Tag Archive: IKEA

Jul 16

Kitchens & Bathrooms 2

Last weekend we went to the TOTO showroom to look at their bathrooms and kitchens.


More of the same.


Our renovator explained to us that while he was happy to let us buy Ikea and then have him install it, the Ikea 25 year warranty applied to precious few pieces of the kitchen under Japanese law.  In Japan, foreign companies are not allowed to sell plumbing, so all of Ikea’s pieces are TOTO and carry the same 1-year warranty.  Also, if a claim is made, Ikea will inspect and determine whether the problem was caused by improper installation.


With the Japanese pieces, the manufacturer does the installation, which means that it’s warranteed, no questions.


I was not that impressed with the unit bathrooms in the range we were looking.  I was expecting to be blown away, and I wasn’t.


Our bathroom is not square, which means that putting a unit bath in means that we end up losing space.  So I asked the URBAN guy to give us a quotation on installing a regular (tiled) bathroom.  Unfortunately, because of the reinforcement of the walls for the earthquake modifications, we would have to retile the entire room.  He will cost it out for us tomorrow, but he thought it would be 30% more than a unit bath.  However, if we do the tile method, we may not have to replace the current water heater, which will save us at least 150,000 Yen, so it might work out.






ADVANTAGES More space, bigger bathtub Cleaner, less maintenance, options (e.g. shelves, mirrors) included without us having to think about them
DISADVANTAGES Cold floor in winter, hard to keep grout clean, we need to come up with all the options we want. Cheap-looking, smaller tub


I wasn’t very impressed with their “powder room” sinks either, but I’m not sure what our options are.

Jul 10

Kitchens and Bathrooms 1

So last week we popped down to Yokohama station to the CLEANUP showroom to look at kitchens.  Apparently, this is the only place that our renovator can get discounts (40%).  I was flabbergasted.


The kitchen units look great and have all kinds of amazing options, but cost an arm and a leg (a basic corner kitchen unit with no options was going to run us 800,000+ yen) and, get this, are only guaranteed for 2 YEARS!


Which explains why most Japanese kitchens that I’ve seen that are over 10 years old look like crap.


It’s a bit of a slap to the face, isn’t it?  Can the westerners reading this imagine dropping a comparable amount of money ($10,000 CAD) on a kitchen and then being told that the workmanship was only covered for two years!?  Oh, and the faucets and electrics?  ONE YEAR!  My fucking computer has a longer warranty than that!  My camera has a longer warranty than that!


Solution?  Well, we’ll see if our renovator will go along with us, but it looks like our option is IKEA, at least for the kitchen (bathroom, we’ll probably have to go for a Japanese maker).  It will be cheaper, and it will be guaranteed for 25 years.  But, as I say, it depends on whether the renovator will agree.  It may be that the burden of the IKEA installation will fall more on him, which may not be desirable.  But we’re meeting with him tomorrow, and I think it behoves us to at least ask.