What exactly are RTA cabinets?


What exactly are RTA cabinets?

If cost were no object, we’d all be living in the home of our dreams. Unfortunately, remodeling professional traveling the land performing work for free is but a dream, leading many to save some money and decide to undertake their remodeling project themselves.

For most DIY projects, the decisions are a simple issue of color or pattern. However, re-doing a kitchen can lead to a number of decisions that directly affect the price tag of the home upgrade. One of the biggest decision kitchen DIYers face is the decision between assembled and ready to assemble (RTA) cabinets.

RTA cabinets can save home improvers lots of money, but they do not come without their share of cons. If you are staring a cabinet decision in the face, here is what you need to know.

What Are RTA Cabinets

RTA cabinets are the same cabinets that arrived assembled, they just exist in their pre-made form. They’ve been around for a long time, available to contractors and builders. Innovations and improvements to the manufacturing process now allow manufacturers to offer RTA cabinets to DIYers as well.

They’ve become popular because in any kitchen remodel, cabinets are by far the most expensive item. While some RTA furniture is made of cheap particle board, RTA cabinets can come in a wide array of materials, from, of course, particle board, all the way up to red oak, maple or cherry wood.

Advantages of RTA Cabinets

So why are so many home remodelers opting for RTA cabinets? There are a number of reasons, but chief among them is the price. RTA cabinets are cheaper than their assembled counterparts simply because the last step of assembling at the factory is skipped. That labor is left to the contractor or DIYer.

There’s also money saved on shipping of the cabinets, due to the fact that they ship flat and unassembled. RTA cabinets also ship quicker. Some cabinet manufacturers require six to eight weeks to deliver fully assembled cabinetry. That’s not an issue with RTA cabinets, which can arrive as quickly as one to two weeks after ordering. Once the pieces are pulled from existing stock, they are ready to be shipped out.

The best advantage to RTA cabinets is that there is no loss of quality. The only difference is that the cabinets are being assembled at the site and not at the factory.

Disadvantages to RTA Cabinets

While lower cost and quicker shipping times seem to make RTA cabinets a no-brainer, there are some cons to consider.
No matter what, the cabinets will need to be assembled. If that happens at the job site, you need to consider if that will take time away from the rest of the project.

You will also need to be very confident that your initial order is complete. While shipping of the initial order may not be exorbitant and, depending on the size of the order, may be free, additional pieces may be expensive to have shipped by themselves.

Depending on who you have assembling the cabinets, there may also be a loss of quality in the finished product. Look for RTA cabinet makers that include detailed instructions, or have guides available on their website. The bottom line on RTA cabinets comes down to what’s best for each individual project. That’s a decision best made based on budget and timeline required for a completed renovation.

If you’re ready to begin your DIY kitchen journey, contact Lifestyle Cabinetry and Millwork for a free estimate on your new kitchen today!