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Ikea Karlby Desk Setup for Gaming

Tomas Sedurskas October 17, 2023 7 min read

Ikea Karlby PC gaming table setup based on a black and brown color scheme
Source: Reddit r/BattleStations by zaj159

The IKEA KARLBY Counter top and Alex Drawer desk hack has seen a big rise in popularity garnering millions of views on Youtube and other social media platforms. It’s currently the go-to choice for many gamers. 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

Desk topIkea Karlby Countertop See at Ikea
Desk DrawersIkea Alex Drawer See at Ikea
Cable TrayUnder Desk Cable Management Tray See at Amazon
Keycaps129 Keys PBT Metropolis Keycaps See at Amazon
MouseRazer DeathAdder V2 Pro Wireless Gaming Mouse See at Amazon
Headset StandCorsair ST100 RGB Premium Headset Stand See at Amazon
Gaming HeadsetCORSAIR VIRTUOSO RGB WIRELESS XT Multiplatform See at Amazon
ChairDuramont Ergonomic Office Chair See at Amazon
Speaker SystemLogitech Z623 400 Watt Home Speaker System See at Amazon
Stream DeckElgato Stream Deck Mini 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.

Walnut 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.

Under Desk Cable Management Tray See at Amazon

Benefits of the Karlby + Alex Setup

  • Easily accessible from any Ikea store
  • Spacious design is comfortable for big mouse flicks
  • 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. Here’s a great option with multiple sizes and colors:

Casaottima Gaming Desk Corner L Shaped 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

Desk Design Inspiration

Ikea Karlby PC gaming table setup based on a black and brown color scheme
Source: Reddit r/BattleStations by zaj159

Here’s a comprehensive list of all the items to recreate or take inspiration from this amazing dream setup:


129 Keys PBT Metropolis Keycaps See at Amazon

Featuring vibrant keycaps and smooth switches, the GMK Metropolis Mechanical Keyboard offers an exceptional typing experience. Its sturdy build and customizable RGB lighting make it a top choice for gamers and typists alike.

Gaming Mouse

Razer DeathAdder V2 Pro Wireless Gaming Mouse See at Amazon

Enjoy seamless and lag-free gaming with the Razer DeathAdder Wireless Gaming Mouse. Its ergonomic design, high-precision sensor, and customizable buttons make it a favorite among gamers looking for smooth, precise control.

Headset Stand

Corsair ST100 RGB Premium Headset Stand See at Amazon

Keep your headphones safe and organized with the CORSAIR ST100 RGB Premium Headset Stand. Its sleek design and customizable RGB lighting not only keep your gaming space tidy but also add a touch of style to your setup.

Gaming Headset

CORSAIR VIRTUOSO RGB WIRELESS XT Multiplatform Gaming Headset With Bluetooth See at Amazon

Experience immersive audio with the CORSAIR Virtuoso Wireless High-Fidelity Gaming Headset. With its exceptional sound quality and comfortable fit, it’s the perfect choice for long gaming sessions or immersive movie nights.


Duramont Ergonomic Office Chair See at Amazon

Ensure your comfort during long gaming sessions with the Duramont Ergonomic Adjustable Office Chair. Its lumbar support and rollerblade wheels make it an ideal choice for maintaining good posture and reducing strain.

Speaker System

Logitech Z623 400 Watt Home Speaker System See at Amazon

Experience powerful audio with the Logitech Z623 Speaker System. Whether you’re gaming or streaming, this speaker system delivers rich, immersive sound, taking your gaming experience to new heights.

Stream Deck

Elgato Stream Deck Mini See at Amazon

Streamline your content creation process with the Elgato Stream Deck Mini. Its customizable keys allow for quick and easy access to various functions, making it an essential tool for content creators and streamers.


By investing in these top-notch gaming essentials, you can create a comfortable, immersive, and highly functional gaming setup that caters to all your gaming and content creation needs.