Ready-to-assemble (RTA) kitchen cabinets are a popular option for homeowners looking to remodel their kitchens on a budget. RTA cabinets come unassembled, allowing you to put them together yourself and save on installation costs. With so many RTA brands on the market, it can be tricky to determine what are the best RTA kitchen cabinets. In this comprehensive guide, we will discuss our top picks for RTA kitchen cabinets based on quality, price, style options, and ease of assembly. We will provide an overview of the pros and cons of RTA cabinets, things to look for when shopping, and tips for selecting the right ready-to-assemble kitchen cabinets for your needs and budget.
What Are RTA Cabinets?
RTA cabinets, also known as ready-to-assemble cabinets, come packaged with all the individual cabinet parts and hardware needed for assembly. The cabinets arrive flat-packed, unassembled, and typically made of materials like particle board, MDF, plywood, or solid wood.
RTA kitchen cabinets offer several benefits:
- Cost savings – Since you assemble them yourself, you avoid paying for installation labor. RTA cabinets are generally 20-50% cheaper than custom cabinetry.
- Convenience – The cabinets ship directly to your home. No need to coordinate delivery and installation.
- Customization – Many RTA brands offer customized sizing, storage options, and finishes.
- Quality materials – Leading RTA companies use durable plywood boxes and wood doors/drawers.
The main downside is that you are responsible for assembling the cabinets, which can be challenging. But overall, RTA cabinets provide an affordable way to get new cabinets with professional quality at DIY prices.
Pros and Cons of RTA Kitchen Cabinets
Let’s examine the key advantages and disadvantages of choosing ready-to-assemble cabinets:
- Cost effective – RTA cabinets are cheaper than custom cabinetry, saving 20-50% on average.
- Convenience – Cabinets ship to your door so no delivery coordination needed.
- Customization – Modify sizing, finishes, and storage as needed.
- Quality materials – Leading brands use plywood boxes and solid wood doors.
- Easy installation – Assemble cabinets yourself and save on labor costs.
- Self-assembly required – You’ll need to put the cabinets together, which can be difficult.
- Limited style options – RTA cabinets have fewer door styles than custom cabinets.
- Can’t see in person before purchase – Since RTA cabinets ship to you, you select them sight unseen.
- Particle board used – Cheaper RTA brands may use less durable particle board.
- Damages possible during shipping – Thoroughly inspect delivered cabinets for any defects.
While the DIY assembly is the main disadvantage, the pros of cost savings and customization make quality RTA brands a smart option for many homeowners.
What to Look for When Buying RTA Cabinets
Focus on these factors when choosing ready-to-assemble kitchen cabinets:
- Materials – Plywood boxes and solid wood doors are best. Avoid brands using particle board.
- Quality hardware – Look for soft-close hinges and full extension drawer glides.
- Company reputation – Check reviews and complaints for good customer service.
- Selection – Consider available sizes, finishes, and door styles.
- Price – Compare pricing between different RTA manufacturers.
- Warranty – Longer warranties (5+ years) offer more protection in case of defects.
- Assembly instructions – Clear instructions and labeling make DIY assembly easier.
Buying from an established RTA brand known for quality and service ensures a smooth cabinet buying experience.
Top 5 Best RTA Kitchen Cabinet Brands
After extensive research, we have selected these top 5 brands of RTA kitchen cabinets:
1. Cabinet Joint
Cabinet Joint is our top choice for ready-to-assemble kitchen cabinets due to their quality, customization options, and great value.
- Plywood cabinet boxes with wooden fronts for durability
- Wide range of door styles, finishes, and organizational accessories
- Custom sizing available with 1-inch increment adjustments
- Easy assembly with Cam Locks and labeled parts
- Lifetime warranty on cabinetry
- Limited dealer network – must order online
- 4-6 week lead time for customized cabinets
Cabinet Joint offers a balance of quality, customization, and affordability that beats big-box competitors. Their craftsman-style cabinets have excellent reviews.
2. Cabinet Direct
Cabinet Direct has a massive selection of RTA cabinet sizes, finishes, and accessories for sophisticated kitchen designs on a budget.
- Hundreds of door styles including modern and traditional looks
- Matching cabinets, moldings, and trims for a cohesive design
- Dovetail drawer boxes and soft-close hinges
- Custom cabinets ship in 4 weeks or less
- Need some DIY experience for more complex cabinet installations
Cabinet Direct ships over 10,000 cabinets daily, so they have assembly and shipping down to a science. Their quality and selection are hard to beat.
3. Barker Cabinets
Barker offers flexible design options and durable construction. Their contemporary styled cabinets ship nationwide.
- Custom sizing available and fast manufacturing time
- Stain-grade plywood construction and 3⁄4 extension drawer glides
- Generous warranty – limited lifetime on cabinets and 5 years on drawer glides
- Matching accessories like fillers, valances and light rails
- Smaller selection of door styles compared to other brands
Barker Cabinets are competitively priced and made from quality materials. Their stellar warranties provide peace of mind.
4. Ready To Assemble Kitchens
This Canadian brand offers budget-friendly RTA cabinets carefully packed for shipping.
- Affordable prices with frequent sales
- Wide variety of sizes including standard and custom options
- Helpful video instructions for assembly
- Good quality hardware and materials for the low prices
- Limited style selection – mostly traditional shaker cabinets
- Warranty only 1 year for defects
If you want simple Shaker-style cabinets on a tight budget, Ready To Assemble Kitchens delivers good value. Their assembly videos set them apart.
5. Cabinet Simple
While one of the more affordable RTA brands, Cabinet Simple still uses plywood boxes and solid wood doors. They offer excellent value.
- High-quality furniture board construction
- Generous 5-year warranty on cabinets and lifetime warranty on drawers
- Quick assembly with Cam Locks and color-coded parts
- Matching accessories like fillers, trim, and molding
- Smaller size range than other brands
- Longer 3-4 week lead time for orders
Cabinet Simple is ideal if you want quality on a budget but don’t need extensive customization. Their warranties are reassuring.
This covers our top choices for RTA kitchen cabinets providing quality, selection, and easy assembly. Always carefully compare brands to find the best match for your kitchen and budget.
Things to Consider When Picking RTA Cabinets
Choosing ready-to-assemble kitchen cabinets involves evaluating your needs in these key areas:
Cabinet Quality and Durability
Focus on plywood boxes and solid wood doors and drawers. Avoid cheaper brands using particle board. Soft-close hinges and full extension drawer glides also boost quality.
Storage Needs and Organizational Features
Consider how much storage space you need and any specialty organizational features like pull-out shelves, spice racks, or lazy susans. Measure your kitchen layout and storage needs carefully.
Cabinet Sizing Options
Many RTA brands offer standard cabinet sizes and customizable sizing at 1-inch increments for a perfect fit. If you have an oddly shaped kitchen, size flexibility is crucial.
Design Aesthetic and Door Styles
Browse door styles like shaker, slab, inset, and flat panel in finishes like wood, painted, and high-gloss. Make sure the cabinet look aligns with your kitchen’s design and decor.
Company Reputation and Warranty
Research the brand’s reputation and warranties. Many offer limited lifetime warranties on cabinetry and years on hardware like drawer glides. This protects against defects.
Budget and Costs
Set an overall cabinet budget. Calculate separate costs for cabinets, hardware, accessories, delivery, and tax. Cabinets cost $100 to $300 per linear foot installed. RTA saves on labor.
By carefully evaluating these factors, you can select high-quality ready-to-assemble cabinets tailored to your kitchen design and budget.
Tips for Buying RTA Kitchen Cabinets
Follow these handy tips when purchasing ready-to-assemble kitchen cabinets:
- Check cabinet box material – plywood is best, avoid particle board.
- Examine cabinet joinery – look for strong joints like dovetails in drawers.
- Read third party reviews of brands – evaluate quality and service.
- Measure kitchen layout precisely before ordering.
- Pick soft-close hinges and full extension drawer glides.
- Inspect cabinets at delivery for any damage before accepting.
- Take cabinet measurements and plan your install order and process.
- Clear adequate workspace for unpacking and assembling cabinets.
- Follow cabinet instructions precisely – use torque wrench for screws.
- Label cabinet doors and hardware to simplify installation.
- Install uppers first, then base cabinets for proper alignment.
- Use cabinet filler panels and molding to hide gaps if needed.
Following these tips will lead to a smooth RTA cabinet assembly and high-quality finished kitchen.
What Are the Best Ready to Assemble Kitchen Cabinets?
After reviewing numerous RTA cabinet brands and evaluating quality, cost, selection, and ease of use, we recommend these top ready-to-assemble kitchen cabinet companies:
- Cabinet Joint – Offers excellent quality and customization with flexible sizing and storage options using strong plywood construction. Wide style selection with good prices.
- Cabinet Direct – Boasts a massive selection of door styles and finishes so you can design your ideal kitchen. Quick 4 week shipping on custom cabinets.
- Barker Cabinets – Known for contemporary styled cabinets, durable stain-grade plywood boxes, and generous warranties. Great for modern kitchen designs.
- Ready To Assemble Kitchens – Budget-friendly RTA cabinets help you save. Videos aid assembly and affordable prices make upgrades possible.
- Cabinet Simple – Competitive pricing combined with quality materials like plywood make this a great value RTA option.
Any of these top ready-to-assemble kitchen cabinet brands will provide beautiful cabinets without blowing your budget. Carefully evaluate what is most important – price, selection, quality, warranties, or convenience – to pick the best RTA cabinets for your needs.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the most affordable RTA cabinet brand?
The most affordable RTA cabinet brands are Ready To Assemble Kitchens and Cabinet Simple. Their prices are 20-50% less than custom cabinetry. These budget-friendly options still use good materials like plywood while saving you money.
How long do RTA cabinets last?
Quality RTA cabinets will last 15-20 years with proper care and maintenance, comparable to custom cabinetry. Opt for plywood construction and solid wood doors and drawers for the most durable ready-to-assemble cabinets. Also pick brands that offer at least a 1 year warranty or longer.
Can RTA cabinets hold up in a kitchen?
Yes, RTA cabinets are durable enough for kitchen use when you choose a reputable brand using plywood boxes and quality joinery. The assembly is not as strong as a factory built cabinet, but leading RTA companies use durable materials and construction techniques.
How much do RTA cabinets cost?
RTA cabinets range from $50 – $200 per linear foot. Economy brands like Ready To Assemble Kitchens start around $50 per linear foot. Mid-range choices like Cabinet Joint cost $100-150 per linear foot. Higher-end RTA cabinets run $150-200 per linear foot.
Should I assemble cabinets before installing?
It is generally easiest to assemble the cabinet box, drawers, and doors fully before installing them. This allows you to ensure everything fits together properly and makes mounting them easier. However, some brands allow you to install the cabinet first then add doors, drawers, and adjust shelves later.
Ready-to-assemble kitchen cabinets provide homeowners with an affordable path to a kitchen remodel. Opting for RTA cabinets allows you to save 20-50% on installation costs by putting the cabinets together yourself.
When selecting RTA cabinets, focus on locating high-quality brands that use durable plywood construction, strong joints and hardware, and clear instructions. Leading ready-to-assemble kitchen cabinet companies like Cabinet Joint, Cabinet Direct, and Barker Cabinets offer excellent options combining convenience, customization, and quality.
Hopefully this guide has helped explain the benefits of RTA kitchen cabinets and how to select the best ready-to-assemble cabinets for your kitchen remodeling project and budget. Let us know if you have any other questions!