How To Buy Ready-to-Assemble Kitchen Cabinets

Where to buy, what to look for and everything else you need to know to get the best deal.

By - May 22nd, 2019 01:40 pm
Kitchen Cabinet Kings: Thompson White. Photo courtesy of Kitchen Cabinet Kings.

Kitchen Cabinet Kings: Thompson White. Photo courtesy of Kitchen Cabinet Kings.

Ready-to-assemble kitchen cabinets provide homeowners an effective alternative to save money on their kitchen renovation. The pieces are, for the most part, delivered in a kit along with all the necessary hardware for assembly.

Since you will do the assembling yourself, you can minimize or lessen costs significantly. However, before you begin shopping for kitchen cabinets, it’s best to take time to learn and understand more about ready-to-assemble cabinets. To learn more about RTA cabinets, what they are, where to buy them, and much more, read on!

What Exactly Are RTA Cabinets?

The ready-to-assemble term defines these items or products in a nutshell. Meaning, when you order ready-to-assemble cabinets, all of the pieces have been chunked to size, holes are already drilled where they needed, and any decorations you’ve requested have been applied.

Then the pieces are put together and wrapped. You can ship them home from depots or have them delivered directly to your home. Once delivered, you then deal with the job of constructing and installing the cabinets.

Essentially, they should have the directions or instructions included. However, take note that these might be mostly steps, diagrams, and drawings with minimally written explanations. Also, some might offer online videos or tutorials on how to assemble the RTA cabinets.

Where To Buy

You can look for ready-to-assemble cabinets at some of the biggest home depots such as Costco, Lowe’s, and IKEA. However, if you want to have a much more extensive selection that includes some of the highest quality, consider searching for RTA cabinets online.

Purchasing at a big-box store enables you to engage with the staff, who might be able to help you better understand the difference or variation in the cabinets available. Plus, they can give you suggestions on your layout. On the other hand, these services might also be available at any online stores, with some websites having the capability to make a custom design and create realistic photo renderings of the space.

Buying High-Quality RTA Cabinets

Similar to pre-assembled cabinetry, ready-to-assemble cabinets encompass the full spectrum of quality, from second-rate to best. You can purchase ready-to-assemble cabinets that are, for the most part, every bit as attractive and robust as anything you can look for in a kitchen showroom.

However, you need to be able to identify and differentiate inferior quality as well. Steer clear of medium density fiberboard, veneered particleboard doors, integrated rail drawer guides, and particleboard drawers.

The characteristics of a high-quality cabinet include:

  • Coating and finishes applied by brush.
  • Solid wood frame doors.
  • Full-extension drawer guides.
  • Solid wood drawers with dovetail joinery.

Although you can look at or inspect it in person at a kitchen showroom store, you can also ask for a door sample when shopping online. But you might have to pay for a refundable deposit and shipping. Nevertheless, this makes sure that you understand what you’ll be getting if you order online.

Cost Factors

With ready to assemble kitchen cabinets, you can save a significant amount of money as compared to assembled or custom cabinets. The money you save comes primarily in two ways. First, since they arrive disassembled, ready-to-assemble cabinets can be delivered to your home for less than fully assembled cabinets.

Secondly, since you will be the one doing the assembly and installation, you’ll save on labor charges. But your expenses can differ strikingly depending on factors such as the degree of completion, complexity, finish and materials.

If you’re looking for more affordable options, melamine-coated cabinets, flat panel doors and incomplete finishes that you must do yourself are ideal. More costly options will include dovetailed drawers, solid wood doors, hardwood face frames and veneered plywood cabinet boxes.

Also, cabinets in unique angles and sizes can cost more, as well as appurtenances such as crown molding. Kitchen cabinetry is usually priced by the linear foot, which is the distance (horizontal) along the wall that’ll be packed with cabinets.

The linear foot cost usually involves both wall and base cabinets in one expense. Relying upon the mix of expensive and low-cost options to choose from, kitchen cabinetry for an entire kitchen space can vary from $250 to $750.

Last Takeaway

RTA cabinets have become well-known and prominent when it comes to home remodeling as they are not difficult to construct. Most furniture pieces need nothing more than screws, wood dowels, and glue, all of which, along with the instructions, should be provided with the cabinets.

Doors, drawers, and cabinets are pre-drilled for installing hinges and hardware. More often than not, all you’ll need for the assembly process is a screwdriver. But you might want to watch online videos or tutorials showing how you can assemble the cabinets.

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