Ready-to-assemble (RTA) kitchen cabinets offer an affordable and customizable solution for renovating your kitchen. Assembled with simple tools and basic instructions, RTA cabinets allow you to upgrade your space without the high cost of custom cabinetry. If you’re looking to purchase RTA kitchen cabinets, here is an overview of some of the major retailers that sell them.
One of the most popular big-box stores, Home Depot carries a wide selection of RTA kitchen cabinets to suit any budget or style. Brands like Hampton Bay, Glacier Bay, and Wellborn Forest offer options in various door styles, finishes, and configuration options. Home Depot also employs knowledgeable kitchen design specialists to help you plan your layout and select the best cabinet solutions for your needs. They frequently run sales and specials on RTA kitchen cabinets as well.
Similar to Home Depot, Lowe’s is another home improvement superstore that sells RTA kitchen cabinets both in-store and online. Lowe’s features value-focused RTA brands like Project Source and Allen + Roth in contemporary or classic looks. Lowe’s design consultants can assist you in choosing cabinets and accessories that work with the dimensions of your kitchen. Lowe’s also offers free in-home installation services for RTA kitchen cabinets.
IKEA is probably the most well-known retailer of RTA furniture and cabinets. Their SEKTION line of kitchen cabinets is affordably priced and combines smooth, modern designs with sturdy construction. IKEA’s RTA cabinets come equipped with features like soft-close hinges, adjustable shelves, and a 25-year warranty. A wide range of door styles, finishes, organizers, and fixtures allows complete customization. Ordering kitchen cabinets through IKEA’s online planning tools can also save significant money compared to other outlets.
Cabinet Direct is an online-only cabinet retailer that specializes in RTA kitchen and bathroom cabinetry. They offer curated collections of Shaker, contemporary, and traditional cabinet styles from top manufacturers like Redo Kitchen Cabinets and ProCraft Cabinetry. Cabinet Direct’s RTA cabinets are made from solid wood and come with warranties up to a lifetime. Shopping online provides price transparency and allows you to receive free samples to inspect quality and finishes.
Formerly known as QualityCabinets.com, Cabinet.com features competitively priced RTA kitchen cabinets in many customizable configurations. Brands like Sunny Wood USA, TLC Cabinets, and Canyon Creek Cabinet Company range from value-priced to more luxurious styles and materials. Each product line has variations in wood species, finishes, storage options, and hardware to match your preferences. Cabinet.com provides an online design tool to simplify the process.
The retail giant Walmart stocks a variety of RTA kitchen cabinets on their website and in many brick-and-mortar stores. Brands like Confidence and EasyClosets offer simple RTA cabinets made of particle board and thermally fused laminate for affordability. While selection is more limited than specialty retailers, prices of Walmart’s RTA kitchen cabinets can meet very modest remodeling budgets. Free shipping is available for many products as well.
What to Look for When Buying RTA Kitchen Cabinets
Ready-to-assemble (RTA) kitchen cabinets provide a budget-friendly alternative to custom cabinetry. When shopping for RTA cabinets, keep the following factors in mind:
Focus on cabinets made with plywood boxes instead of lower-quality particle board. Look for sturdy face frames, doors, and drawers that won’t warp over time. Consider solid wood doors and frames over veneers which can peel and chip. Hardware should be durable and wide-ranging.
Look for cabinets that fit your preferred design aesthetic – contemporary, traditional, cottage, etc. Compare door styles like Shaker, inset, and slab. Evaluate available finishes and colors for the right look. See if optional accessories like glass cabinet doors, decorative feet, or crown molding are offered.
One benefit of RTA cabinets is the ability to customize. Assess the types of cabinet boxes, adjustable shelves, organizational inserts, drawer configurations, and storage solutions available. Also look for a wide selection of door styles and sizes to perfectly fit your floorplan.
RTA cabinets provide significant savings over custom cabinetry, though prices can vary widely by brand. Estimate total costs for your kitchen to get accurate pricing for your budget. Factor in additional expenses like shipping, installation or assembly fees.
Make sure the RTA cabinets you select are designed for easy, quick assembly with basic tools like a drill and screwdriver. Dovetail joints and interlocking construction should not require glue or complicated techniques. Match your DIY skill level to the cabinet’s assembly needs.
Check that the RTA kitchen cabinets you choose come with solid warranties on materials and workmanship. Many brands offer lifetime warranties on cabinet boxes and hardware. Look for at least a 1-year guarantee on door and drawer fronts.
Pros and Cons of RTA Kitchen Cabinets
RTA (ready-to-assemble) kitchen cabinets provide a versatile, wallet-friendly alternative to installed cabinetry. Evaluating the pros and cons can help determine if RTA cabinets are right for your kitchen remodel.
- Cost Savings: Pre-assembled cabinets typically cost 50-70% less than custom cabinetry.
- Convenience: Cabinets ship directly to you ready for assembly. No need to schedule installer appointments.
- Customization: Modify cabinets to perfectly fit your space with flexible sizing and storage options.
- Quality Materials: Many RTA brands use sturdy plywood construction and solid wood doors and frames.
- Easy Installation: Assemble cabinets with basic tools like a screwdriver. Quick and straightforward.
- Broad Availability: Sold widely online and at home improvement stores like IKEA, Home Depot and Lowe’s.
- Assembly Required: You’ll need to put the cabinets together yourself according to instructions.
- ** Limited Designs:** Less selection compared to fully custom cabinetry in terms of finishes, wood types and moldings.
- No On-Site Assistance: Difficult to receive help if issues come up after delivery.
- Shorter Lifespan: Durability depends on quality. Lower-cost materials may warp or deteriorate faster.
- Damaged Pieces: Occasional defects or mistakes may need replacement parts shipped.
- Time Consuming: Assembly and installation still takes significant effort and time management.
What Tools Are Needed to Assemble RTA Kitchen Cabinets?
Assembling ready-to-assemble kitchen cabinets is a manageable DIY project for most homeowners. You can fully tackle RTA cabinet construction using just these basic tools:
- Power drill and drill bits – An electric drill with Phillips and slotted bits is essential for drilling cabinet joinery and screw holes. Make sure your drill is charged.
- Screwdrivers – A Phillips head screwdriver will be used extensively for driving screws to secure cabinet components together per instructions.
- Hammer – A hammer helps tap pieces into exact position and can be used instead of a mallet if needed.
- Tape measure – Accurately measuring cabinet openings, clearance spaces and positioning is vital, so have a good quality retractable tape measure available.
- Level – A small level confirms cabinets are properly aligned and plumb during assembly and installation. A 2-3 foot level works best.
- Clamps – Quick clamps or C-clamps are extremely useful for tightly holding cabinet parts and doors in proper alignment while fastening.
- Pencil – Use a pencil to mark measurements, drilling points and make assembly notes directly on cabinets. Pencil allows for erasing.
- Utility knife – A sharp utility knife helps cut out any supplied cardboard templates as well as trim laminates or sticking edges.
- Safety equipment – Safety goggles and heavy work gloves are recommended when cutting and drilling to protect your eyes and hands.
Having these basic tools on hand will enable you to assemble your ready-to-assemble kitchen cabinets successfully. Always carefully read the manufacturer’s instructions thoroughly before beginning.
How Much Do RTA Kitchen Cabinets Cost?
The cost of ready-to-assemble (RTA) kitchen cabinets varies significantly based on the quality of materials, door styles, brand and customized options selected. Here is an overview of typical RTA kitchen cabinet pricing:
- Value-priced RTA cabinets cost between $50-150 per linear foot. These are typically made of particle board with thermally fused melamine surfaces. Door and finish options are limited but provide basic functionality on a tight budget.
- Mid-range RTA cabinets run $150-300 per linear foot. These feature plywood construction, veneer doors and finishes like woodgrains, stains and paints. Options like storage inserts and bins have additional costs.
- Higher-end RTA cabinets are $300-500 per linear foot. They consist of solid wood doors, premium hardware and wide style selection. Custom modifications and specialty storage accessories are extensive.
- Semi-custom RTA cabinets cost $500-1,000 per linear foot. These mimic high-end custom cabinetry with exotic woods, glazed finishes, hidden hinges and integrated cabinet lighting. Expect highly customizable options.
Other costs to factor in are shipping/delivery, assembly tools if needed, installation hardware, countertops and accessories like molding. Carefully calculate the total square footage and storage components required for the most precise budget. Expect to spend $5,000 to $20,000 for a full 10×10 kitchen.
How Long Does It Take to Assemble RTA Kitchen Cabinets?
If you are installing ready-to-assemble kitchen cabinets yourself, a good estimate for total assembly and installation time is typically:
- One day per cabinet box – For standard 10′ linear kitchens, allow 1 full day for constructing cabinet boxes, skins and interior fittings for 5-10 base cabinets, a sink base, refrigerator enclosure and a few wall cabinets.
- 2-3 hours per door – Door assembly including hinges, knobs and adjustments takes around 2-3 hours for 5-10 doors. Repeat for upper cabinets.
- 1 day for final install – Hanging and securely fastening assembled cabinets, scribing to floors and walls, and testing door swings takes another full workday or longer.
- 4-6 days total – With proper organization and focus, a complete RTA kitchen can be fully assembled and installed over 4-6 standard workdays. Rushing increases the chance of costly errors.
Having an assistant to help with assembly and installation cuts overall time in half. Complex cabinetry with specialty pull-outs, spice racks and custom modifications takes additional time. Patience is key, as properly leveled and aligned cabinets create a kitchen built to last. Hire a contractor if your schedule cannot accommodate 4-6 full days for DIY installation.
Mistakes to Avoid When Installing RTA Kitchen Cabinets
Ready-to-assemble kitchen cabinets simplify installation compared to custom cabinetry. However, RTA cabinets come with some key pitfalls to avoid:
- Attempting installation without carefully reading all instructions first. manufacturer guidelines prevent mistakes.
- Forgetting required tools and hardware like levels, drill bits, stud finder or fasteners to properly construct and mount cabinets.
- Not building cabinets on a completely level and smooth subfloor. Shims may be needed to prevent rocking or sagging.
- Inadequate framing support behind base cabinets and wall mounts. Reinforce with extra studs for maximum weight capacity.
- Failing to store doors and drawers properly so they do not get scratched or damaged during other stages of assembly.
- Incorrect sequencing when assembling cabinet faces, frames and bodies leads to misaligned parts. Follow instructions precisely.
- Forgetting to remove protective film on cabinet doors and drawers causes tearing and visible bubble when installing hardware and handles.
- Over or under tightening screws damages cabinet components or leaves them loose and unstable. Use care when fastening.
- Not checking for level and plumb as you assemble causes doors and drawers to not align or close properly when complete.
Take your time and double-check your work at each step of the process. Following the manufacturer’s guidelines in detail is key to getting quality results and service from RTA kitchen cabinets.
How to Clean RTA Kitchen Cabinets
Keeping ready-to-assemble (RTA) kitchen cabinets looking like new doesn’t require heavy-duty cleaners or a lot of effort. Follow these simple methods to clean and care for RTA cabinets:
- Wipe down exterior cabinet surfaces frequently with a soft, lint-free cloth to remove dust, grease and fingerprints. Avoid abrasive scrubbing.
- For melamine, laminate and vinyl cabinet surfaces, use a mild soap and warm water solution applied sparingly to a cloth.
- Wood cabinet exteriors can be cleaned using a mix of 1 part vegetable oil to 1 part lemon juice. Rub gently with a cloth and avoid over-wetting.
- Disinfect cabinet interiors periodically with a spray bottle of 3 Tbsp vinegar to 1 quart warm water solution. Wipe dry with a soft cloth.
- Use a vacuum attachment to remove crumbs and dust from interior shelves, drawers and corners. Vacuum cabinet floors regularly.
- Throw away old shelf paper before adding new to prevent exterior damage from peeled remnants.
- Keep products like cookware cleaners, bleach and ammonia away from exterior cabinet surfaces to avoid discoloration or peeling.
- Treat minor spots, stains or surface scratches on wood cabinets with a light application of mineral oil and buff to restore luster.
- Replace damaged or missing hardware like hinges, drawer glides and knobs to keep cabinets looking and functioning like new.
With regular basic cleaning and care, RTA kitchen cabinets will maintain their quality, durability and appearance for many years. Avoid harsh chemicals and abrasives.
Do’s and Don’ts of Painting RTA Kitchen Cabinets
Painting ready-to-assemble (RTA) kitchen cabinets opens up many affordable color options to dramatically change your space. Follow these do’s and don’ts when painting RTA cabinets:
- Do properly clean and lightly sand cabinets prior to painting for maximum paint adhesion.
- Do apply masking tape to cabinet interiors and hardware holes to keep paint only on exteriors.
- Do use high quality primer formulated especially for cabinets underneath your choice of paint.
- Do apply paint in thin, even coats using a high density foam roller, nylon brush or paint sprayer.
- Do follow recoat times on paint cans, waiting proper hours between coats.
- Do use low-tack painter’s tape and drop cloths to protect adjacent walls and surfaces.
- Do topcoat with a sealer or protective polyurethane for a durable finish.
- Don’t attempt to paint cabinets without fully removing existing finishes with solvents and sandpaper first.
- Don’t use cheap bargain paints which won’t adhere or hold up well to constant use and cleaning.
- Don’t try painting doors and cabinets without removing them and laying flat for best results.
- Don’t forget to prime and paint cabinet interiors and fronts for a uniform finish.
- Don’t rush drying times or skip sanding between coats. This affects paint adhesion.
- Don’t handle newly painted cabinets for at least 5-7 days to allow paint to fully cure and harden properly.
With proper preparation, materials and techniques, you can successfully paint over RTA kitchen cabinets to revitalize your space with custom color.
How to Organize Pots and Pans in RTA Kitchen Cabinets
The wide, deep drawers of ready-to-assemble (RTA) kitchen cabinets make an ideal home for storing bulky pots and pans. Here are great tips for organizing pots and pans in RTA cabinets:
- Install organizing inserts like Rev-A-Shelf’s wire pan organizers that mount to the inside of drawers. Vertical dividers keep pans separated and visible.
- Use a tension rod cut to fit the drawer front to back to hang pots by their handles in a row for easy access.
- Choose RTA cabinets with deep roll-out trays to provide a convenient landing spot for stacked pots when removing them from drawers.
- Mount sturdy hooks along the inside of cabinet sides vertically to hang pans against the wall while maximizing drawer space.
- Opt for cabinet inserts with adjustable angled dividers to neatly file different sized pans in a cascade.
- Separate lids and pans into designated drawers using antimicrobial pan lid racks.
- Add soft grip liner or towels to drawers and shelves to prevent scratches and cushion pans when inserting or removing them.
- Purchase pan storage racks that sit on cabinet shelves to upright stack multiple pans using available vertical space.
- Label contents on the outside of designated pan cabinets and drawers for easy identification while cooking.
Taking advantage of the versatile storage options RTA cabinets provide creates an efficient, clutter-free pot and pan organization system.
RTA Cabinet Brand Comparison
When selecting ready-to-assemble (RTA) kitchen cabinets, choosing the right brand makes a difference in quality, price and design. Here is an overview comparing some top RTA cabinet brands:
Quality: Medium-grade materials like particleboard and fiberboard
Price Range: $100 – $700 per cabinet
Pros: Very affordable, widely available, modern designs
Cons: Limited size/style options, lower-end hardware
Quality: 3⁄4″ solid wood frames and doors
Price Range: $250 – $1,200 per cabinet
Pros: Highly customizable, quality soft-close hinges
Cons: Assembly can be time consuming
Quality: Furniture-grade laminated plywood construction
Price Range: $200 – $1,000 per cabinet
Pros: Durable finishes, full-extension shelves, excellent warranties
Cons: Limited ready-to-assemble options
Quality: Veneered plywood and melamine boxes
Price Range: $