13 September 2013

IKEA Vrijdag: Lack Salontafel/Coffee Table

I bet you though I forgot about IKEA Vrijdag.

I didn't forget, I've just been uninspired. Because today's piece, the Lack Salontafel/Coffee Table has become increasingly uninspiring in the time we have owned it. It's one of the last "big" pieces in the house that I planned to write about and I kept putting it off because the table has been annoying me, and I've been petty and unable to let it go. But today I pulled on my big girl boots and I'm ready to review, so here we go!

Lack Salontafel/Coffee Table in white.
Notice that I put a coffee cup on top to prove that it is, indeed, a coffee table.

Our Lack Salontafel/Coffee table is the larger version. Don't be fooled - there are two Lack Salontafels/Coffee Tables. The smaller is 90cm x 55cm x 45cm and about half the price, the larger (reviewed here today) is 118 cm x 78 cm x 45 cm; but both have a "magazine shelf" underneath, come in the same 3 colors (white, black-brown, and "birch effect"), and seem to be made of the same materials (fiberboard, particle board, paper, acrylic paint). And I'll go out on a limb and assume that the construction process is the same.

The construction process is simple. Starting with the table top upside-down, screw in each leg (like a giant screw) into place. Then screw into place each "L" bracket. As always, do yourself a favor and use a power drill instead of the tiny allen wrenches that come in the hardware packaging - specifically if you plan on putting several pieces together. Once each L bracket is in place, flip the table onto its correct side, slide the magazine shelf in, crawl under the table, and attach to the L brackets with screws to the magazine shelf.

L bracket supporting magazine shelf

IKEA recommends that two people put the table together for safety, but since I like to flirt with danger I put it together by myself. The magazine shelf is surprisingly heavy - it seems to act as an anchor weight for the whole table because the top and the legs are hollow/filled with paper - and if you have a bad back, the awkward motion of lifting and sliding this large piece alone could cause you to do something uncomfortable.

One of the important things to remember about the whole Lack Series is that it is the cheapest of the cheap. The prices are very affordable, but the quality is lacking (see what I did there?), even for an IKEA product. I have 3 major problems with the piece that stem from two main issues: the legs weren't flush with the corners when screwed in all the way, and there seems to be no protective finish or lacquer.

When I screwed the legs in, one in particular didn't wasn't flush with the corner when screwed it, making it impossible to put in the magazine shelf. So I was forced to leave it partially out, and the leg manages to turn itself on its own volition. This makes the table look even cheaper than it is and makes me wonder about the overall stability of the table.

Angled legs

The other issue is that without a protective lacquer, the table top and legs have suffered lots of chips and gouges from normal use and is more prone to damage from pen and marker. I've accidentally had pen go off my paper and left marks, and Little Man had a moment of artistic inspiration with a navy blue marker that left several interesting outlines of all items sitting on the table at that time. IKEA says to wash with a damp cloth, and that mostly takes care of it, but the pen and washable marker that come off of the other IKEA products without much effort are still visible in some places after 6 different washings.

Just two of many, many chips in the paint.

Even though I know it's a "cheap" item, I'm pretty annoyed by the deficiencies of the Lack Salontafel/Coffee Table. The Lack receives the Life in Dutch rating of 2 Swedish meatballs. Points are lost for the overall poor quality, no protective lacquer, and leg problems. It's still standing, so that's something, but if this thing takes on any more issues, I may have to find some ideas to Hack the Lack and "improve" it. We'll see.

Life in Dutch Rating for Lack Salontafel/Coffee Table:


  1. I, too, like to live dangerously. I once assembled a bookshelf from Target alone. Much cursing and many scrapes were had.

    Sorry to hear the Swedish product is failing pretty hard. =\

  2. If it was that 5 level "wood" bookshelf from Target, we also suffered through a couple constructions. Oy Vey. Normally I like the streamlined Swedish product, this one was just too cheap to be true... Did you have to furnish your whole place by IKEA? I would almost think it would be a law up there. =)

  3. Haha, yes the polisen come by once a month to check. Fines are issued for the non-conformists... ;)

    But really, lots of IKEA in our place as well, though not by my choosing. Though, I'd probably pick the same things if given the choice now and do love a lot of it. Our fridge, oven, stove, dishwasher, cutlery, pans and cabinets are really nice. Our place came furnished though, so I didn't even realize it was 95% IKEA for a couple weeks after moving in.

  4. AHA! I knew it...
    Somewhat seriously, though, after I started doing these reviews I started getting a lot of hits from Sweden - I figured HQ was checking up on me.
    Furnished places are nice, and the higher end stuff looks pretty good. It's a good thing you like the way they furnished your place!

  5. Yes, we definitely got lucky with it. The furniture and everything is excellent -- the only thing I'd change is the art on the walls. It's nice, but not my style. And it's also kind of funny to look up an see a panorama of NYC hanging above the TV daily.

  6. Too funny. It is odd to see "America" in some of the style choices in Europe.

  7. I think it's time you hired 'people' to do that stuff? Eg: Husband....!! I do love your ratings system. Sounds like if you added another meatball the dang thing would collapse...

  8. From Casinos To Castles15 September, 2013 16:47

    I'm loving your rating system as well! So funny and appropriate! I also live dangerously but get annoyed quickly. Sad that it has left you unimpressed.

  9. It was mostly pretty easy - and Mark did the heavy stuff... and the way more complicated furniture that came from a local business with the tiniest directions ever. With my luck, the table might just collapse out of spite. =)

  10. Thanks! I agree that it's sad. I had higher expectations. But I suppose that's what you get for 35 euro...

  11. To be fair, Ikea isn't exactly known for its high quality furniture... it looks like it'll get the job done well enough at least, though.

    Haley | Affordable Blinds

  12. Provided that this is true, a pleasant method to investigate the various alternatives is by turning on your PC and perusing the distinctive online stores on the Web.round coffee tables


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