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What Are RTA Cabinets? Everything You Need to Know

by Gary Wade • November 07, 2023


When it comes to kitchen or bathroom remodels, choosing the right cabinets is a crucial decision. Among the various options available, Ready-to-Assemble (RTA) cabinets have gained significant popularity. But what are RTA cabinets? In this comprehensive guide, we delve into the world of RTA cabinets, their benefits, materials, assembly process, and more.

RTA Cabinets - An Introduction

Ready-to-Assemble (RTA) cabinets are essentially flat-packed cabinet kits that you assemble and install yourself. They provide homeowners with a cost-effective solution without compromising quality or design aesthetics. The RTA market offers a plethora of styles, colors, and finishes to choose from, making it an attractive option for various remodeling projects.

What are ready-to-assemble cabinets

The Advantages of RTA Cabinets

RTA cabinets offer several notable benefits, including:

  • Cost-efficiency: RTA cabinets can be up to 50% cheaper than their pre-assembled or custom counterparts. This is primarily because you bypass labor costs for assembly and installation.
  • Shipping and delivery: RTA cabinets are shipped in flat packs, reducing shipping costs and minimizing the risk of damage during transit.
  • DIY-friendly: RTA cabinets are designed to be straightforward to assemble, enabling homeowners to undertake the project themselves.
  • Quality and durability: Contrary to common misconceptions, RTA cabinets can be high in quality and durability, provided you choose the right materials and manufacturers.

Materials Used in RTA Cabinets

RTA cabinets can be made from a variety of materials, including particleboard, plywood, Medium-Density Fiberboard (MDF), or High-Density Fiberboard (HDF). Quality RTA cabinets typically use plywood or MDF/HDF for their construction, ensuring durability and longevity. The doors can be made from various hardwoods, allowing for a wide range of design aesthetics.

Assembling RTA Cabinets

Contrary to popular belief, assembling RTA cabinets is not a complex task. With a few basic tools and the manufacturer's instruction guide, homeowners can easily assemble and install their new cabinets. The assembly process includes using glue, brackets, and screws to put together the cabinet or drawer box and then secure it to the frame.

What are RTA kitchen cabinets

Quality of RTA Cabinets

The quality of RTA cabinets largely depends on the materials used, the joinery method, and the hardware implemented. High-quality RTA cabinets typically feature durable materials, robust joinery such as dovetail or dado, and superior hardware like soft-close doors and drawers. They might also include additional features like wine racks, bookshelves, and spice racks.

Purchasing RTA Cabinets

RTA cabinets are primarily sold online, allowing customers to access a vast selection of styles and designs from the comfort of their homes. Some manufacturers even offer design services and provide renderings that show your cabinet layout and the sizes to order.

RTA Cabinets Vs. Pre-Assembled Cabinets

While RTA cabinets require assembly, pre-assembled cabinets arrive ready to install. However, RTA cabinets offer faster and cheaper shipping and significant cost savings on labor. On the other hand, pre-assembled cabinets save time on installation.

Factors to Consider Before Buying RTA Cabinets

Before purchasing RTA cabinets, consider factors such as the joinery used, the wood species, the finish applied, the drawer box construction, and the hardware used. These elements largely determine the quality, durability, and overall performance of your RTA cabinets.

RTA Cabinets Explained

FAQs on RTA Cabinets

Let's address some common queries about what are RTA cabinets:

How long does it take to assemble an RTA cabinet?

The assembly time can vary, but on average, it takes about 15-20 minutes to assemble a single RTA cabinet.

Are RTA cabinets good quality?

Yes, RTA cabinets can be high quality, provided they are made from durable materials like HDF or plywood and feature robust joinery and superior hardware.

How much do RTA cabinets cost?

The cost of RTA cabinets can range from $1,200 to $4,400 for a basic L-shaped kitchen with about 12 cabinets. However, prices can vary based on the materials used, the design, and the manufacturer.

What are RTA Cabinets?

RTA cabinets offer an affordable and customizable solution for homeowners looking to remodel their kitchen or bathroom. With a wide range of styles, materials, and finishes to choose from, RTA cabinets can cater to various design aesthetics and budgets. However, it's crucial to choose high-quality RTA cabinets from reputable manufacturers to ensure durability and longevity.


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