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Are RTA Cabinets Good Quality? We Set the Record Straight

November 02, 2021 4 min read

grey kitchen cabinets

Whether you’re a landlord or a homeowner, the time will eventually come that you will need to do renovations to your living spaces. Renovations, while time-consuming and somewhat costly, are important in ensuring that your space remains pristine for your own family or even someone else’s if you plan on selling it. 

For most homeowners, taking care of their home is a priority and the kitchen is usually pretty high on that list. A  renovated kitchen is also known to be one of the most important selling features of any home. With a good kitchen design comes good value, and many homeowners find themselves renovating their kitchen spaces before moving. There are many aspects to a kitchen reno, but one of the most common involves cabinets. Cabinet renovation can be expensive, especially if you’re replacing entire units rather than painting doors or getting your current ones refurbished. One of the many ways homeowners can cut costs in replacing their cabinets is by using Ready-to-Assemble (RTA) cabinets. However, many homeowners feel this isn’t a good option and that RTA cabinets are inherently inferior to cabinets that are pre-assembled. We’re here to set the record straight about RTA cabinets!

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What Are RTA Cabinets?

Lots of people ask, what are RTA cabinets? For starters, let’s break out what the acronym stands for - Ready to Assemble. So simply put, RTA cabinets are cabinets that are ‘ready to assemble’ once they arrive to you. All of the pieces are supplied to you (doors, frames, drawer glides, etc.), but it’s up to you to put them together before installing them.  Since everything is already cut to size and prefinished from the manufacturer, usually all that is needed to put them together is some wood glue and a rubber mallet. However, for many homeowners this can seem like a daunting task but it’s a popular option that many homeowners are undertaking and it is no longer limited to the realm of contractors and professionals.  

RTA cabinets come in a variety of designs and finishes. In fact, many of the most popular and trendy cabinet designs come available with an RTA option. So the good news is, with so many finish options, it’s still 100 percent possible to get the kitchen design of your dreams, even with RTA cabinets. 

modern kitchen

How Much Do RTA Cabinets Cost?

The cost of RTA cabinets depends on a lot of factors. Are you ordering custom depths or prepping for glass? Maybe you’re looking for a unique color, such as blue or green. The more creative you get with your cabinet designs, the more expensive the cabinets will get, regardless of whether or not they’re RTA. However, because RTA cabinets come unassembled and are generally cheaper to store and transport, you’ll still save money, even if you order cabinets with unique features. 

For example, our NorthPoint Cabinetry ready-to-go cabinets are a great solution for homeowners who are looking for quality cabinets without breaking the bank. They look luxurious and are built to last, but without the high price tag. In fact, since our NorthPoint Cabinetry is so affordable, it fits practically any kitchen layout.

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black rta cabinets

What Are Some of the Benefits of RTA Cabinetry?

RTA cabinets have a variety of benefits. Not only are they less expensive, but they are a much better option for homeowners who are looking for a quick turnaround. Our NorthPoint cabinets are ready to ship within three to four days, and most homeowners have their cabinets delivered within two weeks! For homeowners who need to quickly finish up their kitchen renovation or landlords who need to finish updates right before a new tenant moves in, RTA cabinets might just be the best solution. 

A second benefit of RTA cabinets is standardization of features. Pretty much any line of RTA cabinets you shop is going to have all plywood boxes and solid wood face frames. Most will also have premium features like soft close doors and drawers standard as well. This is in contrast to many factory built/semi custom lines that charge extra for items like all plywood boxes and soft close doors and drawers.  

Another benefit of RTA cabinets that many homeowners don’t consider is the simplicity of the cabinets. Most RTA cabinets come in limited styles for a reason typically, so they can be shipped relatively quickly. This is great for landlords or even homeowners who are doing renovations, but aren’t sure how long they’ll actually be living in the home. RTA cabinets don’t require you to make lots of decisions about how they look or what features they have. In fact, most RTA cabinets come in a limited number of styles. While custom cabinetry might be a dream of yours, choosing cabinets that will arrive quickly and won’t break the bank can sometimes be a better option for homeowners than spending thousands on custom cabinets. The money saved can go towards a high-end countertop or even additional appliances. 

Who Can Assemble RTA Cabinets?

Honestly, anyone can assemble RTA cabinets. Make sure you watch a variety of online videos prior to starting the assembly process, especially if you’ve never assembled cabinets before. For many homeowners, having your contractor assemble them or getting someone you know who works in construction to assemble your cabinets is a safe bet and you will usually still save compared to what you would have paid for factory built cabinets. Better to spend a little money having a professional do it than you putting them together incorrectly and having to deal with the headaches and costs of reassembling them.  


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