RTA kitchen cabinets are currently dominating the market with their convenience and great value. Still, as with any product, there are a number of factors you should consider before blindly making your purchase. We’ve compiled some tips and information that you might need in order to make an informed decision on whether or not RTA cabinets are suitable for you.

Do You Have the Appropriate Tools? 

The name RTA, or Ready-to-Assemble, gives most people the impression that all they have to do is remove the parts from the box and place them on the appropriate spots. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. Of course, you don’t need the multitude of tools a custom kitchen cabinet would require, but you still need the basic instruments to hold all the parts together.

The first things you will need are a screwdriver and drill, two basic tools required in any home improvement job. Additionally, you’ll want to have a leveler handy to ensure that your cabinets aren’t slanted towards one side. These three instruments are fairly easy to come by and handle, so the layman won’t have any issues at this point.

The last two tools you’ll need, however, are less common in many households. Firstly, you need a table saw to cut your fillers and moldings. Any old saw might do, but you may not be able to get clean, straight cuts on the wood. A table saw will guarantee smooth, accurate cuts and save you quite a bit of time.

Secondly, you need a nail gun to install all your wooden parts. You don’t want to spend hours manually hammering in every single nail, while also risking damage to the wood in the process. Having a powerful nail gun will allow you to install your panels, fillers, and moldings correctly and in good time.

The Installation Might Not Be as Simple as You Thought

As you might have noticed from learning about the various tools you need for RTA kitchen cabinets, the installation could pose some obstacles for someone who isn’t already experienced in home improvement. Though these cabinets are meant to save people both time and effort, they still require some expertise.

If you have some knowledge and practice in renovations, you’ll become quite comfortable with the installation in no time. The initial assembly will be quite easy, much like what the advertisements promised, and after you get through your first few cabinets, the rest will be a breeze. However, it would be prudent to warn those who have little to no experience in DIY projects that the installation isn’t as straightforward as you might’ve initially thought. It can be quite challenging if you aren’t familiar with the tools you’re using or with the correct techniques. If this is the case, it’s recommended that you hire a professional to finish the job. Considering how much you’ve saved from purchasing the RTA option, a quick installation from an expert won’t be too imposing on your wallet.

Can You Completely Trust the Advertisement? 

Buying anything online is always a risk. Even if you’re purchasing the product from a trusted retailer, you can never be sure that what you’re looking at through the screen will perfectly match the item that gets delivered.

When purchasing a large ticket item such as an RTA kitchen cabinet, you should make sure that what you’ve paid for is what you’ll get. Imagine receiving your order, only to be forced to send the entire thing back because you simply aren’t satisfied when you open the box. This disappointment might occur simply because of your specific monitor settings or quality, or even due to the fact that the retailer has edited its images. Regardless of why the actual cabinet might look different in person, you should be heedful of the possibilities.

In order to ensure that you’ll be completely pleased with your choice, order a sample door first. While you can’t be sure of how the cabinets will look like through an online gallery, requesting a sample will give you a clear idea of what the RTA cabinets will look like in your kitchen. Another huge advantage of ordering sample doors is that you can ask for multiple different ones, giving you the opportunity to compare each option before you decide on the perfect fit.

Don’t Expect Luxury 

While RTA cabinets are high-quality products, you can’t expect the same level of aesthetics as you might get from custom cabinets, or even Ikea furniture. You might wonder why cheaper Ikea products have better finishes than your kitchen cabinets, but you have to take into account that they’re mainly constructed with particle boards and veneers. This means that the manufacturers can create a clean finish on the outside, but it’s done in order to conceal the cheaper interior build.

Most of the RTA kitchen cabinets are made of solid wood, and natural materials like this always contain some flaws. Little scratches or warping in between or behind the cabinets are completely normal, but won’t adversely affect the functionality or overall aesthetics of the product.

You can always exchange certain parts and request replacements from your retailer, but keep in mind that you won’t receive any reimbursements for them, and doing so will only extend the installation process. Online RTA cabinets are meant to give you an affordable alternative, and therefore, you can’t expect the same level of service or elegance as you might find in custom cabinet stores.