When remodeling your kitchen, it can be tempting to mix and match cabinet brands in order to save money. KraftMaid is a popular premium cabinetry brand that is known for its quality and style, but it does come at a high price point. One way to get the KraftMaid look for less is by combining it with Ready-To-Assemble (RTA) cabinets. But what RTA cabinets will actually match KraftMaid in terms of quality, aesthetics and functionality? Here is what you need to know about pairing RTA cabinets with KraftMaid.
Understanding KraftMaid Cabinetry
First, let’s look at what makes KraftMaid so special. KraftMaid is part of the MasterBrand Cabinetry group, which is known for making high-end kitchen, bathroom and other cabinetry from quality hardwoods like oak, maple and cherry. Some key features of KraftMaid include:
- Wide Range of Styles – From traditional to contemporary, KraftMaid has over 25 distinct door styles to fit any home’s design aesthetic. Popular options include shaker, classic arched panel, cathedral and slab cabinet doors.
- Durable Construction – KraftMaid uses solid hardwood doors and drawers, mortise and tenon joinery on cabinet boxes and full extension drawer glides for strength and durability.
- Custom Options – In addition to a huge selection of stock cabinet sizes, styles and finishes, KraftMaid allows for extensive customization with unique storage solutions, glass doors, decorative hardware and more.
- Quality Finishes – From rich wood stains to painted finishes, KraftMaid offers expert craftsmanship. Their DuraKraft paint process resists chipping and scratching.
- Made in the USA – KraftMaid cabinets are proudly manufactured in the United States.
As you can see, KraftMaid stands out for its combination of stylish design, sturdy construction and custom options – as well as its made-in-America reputation. However, this high level of quality comes at a cost. KraftMaid cabinets are generally 20-50% more expensive than stock cabinets from home improvement stores.
Benefits of Mixing KraftMaid with RTA
Ready-To-Assemble (RTA) cabinets provide a more affordable alternative to KraftMaid while still offering a surprisingly high level of quality and customization. RTA cabinets come disassembled in flat boxes, and get assembled on site. Some benefits of mixing KraftMaid with RTA cabinets include:
- Cost Savings – Pre-assembled RTA cabinets are approximately 50% less expensive than KraftMaid when comparing similar construction features and finishes. Going RTA for some parts of your kitchen can add up to major savings.
- Assembly Required – Because RTA cabinets come disassembled, they require some installation work which helps lower the price. Many homeowners enjoy assembling their own kitchen components.
- Quick Project Timeline – RTA cabinets are in stock and ship quickly, compared to the 6-8 week lead time for custom cabinet orders. Faster cabinet delivery means your kitchen remodel can get done sooner.
- More Customization – In addition to offering modestly-priced stock cabinets, many RTA brands allow you to fully customize door styles, finishes, storage and more – beyond what is available from big box stores.
- High Quality Construction – Leading RTA brands like Barker Cabinets use the same plywood boxes, solid wood doors and sturdy drawer glides that KraftMaid does. You can essentially get KraftMaid quality for less by going RTA.
By pairing KraftMaid with RTA cabinets strategically, you can maximize your budget on the most visible areas like the main kitchen cabinetry while saving on hidden spots like closets, pantries and laundry rooms.
What to Look for in Complementary RTA Cabinets
If you want RTA cabinets to blend seamlessly with KraftMaid, pay attention to these key features during selection:
- Solid hardwood doors and drawers – Match the solid oak, maple, cherry or thermofoil material of your KraftMaid selection. Avoid cheaper particleboard or laminate options.
- Plywood boxes – Just like KraftMaid, leading RTA brands use strong 3⁄4” plywood for cabinet sides, tops, bottoms and shelves instead of weaker particleboard.
- Full extension drawer glides – KraftMaid uses full extension glides for maximum drawer access, as opposed to cheaper partial extension slides. Select RTA drawers with full extension hardware.
- Dovetail joinery – Where possible, choose RTA with dovetail joinery on the drawer boxes for the strongest assembly – just like KraftMaid employs.
- Stains – Does your KraftMaid use a rich cherry, mocha or espresso stain? Find an RTA line that offers the same stain options.
- Paints – For painted KraftMaid cabinets,stick with RTA that offers a matching premium painted finish. Avoid cheaper spray-on paint jobs.
- Grain matching – KraftMaid excels at maintaining wood grain consistency across cabinet doors. Seek RTA that makes grain matching across components a priority as well.
- Door styles – Whether your KraftMaid features shaker, inset, arched or modern doors, look for RTA with compatible styles.
- Matching molding – Select RTA with identical crown molding, light rail molding and other trim pieces to emulate KraftMaid.
- Matching hardware – Use the same handles, knobs and pulls to tie your KraftMaid and RTA cabinets together.
- Matching organization – KraftMaid is known for smart storage. Choose RTA cabinets with matching roll outs, cabinet dividers, lazy susans and other functional elements.
By selecting RTA cabinets in the same species of wood, with similar finishes, construction and design features as your KraftMaid cabinets, you can achieve a unified, custom look at a fraction of the price.
Top 3 RTA Brands that Match KraftMaid
Now that you know what to look for, here are 3 of the top ready-to-assemble cabinet brands that pair beautifully with KraftMaid:
1. Barker Cabinets
Barker is one of the leading brands producing quality RTA cabinets that rival traditional custom cabinetry at lower price points.
Some reasons Barker Cabinets pair well with KraftMaid:
- Made from U.S. sourced hardwoods like oak, maple and hickory
- Plywood sides, bottoms and cabinet backs
- Precision cuts for easy assembly
- Dovetail drawer boxes with full extension glides
- High-quality finishes like textured melamines and multi-step stains
- Extensive door style and storage solution options
- Everything made in the USA
Barker offers a “Spec KraftMaid” line of RTA cabinets designed specifically to match KraftMaid finishes and aesthetics at up to half the cost. This makes blending the two brands seamless.
2. Cabinet Joint
Another top manufacturer of RTA cabinets is Cabinet Joint, who match the quality of Kraftmaiid while working within almost any budget.
Reasons Cabinet Joint complements KraftMaid beautifully:
- Maple and oak cabinets constructed with 3⁄4” plywood
- Durable dovetail drawer boxes with soft-close options
- Full overlay doors matching most KraftMaid styles
- Custom cabinet heights, depths and widths
- Proprietary finishes to achieve any stain match
- Optional matching moldings and trim
- Also made entirely in the USA
Cabinet Joint offers unbeatable consistency and quality control, allowing you to mix your order of KraftMaid and RTA cabinets with total confidence.
3. Ready to Assemble Cabinets.com
Ready to Assemble Cabinets is another leading source of affordable RTA designed specifically to integrate with high-end cabinetry brands like KraftMaid, Wood-Mode and Brookhaven.
Here’s why their cabinets pair so well:
- Constructed of 100% U.S. maple or oak
- Plywood sides and cabinet backs
- Furniture-grade finishes
- Fully customizable cabinets
- Extensive door styles and finishes to match KraftMaid
- Quality corner cabinet and storage solutions
- Also made fully in the United States
Their “KraftMaid Match” RTA cabinets mix seamlessly with typical KraftMaid to deliver huge cost savings with no sacrifice of style or quality.
Mixing KraftMaid with RTA By Cabinet Location
One strategy for marrying KraftMaid cabinets and RTA is to choose install locations based on visibility and use. Here are some ideas:
- Use KraftMaid for the main kitchen cabinetry – the most visible spot where durability and quality matter.
- Select RTA for upper kitchen cabinets – since they are less visible and accessible.
- Choose RTA for cabinetry inside pantries, closets and laundry rooms.
- Use RTA for bathroom vanities and medicine cabinets.
- Install matching RTA cabinets in the garage, basement or other utility areas.
- Pair an RTA island or peninsula with KraftMaid perimeter cabinetry.
Essentially, splurge on KraftMaid for frequently used cabinets in prime visibility areas. Save with RTA anywhere that won’t get heavy use or be under a spotlight. Taking a strategic approach allows you to optimize your kitchen design budget.
Tips for Mixing RTA with KraftMaid Successfully
Follow these tips for a beautifully cohesive look blending KraftMaid and RTA cabinets:
- Incorporate RTA slowly at first, and give your eye time to adjust to any slight differences in wood grain or finish color. Over time, variances become far less noticeable.
- Make sure to order all RTA cabinets and KraftMaid cabinets at the same time to guarantee proper finish matching.
- Use matching hardware pulls and knobs to tie the two brands together seamlessly.
- Look for RTA options with matching molding choices to KraftMaid, or use scrap KraftMaid trim pieces on RTA cabinets for a consistent look.
- Install cabinet lighting to downplay any faint inconsistencies between brands. Illumination shadowing helps achieve a uniform appearance.
- Place the most visible specialty KraftMaid cabinets, like angled swagger glass corner units or Boomerang Lazy Susans, in high visibility spots.
- Hire an experienced kitchen installer familiar with working with mixes of cabinetry brands and making them look cohesive. Their expertise is invaluable.
Many stunning kitchens blend KraftMaid cabinetry with RTA strategically and cost-effectively. With proper pairing of complementary brands, meticulous finish and style matching, and expert installation, you can attain a show-stopping kitchen with custom cabinetry appeal at a fraction of the price.
Frequently Asked Questions About Mixing KraftMaid with RTA
What are the major differences between KraftMaid and RTA cabinets?
The main differences are:
- Assembly – KraftMaid comes fully constructed. RTA comes flat-packed for assembly on site.
- Price – KraftMaid costs about twice as much as comparable RTA cabinets.
- Lead time – KraftMaid takes weeks for delivery. RTA ships within days.
- Availability – KraftMaid must be special ordered through dealers. RTA is readily available online.
- Customization – KraftMaid offers more size and style options. RTA focuses on most popular options but with some customization.
Does KraftMaid offer its own RTA line of cabinets?
No, KraftMaid does not currently offer RTA cabinets. Their products only come preassembled. To get the KraftMaid look on a budget, you need to source RTA cabinets designed to complement KraftMaid from brands like the ones mentioned above.
How seamlessly do RTA cabinets match KraftMaid?
When sticking with recommended brands and coordinating finishes/styles carefully, RTA can match KraftMaid almost identically. Slight variance in wood grain is possible but not overly noticeable. Hiring an installer experienced with mixing cabinetry helps ensure a cohesive look.
Can you mix and match KraftMaid and RTA cabinet hardware?
Absolutely! Using matching hardware between KraftMaid and complementary RTA is recommended to help tie the cabinets together visually. Just be sure the hardware finish and style work with both cabinet aesthetics.
What are the best practices for mixing KraftMaid with RTA cabinets?
- Choose RTA cabinets from recommended brands optimized to pair with KraftMaid
- Use KraftMaid on frequently accessed lower cabinets and RTA up high or internally
- Coordinate finishes, wood species, door profiles and molding for a cohesive look
- Order everything simultaneously for ideal finish matching
- Take a gradual approach to mixing cabinetry brands
- Use matching hardware suites and lighting to downplay any minimal differences
Is it worth going RTA if you love the KraftMaid style?
Going with RTA for some of your kitchen can save thousands of dollars. Leading RTA brands offer quality on par with KraftMaid. Mixing cabinetry strategically allows you to maximize both your budget and design style goals. Many find the savings of nicely blending KraftMaid with RTA worthwhile.
Achieving Your Dream Kitchen with KraftMaid and RTA
While KraftMaid makes exceptional cabinetry, their premium products come at a premium cost. But their signature style and quality doesn’t have to break the bank. Thanks to reputable RTA manufacturers offering options purpose-built to pair with KraftMaid, you can execute a kitchen design that seamlessly blends these cabinet solutions for a custom look at a value price point.
With clever mixing and matching of cabinetry brands and locations, plus proper coordination of finishes, moldings and hardware, you can attain a stunning, cohesive dream kitchen with KraftMaid’s signature sophistication at a budget you can afford. The savings accrued mean more splurging potential on other kitchen elements like countertops, appliances or backsplashes.
Hopefully this guide has shown you that pairing top-quality RTA with go-to brand KraftMaid can let you achieve the kitchen of your dreams, no matter your style or budget needs. Keep these tips in mind, do your homework on complementary RTA lines, and get ready to enjoy a world-class kitchen makeover at a real world price.