Kitchen and bathroom renovations often involve installing new cabinets. Ready-to-assemble (RTA) cabinets provide an affordable option compared to custom cabinetry. When budgeting for an RTA cabinet installation, it’s helpful to know the typical price per linear foot. This overview covers the factors that impact RTA cabinet costs per foot and provides average pricing ranges.
What are RTA Cabinets?
RTA cabinets feature a modular design and ship ready for assembly. The parts arrive in boxes along with instructions and hardware required for installation. RTA cabinets provide the following advantages:
- Cost Savings – RTA cabinets cost 20% to 50% less than custom cabinetry. The DIY-friendly assembly keeps production costs low.
- Convenience – Cabinets ship directly to your home. You don’t need to travel to a showroom.
- Customization – RTA systems feature interchangeable components, allowing you to design your own layout.
- Quality Materials – Many RTA brands use solid wood doors and drawers along with sturdy plywood box construction.
While RTA cabinets require assembly, the process is relatively straightforward following the included instructions. The main steps involve:
- Attaching cabinet frames together
- Installing doors and drawers
- Adding pulls and knobs
- Securing cabinets to walls
If desired, you can hire a handyman to assemble the cabinets or opt for professional installation. The assembly cost is still significantly less than custom cabinetry.
Factors Impacting Price Per Linear Foot
Several factors influence the total cost and price per linear foot of RTA cabinets:
As with most purchases, you get what you pay for with cabinetry. Higher quality RTA cabinets made with all plywood construction, dovetail joinery, and solid wood doors cost more than lower end particle board options. The price per linear foot increases with better materials and craftsmanship.
Simpler slab cabinet door designs cost less than intricate doors with detailed moldings and finishes. For example, shaker-style RTA cabinets are typically more affordable than cabinets with complex raised panel doors. Opting for a simpler door style can reduce the price per foot.
Painted and laminate finishes are the most budget-friendly. Wood stains, glazes, and distressing add labor and cost. Specialty finishes like thermofoil and polyurethane coatings are pricier as well. Selecting a basic finish helps control expenses.
While there are bargains to be found, top RTA brands like KraftMaid, Canyon Creek, and CliqStudios charge a premium for their proven quality and service. Lesser-known brands are generally more budget-friendly. Comparing brands can reveal substantial per foot price differences.
The overall number of cabinets needed impacts the per foot pricing. Ordering more cabinets qualifies you for tiered bulk discounting from some brands. For example, ordering over $2,500 in RTA cabinets from Home Depot drops the price per linear foot an average of 10% compared to a smaller order.
Galley and straight kitchen layouts maximize usable cabinetry space, reducing the overall number of cabinets required. Complex L-shaped or U-shaped kitchens require more corner units and specialty cabinets, increasing costs. Optimizing cabinet layout reduces wasted space and total spend.
Type of Cabinet
Basic cabinets like base boxes and uppers cost less per linear foot versus specialized cabinetry like pantries, angled units, and tall utility cabinetry. Limiting expensive specialty pieces helps control project costs.
While DIY assembly is the most affordable option, some homeowners splurge on professional installation. This raises the total project cost significantly but also raises resale value. Labor averages $100 per cabinet or $150 per linear foot.
Once you understand what impacts pricing, you can better estimate your budget. Next, let’s look at average per foot pricing.
Typical Price Ranges Per Linear Foot
The average cost of RTA cabinets ranges from $50 to $200+ per linear foot depending on the factors above. Here are typical price ranges based on cabinet quality:
Entry-Level RTA Cabinets: $50-$100 Per Linear Foot
The lowest priced RTA cabinets range from about $50 to $100 per linear foot. This includes brands like Affordable Cabinets, Costway, and DSI. Entry-level cabinets feature vinyl or polyester doors and particle board or fiberboard construction. The budget pricing reflects the lower quality materials. These options are suitable for rental properties or DIYers on a tight budget.
Mid-Range RTA Cabinets: $100-$150 Per Linear Foot
The sweet spot for price versus quality falls in the $100 to $150 per linear foot range. This covers RTA brands like Ready to Assemble, Barker Cabinets, and Cabinets.com. Mid-range cabinets typically use wood or wood veneer doors with sturdier plywood case construction. The materials and finishes represent a good value for money.
Premium RTA Cabinets: $150-$200+ Per Linear Foot
For exceptional quality, expect to pay $150 to over $200 per linear foot. Top brands like KraftMaid, Canyon Creek, Kemper, and Bellmont offer all-plywood construction, dovetail joinery, solid wood doors, soft-close hardware, and durable finishes. The premium materials and warranties justify the higher cost for long-term use.
These per foot prices assume a typical 10-foot wide kitchen layout. Of course, your specific cabinet order size, kitchen dimensions, and design choices will impact your total spend. Let’s look at a sample cost estimate.
Sample RTA Cabinet Cost Estimate
To make things concrete, here is an estimated price using mid-range RTA cabinets from Cabinets.com for a 10′ x 15′ galley kitchen:
- Base Cabinets – 15 linear feet of base cabinets at $125 per linear foot = $1,875
- Wall Cabinets – 15 linear feet of wall cabinets at $135 per linear foot = $2,025
- Island – 7 linear feet of island base cabinets at $140 per linear foot = $980
- Total Linear Feet – 37 linear feet
- Total Project Cost – $4,880 or ~$130 per linear foot on average
This rough estimate gives you an idea of potential RTA cabinet costs for an average 10′ x 15′ kitchen. Costs in your specific situation will vary based on the factors covered above. Quality door hardware would add about $300. Other expenses like countertops, sinks, lighting, and labor would be additional.
Achieving the Best Price Per Linear Foot
Here are some tips to get the best bang for your buck when ordering RTA cabinets:
- Select mid-priced RTA brands to balance cost and quality
- Opt for simple slab cabinet door styles
- Choose painted or laminate finishes
- Design an efficient kitchen layout to reduce specialty cabinets
- Buy during seasonal sales events and holidays
- Take advantage of tiered bulk order discounts
- Handle DIY assembly and installation to control labor fees
- Apply for financing to pay over time; many RTA brands offer this option
With smart design choices and shopping strategies, you can keep your RTA cabinet costs closer to $100 per linear foot versus $200. Prioritize value engineering without compromising quality and durability.
When planning your kitchen or bath remodel, budgeting $100 to $150 per linear foot provides a realistic starting point for quality RTA cabinets. Lock in competitive pricing by comparing brands, taking advantage of sales and bulk discounts, minimizing layout complexities, and handling installation yourself. With upfront planning, RTA cabinets deliver beautiful affordability.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much do RTA cabinets cost per foot compared to custom cabinets?
RTA cabinets cost $50 to $200 per linear foot compared to $200 to $1000+ per foot for full custom cabinets. The DIY assembly and modular design provide significant savings over custom cabinetry.
What is the cheapest price per foot for RTA cabinets?
Entry-level RTA cabinets from brands like Affordable Cabinets and Costway range from about $50 to $100 per linear foot. These budget-friendly options work well for certain situations but won’t have the best quality.
Is it cheaper to buy RTA cabinets online or in store?
Online RTA cabinet retailers offer lower pricing by eliminating overhead costs. Brick-and-mortar stores charge a premium to cover their operating expenses. Online purchases often save 10% to 20% off comparable in-store cabinet options.
Should I hire someone to assemble and install RTA cabinets?
While DIY assembly and installation saves money, hiring professionals ensures proper assembly and alignment. Labor typically costs $100 per cabinet for assembly and $150 per foot for installation. DIY can save 50% off professional labor.
What are the most affordable RTA cabinet brands?
Some of the most affordable RTA cabinet brands include Affordable Cabinets, Ready to Assemble, Costway, Cabinets.com, and Barker Cabinets. They offer solid quality and value in the $100 to $150 per linear foot range.
How many years do RTA cabinets last?
High-quality RTA cabinets properly assembled and installed can last 15 to 20 years or more. Opt for plywood over particle board, secure mounting, and durable finishes. Buy from reputable brands that stand behind their products with good warranties.
RTA cabinets provide an affordable DIY-friendly option for kitchen and bath renovations, ranging from $50 to $200 per linear foot based on the quality. Mid-priced RTA cabinets in the $100 to $150 per linear foot range give you the best value. Follow the tips above to get attractive, durable cabinets at the right price point for your project.