Ready-to-assemble (RTA) cabinets provide a budget-friendly option for renovating your kitchen or bathroom. RTA cabinets come flat-packed with instructions for assembly and can offer big savings compared to custom cabinetry. But how much do RTA cabinets really cost? Here’s a detailed overview of RTA cabinet pricing, costs, and tips for getting the best deal.

What Are RTA Cabinets?

RTA cabinets, also known as flat-pack, knock-down, or ready-to-assemble cabinets, come packed flat in a box with all the pieces and hardware needed for assembly. RTA cabinets can be made from materials like particle board, plywood, or solid wood.

The convenience of RTA comes from being able to assemble the cabinets yourself without the need for a professional installer. However, this also means some time and effort spent putting them together. RTA cabinets typically include detailed instructions and labeling to make the process straightforward. Many home improvement stores also offer assembly services for an additional fee.

RTA Cabinet Costs Compared to Custom Cabinets

One of the biggest appeals of RTA cabinets is the cost savings compared to custom or semi-custom cabinetry. Custom cabinets are designed specifically for your kitchen layout and needs. This high level of customization comes at a premium price.

RTA cabinets provide a more affordable alternative. Here is a comparison of average costs:

  • Custom cabinets – $125-$300 per linear foot
  • Semi-custom cabinets – $75-$200 per linear foot
  • RTA cabinets – $50-$100 per linear foot

The range in costs depends on factors like materials, door styles, finishes, and more. But RTA cabinets can easily cost 25-50% less than custom options.

Factors That Impact RTA Cabinet Pricing

Ready-to-assemble cabinets come in a wide range of prices themselves. Here are some of the factors that impact costs:


  • Plywood – Most affordable option, ranges from $50-$100 per linear foot
  • Solid wood – More durable and expensive, $100-$300 per linear foot
  • Thermofoil – Vinyl laminate for easy cleaning, $70-$120 per linear foot

Door Styles

  • Slab – Simple and affordable, $50-$70 per linear foot
  • Shaker – Classic and clean style, $70-$100 per linear foot
  • Raised panel – Elaborate with dimension, $100-$300 per linear foot

Finishes and Colors

  • Unfinished wood – Lower cost, stain yourself
  • Painted – Durable colored finishes, medium cost
  • Stained – Richer wood tones, medium-high cost
  • Laminate – Wide range of colors and patterns, medium cost
  • Thermofoil – Looks like painted, scrubbable, medium cost

Quality and Durability

Higher quality cabinet boxes, doors, and hardware will increase costs but also durability and longevity. Be sure to inspect cabinets closely before purchase.

Estimating Overall Costs for a Kitchen

The linear foot pricing above applies to individual cabinets. To estimate the total RTA cabinet costs for an entire kitchen:

  • Measure total linear feet needed for all your cabinets (upper and lower)
  • Multiply linear feet by the price per linear foot for your chosen RTA cabinet
  • Add approximately 15% more for additional parts like fillers, toekicks, molding
  • Expect to spend $6000-$12,000 for a medium-sized 10×10 kitchen.

Other costs to factor in your kitchen remodel budget:

  • Countertops
  • Appliances
  • Labor for installation
  • Sink and faucets
  • Flooring
  • Backsplash
  • Lighting and electrical work

Tips for Getting the Best RTA Cabinet Prices

Ready-to-assemble cabinets already provide cost savings. But here are some tips to get the best deal on your RTA purchase:

  • Shop online for direct-to-consumer brands that offer lower prices by cutting out the middleman.
  • Look for sales, specials, or clearance deals from home improvement stores. Be flexible with color choices.
  • Buy cabinets and hardware as a package bundle for possible discounted pricing.
  • Avoid custom modifications that increase costs. Make simple adjustments like using fillers.
  • Purchase during the fall and winter months when demand is lower.
  • Pay to have the retailer or distributor assemble the cabinets rather than a contractor.

Are RTA Cabinets Worth the Investment?

At first glance, ready-to-assemble cabinets may seem like a good deal for large kitchen projects. But higher quality cabinets tend to be a better investment in the long run. Be sure to inspect RTA cabinets carefully for durability and functionality. Cheaper materials can warp and wear faster.

Consider your timeline for being in the home. If staying for many years, it may be worth investing in custom cabinetry you’ll enjoy for decades. For a temporary renovation or rental property, RTA cabinets offer an affordable facelift.

Weigh the pros and cons and talk to kitchen designers to determine if RTA cabinets meet your needs. Shop smartly, and they can provide beautiful cabinets on a realistic budget.

Typical Costs for RTA Cabinets

To recap average per linear foot pricing:

  • Plywood RTA cabinets – $50-$100
  • Solid wood RTA cabinets – $100-$300
  • Thermofoil RTA cabinets – $70-$120
  • Slab RTA cabinets – $50-$70
  • Shaker RTA cabinets – $70-$100
  • Raised panel RTA cabinets – $100-$300

Kitchen remodels with RTA cabinets typically cost between $6,000-$12,000.

FAQs About RTA Cabinet Costs

Still have some questions about the costs of ready-to-assemble cabinets? Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:

What are the cheapest RTA cabinets?

The most budget-friendly RTA cabinets are typically made from plywood with slab-style doors and basic hardware. These can cost as low as $50 per linear foot.

Are RTA cabinets cheaper than custom cabinets?

Yes, RTA cabinets generally cost 25-50% less than custom or semi-custom cabinets. The trade-off is having a more limited range of sizes, modifications, and customization.

Should I assemble RTA cabinets myself?

You can save labor costs by assembling RTA cabinets yourself. But the process can be time-consuming and complex. Consider paying for assembly help or services if available.

How long do RTA cabinets last?

With proper care and maintenance, RTA cabinets can last 10-20 years. Lower quality materials may only last 5-10 years before needing replacement.

Can you paint RTA cabinets?

Many RTA cabinets come pre-finished, but you can paint over thermofoil and unfinished cabinet boxes. Use high-quality cabinet paint for a durable finish.

Are RTA cabinets suitable for bathrooms?

Yes, many of the same RTA cabinet collections work great for bathrooms. Just be sure to choose designs and finishes that will withstand high moisture.

What are the best RTA cabinet brands?

Top brands for quality and value include Hampton Bay, ClosetMaid, Ready To Assemble Cabinets, and Barkaboda. Always inspect cabinets closely before purchasing.


Ready-to-assemble cabinets offer an affordable way to get new cabinets into your home. Typical costs range from $50-$300 per linear foot, with many kitchen remodels coming in between $6,000-$12,000 depending on size and materials. While not as customizable as custom cabinetry, carefully selected RTA cabinets can still provide plenty of style at a fraction of the price. Just be sure to shop smartly, check quality, and weight the pros and cons for your needs. With some savvy purchasing, RTA cabinets can deliver beautiful, functional storage on a budget.