Thursday, September 03, 2015

Ikea GRUNDTAL Cart Review

At some point, one gets tired of staring at a 10-20 year old bathroom cabinet with its white surface treatment peeling off on all sides. One may even feel a bit queasy about having to put pick up a pack of floss off that peeling, broken surface daily. Eventually, the question is asked: if I can afford to replace this thing, why is it still here?
Assembled Ikea GRUNDTAL Cart
Ikea GRUNDTAL Cart US$ 59.99 (CAD$ 49.99)

In 33 seconds: Ikea GRUNDTAL Cart Assembled
Ikea GRUNDTAL Cart Close-up Look

For some reason, this GRUNDTAL cart took about an hour to put together. If you've seen the instructions, you'd also wonder why. There were like six short steps and only a dozen or so screws. Probably because I had to stop a few times for photography but I was still kicking myself for taking so long afterward -- oh wait, I'm doing it now.

Peeled Open Box of Ikea GRUNDTAL Cart

Anyway, I unpacked all of the steel tubes and parts from the cardboard package, laid everything out, then followed the instructions. Tubes were screwed together, trays were stacked, and wheels were mounted. The only confusing part was figuring out the orientation of the side walls. Screw holes on one side looked different that the other. There appeared to be something about it in the instructions but the drawing didn't match what I was looking at perfectly. I think I got it right?

Everything else was shockingly easy. I was expecting to have to securely mount the trays onto the cart but ended up just dropping everything in. The sound of steel scraping on steel has been tattooed into my memory.

One "modification" I made was removing the wheels or casters. They were very nice and having an easy to roll cart was amazing. However, I put it in a place where I didn't want it to move easily.

Final note, the post-assembly wipe-down revealed a lot of dirt...

With the wheels attached, I thought the cart felt reasonably stable when empty. There was some weight to it, even when bare, and it was short enough that I didn't feel like it wanted to easily flip over. No idea how it'd perform fully loaded or when handled aggressively -- I was really gentle and rolled it barely a few meters. The cart itself, wheels off, felt pretty solid with all the screws tightened too.

Expandability / Customizability
GRUNDTAL appears to be a pretty big line of products with similar designs. Buy more GRUNDTAL stuff?

How was it?
I bought this to replace a really old and disgusting particleboard (maybe fiberboard) shelf that was bought well over a decade ago. The idea of a stainless steel shelf that wouldn't rust easily or have paint peeling off of it was very appealing -- especially in a moist bathroom environment. At about CA$ 50, the GRUNDTAL cart fit the bill for what I was looking for. Even better, it was sized almost exactly the same as the shelf that it was replacing.

Ikea GRUNDTAL Cart almost done putting together

Switching shelves also gave me an excuse to clear out a lot of expired bathroom and hygiene products. Unfortunately, digging deep revealed some pretty disgusting stains in the back of that old cabinet. Some of those stains looked permanent. I'm hoping that if these stains reoccur, the removable and stainless steel shelves of the GRUNDTAL would make it easier to clean up. The Ikea Canada and United States product pages for this item noted that the "Main parts/ Shelf" were "stainless steel." I didn't see anything about lacquer and I don't think I saw any lacquer on any of the parts. Hopefully, there isn't because I bought a LILLHOLMEN mirror a while back that did have a layer of lacquer over steel for some reason.

One thing I didn't like that much about the GRUNDTAL cart was the plastic tray on top. Three steel shelves, one plastic tray? I can sort of see why: the tray was divided into separate compartments to help with sorting. Manufacturing a steel tray like that would likely have been much more difficult. However, a flat tray just like the others on the GRUNDTAL would have been fine for me. Another minor complaint was that the upper shelf, below the tray, seemed to be on the short side. I could barely fit some smaller containers in there. Another few inches would have been good.

Otherwise, after throwing out all of the stuff we know we didn't use anymore, there was plenty of room left on the GRUNDTAL cart. The open, wall-less nature of it was also appreciated because it wouldn't allow us to just keep cramming more and more useless items into the back.

Brand new, clean, stainless steel cart replacing a really old, wood-ish cabinet with a peeling surface treatment. All for about $50. Ya, I'm pretty satisfied. There were some minor design complaints about a short shelf and a plastic tray but nothing too big.

Have a Question?
Sorry, I don't directly reply to comments on this site. If you're asking about the height of the cart, please check the comments section for the video linked above. It's been asked and answered. Please post other questions using the YouTube comments section.


  1. Hi can I ask if you did not install the wheels how much the height of the cart would be? Also if the plastic thing on top seems slider wider than the cart itself? is it so and by how much?
    I cannot go in a store to check myself. thanks

  2. I need a cart that's 28"H max. Can you please tell me what the height of this cart is without the wheels. thanks!