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I've just built a tall Ikea PAX wardrobe and it appears to be leaning backward somewhat (see photo).

enter image description here

I'm wondering how I should go about correcting this?

Initial idea:

There are brackets on the top left and top right designed to secure the carcass to the wall. I was thinking of adding a block of wood or something between the bracket and the wall in order to prop it forwards and screw through to both push the top forward and also secure the wardrobe to the wall. I'm just not 100% sure that this will be strong enough?

FYI - I haven't yet used these anchor points

enter image description here enter image description here

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    A small about of lean-back is safer (from tipping forward and hurting people) than dead vertical. Especially if you figure a lot of people will ignore or not do correctly the anti-tip brackets. There's also the question of is the floor level and is the wall plumb before assigning blame to the cabinet...
    – Ecnerwal
    Aug 30, 2022 at 16:31
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    Can you determine which of the following is your situation: 1) The floor is not level, and tilts back towards the wall, 2) The floor is level but the wall is not vertical and leans in a little towards the room 3) The cabinet is leaning back because you overtightened the safety bracket at the top. The answer depends on which of these is the case. Note the safety bracket is not meant to secure it tightly to the wall, it is meant to prevent it from tipping forward. With a baseboard below you should only tighten it enough to do its job. A shim is a decent idea but not necessary.
    – jay613
    Aug 30, 2022 at 17:26

4 Answers 4

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It is leaning backwards because of the baseboard at the floor.

The brackets are important to help to keep the wardrobe from tipping over and falling on someone. For this they should be screwed into studs, not just drywall.

To fix the lean, can either add a piece of wood to the top or remove the section of baseboard by the floor. If adding wood(1x3 should be be good), make sure it is screwed into studs, and it should be strong enough if your brackets do not match to studs.

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  • I should have probably stated in the initial question that I haven't yet used those anchor points, it's just freestanding at the moment. So the lean is a natural, as it stands stance. Of course, adding a piece of wood in would be the best choice, but where abouts? Something to brace against the top of the wardrobe? Should I be going for the same thickness as the skirting board?
    – physicsboy
    Aug 30, 2022 at 10:23
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    Most stuff like that does not have a "natural" lean usually. It should fit/stand flat on the floor. Those brackets have been added/given to the parts bag because of lawsuits. Either your floor/wall has a slope or the wardrobe might have a lean built in on the bottom(odd). Skirting board probably about ~3/4 inch thick, a 1x(1inch by something inch) is ~3/4 inch thick.
    – crip659
    Aug 30, 2022 at 10:42
  • Much of the Ikea furniture we have has cutouts at the bottom to fit around the skirting boards (baseboard). Unfortunately, these must be designed for some non-UK standard because our skirting has always been taller than the cutout. +1 for removing a section of baseboard but first check that your walls and floors are square. If not, you might as well shim it out and add an end panel that you scribe to the wall and baseboard to cover the gaps.
    – Carl
    Aug 30, 2022 at 15:49
  • You need to remove skirting for this cabinet if it bothers you that there is a gap behind it. You do not need to remove skirting to fix the leaning problem. The cabinet should sit flat on the floor, and the safety bracket should not be overtightened. See my comment to the Question.
    – jay613
    Aug 30, 2022 at 20:35
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in steps 7 and 8 you should have screwed in feet into the front end of the base, step 22 shows how to use them to level the wardrobe.

Those can be screwed in and out to level the wardrobe. You can access them from the inside with a phillips head screwdriver.

image showing how to level the wardrobe using a level and phillips head screwdriver

However don't slide the wardrobe around while those feet are resting on the ground, otherwise they will get twisted around and do some damage. So make sure to attach the top shim to the wall before you do the final leveling.

Though if the floor slopes towards the wall those feet won't help. If that is the case you can use shims and wedges under the backside of the side panels, like the kind used to plum a door or window in a frame.

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    Use the screw feet, but do not attach to the wall until they're vertical. Once they're nice & square, then attach the anti-tip brackets to studs. Use shims, or in the OP's case, there is square trim at the bottom spacing it from the wall, a similar sized piece of wood at the top will likely be an ideal spacer.
    – FreeMan
    Aug 30, 2022 at 11:27
  • Yeah I have these on, but even when they're not in contact with the floor the wardrobe is leaning back. Perhaps I should have installed them on the back to push the whole thing forwards instead XD
    – physicsboy
    Aug 30, 2022 at 12:01
  • The problem is not the floor being tilted. It is the thickness of the baseboard that needs to be matched up top. Jan 28 at 14:58
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I'm sitting in a room full of these PAX cabinets that I installed a couple of years ago. Using the leveling feet (as suggested in other answers, and I even agreed in comments), is normally the way you'd want to do this.

However...

There are only holes in the front of the cabinet floor to install the leveling feet, which means that if you screw them down, you're tipping the cabinet even further back.

This means that if the front of the cabinet is not vertical, you'll actually need to drive shims under the back corners of the base to raise the back edge. This will push the cabinet upright (moving the back away from the wall) and leave a gap between the back of the cabinet and the wall.

Once you've got the cabinet vertical (a slight tip back toward the wall is fine - it'll help keep round things from rolling off the shelves), then you'll want to secure the top to the wall using the provided anchors. However, if you just tighten the clamps down, you'll once again pull the top of the cabinet against the wall, tipping it backwards, which isn't what you want.

In order to fasten it to the wall and not tip it, you'll need to use shims to fill the gap at the top so you can securely fasten the anti-tip clamps. If the gap is too large for a pair of shims to fill, you'll want to use a piece of thin wood to fill in some of the space. This piece of wood will be roughly the same thickness as the trim at the bottom of the wall, though a bit thinner is better.

You'll want to take a pair of shims and place one against the wall, thick end down so that it covers the area where the screw goes for the anti-tip clamp. Take another shim, thin end down, place it on top of the first shim and slide it down until it just fills the gap and the cabinet can't rock. Hold the shims in place, then drive the screw through the bracket and into a stud to hold the whole thing in place (note - you have to hold the shims - they'll want to spin when the screw hits them). Do the same in the other top corner and you're done.

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    Huh... another random down vote. That's just asinine...
    – FreeMan
    Oct 22, 2023 at 19:33
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    Random down votes are common. I've taken to simply ignoring them. "We try to please everyone. Some people aren't pleased unless they're complaining '
    – keshlam
    Jan 28 at 14:57
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    +1 for shims if necessary. I have an extreme case because the floor in my kitchen settled and one corner drops a half inch over the first foot from the wall. To level the china cabinet I cut a pair of additional "feet" for the front edge, trimmed them to fit as wedges, trimmed them in line with the cabinet, and stained them to match; it isn't perfect but it's close enough that nobody notices unless I point it out. If folks think it would be useful, I could make this an Answer so I could include a photo
    – keshlam
    Jan 28 at 15:02
  • That was a targeted comment, @keshlam. ;) I do generally ignore them as well, unless there's someone with a grudge.
    – FreeMan
    Jan 28 at 15:13
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There are two ways:

  1. Spacer at the top where the wall-mounting points are. To make it simple, measure the gap between the edge of the PAX side wall and your room wall at the bottom. Then, make a spacer: a piece of plywood of approximate the same thickness will do. The gap may be of a weird (i.e. non-standard) dimension but if your spacer is 1/16 of an inch thicker or thinner, it shouldn't really matter. The width and length of the spacer are arbitrary, I use 1.5 x 1.5 inch or 2 x 2 inch most often. Drill a hole thru the center of the spacer to provide clearance for the mounting screw, then follow the Ikea's instruction for anchoring the wardrobe to the wall. Use screws longer by the same amount as the spacer thickness, so that you have thread engagement to the wall anchor. It will be strong enough, don't worry. If it's strong enough without spacers, then spacers do not affect the connection strength, as long as the length of your screws accommodate spacers.
  2. There's another way but it limits you in that you need to carefully choose the location for your PAX as it will stay there. Using your PAX as a template, draw a pencil line on your baseboard and using an oscillating saw cut and remove the part of the baseboard directly behind your wardrobe. This will enable you to push the bottom right to the wall and square the thing. You still may need to use leveling screws provided (I personally dislike them and use door jamb shims that look like wedges to level my furniture) but the correction required will be minimal. The drawback of this solution is that if you ever decide to move your wardrobe, the baseboard will be missing in that spot.

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