Installer damaged flatpack kitchen during install

Hi all. I got an installer to install a new IKEA flatpack kitchen and they damaged the bottom floor of the inside of the sink cabinet. The chipboard underneath is exposed. They want to just put white silicone over it to cover it up, and while I'm inclined to do this to save the huge hassle (and risk of further damage) of having to tear out part of the kitchen to replace it, I'm really unhappy to be patching with silicone on a brand new kitchen :/ The kitchen could have gone years without this happening, period.

Unfortunately I didn't notice this for over 2 weeks as I thought this was originally just garbage from a distance and I've already paid the installer, so I don't have withholding payment as leverage anymore…

Am I within my rights to demand the whole wooden board be replaced?



  • While it's not ideal, pulling the entire kitchen apart for that is just silly. I'd put epoxy on it rather than silicone.

    • Agreed. It is very minor, though not ideal.

    • I agree with the epoxy. It will be a storage area and may have things slid over it. Silicone may end up coming loose. But it does need to be patched, as it could get water in it from anything taht is put away, sink leak or drain leak.

  • Dude you're being quite unreasonable.

    It's at the back of the cupboard and you'll never see it.

    I'm the kind of person that gets upset at this kind of thing but you need to expect that things like this can happen.

    Just patch it over.

  • I understand you're upset because of the new-ness but it's not worth the hassle and the headache.
    Will you be looking at that defect every single day? Just cover it up with something.
    Along the way you will unknowingly damage some other stuff too.

  • +14 votes

    Thanks everyone - I made this post to reset my expectations on this so I appreciate the opinions.

    I will just get it patched.

    • Good on you for actually taking the forum feedback on board. So many people post here asking for advice and just rage at any response that doesn't work for them.

      Sorry typo it should be advise right 😆

  • Now you know why your trades person isn't a car detailer.

    Stuff like this happens. Just get some contact (sticky sheets of plastic people use to cover books amongst other things) to stick over it (avoid water getting in and destroying the board)

  • Am I within my rights to demand the whole wooden board be replaced?

    Not ideal for sure, but also these things 'happen', there are Laminate patch kits for these things. You can stick over the area to stop the water getting in or paint it or epoxy/silcone etc.

    As this is in a cupboard never to be seen again, I do think its unreasonable to pull the kitchen apart to replace the board. You'll end up with bigger issues.

  • Just silicone it yourself and move on.

  • You can get actual melamine repair goo though I've never seen it sold in Aust. Last time I bought it from the US, was about $40 delivered IIRC. I've never tried to patch something that large though, more just scratches and small chips.

  • As an alternative, why not have another white piece made to the interior dimensions of the cupboard and have it fitted over the existing piece and seal around the edges with white mould resistant silicone or no more gaps. You will lose about 10mm of height.

  • Looks like it's on the inside of the under sink cupboard?

    Pfft, totally not worth losing any sleep over.

  • Annoying for sure. Have a look at a melamine repair paint,

    • Looks promising! Is this ok to apply directly to the chipboard since the melamine layer is completely gone?

    • I've never got a tube of this stuff that wasn't dried out and useless. I don't think they sell much of it and it goes off with age.

  • the whole wooden board be replaced?


  • Could ask the installer to get a piece of thin melamine sheeting (often used in the back of some cheaper cupboards), cut to size and glued down over the damaged base. It will look like new.

    • Wouldn't recommend it. That stuff is usually MDF (and in my experience it's not actually a melamine backing, more a glossy paper sticker) and as this is an area that will potentially see moisture MDF will just fall apart if it gets wet.

  • White duct tape. Problem solved.

  • Use this to stick over the defect.

    It is the same material as the melamine that was chipped off.

  • Corgats on the new kitchen. I love my IKEA kitchen - there's something about going through the whole design process yourself that makes it so satisfying.
    Plus their appliances (ovens, microwaves) are great value.
    As others have said, patch it up with epoxy or contact.

  • There’s a product called seamfil, made exclusively for this purpose. Just google it.

  • After the patch up, you should consider lining it with clear plastic film. This gives it the area more protection over time and easier to wipe clean. Depending what goes under there, such as detergents, oils, pans, etc, a liner helps.

    I’ve lined all our cupboards with clear plastic cut to size. Yes it’s a pain, anal thing to do, but when I look at the drawers, cupboards, looks as good as new 9 yrs on.

  • This is due to their incompetence and ill care. The onus lies squarely upon their shoulders to rectify.
    They need to compensate you.

  • Yeah, a quick patch. You will have so many cleaners and other items in there, you'll never see it and you will forget about it within a few days.