How do I get replacement hardware for an IKEA office chair in the US?
September 1, 2009 7:26 PM   Subscribe

How do I get replacement hardware for an IKEA office chair in the US?

As the result of a move, I lost the hardware to my IKEA Karsten office chair. The instructions aren't real helpful on what the dimensions of the screws are - basically, I need seven large screws for the chair and back, and four smaller screws to attach each of the arms. I tried going to the hardware store, but the screws I got there were too long (they pointed through the cushion) and using them set the screw holes off center from the chair base - I could only get two of the four screws in. I went to IKEA College Park, which told me they could not give me replacement screws without my receipt (long since gone). It's possible IKEA stores in other countries would replace it, but I can't easily get to one. I bought a bag of loose screws there, and didn't quite have screws big enough to do the job. Any suggestions about how I figure out exactly which screws I need to order, or how I convince IKEA to send me new ones?
posted by l33tpolicywonk to Home & Garden (8 answers total)
I've never had problems getting replacement screws from the Ikea down in Woodbridge; did you say that you got the thing in another country? I would probably just set that detail aside. Just tell them the model of the chair and describe the parts you're looking for.

I was down there a few weeks ago, trying to get hardware for a couple of lamps I bought years ago. The gal behind the counter was very helpful and went running all over the place trying to find the one obnoxious retaining screw that I just couldn't find anywhere else. I can't believe that they would send someone away or demand a receipt, unless you were asking for a lot of hardware, or looked shifty, or gave them some reason to think that you were trying to rip them off.

Maybe they're just hostile up there in College Park?

Anyway, the screws Ikea uses on most of its stuff are off-the-shelf Metric screws, but finding a place that has a decent selection of Metric nuts and bolts can be difficult. I've had good luck with Fischer's Hardware down in Springfield, although it's a bit of a hike from College Park. You'll want to bring them one of the screws/bolts that you want more of, or barring that the part that it's supposed to go into, so they can check the thread pitch and size. (I have ended up at Fischer's more than once when Ikea didn't have, typically because they had discontinued, the bolts/screws/whathaveyous that a particular "Craigslist special" required.)
posted by Kadin2048 at 7:37 PM on September 1, 2009

Response by poster: I didn't get the chair in another country. I got it in College Park, but I thought I read somewhere that other countries' IKEAs more easily gave out screws.
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 8:00 PM on September 1, 2009

I did the same thing...just wandered into the Ikea near my new place with the instructions and asked nicely at the customer service desk...if they've got them in the store, they'll hand them over.
posted by legotech at 11:00 PM on September 1, 2009

Thirding (or whatever) the general advice.

I took an Ikea wardobe apart when I moved house and the bearings fell out of a drawer runner. Went to my nearest Ikea and they ordered some replacements for me, free of charge. Seems like they do that for anyone who asks.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 2:04 AM on September 2, 2009

Try calling the College Park store. I just had to call our local store for another reason (did you know they'll put a 3-day hold on things? I didn't. And it's awesome) and one of the menu options was specifically for replacement parts. Go through there and hopefully you'll find someone more sympathetic to the situation.
posted by The Michael The at 4:28 AM on September 2, 2009

If the staff isn't helpful but you know how to recognize the hardware you're looking for, your IKEA might have a giant bin of leftover hardware that you can sift through. It wasn't free but it was still cheap, a few cents per screw/nail/etc. (YMMV as I'm not in your area.)

Actually, if the staff is nice they might just mail you the hardware if you ask, my MALM bed was missing ALL of the hardware (ha, I should have checked before leaving) and they were happy to mail me the screws after I filled in an online form on the IKEA website. I was missing so much hardware that I had to fill out the form twice, and they had to send it in two batches. You might need a receipt for that though.
posted by melvinwang at 6:38 PM on September 2, 2009

Response by poster: Called College Park IKEA today, they still refuse to hand over or order new hardware without a receipt. From what I gather, to get it I have to wait for them to have a chair returned so I can get the hardware from the bin. Unfortunately, the only ways I have to measure the hardware are the chair itself or the instructions, which aren't to scale.

Does anyone know why the off-the-shelf bolts I got would leave the cushion off-center with the base? Is there some specific kind of bolt or screw I should be asking for when I go to the hardware store? Does anybody know of an IKEA that I could call that might have nicer staff that could ship to me?
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 2:49 PM on September 3, 2009


I know it's been a more than a week but hopefully someone will find this useful.

The large screws (The 7 screws that connect the base and back to the seat) for the ikea Karsten chair are standard metric M8 25 bolts. That translates to Metric 8mm diameter 25mm long bolts.
I can take pictures or more measurements if you want.

I don't know what the measurements are for the arm-rest screws, I opted not to buy the chair with arm-rests. According to the website they are available separately for $20, so at least you have that option.
Also, Ikea offers downloads for assembly instructions through Customer Service section of their website if you need those as well:

Incidentally, I came across your post while attempting to search for reports of broken Karsten chairs. My chair split a few weeks ago -- the only thing connecting the back to the base is a 1/2 inch plywood seat and it does not take much to break it given the relatively enormous amount of leverage. I've only had it for about 10 months so I wouldn't recommend this chair if you spend more than 8 hours a day on it, especially if you tend to lean back a lot.
posted by brianpeiris at 12:25 PM on September 13, 2009

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