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Ikea Karlby Desk Review – Attractive Design at great price

Ikea Karlby Desk Review Summary

The walnut wooden desks are known for its:

Ikea Karlby Desk Bottom Line

Advantages and Features

  • Layered construction
  • Sturdy and stable construction
  • Durable Natural Material
  • Natural Color Shifts
  • Every countertop is unique
  • Pre-treated with hard wax oil
  • Quick and easy to install


However, there are some drawbacks of the Karlby desk:

  • Not meant for damp places
  • Hard to cut the countertop properly
  • Require regular maintenance

For more details and price, click here.

Bottom Line

Overall, the Ikea Karlby countertops are very gorgeous and a cheap way to decorate and organize your room. Although, wood is tricky and sometimes it may look fake with a plastic touch, even though it is completely real and solid wood. But once you install them in your room and the sunlight hits them you can see the grains in the wood and they brighten up your whole room.

It is made up of durable material which can be easily sanded and the surface can be treated whenever required. The layered construction adds stability to the countertop and makes it less sensitive to humidity. It is much less prone to crack or bend as compared to solid wood. It is pre-treated with wax-oil in order to ensure quick and easy installation.

Ikea Karlby Desk review by Experts


Karlby desks are very much cheaper than their countertops and look much more elegant. A standard 74 ” x 42 ” would cost you under $300.If you are going for laminates or granite then it will cost you a lot more than that. The beauty and warmth of the natural wood in such affordable price will make your room glow.

The price of the Karlby may vary but it is economical than stone or granite countertops. The price of your countertop can vary according to the type, grain, size and thickness.

Design and Features

  • Durable and stable

These walnut desks are one of the most durable and stable desks you will find in the market. They can endure heavy wear and tear and can even withstand hot pans or moisture. The desk is constructed in layers which makes it resistant to humidity and the natural colour of the wood can be seen. Each desk is exclusive and the varying grain pattern can be easily seen. It is more durable than its peers and its stable construction makes it less prone to cracking, bending or splitting than solid wood.

Ikea Karlby Desk Design

  • All-time Refinishing

One of the best things about these desks is that you can easily refinish them at any time with the help of fine-grit sandpaper and reseal them with wax-oil or mineral oil. The best thing is if you get scratches on your desk in daily use, simple sand it and treat it with oil and the desk is as good as new.

It does not require a lot of maintenance but yes, they are easily starched. It is not recommended to use a knife on these desks although they are very tough and convenient. But all the starches can be fixed.

  • Color changes with age

Your desk is made up of straight-grained hardwood which is very durable, strong and stable. It has a unique feature that as it ages, it becomes lighter in colour. If you have brought a dark brown countertop, then after a few years, it will turn into a rich honey brown colour which will appear through the grains of the wood.

The texture and colour of the countertop are pleasing with an occasional light section in the otherwise dark countertop. Most of the reviewers are happy with this countertop even after regular use for many years. It shows no signs of warping or splitting even after washing the countertop with soap and eater.

But if you are using the countertop as your desk, it is recommended to take a 6 feet piece otherwise it will become very heavy and will put additional stress on the legs. As desk space, 6 feet long counter is large enough to make comfortable working space.

  • Quick Installation

They are also easy to install and comes with a user manual from Ikea. It is pretreated with hard wax oil which makes it ready to use and no other finishing is required in these countertops. They are easy to install as you can cut them according to your size easily in your basic home workshop. One anther bonus of working with wooden counters is that their corners don’t have to be mitred as the case with laminate or granite countertops. Two chunky pieces of the straight-cut wooden countertop look very elegant and classy. They are also easy to cut and adjust according to your room size.

But, in order to make them age gracefully, it is recommended to treat them with Stockyard wood treatment oil. It will not only give the whole desk a beautiful sheen but also will prolong the life of the desk by protecting the wood underneath. It also comes with a 25-year limited warranty.

  • Easy Cleaning

One of the best things about using walnut countertops is their easy cleaning. They can be cleaned with a little spraying of vinegar. It will clean the desk easily without having to use water which might be harmful to your countertop in the long run.

One should keep in mind that puddles of water should not sit on your wooden counter or else it will slowly deteriorate your countertop. Always wipe away any water from the counter when cleaning.

  • Environment-Friendly

These desks are a good environmental choice because a resource-efficient method is used in creating the countertop. It uses a top layer of the wood on the particle board, reducing the impact on the environment. It can also be recycled or used for energy recovery and uses only the legally harvested wood in the process.

  • Customizing the Desk

Good quality desks can be very expensive and also you always won’t get them giving you a lot of space. A simple and easy way to make your desk is by converting a countertop into your desk. The countertops are already designed to withstand wear and tear and pose a good alternative for your desk. In order to make the conversion possible, you need sturdy legs on which your countertop will stand on. Place legs on all the corners of your countertop to make it into an elegant desk.

Ikea Karlby Desk Customizing

If you building a desk for your home or office space, it is recommended to use the Karlby countertop along with Adils legs and Alex storage. It will give you ample storage space and make your room look open and friendly.

If your countertop is very heavy, then you should consider adding support in the form of wood strips or braces between the legs of the desk. A wooden rim can also be placed around the edge of the top to give more support to the desk.

You can use the Karlby walnut countertops for making the desk of your required shape and size. The overall structure of the desk is provided by the shelves, legs and the walnut countertop. You can drill holes in the countertops in order to make the drilling cord access so that power cords can run through the desk. This will help you in creating a masterpiece from the countertops which are both budget-friendly and unique.

You will have to use butt joints as opposed to mitred joints. The countertop is not solid wood, so it is not advisable to cut the countertop but use it as it is. Not just as a kitchen countertop or as a desk, you can also beautifully convert the countertop into a dining table by placing 4panel clamps underneath it. It will make a strong and stable centre.

  • Asks for maintenance

If you are looking for a maintenance free desk then, these are not meant for you. They are a dark colour wood and can show small specks, dust and even smudges easily so, you will need to wipe your desk regularly to keep then clean and shining. They also require periodical treatment so that they can age gracefully.

You can use them as your computer desk or kitchen countertops or even use them as a shelf. They can be used in multiple ways and their durability makes them a very popular choice among all. The wood made in the making of this desk comes from sustainable sources only.

Conditioning and oiling are required on a periodical basis to protect the wood and to prevent it from cracking and damaging. Regular treatment also ensures that your wood ages gracefully and changes colour to a rich honey coloured wood.

  • Your room come to life

If you are using the Ikea Karlby desk then your room will come to life. If you are using it as your office desk, you will love the space and get your work done more efficiently. It gives the entire room a welcoming feeling with a touch of warmth. You can also use them in your laundry room or part of your dining table. You can experiment and use the countertop in creative ways instead of just using it in the kitchen or as a desk for your room.

The grains of the wood is different from the cold and sterile feeling which exudes from its counterparts. It emits hope and friendliness, making your house a home. Despite having so many advantages, there are also some disadvantages to the wooden countertops. They are not resistant to heat and you can have burn marks on the countertop if proper care is not taken. Wood can also swell and shrink in case of extreme humidity and dryness which may cause cracking, so these countertops are not meant for rooms with high dampness. Excessive wetness can also make the wood susceptible to discolouration and rot. SO, these countertops require your regular maintenance.


Although there are a lot of options available based on the finish, maintenance, budget and material in the market but if you want a casual yet relaxed feeling in the room, then you should definitely for the Ikea Karlby desk. It is much less expensive than granite and much more fashionable and classy.  It adds flavour to your desk and makes it welcoming.

These counters develop a lovely patina over a period of time and look beautiful to the naked eye. They can be easily refinished with just a little sanding and treatment from oil.  It is a soft material and you will never hear clatter when putting down your plates and cups. It mixes well with the other elements of the room but still stands out to make it look unique. It is long lasting and durable if maintained properly and regularly.

Small nicks, burns and scratches can easily be refinished unlike laminates and other solid-surface counters. Wood also has natural antibacterial and antimicrobial properties which makes it a healthier choice than stone and laminates.

In addition to Ikea Karlby desk, you can also check out the Herman Miller Setu chair which is extremely sustainable and in an affordable price, you get a chair of its quality. It has a kinematic support structure which makes it unique and stylish.

Thus, a wooden countertop makes a friendly and beautiful addition to your home and gives you an atmosphere of pleasantness and relaxation. It is both stylish and casual at the same time.

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