The Bottom Line
- Assembly instructions are easy to understand
- Heavy-duty construction holds a lot
- Laminated surface is easy to clean and durable
- Many accessory options for customizing usage
- Shelf must be top-mounted to the wall
- Not easy to move
- Baskets and box accessories may scratch finish
- Accessories tend to be a bit pricey.
- The Expedit shelving is currently available in a choice of finishes: white, birch, black-brown and walnut.
- Prices for shelving currently range from $39.99 to $229.
- Prices for accessories currently range from $9.99 to $50.
Guide Review - IKEA Expedit Furniture Review
I'm a longtime fan of IKEA furniture, so I may be a bit biased, but the IKEA Expedit bookshelf is made to last. I purchased the Expedit large bookcase in black-brown more than 5 years ago. I have taken it apart to move it and put it back together again countless times. My children have pulled books, baskets and toys in and out of these shelves multiple times daily. We constantly keep it stacked full. Yet even after all a family of four has put it through, my Expedit bookshelf is still going strong.
The finish is laminated, but has been durable and easy to clean - just use a dry rag or damp cloth. Though this bookshelf has been disassembled and moved at least three times so far, no nicks or bangs or scratches have occurred in the finish.
The shelves are sturdy and have not warped, and have held solid even when filled with books. IKEA does recommend that the Expedit shelf is wall-mounted at the top, and I have to agree. Expedit may get a little top heavy when filled with books or decor.
There are many accessory choices for the Expedit shelves, from boxes to baskets to drawers. All that I have tested have performed very well, but the cost of these accessories can quickly blast the price of your Expedit unit way past your budget. Take care to calculate the cost before adding tons of accessories.
Since the bottom shelves of the Expedit bookshelf are so close to the ground, they tend to collect dust. I purchased the Branas baskets to use in these shelves. They have also held up well. The bottom of the baskets are rough and were scratching the shelves when pulled in and out, so I attached brown felt to the bottom of the baskets with hot glue and that solved the problem. (Total cost for the felt was around $2.)
The Expedit desk that attaches to the shelf also works well and is sturdy. Before purchasing, consider that the desk will limit the function of and your access to the lower shelves on the Expedit bookcase.
The only drawback to the Expedit bookcase is that there is no partial disassembly option. If you must move the bookshelf, you are going to have to do it completely assembled or take the entire bookshelf apart. It does not come apart in pieces but instead assembles (and disassembles) like an interlocking puzzle. Though assembly is easy and IKEA's instructions are simple to follow, this bookshelf is heavy and may take two people to lift it into place once assembled.
We were so thrilled with the quality of the Expedit large bookcase, that we recently purchased the Expedit shelving unit, or the 4-shelf bookshelf, in white. This has also proved to be a sturdy addition to our household.