NORDLI Agricultural Industrial Hack

ikea nordli industrial hack

On first seeing the NORDLI range I was instantly drawn to the design. But on seeing them in the flesh there was an annoying gap as the top piece does not properly cover the drawers. I also wanted the piece to fit under the eaves in my loft space with some storage space for electrical equipment behind. It had to fit into the room’s design and look more like a piece of furniture rather than a modular section. It needed a hack.

Items Used:
  • NORDLI 4 Chest of Drawers (390.213.46)
  • FÖRBÄTTRA cover panel x 2 (402.978.86)
  • Spare Oiled Oak Flooring
  • Oak Decor Strips

First the drawers were assembled as per the instructions.

The unit was put roughly into place and leveled with the floor.

The top used some spare pieces of the flooring in the room. However even if you have to buy a pack of flooring it will be a lot cheaper than a solid wooden top.


The sections were put together and glued on top of the NORDLI top. Note they were not fixed to the unit at this point.

The ends of each plank were not perfectly lined up as they would be cut down later. Just make sure that the top is larger than you need.


To make it look more like a single piece of furniture two kitchen side panels were added (the FÖRBÄTTRA white is a good match for the NORDLI white).


These were cut down to match the height with a circular saw. The original 62cm depth was kept to provide a hidden recess behind the unit for cabling.

Notches were cut out to enable the sides to fit around the skirting board.

The sides were placed against the NORDLI unit and it moved until the sides were flush with the front of the drawers. This was easier than trying to measure it!

The side position was then marked as shown. The sides where then attached to the NORDLI using the screws provided. Remember to clamp the sides to the unit as you screw them on.

Holes were drilled through the NORDLI top to enable the wooden top to be fixed later.


The oversize top was placed on the unit to determine a pleasing overhang. This was about 2.5 cm each side.

The flooring was then cut upside down using a straight line template made from a piece of ply and timber. This ensures a perfect straight line. Cutting upside down ensures a clean finish with no ripping of the good side.

The finished top was then screwed on through the holes drilled previously through the NORDLI top

To finish an oak trim piece was mitred, pinned and glued to the front and sides. This is deep enough to cover both the flooring top and the original NORDLI top. I creates the illusion that the top is solid wood.


A quick wipe over with some Tung Oil completed the piece.

A small gap was left at the rear of the top to feed the cables down. Alternatively a hole could be cut over the hidden area.

The finished unit looks much more expensive than the original – yet even if you needed to purchase a pack of wooden flooring it is a really inexpensive enhancement.


~ by Simon Scotland