Ready-to-assemble (RTA) cabinets offer a convenient and budget-friendly option for remodeling or building a new kitchen. With RTA cabinets, you get the same quality construction as pre-assembled cabinetry but at a fraction of the cost since you put them together yourself. When shopping for RTA cabinets, it’s important to look for durable materials, quality hardware, and sturdy construction that will stand the test of time. In this article, we’ll examine the top brands that make the best RTA cabinets and help you choose the right one for your needs.
What are RTA Cabinets?
RTA or ready-to-assemble cabinets come packed flat in boxes with everything needed for assembly. RTA cabinets feature pre-drilled holes and hardware like screws and Cam locks that allow DIYers to put them together at home. Since RTA cabinets ship disassembled, they cost significantly less than pre-fabricated cabinetry.
RTA cabinets provide the following benefits:
- Cost Savings – RTA cabinets cost 20-50% less than custom cabinetry. You save on costs associated with shipping pre-assembled cabinets.
- Convenience – RTA cabinets ship compactly and can fit through narrow spaces. You also don’t need to schedule cabinet delivery and installation.
- Customization – RTA cabinets can be modified and customized to suit your unique space.
- Quality Materials – Leading RTA cabinet brands use quality plywood, solid wood doors and drawers, and durable finishes.
While RTA cabinets offer value and quality, you still need to install them properly for a seamless look. Take accurate measurements, organize hardware, and follow instructions carefully. Overall, with some DIY skills and time, RTA cabinets provide an affordable way to get custom-looking cabinetry.
Factors to Consider When Choosing RTA Cabinets
Here are the key factors to consider when choosing RTA cabinets:
Focus on cabinets with plywood box construction rather than particle board. Plywood is stronger, more stable, and resists warping better over time. Look for cabinet boxes with dovetail joinery and drawer boxes with soft-close undermount glides.
Look for sturdy adjustable hinges, full extension soft-close drawer glides, and durable shelves. Avoid plastic hardware which can break over time. Opt for metal drawer glides for smooth operation.
Consider the cabinet door style that matches your kitchen aesthetics – shaker, inset, slab, etc. Also look at options like distressing and inset panel doors to replicate high-end cabinetry.
Choose cabinets with plywood over MDF or particle board. Solid wood offers durability but can be expensive. Thermofoil and melamine finishes are affordable options that resist scratches and dents.
Look for finishes like stain, paint, thermofoil, and melamine that suit your design and usage. Painted and stained finishes add aesthetic value but require more maintenance than laminates.
Look for GREENGUARD, CARB-II compliance for low VOC emissions. Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association (KCMA) certification also indicates meeting quality standards.
Top Brands for RTA Cabinets
Here are the top brands making high-quality ready-to-assemble cabinets:
1. Cabinet Joint
Cabinet Joint is one of the leading brands for RTA cabinets known for offering custom-quality cabinets at affordable pricing.
- Plywood box construction with dovetail drawers
- Wide range of door styles like shaker, soft-close, inset, etc.
- Durable finishes – thermofoil, wood veneer, painted
- Soft-close drawers, adjustable hinges, wooden corner blocks
- Lifetime warranty on cabinet boxes
Cabinet Joint provides all-plywood construction, soft-close functionality, and stylish door designs reminiscent of custom cabinetry but at roughly 50% lower costs. Known for durability and functionality, Cabinet Joint is a great choice for any style.
2. Barker Cabinets
For modern and flexible RTA cabinetry, Barker is a top choice.
- Modern and transitional styles
- Plywood boxes with soft-close drawers
- Durable thermofoil and melamine finishes
- Matching butcher blocks, islands, and accessories
- Easy to assemble
With sleek styles and innovative storage solutions, Barker offers extremely flexible RTA cabinetry works for any home. The durable melamine finishes and soft-close drawers ensure years of use. Their coordinating islands, panelling, and storage accessories make it easy to complete the look.
3. Ready To Assemble Cabinets Depot
For affordable and quick shipping of RTA cabinets, RTA Cabinets Depot is a leading choice.
- Factory direct pricing, ships within 3 business days
- Wide selection of RTA cabinets
- Bulk ordering discounts
- Plywood construction and choice of finishes
- Ships nationally
With speedy delivery across the US, RTA Cabinets Depot is ideal when you need quality RTA cabinets quickly and on a budget. From standard kitchen cabinets to bath vanities and laundry room cabinetry, they carry a vast selection of ready-to-assemble options.
4. Cabinets To Go
For contemporary, European-style RTA cabinetry, Cabinets To Go is an excellent brand.
- European aesthetic with flat slab cabinet doors
- Melamine and thermofoil finishes
- Metal drawer guides with soft-close
- Matching bathroom vanities, pantry cabinets etc
- Greenseal Gold certification
Cabinets To Go brings European minimalist style to RTA cabinetry with their selection of thermofoil slab-style cabinets in grey and white tones. With matching accessories and sophisticated hardware, it’s easy to design a contemporary kitchen.
5. The RTA Store
For a wide selection of RTA cabinet styles and finishes, The RTA Store is a go-to.
- Extensive selection of RTA cabinet lines
- Range of door styles from shaker to inset to slab
- Customization options like added drawers
- Unique finishes like glazed and distressed looks
- Island and countertops available
With one of the most extensive catalogs of RTA cabinets, The RTA Store allows you to easily find the style and finish you need. Unique distressed and glazed finishes offer sophistication, while customization options provide flexibility.
Choosing the Best RTA Cabinets for Your Needs
When choosing RTA cabinets, keep the following factors in mind:
Consider the size of your kitchen and traffic areas when selecting cabinet sizes and configurations. Opt for deeper pantry pull outs and full extension drawers for accessibility in larger kitchens. Compact cabinets like 15” depths work better for small kitchens.
Look at how you use your cabinets and choose finishes and features accordingly. For frequently used prep areas, opt for durable melamine or thermofoil finishes that resist scratches, dampness and stains. Use glass front cabinets to display serveware in dining areas.
Match your kitchen’s design aesthetics by selecting door styles and finishes that align. Modern and contemporary spaces do well with sleek slab cabinet doors and polished chrome hardware while traditional kitchens need classic shaker style doors.
RTA cabinets offer excellent value across price points. If budget is a concern, you can opt for laminate cabinets from brands like Ready To Assemble Cabinets Depot. For high-end features like custom storage and soft-close hinges, expect to spend more.
Specialty Storage Needs
Determine if you need specialty cabinets for pots and pans, corner storage, or larders etc. Many leading RTA cabinet brands offer add-ons like wine racks, spice pull outs, utility cabinets etc.
Buying Considerations for RTA Cabinets
Follow these tips when selecting and buying RTA cabinets:
Accurately Measure Your Space
Take detailed measurements of your entire kitchen including wall lengths, ceiling heights, corners etc. Account for appliances, windows and doors when planning cabinetry.
Select an Experienced Brand
Stick with established RTA cabinet brands that have a reputation for quality and service. Reviews from other customers can provide insights into longevity, ease of assembly, and finish.
Many brands offer free samples of cabinet doors, finishes, and hardware. Order samples to get a sense of color, style, and feel before purchasing.
Include Modification Options
Consider adding more shelves, drawers, roll-outs etc for optimal storage. Many brands allow you to customize and modify RTA cabinets with add-ons.
Hire Help if Needed
While RTA cabinets are designed for DIY assembly, don’t hesitate to hire help for installing upper cabinets and performing modifications. This ensures proper installation.
Consider Delivery Timelines
Factor in shipping and delivery time, especially if your cabinets are needed by a certain date. Lead times range from 3 days to 4 weeks.
By carefully measuring, planning, and selecting the right RTA cabinets for your needs, you can enjoy customized, high-quality cabinetry that fits your budget and style. Invest in durable RTA cabinets from reputed brands for a kitchen that will last for years to come.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Are RTA cabinets low quality?
No, when bought from leading brands like Cabinet Joint and Barker, RTA cabinets use quality plywood boxes, soft-close hardware and solid wood doors just like custom cabinetry. The ready-to-assemble format provides cost savings. Top manufacturers use durable finishes and robust materials for long-lasting performance.
Q: How difficult is it to assemble RTA cabinets?
RTA cabinets are designed for convenient home assembly. Major brands provide detailed instructions with diagrams and labeled hardware. Basic tools are needed – drill, screwdriver etc. Expect assembly to be straightforward but time consuming. Hiring a carpenter can help speed up the process.
Q: Can RTA cabinets be returned?
Each brand has specific return policies. In general, RTA cabinets can be returned in original packaging if they are unused and unassembled. Modifications and customization may limit return eligibility. Contact customer service before ordering to understand return policy details.
Q: Are RTA cabinets cheaper than custom cabinets?
Yes, RTA cabinets are 20-50% cheaper than custom or pre-assembled cabinetry. Since RTA cabinets ship flat and you assemble them, it avoids costs related to shipping bulky pre-built cabinets and professional installation. RTA cabinets provide cost savings without compromising on features like soft-close hardware and durable finishes.
Q: Where can I buy RTA cabinets?
RTA cabinets can be purchased directly from brand websites like Cabinet Joint, Barker, and The RTA Cabinet Store. Home improvement retailers like Lowe’s and Home Depot also carry select RTA cabinet lines onsite and online. For the widest selection, order directly from cabinet brand websites.
RTA or ready-to-assemble cabinets provide a budget-friendly alternative to customized cabinetry while still offering quality construction and robust features. Leading RTA cabinet brands like Cabinet Joint use all-plywood boxes, soft-close functionality, and stunning finishes to rival custom cabinets at just a fraction of the cost.
When choosing RTA cabinets, examine cabinet materials, hardware, door styles and finishes to ensure durability and alignment with your kitchen’s aesthetics. Carefully measure your space, order samples before purchase and read customer reviews. Consider hiring help for installation for optimum results. Investing in high-quality RTA cabinets from reputed brands can help you cost-effectively achieve your dream kitchen.