Introduction to RTA Cabinets

RTA cabinets, also known as flat pack or knockdown cabinets, come with all the cabinet components separated for easier shipping and handling. The parts consist of:

  • Pre-cut cabinet boxes
  • Doors and drawer fronts
  • Shelves and drawer boxes
  • Hardware like hinges and drawer glides
  • Assembly instructions

You will have to assemble the cabinets yourself or hire a carpenter to do it for you. The main advantage of RTA cabinets is the lower cost compared to custom or stock cabinets. The DIY assembly also gives you more flexibility in installation.

RTA cabinets are available in a wide variety of styles, finishes, and organizational features. Many of the same brands that sell fully assembled cabinets also offer RTA versions. The quality can range from budget to high-end.

Can You Buy Extra Shelves for RTA Cabinets?

The good news is yes, you can purchase additional shelves for most RTA cabinet brands. Here are some tips on buying replacement or extra shelves:

  • Contact the manufacturer – The easiest option is to contact the maker of your RTA cabinets and order the shelves directly from them. Many keep stocks of replacement parts and can ship you the exact shelves for your cabinet model.
  • Check cabinet stores – Local cabinet distributors or home improvement stores may carry replacement shelves for major RTA brands. Take a shelf sample to find an exact or close match.
  • Buy universal shelves – You can use readymade universal cabinet shelves sold at hardware stores and online retailers. Check that the dimensions fit your cabinet box before purchasing.
  • Custom cut shelves – For odd-sized cabinets, have replacement shelves custom cut at a woodworking store or home center. Bring cabinet measurements to get the right cut.

Tips for Installing Additional Shelves

When installing extra shelves for your RTA cabinets:

  • Use the manufacturer recommended hardware for attaching the shelves to cabinet walls. Self-drilling shelf pins are commonly used.
  • Measure carefully to position shelves at an optimal height for your storage needs. Keep dishes, glasses, food items accessible.
  • Install shelves level and secure. Apply wood glue for reinforced mounting. Add shelf lining to prevent sliding.
  • Stagger upper and lower shelves for unobstructed storage space. Allow clearance for cabinet doors.
  • Consider glass, wood, metal, or wire shelves if you need varied looks or functions.
  • Organize using shelf dividers, racks, bins and other accessories to maximize storage.

DIY Shelf Options for RTA Cabinets

Rather than buying readymade shelves, you can also build DIY replacement shelves matched to your RTA cabinets:

  • Make shelving from plywood, lumber boards, or OTHER materials to your own specifications.
  • Use pocket hole joinery to assemble basic L-shaped brackets to support shelves.
  • Install sliding shelves on drawer glides to access items in deep cabinets easily.
  • Cut and mount pegboard shelves to hang tools, utensils, pots, and more using hooks.
  • Repurpose old wood salvaged from other projects to create custom shelving.

With some simple tools, creativity, and DIY skills, you can fashion functional shelves tailored for your RTA cabinet storage needs.


The convenience of RTA cabinets allows easy expandability with additional organizational accessories like extra shelves. Whether ordering factory-made shelf kits or creating custom shelves, you can increase storage space in your flat pack cabinets. Proper installation aligned to the cabinet dimensions ensures the shelves will provide optimal utility. Investing in quality shelves helps maximize the value of RTA cabinetry.

Frequently Asked Questions About Buying Extra Shelves for RTA Cabinets

Can I buy shelves for RTA cabinets from any hardware store?

Not necessarily. It’s best to purchase replacement shelves from the original manufacturer or a retailer that specializes in the specific RTA cabinet brand. They will have shelves matched to the exact size and specifications. Universal shelves from hardware stores may not fit properly.

How are the shelves attached in RTA cabinets?

Most RTA cabinets use a combination of shelf pins, metal standards, and metal brackets to support the shelves. Installing additional shelves requires aligning the hardware in the existing holes and slots in the cabinet walls.

Should I hire a carpenter to install extra RTA shelves?

If you are handy with basic tools, you can install additional RTA shelves yourself by following the manufacturer’s instructions. But for complicated built-in cabinetry, it may be wise to have a professional carpenter cut and mount custom shelving.

What is the best material for replacement RTA shelves?

Melamine-coated particle board is commonly used since it matches the cabinet box materials. But you can also find replacement shelves in wood, glass, metal, and wire mesh. Choose what fits your cabinet finish, weight needs, and organizational requirements.

How do I know the shelf capacities for RTA cabinets?

The manufacturer product specs will provide the maximum weight each shelf can handle. This ensures you buy appropriate shelves for heavy items like dishes, books, appliances, etc. Overloading shelves can make them unstable or cause them to collapse.

What kind of brackets work for DIY RTA shelves?

Simple L-brackets attached with screws into shelves and cabinet walls offer sturdy support. Or install standards with adjustable shelf pins to create movable DIY shelves. Just ensure the brackets you choose can handle the shelf weight loads.

In summary, you have several options for purchasing or making additional shelves for ready-to-assemble cabinets. With some planning and proper installation, the extra shelves will maximize the storage capacity and convenience of your RTA cabinetry. Check with the manufacturer first when looking to buy replacement or extra shelves.