How to assemble an Ikea Ektorp 3.5 sofa
Back in January, I came home with a truck loaded with 2 Ikea Ektorp 3.5 sofas.
(I purchased from Ikea Canada.)
And that is no understatement. If you’re in the market for this larger Ektorp 3.5 sofa set, you’ll want to be forewarned on a few things before bringing this home yourself.
So here’s my little story on getting 2 IKEA Ektorp 3.5 sofas home, then how easy the install went, and finally, a mini room tour!
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Update: Ikea no longer sells the Ektorp 3.5 series. They have replaced it with the IKEA Uppland sofa series you can find on IKEA in Canada HERE
What is an Ektorp 3.5 sofa?
Everyone under the sun pretty much knows what Ektorp slipcovered sofas are by now.
They are white slipcovered sofas you put together at home yourself, and are Ikea’s #1 seller for a good reason. They’re super comfy, affordable, and easy to change the look and clean, thanks to the removable and washable perfect-fitting slipcovers.
In 2018, IKEA introduced the Ektorp 3.5, which is a larger version of the Ektorp original sofas.
VERY oversized in all the right ways. So if you previously felt that Ikea Ektorp sofas were sorda minimal in size, you aren’t alone. Apparently North Americans requested a larger scaled sofa so Ikea supersized their best selling sofa and called it 3.5.
The sofa is massive! As in, when you sit down, your feet will dangle over the sides of the massive 5.5″ frame without touching the floor. It’s scrumptious!
However I was a little dismayed to learn they only oversized the sofas!
Meaning, no sectional nor loveseat nor chair nor ottoman will match the size of your Ektorp 3.5 sofa.
So I bit the bullet, and heard myself ordering “2 sofas please…” and gulped big. I knew I’d be pushing my living room space limit bringing home two 3.5 Ektorp sofas, however just one sofa wasn’t enough.
Would they really work out? I was about to find out.
Getting it home
But I kid you not when I say truckload.
When I picked up the two boxed 3.5 sofas at the warehouse, my jaw hit the loading dock concrete floor. The boxes were massive!
My heart dropped because there was no way they were coming home with me that evening fully boxed. Until I decided… why not save a $169.00 delivery fee and unpack them?
So the loading dock gal helped me rip open the two boxes, and piece by piece, we stuffed that truck full right up to the rafters. The seat beside me in front, and the entire back seat too. There was literally not one square inch to spare. This basically put my rear view mirror totally out of commission. But that’s ok…. that’s what side mirrors are for right?
Once I got home, I played a little eye spy with the neighbourhood. These frames were stinkin’ massive and there’s no way I could even lift the end of one myself let alone carry one up the stairs.
So know… while Ikea sofas are super easy to assemble, you’ll need help due to the size and weight alone with the 3.5.
Thank Heavens for Rudy and Ross! Within minutes, they lugged the two massive frames up the stairs.
9pm… I could put at least one together right?! Absolutely! Honestly, it went so fast and smooth, I purposely left the 2nd sofa for the next day so I could document the assembly with photos to share in this post.
So let’s move on and learn how easy it is to assemble an Ikea Ektorp 3.5 sofa.
How to assemble an Ikea Ektorp 3.5 sofa
The directions that come with the sofas are excellent! But as with most Ikea instructions, they are pictures that leave you guessing and redoing some stuff because you didn’t understand the picture.
So here are my added tips:
The main frame
This is the main frame that weighed a million lbs. You raise the attached back from the seat, and it already sorda resembles a sofa.
Pretty big, huh? It is. A love seat would have been better in this spot to fit in a side table but I didn’t have a choice since they didn’t sell a 3.5 loveseat.
It’s hard to believe, but these are all the tools that come with 1 sofa. Except for one threaded screw post missing in the picture.
Installing the arms
Two double threaded screws turn into two arm holes from underneath.
There’s a little trick to this one though. Part way through each metal post is a smooth part divided by two threaded parts. You insert the short threads into the arms, but only as far as the smooth part, because you’ll need that extra length for attaching the arms to the sofa.
Ask me how I know…
And one post gets screwed into an arm side topped with a plastic washer. This one will ultimately secure the arm to the back.
I found it easier to flip the sofa frame on its back before attaching the arm.
But if you are doing this on your own, I suggest to slip a plastic spatula in between the back and the floor. It’s really hard to lift without that little bit of leverage otherwise.
Turn the rolled side of the arm outwards, then slip the threaded screws into the main frame’s predrilled 3 holes.
How often can you say you’re actually installing a sofa? This is a very satisfying DIY because it’s just so out there!
Once the arm screws clear the bottom of the main frame, you slip metal washers in place, then screw on the bolts, tightening them up with the handy tool that comes with.
Remember that one screw with the washer? Tightening up requires a little arm stretch inside the frame. (as seen in the above picture near the bottom)
I suggest to loosely attach all bolts, until you get everything in the right position and place, in case you have to undo anything.
Then tighten the bolts up and one arm is attached! Cool huh?
Then do the same with the other arm.
Installing the legs
Unlike some other Ikea sofas that don’t come with legs, they do with the Ektorps! YES!
They are plastic legs that screw in from the bottom.
They do not come with felt furniture sliders, so I just added those from what I had on hand.
The compressed cushions
As with most Ikea furniture, their super duper vacuumed packing system have puffy cushions resemble pancakes. But amazingly, they do puff out as soon as you puncture the package.
The beauty of the Ektorp series is the fact that you can choose your sofa slipcovers! Lots to choose from. I chose the whitest white called Vittaryd.
And I’m super happy to report, the slipcovers were a breeze to put on! A large one goes on the main frame first, then all the cushions are separate. The seat vs. back cushions are easy to spot due to their size alone, with the seat cushions being the largest.
Once I slipped all the cushions inside the covers, I punched them up a bit so they’d puff out more.
Isn’t she a beauty?! It’s big and huge and beautify and yes, comfy! Oh I am so in love!
I also brought home some cozy blankets to sit ON. I did my homework on the white…. 🙂
As for throw pillows, the 26″ looked better on this sized sofa. You can really afford to go big here!
Ikea was low on pillow covers so I’ll pick some neutral ones up next round.
And I’m not going with big coffee tables because I want the space for two footstools next time I go back. But I’ll eventually build slightly bigger side benches to better suit the sofas.
Note: The Ektorp footstools are not supersized to match the 3.5 but I felt they looked ok regardless.
I am completely smitten with the new look!
It took awhile for my two cats to accept everything, however they now sit on the sofas, generally squishing down the back cushions. Lovely…
Cat hair indeed shows on the white, but at least you know where you need to vacuum… 😉
I have a Dyson Animal with the pet hair attachment which works quite well.
One cat did start scratching one back corner of a sofa, so I quickly covered the corner with clear packing tape, then scooted two cardboard scratchers on the floor nearby which they happily go after instead. They ADORE these things!
Read My Fav Cat Tips Post HERE to learn all about my kitty favs with fabulous vet tips.
But if there’s a next round, I will be picking up some kind of safe cat repellent spray so they don’t scratch at all.
Video of install
If you’re more of a video learner, click above for a short video on the install.
Music: Inspire by www.bensound.com
And all that’s left to do now? Have a seat… or two!