Construction and Materials
The construction and materials are key factors that affect the quality and durability of RTA cabinets. Look for the following:
Solid Wood Doors and Drawer Fronts
Solid wood doors and drawer fronts hold up better than options made from particleboard or MDF (medium density fiberboard). Oak, maple, and cherry are common solid wood options.
Thick Cabinet Boxes
Opt for 3⁄4 inch thick cabinet sides, tops, bottoms, and shelves. Thinner cabinet boxes are more prone to warping and sagging over time.
Dovetail joints securely fasten the sides and front of the drawer box together. They are stronger than basic butt joints.
Soft-Close Drawers and Doors
Soft-close mechanisms prevent drawers and doors from slamming shut. This adds a luxury feel and reduces wear and tear.
Sturdy Drawer Glides
Look for full extension drawer glides that allow you to fully pull out the drawer and smoothly push it back in. Ball bearing glides are best.
Don’t skimp on hardware. Quality hinges, pulls, and knobs will make your cabinets look and function better.
Concealed hinges provide a sleek, seamless look on doors. Models with adjustable close alignment help doors line up properly.
Opt for metal cabinet pulls and knobs over plastic ones prone to breaking. Brushed nickel, oil-rubbed bronze, and matte black finishes are popular.
Soft-Close Hinges (Optional)
Like drawers and doors, cabinet hinges with soft-close dampers prevent slamming.
Assembly and Installation
RTA cabinets still require some assembly and expert installation for best results.
Manufacturer provided instructions should be detailed and easy to follow, with numbered steps and diagrams.
Assembly that just involves drilling shelves into side walls is easier than piecing together the entire cabinet box.
Consider hiring a contractor to properly install your RTA cabinets with shims and secure fasteners.
Warranty and Customer Support
A strong warranty and customer service are important if any issues arise.
At Least 1 Year Warranty
Many RTA brands offer a limited lifetime warranty. Look for at least 1 year.
Responsive Customer Service
The company should have knowledgeable customer support to contact about defective or missing parts.
Understand the return policy in case cabinets arrive damaged or if you need to return them.
Brand Reputation and Reviews
The reputation and feedback for the cabinet brand can give insight into their quality.
Look for an RTA cabinet brand that has been around for several years or more.
Positive Online Reviews
Read third-party reviews on sites like Google to learn about others’ experiences.
Ask friends, relatives, or contractors for RTA cabinet brand recommendations.
Certifications help verify quality standards and safety of RTA cabinets.
The Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association (KCMA) tests cabinets to meet standards.
California Air Resources Board (CARB) compliance indicates formaldehyde emissions meet limits.
Steer clear of cabinets with the following red flags to ensure high quality:
- Super cheap prices
- Flimsy materials like thin particleboard
- Limited information about the brand or manufacturing
- Lack of warranties or support
By keeping an eye out for these key factors, you can find well-made ready-to-assemble cabinets that look great and will last. Carefully check the construction, materials, hardware, certifications, brand reputation, and more when shopping around. Investing in quality RTA cabinets is worth the money and effort for a kitchen or bathroom you’ll love.
Frequently Asked Questions about High Quality RTA Cabinets
What are the benefits of RTA cabinets?
The main benefits of RTA cabinets are affordability and convenience. They cost less than custom cabinetry and involve easier installation than fully assembled cabinets. You can handle the simple assembly and installation yourself.
How durable are quality RTA cabinets?
High quality RTA cabinets made with solid wood components and strong construction can be very durable, lasting for many years with proper care. Look for reputable brands and sturdy materials.
Should I choose assembled or RTA cabinets?
If you want to save money and don’t mind doing some assembly, RTA is the way to go. For maximum convenience, pre-assembled cabinets just need basic installation. RTA provides the best value.
What’s the difference between stock and RTA cabinets?
Stock cabinets are pre-assembled by the manufacturer. RTA cabinets ship unassembled in flat boxes for assembly onsite. Both offer an affordable alternative to custom cabinets.
Should I hire a contractor to install RTA cabinets?
Professional installation is recommended for a proper finish, but not required. If you are fairly handy, you can install RTA cabinets yourself by following the manufacturer’s directions closely.
How long does it take to assemble and install RTA cabinets?
Assembly time ranges from a few hours for a small kitchen up to a couple days for a larger project. Installation by a pro or skilled DIYer generally takes 1-3 days.