We wanted an 80+ inch TV and looked at many commercial entertainment units and there were not many that would accept a TV this large. We wanted a ‘built-in’ look and custom cabinets were in the $5-7K range.
Here’s a look at our finished BESTÅ entertainment unit.
I started by laying out the cabinets with the BESTÅ Planner on the IKEA website. I built mine for a 82″ TV, but you’ll need to check the dimensions for your TV.
My cabinets are the 15″ deep BESTÅs under the TV and the 8″ deep BESTÅs everywhere else to give some difference in depth to add interest to the look.
Remove the baseboard on the wall where the cabinets will go.
Build platforms to place under the cabinets. I built mine out of 1×6″ MDF boards from Home Depot. The actual dimension of the 1×6″ board is 5 1/2″ and my baseboard was 5 1/4″, so this gave me a 1/4″ reveal on the base platforms after the baseboard is installed. My platform’s outside dimensions matched the IKEA BESTÅ cabinets exactly.
I placed the base cabinets on their platforms and clamped them together and measured for the top. I sandwiched two pieces of 3/4″ MDF together to form the top that was 1 1/2″ thick. The dimensions of the top were exactly the dimensions of the assembled cabinets. Since I don’t have a table saw, I had them cut at Home Depot where I bought the wood (no charge for them to do this). I finished this with edge banding.
The bookcases are just BESTÅ cabinets without doors. I used 1×2″ MDF trim boards to make face-frames for them to give them a more finished look. I painted them to match the cabinets. The face frame is attached with wooden biscuits, but you could use nails or even just glue it on if you can clamp it well.
The ‘bridge” across the top is six of the small, shallow BESTÅ cabinets screwed together. I installed them upside down so the threads that normally take the adjustable feet were used for a wood plate that held the cabinets together so they would stay aligned for installation.
However, the screws in the sides of the cabinet plus the wood plate on top was not enough to keep the cabinets from sagging in the middle about 1/4″ so I installed ‘L’ brackets at the top of the cabinets to hold them in position.
To make sure the bridge cabinets were straight, I used a ‘jury stick’ between the countertop of the bottom cabinets and bottom of the bridge to make sure they were straight and parallel to the base.
The crown is a 5 1/2″ MDF molding. Cutting crown correctly can be challenging for the inexperienced and I suggest you look at a few of the many tutorials on Youtube before you start cutting wood.
I attached all the cabinets to the wall using the BESTÅ locations in the cabinets. Then, I used the helical screw-in drywall anchors from Home Depot.
Since, I had some extra baseboard I pre-painted it and mitered it to the new base, caulked it and final painted it.
How long and how much did it cost?
I’m not a woodworker, so it took a while — probably about 30 hours total. (I could do it again for less than 20, I think) The IKEA doors, cabinets and hinges were about $1000. I spent another $100 for wood/fasteners at Home Depot
What do you like most about the hack?
It is pretty close to what I’d design if I was going to have a custom design from a cabinet shop, but a lot less money
What was the hardest part about hacking a BESTÅ entertainment unit?
I had to hire some help to install the bridge cabinets — I couldn’t lift 60 lbs to 7′ myself. Bit of a learning curve to cut crown molding.
What to pay special attention to?
Making sure the cabinets all align so the doors will align when you’re done.
And other thoughts/ comments that you have received about the hack.
I had to go to IKEA about three times to get everything I needed to finish. Inventory is spotty these days.