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Ikea Karlby Alex Desk Setup

Tomas Sedurskas October 17, 2023 7 min read

Ikea Karlby PC gaming table setup based on a black alex drawers and with a oak desktop
Source: Nubelson Fernandes

The IKEA KARLBY Counter top and Alex Drawer desk combo hack has seen a big spike in popularity garnering millions of views on Youtube and other social media platforms. With copious amount of space this is one of the best choices for productivity. It’s great for:

  • Programmers
  • Developers
  • Designers
  • Artists
  • Video Editors
  • Streamers
  • Content Creators
  • Traders

Join us as we delve into the intricacies of assembling and showcase one of the best desk setups we could find featuring the KARLBY desk top.

Build Overview

CountertopIkea Karlby Countertop See at Ikea
Desk DrawersIkea Alex Drawer See at Ikea
MonitorLG 27GP850-B Ultragear Gaming Monitor 27” See at Amazon
Light BarComputer Monitor Light Bar Wireless Remote Control See at Amazon
HeadphonesSony WH-CH720N Noise Canceling Wireless Headphones See at Amazon
MouseLogitech MX Master 2S Mouse See at Amazon
Wrist RestDELTAHUB Carpio 2.0 See at Amazon
ChairDuramont Ergonomic Office Chair See at Amazon

Desk Build Requirements

This build is quite simple because it requires only 2 items:

Make sure to double order drawers since they are sold as standalone items.

Oak veneer ikea karlby countertop
Black ikea alex drawerBlack ikea alex drawer

Assembly and Installation Instructions:

Ikea might have a reputation for confusing instruction manuals, but for this project, it’s not a problem. The desk requires minimal setup with most of the work spent on putting together the drawers. To make the process easier watch this video showcasing each step of construction:

Cable Management

Cable Management is something that often get’s overlooked. The best cable management for karlby desk is the Under Desk Cable Management Tray from amazon. It’s affordable and easy to install. It will preserve the structural integrity of the desk becaus the installation process does not require drilling. This also means, that you will be able to move or use this cable tray on a different desk in the future with minimal hassle.

Benefits of the Karlby + Alex Setup

  • Easily accessible from any Ikea store
  • Quality wood material and feel
  • Easy assembly
  • Many color and size combinations to fit any room design
  • Ample storage space
  • Great price for budget buyers

Customization options

Karlby tabletop offers three sizes to choose from:

  1. 74 x 1 1/2”
  2. 74 x 42 x 1 1/2”
  3. 98 x 1 1/2 ”

And there are also three colors material combinations to choose from:

  1. Birch veneer
  2. Oak veneer
  3. Walnut veneer

Note: Certain sizes and colors will cost extra.

How to Setup Ikea Karlby Desk L-shaped Corner Configuration?

If even more desk space is needed, then an l-shaped setup is for you. The setup process is complicated, but it’s worth the effort if you have experience working with DIY setups. Here’s how it would look like:

Ikea Karlby + Alex Drawer desk setup in a l-shaped corner configuration
Source: Reddit r/ikeaPCstations by beanocollarda

If you are not experienced, we recommend you avoid going through this process. Here’s why:

  • 🧰 Complicated setup process with no instructions from manufacturer because of the DIY nature of the project.
  • 🚫 Quality is not guaranteed.
  • 💥 Faulty setup can be catastrophic. The desk could collapse and damage all the valuables on the desk.
  • 🤕 Might not be as sturdy as expected.

We recommend to go with some a prebuilt l-shaped desk with and additional benefit of being a height adjustable one. Here’s a great option with multiple sizes and colors:

ExaDesk Upgrade L Shaped Electric Adjustable Height Standing Desk See at Amazon

Karlby Alex Desk Sag Problem

Ikea Karlby desk showing sings of being warped and bent
Source: Reddit r/ikeahacks by Guilty_Assignment463

There have been reports and videos online of ikea desks warping over time. The larger the desk, the more likely it is to suffer bending damage from long exposure to heavy weights.

What causes the bending in ikea desks?

  • Monitors or other heavy equipment placed in the middle of the desk
  • Placing the PC on the desk
  • Improper placement of the desk top on drawers
  • Drawers placed on uneven ground
  • Leaning on the desk

ArkiTechnology has encountered this issue and documented it online. Here are two of his YouTube shorts encountering and fixing the bend:

How to avoid or fix the bending issue

  • Add a middle leg to support the wait in the middle.
  • Reenforce the desk top with a metal beam.
  • Make sure that the drawers are placed on level ground
  • Avoid leaning and sitting on the desk

How to make Ikea Karlby Alex Desk Setup

Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to make this Ikea Karlby Alex Desk Setup:

Ikea Karlby PC gaming table setup based on a black alex drawers and with a oak desktop
Source: Nubelson Fernandes


LG 27GP850-B Ultragear Gaming Monitor 27” See at Amazon

Your monitor is the gateway to your digital world. The LG 27GP850-B Ultragear is a top-tier choice. With a 27-inch display, it offers a QHD resolution for crisp and detailed visuals. Its high refresh rate and 1ms response time make it an excellent choice for work during day time and gaming in the evening. Plus, its adjustable stand ensures ergonomic viewing angles.

Light Bar

Computer Monitor Light Bar Wireless Remote Control See at Amazon

Proper lighting is essential for a comfortable workspace. The Computer Wireless Light Bar is a versatile choice that provides adjustable brightness and temperature settings. With a sleek design, it can be easily mounted behind your monitor to reduce eye strain and create a welcoming ambiance.


Sony WH-CH720N Noise Canceling Wireless Headphones See at Amazon

For uninterrupted focus, a pair of quality headphones is a must. The Sony WH-CH720N headphones offer excellent noise-canceling capabilities, ensuring a quiet and immersive listening experience. The built-in microphone is perfect for meetings, and the battery life will last you through a full workday.


Logitech MX Master 2S Mouse See at Amazon

A comfortable mouse can significantly impact your workflow. The Logitech MX Master 2S is a wireless mouse that’s renowned for its ergonomic design and customizable buttons. Whether you’re working on a detailed project or editing documents, this mouse adapts to your needs.

Wrist Rest

DELTAHUB Carpio 2.0 See at Amazon

Preventing wrist strain is crucial during long hours of work. The DELTAHUB Carpio 2.0 wrist rest is specially designed for right-handed users and offers excellent anti-fatigue support. It’s made from high-quality materials to provide comfort and durability, ensuring your wrists remain pain-free.


Duramont Ergonomic Office Chair See at Amazon

Your chair is the cornerstone of your workspace, and the Duramont Ergonomic Office Chair is a stellar choice. With adjustable features and lumbar support, it ensures you maintain good posture while working. The rollerblade wheels make it easy to move around, and the mesh design keeps you cool and comfortable.


This IKEA desk is a no-brainer when it comes to price and desk real estate. Take advantage of our guide to have an easy setup process and enjoy you new work space as never before.