Ready-to-assemble (RTA) cabinets offer an affordable and convenient option for renovating your kitchen. With RTA cabinets, you get unfinished cabinet boxes and doors that you assemble yourself, allowing you to save on installation costs. If you’re looking for the most budget-friendly RTA cabinets, knowing where to find the best deals is key. We’ve compared prices across the top retailers to find out who has the cheapest RTA cabinets.
What are RTA Cabinets?
RTA, or ready-to-assemble, cabinets come packaged as individual pieces with pre-drilled holes and hardware included. You simply put the cabinets together yourself using basic tools like a screwdriver, rather than hiring a professional for installation.
Benefits of RTA cabinets include:
- Lower cost than pre-assembled cabinets
- Avoid installation fees
- Customize with different finishes and hardware
- Offer more size and layout flexibility
- Quick and easy DIY assembly
The trade-off is that you have to put in your own time and labor for assembly and finishing. But for many homeowners, the cost savings make it worth the effort.
RTA cabinets are constructed from materials like particle board, MDF, plywood, and thermally fused laminate. Door styles encompass traditional looks like Shaker and slab, as well as modern and farmhouse designs. They come in standard kitchen sizes, with a wide selection of colors and finishes to choose from.
Factors That Impact RTA Cabinet Pricing
Several factors go into RTA cabinet pricing, which is why costs can vary significantly between retailers. Here are some of the main considerations:
- Brand reputation – Well-known brands like Hampton Bay and Kraftmaid tend to be pricier than generic or lesser-known labels. You’re paying for the brand recognition and perceived quality.
- Materials – Cabinets made with plywood and solid wood tend to cost more than particle board or MDF. Thermally fused laminate is generally the most budget-friendly cabinet material.
- Door styles – Simple slab cabinet door styles are typically cheaper than more ornate options like shaker, inset panel, or decorative door designs.
- Colors and finishes – Stock cabinet colors like white or woodgrain laminate are often standard. But upgraded finishes, custom colors, and glazes can add cost.
- Accessories – Features like soft-close hinges, roll-out trays, and lazy susans will increase the price but add functionality.
- Discounts and sales – Promotional discounts, bulk order sales, and clearance deals allow retailers to offer significant markdowns on RTA cabinets.
Keeping these factors in mind will help you search for deals and compare cabinet prices wisely. Paying attention to sales and discounts can offer major savings if you buy at the right time.
Where to Find the Best RTA Cabinet Prices
We’ve compared the top places to buy RTA cabinets on price to find out which retailers consistently offer the lowest costs. Here are our top picks for where to find the cheapest ready-to-assemble kitchen cabinets:
1. Home Depot
With its huge selection of affordable house brands like Hampton Bay and Glacier Bay, Home Depot consistently ranks as the place to find the cheapest RTA cabinets. Pricing starts under $100 per base cabinet, with frequent sales bringing costs down even lower.
They also offer free in-store pickup and free shipping on orders over $396. Their everyday low prices, bulk order discounts, clearance deals, and wide online selection make Home Depot our top pick for budget RTA cabinetry.
Lowe’s also features a wide range of value-priced RTA cabinets under their house brand names Style Selections and Allen + Roth. Base cabinet pricing starts around $120-$150 for economy options, with frequent promotions on many models.
While not always as low as Home Depot, Lowe’s offers an impressive selection of affordable RTA cabinets both in-store and online. Price-matching policies and availability of bargains in clearance make this retailer worth checking for discounted cabinet deals.
With a focus on affordability, Walmart stocks their own Mainstays brand of RTA cabinets at ultra-low prices. Pricing starts at just $69 per base cabinet, putting Walmart at the top for most budget-friendly pricing.
They have a smaller selection than warehouse retailers like Home Depot and Lowe’s. But the everyday low prices, price-matching, and clearance deals make Walmart a go-to if you want the cheapest cabinets you can find.
Wayfair has become a leading destination for discounted RTA cabinets online. They feature many smaller brands you won’t find elsewhere, often at bargain bin prices starting under $100 per base cabinet.
Frequent sales take up to 40% off listed prices, and bulk order discounts apply on large purchases. With free shipping on most orders, low prices, and a wide selection, Wayfair is ideal for affordable cabinets. Just be sure to check reviews carefully, as quality varies more with their lesser-known brands.
For ultra-cheap cabinets, IKEA is hard to beat. Their SEKTION cabinet line includes RTA models starting at just $89 per base cabinet, making IKEA the cheapest of the major retailers.
The trade-off is you get a simpler, pared-down design with limited choices compared to other retailers. But if you want basic, inexpensive cabinets, IKEA is where you’ll find the best deals. Just keep in mind you have to assemble them yourself.
Other Places to Find Cheap RTA Cabinets
Beyond the major retailers, you can also find discounted Ready-to-assemble cabinets from these sources:
- Liquidation stores like Habitat for Humanity ReStores – Offer donated cabinets at steep discounts
- Closeout and overstock outlets – Stock discontinued models marked down in price
- Big box builder supply stores like 84 Lumber or Carter Lumber – Have economy house brand RTA cabinets at low prices
- Local cabinet manufacturers – Sometimes have budget RTA options and offer lower customization without the brand markup
- Discount kitchen outlets – Stock lower-priced RTA cabinets often priced below big box stores
- Used cabinets – From resale sites like Craigslist or local salvage companies. Allows repurposing quality used cabinets on a tight budget
How to Get the Lowest Price on RTA Cabinets
To get the cheapest deal on ready-to-assemble cabinets, keep these money-saving tips in mind:
- Compare prices online – Research websites and use price filters to find the lowest prices for the style you want.
- Look for sales and promotions – Sign up for retailer emails and sales alerts to stay on top of discounts.
- Ask about bulk order discounts – Buying multiple cabinets together can lower per-unit pricing.
- Consider clearance models – These are often discontinued but perfectly functional.
- Choose stock colors/sizes – Custom colors and sizing add cost; stick to in-stock if possible.
- Downgrade door styles – Opt for simple slab doors rather than decorative styles that add expense.
- Compare shipping costs – Factor this in if ordering online; pick free store pickup when available.
- Use store price matching – Take advantage of low-price guarantees to match competitors’ deals.
- Negotiate with local retailers – They may match or beat big box pricing, especially on large projects.
- Time purchases right – Look for seasonal sales around holidays and shop end-of-model-year clearances.
Quality Considerations for Cheap Cabinets
The biggest trade-off with bargain-priced RTA cabinets is lower quality construction. However, there are ways to get good value for your money:
- Inspect carefully – Look for damage, alignment, and fit issues before accepting delivery.
- Read reviews – Look for feedback on durability and ease of assembly for that brand.
- Upgrade hardware – Install high-quality hinges and drawer glides for smoother function.
- Reinforce with brackets – Add corner braces and supports for improved sturdiness.
- Check warranty coverage – Make sure issues like breakage or defects are covered.
- Take care assembling – Follow instructions closely and work carefully for best results.
- Finish and seal properly – Sand, fill holes, prime, and paint for a more custom built-in look.
While it’s risky to buy the absolute cheapest cabinets, you can get great deals on quality RTA cabinets with smart shopping. Taking the time to assemble and finish them properly also goes a long way towards making even budget cabinets look great.
Top Brands for Affordable RTA Cabinets
Certain cabinet brands are known for offering quality at lower price points. These include:
Carried by Home Depot, Hampton Bay has a reputation for having some of the cheapest RTA cabinet prices from a major brand. Styles like the Hampton Assembled line start under $100 per base cabinet. They use decent materials like plywood boxes and include soft-close hardware. Durability gets mixed reviews, but they make a great budget choice if installed carefully.
Another inexpensive Home Depot house brand, Glacier Bay RTA cabinets start around $110 per base cabinet. Made from solid wood frames and plywood panels, they offer good value for the low prices. Durability can be questionable over the long haul. But the affordable pricing makes them ideal if you’re on a tight budget.
This Lowe’s brand provides a good value option, with RTA cabinet pricing starting around $120. Construction uses particleboard instead of plywood, so durability suffers somewhat. But their quality is fairly decent for the low cost. Frequent sales make Style Selections a nicely affordable RTA cabinet choice.
Allen + Roth
As Lowe’s more premium house brand line, Allen + Roth still offers reasonable value starting under $200 per base cabinet. They use more plywood in construction for improved sturdiness. The quality ranks above Lowe’s Style Selections for not much more cost, making them a great buy.
The RTA offering from Walmart comes from their ultra-affordable Mainstays brand. Pricing under $100 makes them the cheapest major retailer option. The trade-off is cheaper materials like thin fiberboard. But they make for a serviceable budget choice if you need to go low-cost.
IKEA’s SEKTION cabinet series includes RTA models starting around just $90 per cabinet. Made from particleboard with acrylic thermofoil doors, the quality is mediocre. But the super cheap prices make them ideal if you’re equipping a rental or need an ultra-affordable solution. Just don’t expect them to last decades.
While you’ll make some sacrifices in materials and construction at lower price points, these budget-friendly RTA cabinet brands offer a nicely affordable way to refresh your kitchen’s look.
Should I Buy Stock, Semi-Custom, or Custom Cabinets?
Beyond Ready-to-assemble, cabinetry also comes in stock, semi-custom, and custom versions. How do you choose?
Stock cabinets are pre-configured with limited options. RTA cabinets fall into this “stock” category. The benefit is affordable pricing at the low end, starting under $100 per cabinet. The downside is little choice beyond size and door style.
Semi-custom cabinets allow some modifications while keeping costs reasonable, with prices from $200-500 per cabinet. You can tweak sizing, add accessories, and choose from a wider range of finishes. This makes semi-custom a nice mid-range choice for personalization on a budget.
Custom cabinets are made to your specifications, with costs ranging $500 on up per cabinet. While expensive, they allow completely customized sizing, storage options, and aesthetics. Custom makes sense for complex layouts or exotic looks.
For many homeowners, RTA cabinets hit the sweet spot between cost and customization. But weigh your budget, design needs, and willingness to install cabinets yourself when deciding which cabinet type works best. Shopping sales can help make more customized options affordable.
Ready-to-Assemble Cabinets: Worth the Investment?
Installing RTA cabinets takes more sweat equity upfront. But taking the time to assemble and install cabinets yourself can save thousands compared to hiring out the work.
With smart shopping, you can find quality RTA cabinets priced as little as $100 per cabinet – a fraction of what custom cabinetry costs. Even having countertops professionally installed after the fact costs far less than paying for turnkey cabinets.
The key is finding retailers that allow mixing and matching for the best value. For example:
- Buy clearance RTA cabinets to save on box cost
- Upgrade to soft-close drawers and doors
- Opt for quality cabinet hardware
- Install higher-end countertops like quartz
This À la carte approach to your kitchen remodel allows investing where it matters most while still saving big on cabinet box pricing. Doing the finishing work yourself further helps control costs.
While RTA cabinets require elbow grease for assembly and finishing, the massive savings compared to custom cabinetry make the investment of sweat equity well worth it for many homeowners. Using tips in this guide can help you land the cheapest deals on quality ready-to-assemble cabinets for your next kitchen project.
Frequently Asked Questions about Cheap RTA Cabinets
Q: How much do RTA cabinets cost?
RTA cabinet pricing can range anywhere from $60 on the low end to $500+ on the high end. The average cost for RTA cabinets is $100-$300 per base cabinet, depending on door style, materials, and features. Luxury brands like Kraftmaid can surpass $500 per base cabinet.
Q: Are RTA cabinets lower quality than custom?
In general, RTA cabinets use less expensive materials like particle board instead of plywood. Durability is often lower, especially for ultra-budget options. But mid-range RTA cabinets offer decent quality, especially if properly reinforced during installation. Finishing them gives a more custom look.
Q: Can RTA cabinets look high-end?
With careful assembly, using quality hardware, painting or staining, adding molding, and installing nice countertops, RTA cabinets can definitely take on a high-end custom look at a fraction of the price. Refacing existing cabinets is another way to transform them affordably.
Q: What are the cheapest options for kitchen cabinets?
The most affordable cabinet options are:
- Store brands like Hampton Bay (Home Depot) or Style Selections (Lowe’s)
- Ordering stock sizes online through retailers like Wayfair or IKEA
- Buying used cabinets from resale sites or salvage businesses
- Building your own from big box store lumber using simple construction
- Painting existing cabinets instead of replacing them
Q: Should I wait for sales to buy RTA cabinets?
Waiting for sales can save a lot on RTA cabinets. Retailers like Home Depot and Lowe’s run frequent promotions on their house brands. Watch for seasonal clearances, bulk order discounts, and occasional coupon offers to get the lowest price. Sign up for email alerts so you know when cabinet sales are running.
Updating your kitchen with new RTA cabinets offers big savings over custom cabinetry. Ready-to-assemble models provide convenience and affordability, starting under $100 per cabinet. With smart shopping at retailers like Home Depot, IKEA, Walmart and Lowe’s, you can land quality RTA cabinets at the lowest prices. Invest wisely in your kitchen remodel by tuning into promotions, comparing prices, and doing your homework on cabinet brands and construction. The end result can give you a kitchen facelift at a fraction of the expected cost when opting for savvy RTA cabinet choices.