Tom Lohr is an avid home DIY enthusiast. He prefers to spend the money he saves on new tools and gardening supplies.
The Swedes Hate Me
Somewhere in Sweden, there are engineers laughing. Laughing at guys like me who sit for hours trying to assemble their furniture from a sheet of pictograms. Only to find out, I didn't notice that small indentation on the drawing, about the size of a gnat's whiskers, and therefore assembled a piece reversed, requiring partial disassembly to correct. Those Swedes think they're so smart.
Love 'em or hate 'em, you have to agree that those folks are some stylish Scandinavians. Their furniture is the best of both worlds: snazzy and affordable. That combination is almost enough to forgive them for their instructions that turn every assembly into painful and profane experience.
Want a Little Frustration With Your Fashionable Faucet?
Ikea has everything. Furniture for living rooms, bedrooms, kitchen and bathrooms. And while furniture assembly may be difficult, at least they give you everything you need. Not so if you are installing a bathroom sink from Ikea. Most scenarios go like this: you get everything put together and mounted, then you try to connect the faucet hoses to the water supply lines coming out of your wall or floor. They look like they will fit, but after a couple of attempts, you realize that the female end of the Ikea hoses are slightly too large to fit onto the male end of the water supply valves. Super frustrating. It seems the Swedes forgot that American plumbing is just a little bit different.
If you measure, you will find that the threaded male connection on your water supply valves are 3/8 inches. The female coupling on the Ikea hose is ½ inch. No amount of duct tape is going to make those two fit together. So now what? Is all lost and you have to lug your ultra modern sink back to Ikea for a refund? Nope. But you will have to make at least one trip to a hardware store.
The obvious solution is to make the end that connects to the supply valve 3/8 inches. Unfortunately, there isn't a reduction coupling that I could find. But there is a way to make them connect; with a little help.
1. Size Up Your Sink
Any big box home improvement store will have standard faucet hoses. They are ½ inch on the faucet side, and 3/8 inches on the supply side. Grab a pair of the shortest (they come in multiple lengths) you can find. Simply connect the 3/8 inch female end of the faucet hose to the 3/8 inch male supply line. That leaves you with a ½ inch female coupling on end of the Ikea hose and another on the end of the hose you just installed.
2. Obtain the Holy Grail of Hookups
While you may be able to hunt down the last part you need at a local hardware store, don't count on it. You need a connector that is ½ inch threaded male on both sides. The easy way to obtain one is purchase it online.
3. Feel the Connection
The last step should straighten out your plumbing conundrum. Screw the double male adapter into the supply side first, and then connect the Ikea faucet hose to the other end. Congratulations, you know have a working sink.
Don't assume you are finish with this (or any plumbing project) until you have pressurized the hoses and checked for leaks. When you are certain your work is drip free, you can call it done.
You May Be In Luck
The rumor is Ikea has heard enough of the odd sized connection complaints and is now, or will in the future, be supplying compatible faucet hoses. If they already have, you have one less headache after deciphering their assembly instructions. If you have an old Ikea sink, or there is one installed in a property you just purchased, you will definitely need these instructions. Hopefully, mine are clearer than Ikea's.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
Liz Westwood from UK on August 03, 2020:
The joys of DIY and IKEA. We were assembling a wardrobe for our daughter once, only she had forgotten to order the doors, so she and I had to make a quick trip to the local store to get some.