RTA cabinet fronts, also known as ready-to-assemble cabinet fronts, are an affordable and customizable option for renovating your kitchen or bathroom cabinets without having to fully replace them. RTA cabinet fronts come ready to be assembled and installed right out of the box, making them a simpler DIY project than constructing traditional cabinet boxes.
What Are the Benefits of RTA Cabinet Fronts?
Installing RTA cabinet fronts offers many advantages over fully replacing your cabinets:
- Cost Savings – RTA cabinet fronts are significantly cheaper than new cabinets. Replacing just the fronts allows you to refresh the look of your kitchen or bathroom while sticking to your budget.
- Customization – RTA cabinet fronts come in a wide range of materials, colors, and styles. You can easily mix and match to create a unique look for your space.
- Easier Installation – With RTA cabinet fronts, you only have to swap out the front panel rather than removing and replacing entire cabinet boxes. This also allows you to keep your existing cabinet layout.
- Less Disruption – Updating just the fronts is a much less invasive project than a full cabinet replacement. You can refresh the look without major demolition or remodeling work.
- Sustainability – By keeping the cabinet boxes, plumbing, and electrical in place, you reduce waste and avoid having to manufacture all-new cabinetry.
What Materials Are RTA Cabinet Fronts Made Of?
RTA cabinet fronts come in many different materials to suit any style or budget:
- Plywood – Affordable and durable, plywood fronts come in many stain colors. Plywood has a classic wood look.
- MDF – Medium density fiberboard (MDF) fronts provide a smooth, consistent surface for painted finishes. MDF is dense and resists warping.
- Solid Wood – For a natural wood grain look, solid wood fronts add beauty and value. Oak, maple and cherry are common solid wood options.
- Thermofoil – Thermofoil woodgrain cabinet fronts consist of a vinyl film over a substrate to mimic a wood look. The low-maintenance finish resists chipping and scratching.
Laminate cabinet fronts offer sleek, modern styles at budget-friendly prices. Glossy laminate provides a shiny lacquered look. Matte options have a more subtle finish.
Metal and Glass
For contemporary designs, metal and glass cabinet fronts create a style statement. Brushed nickel, oil-rubbed bronze, and stainless steel are popular choices. Frosted or colored glass fronts also add flair.
What Door Styles Are Available for RTA Cabinet Fronts?
You can choose from many door designs and options to fit your unique taste with RTA cabinet fronts:
Slab Cabinet Doors
Slab cabinet doors feature a simple, flat panel look for a clean, minimalist style. The plain slab design suits modern and contemporary kitchens.
Shaker Cabinet Doors
Classic Shaker style doors include a square center panel bordered by a frame. White Shaker cabinets have enduring farmhouse appeal. Stained wood Shakers also look timeless and elegant.
Raised Panel Cabinet Doors
For traditional styling, raised panel doors have a center panel that sits higher than the bordering frame. The dimensional detail lends an ornate, elegant look.
inset Cabinet Doors
Inset cabinet doors sit flush within the face frame for a seamless built-in appearance. The inner lip highlights the door profile.
Glass Cabinet Doors
Doors made partially or fully of glass enable you to showcase contents while adding brightness. Frosted, etched and colored glass create privacy and dimension.
What Are the Steps for Installing RTA Cabinet Fronts?
Installing RTA cabinet fronts is a relatively simple DIY project. Following proper installation techniques helps ensure your new cabinet fronts function properly and look great.
Remove Existing Doors and Drawers
First, use a screwdriver to remove all doors, drawers and hardware from the cabinet boxes. Set aside all hardware to reinstall later.
Prepare Cabinet Boxes
Take time to repair, sand and paint cabinet boxes as needed to improve their appearance before installing new fronts.
Install New Doors
Attach the new RTA doors according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Pre-drilled holes usually align with the existing hinge holes.
Mount the drawer fronts to align evenly with cabinet doors. Test drawers to ensure smooth operation.
Screw on all new cabinet hardware including knobs, pulls, hinges and drawer glides using a drill/driver. Hardware completes the new, up-to-date look.
Adjust Doors and Drawers
Make any final adjustments to doors and drawers as needed so everything aligns properly and functions correctly.
What Types of Cabinet Hardware Should I Use?
Choosing cabinet hardware is an important finishing touch that can make a big impact on your kitchen or bathroom’s style. Consider these popular options:
From simple round knobs to intricate wrought iron designs, cabinet knobs reflect your personal taste. Position knobs based on the cabinet style.
Long cabinet pulls create a natural handhold for opening doors and drawers. Bar and recessed pulls offer subtle options.
Look for durable, self-closing hinges designed for the weight of cabinet doors. Concealed hinges create a streamlined look.
Smooth-operating drawer slides are critical for proper drawer function. Side-mount or undermount slides properly support weight.
Sink Base Tip-Out Trays
Convenient tip-out trays in sink base cabinets provide easy access to contents pushed back behind the sink.
What Are Some Design Tips for Choosing RTA Cabinet Fronts?
The style possibilities are almost endless with RTA cabinet fronts. Keep these tips in mind when selecting fronts to enhance your kitchen or bath with your unique design vision:
- Mix and match materials like wood plank fronts on lower cabinets and sleek laminate uppers for contrast.
- Choose a neutral front color like white or gray to act as a backdrop for pops of color from artwork or accessories.
- Coordinate the cabinet style with your home’s architecture for a cohesive look, like Shaker fronts for a Craftsman bungalow.
- For resale value, opt for versatile white Shaker or recessed panel fronts to appeal to the widest range of buyers.
- Make a small kitchen look larger by selecting streamlined fronts without ornate detailing. Light glass fronts or reflective surfaces visually expand space.
- Include storage-boosting roll-out trays and other functional accessories tailored to how you use the kitchen.
What Are Some of the Best Companies for Buying RTA Cabinet Fronts?
Many manufacturers offer quality RTA cabinet fronts in a full spectrum of styles. Some of the top companies include:
- IKEA – Known for affordability, IKEA offers contemporary slab fronts in laminates, wood and ultra-durable foil finishes.
- QualityCabinets.com – This online retailer provides beautiful RTA fronts in premium oak, maple and cherry woods with custom stain options.
- Barker Cabinets – Specializing in Shaker style designs, Barker Cabinets’ solid wood fronts are proudly made in the USA.
- Crystal Cabinets – Choose from hundreds of RTA fronts from Crystal, featuring unique materials like thermally fused melamine and textured laminates.
- Knoya – Modern and minimalist slab fronts from Knoya come in matte and high-gloss lacquered finishes.
- Euro Style – Offering unique materials like acrylic and metal, Euro Style’s modern RTA fronts range from edgy to elegant.
No matter your design style or budget, quality RTA cabinet fronts can refresh your space just like custom cabinetry would. Take time to review the many options available to create your ideal kitchen or bathroom design through easily swapping out just the fronts. With a little creativity, you can transform the look and function of your cabinets without breaking the bank.
Frequently Asked Questions about RTA Cabinet Fronts
RTA cabinet fronts offer a budget-friendly way to reimagine your kitchen or bathroom design. Here are answers to some common questions about choosing and installing these customizable cabinet fronts:
Are RTA cabinet fronts a good quality option?
Yes, you can find high-quality materials and construction with RTA cabinet fronts from reputable manufacturers. Carefully crafted wood, laminate and thermofoil fronts will be durable and withstand daily use.
Can I change the layout of my kitchen when installing new fronts?
Unfortunately, new fronts won’t allow you to reconfigure the placement of cabinets. You’ll need to work with your existing cabinet footprint and openings.
How difficult is it to install RTA cabinet fronts?
Installation is generally simple enough for DIYers, involving just swapping out the fronts and reinstalling hardware. Precision measuring and drilling skills are helpful. Experience with cabinets is preferred.
Should I update my cabinet boxes too?
Replacing damaged or outdated cabinet boxes will improve the overall look, but isn’t required. New fronts can rejuvenate old boxes in good shape. Prep and paint boxes first.
How can I make old and new fronts match?
Use filler strips and scribe molding for a seamless look blending old and new. Sanding, priming and painting all fronts together also creates a uniform finished product.
Can I mix and match cabinet front styles?
Absolutely! Play around with different door styles, materials, and colors to showcase your personal style. Just maintain common design elements to avoid an overly busy look.
How do I clean and care for my new cabinet fronts?
Use mild soap and water to clean fronts, avoiding harsh chemicals. Review your manufacturer’s care instructions. Promptly wipe spills and treat fronts with care to maximize their long-lasting beauty.
Installing ready-to-assemble cabinet fronts provides an easy and affordable way to reimagine the look of your kitchen or bathroom without the mess, cost and labor of a full remodel. The convenience of customizing RTA cabinet fronts to your specific style makes the project enjoyable rather than daunting. With some basic skills and proper planning, you can do the work yourself over a weekend. Then simply sit back and admire your beautiful new space!
The wide range of materials, finishes, door styles and decorative hardware available means RTA cabinet fronts can be tailored to virtually any design vision. Whether you favor a traditional wood-grained look or sleek contemporary style, quality ready-made fronts help you achieve custom-cabinetry design without designer-cabinetry prices. With the right combination of savvy front selections and skillful installation, you can completely transform the heart of your home with an updated, welcoming kitchen or bath space.