kitchen with dark wood cabinets

Having a neat, functional, and aesthetically pleasing kitchen is something that everyone strives for — a kitchen that boosts your cooking efficiency while being easy on the eyes. And kitchen cabinets play a crucial role in making that desire a reality, as they occupy nearly half of your kitchen’s wall space.

So, if you’re looking to revamp your kitchen, you can’t overlook the significance of getting the right kitchen cabinets in place. However, cabinets can be costly, and it can be tricky to find one that is inexpensive yet top quality.

Enter RTA kitchen cabinets.

What Are RTA Cabinets?

Ready to assemble, or RTA, cabinets are a class of kitchen cabinets that — you guessed it — you need to assemble and install on your own. As end products, they aren’t much different from the usual cabinets you see at your local supplier. The only difference is that they come in a kit in which everything you need for the final assembly is neatly provided.

All the parts have been cut to size, holes have been drilled, finishing touches requested have been applied, and the whole kit is then stacked, wrapped, and ready to be shipped or bought in-store.

They’re usually easy to assemble and install as you’ll get step-by-step, easy-to-follow visual instructions along with all the tools and materials needed to assemble them — such as glue, wood dowels, and screws.

Moreover, some companies also offer assembly service, which means all you have to do is install the final product in your kitchen as per your needs. However, expect to pay 25 to 50% more for labor and shipping costs.

Pros and Cons of RTA Cabinets

Let’s take a quick look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of RTA kitchen cabinets.


  • The biggest advantage of buying RTA cabinets over pre-assembled ones is the huge cost savings you realize with zero compromises in terms of quality.
  • Earlier, these types of cabinets lacked style and color options and were mostly constructed of medium-density fiberboard (MDF) with melamine or thermofoil. Today, however, you get a whole range of options in terms of types and colors, such as pure white thermofoil, sleek veneers, exotic hardwoods, and more.
  • With everything provided in the kit, the assembly is usually hassle-free and even fun.


  • You’ll need to invest more time (an hour or two) and effort in getting a cabinet set up. If you don’t like manual labor, you won’t enjoy the assembly and installation aspect.
  • You must take care not to damage the materials when assembling. However, if you follow the instructions correctly, this won’t be an issue.

kitchen with white walls and countertops and wood cabinets

Overall, the advantages of RTA cabinets clearly outweigh the disadvantages and you’re definitely making a sensible decision if you’re opting to buy RTA cabinets. However, you need to keep some points in mind before finalizing your purchase.

Key Tips to Keep in Mind When Buying an RTA Kitchen Cabinet

As is the case with most things today, there are plenty of options and variations to choose from when you’re planning to buy RTA kitchen cabinets for your home. To help you make a good decision, here are a few dos and don’ts to bear in mind:

  • Don’t opt for cabinets with stapled drawers, integrated rail guides, and doors made out of veneered particleboard. These may be cheaper but are not durable.
  • See to it that the cabinets’ layout and finishing align with your kitchen’s dimensions and the interior design theme of your home.
  • If possible, go for an eco-friendly design to reduce your carbon footprint and also add a more contemporary look to your home.
  • Opt for an established brand with better customer service and dealer network rather than a new company that offers a nominal discount.

Furthermore, here are the hallmarks of a high-quality RTA kitchen cabinet:

  • It’s made of durable and cost-effective materials such as laminate or thermofoil. Pine or oak wood are appealing alternatives, too.
  • It has full-extension drawer slides with dovetail joints and a solid wood frame.
  • Finishes and coatings were applied with a brush instead of a spray-paint.

Make sure to check these off when finalizing your purchase.

Assembling an RTA Cabinet

As mentioned earlier, most RTA cabinets are simple to put together because you get almost everything you need, along with complete instructions, in the kit itself. You can also find how-to videos online to sidestep any mistakes during assembly.

Many RTA cabinets have an invisible cam-lock and bracket system of assembly and don’t require any hammering, stapling, gluing, or cutting. So you don’t have to be an expert, as RTA cabinets are designed for DIY assembly.

Wrapping Up

Choosing the right kitchen cabinet pays dividends in terms of better organization of items, cooking efficiency, and overall aesthetics. RTA kitchen cabinets are a prime choice if you wish to save a substantial amount of money without compromising on quality.

We hope all the information and tips outlined in this handy guide will help you make a more informed decision.

We hope you found this blog post Planning to Buy RTA Kitchen Cabinets? Here’s a Handy Guide useful. Be sure to check out our post Some Simple and Effective Kitchen Cabinet Ideas That Will Help You Big-Time! for more great tips!


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