IKEA kitchen import

As I have previously mentioned, I imported an Ikea kitchen (and bathroom) into NZ from Australia.

A month on from completion (barring the tiling) I thought I would update everyone on the experience.

There have only been two problems so far…

1/. We didn’t put any oil for the oak tops in the container, I’d had enough of Ikea after spending two days in there and I figured my partner could pick up a can next time she was over in Australia. In theory this was fine, but she declared the can when she was checking in and they wouldn’t allow it on the flight and odds on they would have picked it up when checking luggage – it’s flamable.

So no oil. I thought that shouldn’t be a problem, finding some food grade oil for a wooden kitchen top should be easy right? Well no, it’s actually not been that easy at all. None of the easily available oils – Tung, Linseed, etc are not food grade, in fact they are toxic.

In the end I found an oil online, ‘Osmo Top Oil‘, sold by Natural Oils Ltd. You just brush a couple of layers onto the surface and it absorbs into the wood so there’s not visible layer and like the oil Ikea supplies. It’s not cheap but I only used a tiny bit and you need to keep doing it every now and again. This was the only oil I could find that was food safe.

2/. Dishwasher. The Bravad range sink unit allows for a concealed dishwasher, there is a front supplied for it so it all matches up. I guess this is because Ikea sell a whirlpool dishwasher that fits perfectly into the unit. Over here however that’s not so easy, or cheap. The only concealed dishwashers were $1300 plus so we just used our existing one which fits fine. 

So if you’re bringing over a pallet or container with some Ikea units, put a can of oil in there and spend the extra money and put the dishwasher in as well.

Everything else has been fine. Plumbing was a breeze.

As far as Ikea coming to Auckland, sorry people, it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen until the population hits at least two million, get busy making babies!

Here’s a couple of photo’s of completed kitchen, almost, expelair just needs to go up…


    • Kalahari Kudu
    • January 13th, 2009

    It is obviously a short hop between Australia and New Zealand, but I want to ship recently bought solid oak kitchen tops (bought from Ikea) to South Africa from the Netherlands.

    There would obviously be a big difference in temperature from cold to hot, so the shipper recommended that I oil the tops before putting them in the container to avoid possible warping. Do you think I will experience any problems fitting a pre-oiled top in the kitchen?

    Your kitchen looks good!

  1. Hi There,

    Pre oiled shouldn’t be a problem.

    We didn’t have any problems with warping and I guess when you consider they were shipped originally from the EU to Australia they should be fine to South Africa.

    IKEA have already treated them with oil, so you probably don’t have to worry about more oil.

    They recommend a further coat of their oil before using – so it’s a good idea to grab a couple of cans and put it in the container because it’s tricky to find a suitable replacement and you can’t take it on the plane.

    • Kalahari Kudu
    • January 15th, 2009


    After reading your post, we actually bought a few more cans of BEHANDLA.

    • Adrian Thompson
    • January 16th, 2009

    Sorry to post so late after publication, but just wanted to give you a pat on the back for importing and installing the kitchen. We bought over an Ikea kitchen 3 years ago from the UK with the intention of installing it, but it is still in the garage in the packs. Yours looks great though – inspiring enough for me to break out the cordless screwdriver..

    • Tony
    • April 14th, 2009

    We are also looking to buy a Ikea kitchen from Sydney to Auckland, could you please advise who you used to collect the flat packs from Ikea, pack & ship back to NZ?
    Would appreciate your comments as I see these costs as making the excersise borderline.

    • Hi, I took them to the crate company myself – I spent a couple of days over there buying everything – and took them in a tiny Hyundai hatch back! If you search on my blog you can see where I have links to the crate company and freight forwarder. To make it economic you would have to get your whole kitchen (we also chucked in a bathroom as well) The kitchen we got cost about NZD5500+ from memory. If your’e going for a cheap end one it maybe isn’t worth it, but IKEA’s ‘top’ end stuff is still better than a standard flat pack kitchen here. When we got this the exchange rate was better than it is now. Good luck!

    • JohnA
    • May 5th, 2010

    Hi – great looking kitchen. We are in Wellington contemplating making a trip to Australia to buy and IKEA kitchen. I understand that Australia now allows 10% GST to be refunded so this would be quite a considerable saving as well – and offset a good portion of the NZ GST/duty. Are you aware of how you go about this?

    • Hi, sorry no idea about the GST. If you are using a freight forwarder it would pay to check with them abou how to do this. Good luck with the kitchen!

    • Rob
    • July 17th, 2010

    I am just about to buy an Ikea kitchen from Adelaide for shipping back to NZ and have just discovered your blog. Good to see that its been done before.
    In response to JohnA, it’s not possible to claim back GST on goods from Aussie. To claim GST back you must show the goods to customs at the Tourist refund counter and then they must be shipped on the same flight as you. To make matters worse, you will then pay GST on the value of the kitchen and shipping costs AND a 5% tarrif in NZ.
    These extra costs are HUGE, but i think its worth it after checking out all the budget options in NZ. A decent kitchen from NZ would be a minimum of 15-20k.

    • Lorraine
    • January 18th, 2011

    Hi! I’m thinking of getting a freestanding dishwasher for the same Bravad sink unit you have. But you mentioned that only a concealed dishwasher fits perfectly. Does your freestanding one not fit well?

    • IKEA have a dishwasher that seems to be designed to fit in their units, which is obviously the easiest option. The Bravad sink unit comes with two doors, one if for the dishwasher if it is one that is designed to have a normal cupboard door attached to it, you’ll need to check out what the options are for this and whether they will fit. We have a normal dishwasher and it looks fine without the matching cupboard door, if I had the option again though I would get a dishwasher that fitted the Bravad door. Hope that makes sense 🙂

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