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September 11, 2020 3 min read

If you’re a homeowner looking to do an affordable remodel, you’ve undoubtedly come across RTA (ready-to-assemble) cabinets. This ultra-popular option can keep your budget in line and shave some time off your project. For many people, it’s the solution that makes a gorgeous kitchen refresh go from unachievable to imaginable. But it does come with a few downsides. In this guide, we’re covering assembled vs. ready-to-assemble cabinets to help you decide on a style that suits your budget, preferences and timeline.

Ready-to-Assemble (RTA) Cabinets

RTA cabinets are, simply put, cabinets you put together yourself. They’re considered “stock” cabinets, meaning they’re generally made according to a set of specific standards. Still, they provide durable construction and beautiful finishes while not sacrificing upgrades like soft close doors and drawers.  

Unlike fully assembled cabinets, RTA cabinets are shipped to you in boxes and require you to put the individual components together yourself. There are two main benefits to this option: cost savings and time savings. On the other hand, assembled cabinets arrive at your home fully assembled by the cabinet supplier, which may mean less stress for you. Both options are fantastic for the quality- and budget-minded renovator.

drilling drawer bracket

Here’s a quick glance at the pros and cons of RTA cabinets.

  • Affordable. The average cost of custom cabinets is somewhere around $500 to $1,200 per linear foot, whereas top-of-the-line RTA cabinets from Wholesale Cabinet Supply start around just $114 per linear foot. You save money because you’ll be doing some of the labor yourself. Despite what you may have heard, the low cost of RTA cabinets isn’t because they’re poor quality, either. We’ll discuss that in more detail below.
  • Convenient.With RTA cabinets, you have the unique advantage of being able to shop around, as you aren’t limited to a supplier or carpenter in your area. Browsing and ordering online makes the selection process a lot easier and ensures that you get exactly what you want. The convenience factor is also heightened because the RTA process moves a lot faster, from selecting the style you like to having your cabinets delivered and installed.
  • Beautiful. These days, adding designer cabinets to your kitchen or bathroom doesn’t have to involve going to a high-end showroom or consulting with the most expensive skilled carpenter in your area. In fact, RTA cabinets come in many desirable styles, with beautiful finishes and gorgeous detailing that make them look totally custom.
  • High-Quality. Are RTA cabinets low-quality?We get this question a lot. Just like any finish in your home, you can go as high-quality or as low-quality as you want with RTA cabinets. The cheap particle board styles from the big box stores won’t last, but styles from Wholesale Cabinet Supply will. That’s because our cabinets are made with top-of-the-line materials and come standard with the best features, including:
    • All plywood boxes
    • Full overlay doors and drawers
    • Dovetail drawer boxes
    • Soft-close glides and hinges
  • Intimidating. Most people have never put together or installed cabinets before, so the idea of doing it on your own can be extremely intimidating. But don’t stress! Luckily, RTA cabinets are meant to be user-friendly and installable, even by beginners with no special tools. Even if you hire a professional installer, which will run you around $1,000-$2,000, you’ll still come in far under the cost of custom cabinetry.
  • More work.Ultimately, the fact that you assemble these cabinets yourself will translate to some additional work and time spent by you. With the great variety of options and immense cost savings, the extra effort may be well worth your trouble. If you prefer to save yourself all the time and hassle you can but still need to be conscious of budget, selecting fully assembled cabinetry is also an excellent, cost-effective choice.

interior of bright kitchen with white cabinets

RTA Cabinets for Your Consideration

As you can see, going the ready-to-assemble route is a great option, but it may not be the right solution for everyone. For budget-friendly, quality options, consider the Premier Cabinet Series and the Designer Cabinet Series from Wholesale Cabinet Supply. Both of these options come in ready-to-assemble and fully assembled options to suit your unique needs.

Have more questions about RTA cabinets? Our team is more than happy to walk you through the process and get you paired with the best cabinets for your vision and budget. Simply contact us today with your questions.  

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