the bathroom. However, they can sometimes look a little standard or low grade. In this IKEA bathroom hack, we upgraded the look with a live-edge white oak countertop, chrome handles, Kohler top-mount sinks and wall-mounted Grohe faucets for a more luxurious look.
Materials and tools needed:
- Live edge wood (we used white oak)
- Heavy duty saw
- Sandpaper (heavy to fine grade)
- Electrical sander
- Polyurethane (oil based)
- Paint brush or roller
- Small L brackets and small screws
- Large L brackets and large screws or other heavy duty fixings
- Top mount sinks
- Wall-mounted faucets (can use top-mounted faucets, just need to cut an extra hole)
STEP 1: Buy all the necessary materials needed. Including finding a piece of live edge timber that you like and that will fit your IKEA Godmorgon cabinet. Many sawmills will cut the timber to size for you, and also kiln dry them. I’d recommend this, as we didn’t have ours kiln dried and we let it dry naturally in our garage for a number of weeks before we installed it, but it did warp and crack and we had to re-cut it to get it straight again.
TIP: Get your live edge timber kiln dried and cut to size at the sawmill
STEP 2: We chose a double vanity, but Godmorgon also comes in single vanity options. It’s available in black brown, white stained oak effect, brown stained ash effect, high gloss grey, high gloss white (which we used) in modern flat front cabinets. They also sell traditional style fronts Kasjon Godmorgon is dark grey, light grey and white options. They also have a very interesting dimensional high gloss white front – Resjon white.
For these instructions we’ll refer to the double vanity high gloss white option that we chose. Cut out the holes for your sinks. For this you will need a heavy duty saw to go through the wood. We chose a thick piece of wood (about 3”) and it was very difficult to cut through it. We hired a heavy duty saw from The Home Depot as our jigsaw wasn’t strong enough to cut through it.
TIP: Make sure you use the templates that come with your sinks to mark the cutouts for the holes. And make sure the sink is positioned where the water will fall from wherever you are placing the faucets. If you chose a counter mounted faucet, don’t forget to leave enough space at the back of the sink for it.
STEP 3: Now you have the live edge slab cut, it’s time to sand and seal it. It’s probably easier to use an electrical sander with a rough grade to start with (around 80), then work your way up to a fine grade sandpaper (around 180). Keep sanding along the grain to remove all rough edges and make it as smooth as silk. Once you’re happy with the smoothness, make sure you remove all dust from the slab. I’d recommend vacuuming it, then finishing with a lint free cloth. Now you’re ready to seal it.
I’d recommend using an oil-based polyurethane, as it tends to sink into the grain better than a water-based polyurethane. It does however color the wood more than a water-based polyurethane would. Test a small area underneath first before you commit to the whole thing. Once you’re happy with the look, apply three coats according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
TIP: If you wanted to stain your timber, do that before applying the polyurethane, and test it underneath or on a scrap piece first.
STEP 4: Congratulations! You’re now ready to install your sink cabinet! Word of caution, the live edge timber countertop can be extremely heavy, so I would highly recommend extra support for it in addition to the cabinet. I would also recommend you find the studs to fix it to, if you have a wood-built house. Or using heavy duty fixings for other wall constructions types. (Please consult a professional contractor.)
We installed ours on the studs and used extra L-shaped brackets underneath to support it further. We also used small L-shaped brackets to attach the countertop to the cabinet.
TIP: Make sure your screws aren’t longer than the cabinet is thick, otherwise your screws will poke out of the side of the cabinet.
To install the faucets and sinks we hired a professional plumber for this, as this was beyond our skillset. So I’ll skip over this part.
STEP 5: The last part is installing the handles (if you chose to). Godmorgon cabinets don’t come with any handles, which looks very minimalist, and you could certainly stick with this. We chose to apply long chrome handles in a minimalist design to add a bit of extra detail in this IKEA bathroom hack. I think you’ll agree they make them look high-end!
For this, just mark the center on the back of the cabinet and mark the drill holes by using either the template that your handles came with, or the handle itself. Double and triple check these measurements are accurate before drilling to make sure you don’t mess up your cabinet fronts. Once you’re satisfied they’re in the right place, drill slowly from the back then screw the handles in place.
TIP: Place some painters tape over where the holes will be drilled on the front of the cabinet, this helps to stop the cabinet material splintering off. Also starting with a small drill bit, then working up to the correct size also helps keep the splintering down to a minimum.
Finished! You now have a unique and high-end look with this IKEA bathroom hack!
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