We've had our Ikea Bekant sit-stand desk for around a year now and we're big fans. It's easy to put together, feels sturdy enough, and only cost $529 for top and frame. However, I've never liked the particle board top with its plastic edging.
Still, it wasn't enough to deter me from wanting to pickup a second for proper his and her's workstations, so we headed to Ikea to pickup another. While there we stumbled upon the $90 Gerton all wood table top. We immediately loved it over the Bekant tops, so we picked up two, one for the new desk and one for the old.
Putting the Gerton table top on the Bekant frame requires some manual labor and extra supplies though, much more than your standard Ikea build process. You'll need to drill holes into your Gerton table top. The size of those holes is dependent on your method of attaching the frame. You can either re-use the Ikea plastic hardware, or you can head to Home Depot and pickup some custom hardware (I chose the latter). Fair warning: no matter the build, you'll need a power drill.
Below are instructions for modifying the two pieces to work together with some custom hardware from Home Depo. They're not perfect, but I figure it could help others as a reference guide.
Follow the provided instruction manual up through Step 4 to assemble the cross beams, electric motors, and frame legs. You'll only need the allen wrench for this part.
2. Prep Gerton table top
Next, we have to prep our Gerton table top for drilling. The Gerton table top doesn't include holes that match up with the Bekant frame, so we have to do this ourselves. You'll need your measuring tape, pencil, power drill, and drill stop (or masking tape) for this part.
Lucky for us the Gerton table top is exactly 2" narrower and 2" shallower than the Bekant desk top. That makes for easy math on our part.
Gerton table top: 61" x 29.5"
Bekant desk: 63" x 31.5"
With the Gerton table top upside down on the floor (carpet, or put a towel/blanket under), measure 5.75" from the front and back and 1.75" from the left and right sides. Here's a rough diagram on the placement.
Mark off those dimensions with your pencil, and draw additional lines as needed.
Now grab one of the frame rails from Step 6 in your instruction manual. On each side, line up the frame rail over those measurements you just penciled onto the table. You'll see about 1/16" overlap on the front-back measurements, so eyeball it as needed. When lined up, pencil in the outermost holes from the frame rail, like so.
Heads up! I skipped the middle frame rail that's shown in Step 5 of the instruction manual. This is where the 4-6 screws and insert nuts variance comes in. It didn't seem super necessary and is easily addressed. After you attach the frame rails to the table top, place the frame with centered middle rail over the table (roughly 19" from either electric motor bit). Pencil in the holes, remove the frame, drill, apply insert nuts, and assemble.
3. Drill holes, hammer in insert nuts, attach frame rails
When you're done drawing those frame rail holes, it's time to drill and hammer in the insert nuts. Insert nuts are used for added grip in the wood; their star-like configuration keeps things nice and stable, making future disassembly and reassembly super easy.
As noted on the insert nuts packaging, you should drill 5/8" deep with a 11/32" drill bit. I lacked a legit drill stop, so masking tape was the perfect solution. Wrap your drill bit in masking tape, leaving 5/8" on the end.
When ready, drill in the center of those penciled circles you drew. It's okay to be a little off we have wiggle room on the frame rails, but do try to stay in the lines :). Keep your drill at it's lowest speed, pump the trigger, and you'll be fine.
When the holes are drilled, hammer in those insert nuts—two on each side.
Heads up! I got carried away in this next photo and drilled too many holes. Don't worry about that, all you need is the outer holes from the frame rails (which is what Ikea shows with their default instructions).
4. Attach the rails
Now that we have something to screw the frame into, we can do just that. Snag your 4x screws, 4x washers, and screwdriver. Attach the frame rails, but don't tighten them completely just yet; we'll want some wiggle room next.
5. Attach the frame
Next up, bring over the Bekant frame from our first step here. Place it right in the middle begin to attach it to the second and fourth holes in those frame rails with the included allen wrench and bolts.
For reference, see those two nerds in the bottom right of this photo? That's what you're doing here :).
When you're feeling like it's about lined up, tighten up the bolts to the frame (as shown below from the Ikea instructions) and the screws to the table.
Follow steps above, but with these modifications, to re-use the Bekant plastic fasteners that come with the frame. Note that I haven't tried this method, so I have no specific photos to help. All of this is guess work right now.
You'll still need to follow the custom hardware instructions above, but a couple things are different.
Instead of an 11/32" drill bit, use a 10mm drill bit.
Instead of drilling 5/8" deep, drill 10mm deep.
Instead of marchine screws and insert nuts, use the provided plastic fasteners from Ikea.
Here are the fasteners you'll need. Push in the pronged part, then insert the doodad to snap them into place.
for anyone willing to play custom desk top + ikea idasen sit/stand frame