Knowledge Base

Kitchen Cabinets 101: RTA Cabinets vs. Pre-Assembled Cabinets

Ready to assemble or RTA cabinets and pre-assembled cabinets both have their positives and negatives, but when most people choose between them, they are led to believe that one type of cabinet is higher quality than the other, when the fact is that both types of cabinets are of equal quality.

 

RTA Cabinets

When a homeowner receives ready to assemble cabinets, they usually arrive in boxes. All of the pieces are packed flat, but are precut, labeled, and the holes for the screw have already been drilled. The hardware may already be attached, as it is when you order from Best Online Cabinets. Not every RTA cabinet provider does this, but many of the best do. Once the cabinets arrive, they are ready to be assembled. Either the homeowner or a builder will put the cabinets together and install them in the kitchen.

 

Pros of RTA Cabinets

One of the biggest benefits of choosing RTA kitchen cabinets is the cost. RTA cabinets are less expensive than pre-assembled cabinets, largely because the labor of putting the precut pieces together has not been done. The buyer still has the ability to choose between a wide variety of materials and finishes, ranging from pressed wood to the very best hardwood on the market. No matter what type of wood and finish you end up choosing, you can save much more than you will with pre-assembled cabinets and you will get a finished product that is the same or higher quality.

Because RTA cabinets are less expensive than pre-assembled cabinets, buyers can afford higher quality cabinets when buying RTA. These cabinets are also easy to assemble and the high quality hardware provided by brands like Best Online Cabinets ensures that just about anyone can assemble the cabinets quickly. A rubber mallet and screwdriver is often all you need.

 

Cons of RTA Cabinets

RTA kitchen cabinets are a less expensive investment, but the time and energy that has to be spent to put them together may outweigh the initial savings benefits. Even with RTA cabinets that come with hardware attached, it may take up to an hour to assemble their first cabinet. After that first assemble, each cabinet is easier to assemble, but there is still a time investment that has to be made.

Another drawback of buying RTA is the necessity of having a specific layout design for your cabinets, so you are sure that you are putting the pieces together correctly and that each finished cabinet is installed in the proper place.

 
RTA Cabinets

Pre-Assembled Cabinets

Pros of Pre-Assembled Cabinets

The biggest benefit of buying pre-assembled cabinets is that they can be installed as soon as they are delivered. Installing them is often a simple process and can be undertaken by a builder or the homeowner. You won’t have to spend any time actually assembling the cabinets.

Another drawback of buying RTA is the necessity of having a specific layout design for your cabinets, so you are sure that you are putting the pieces together correctly and that each finished cabinet is installed in the proper place.

 

Cons of Pre-Assembled Cabinets

While being able to install the cabinets without having to assemble them first will save time, pre-assembled cabinets are also much more expensive. Because the manufacturer has to assemble the cabinets, the cost of those finished pieces will be higher, and because the finished cabinets are much larger than RTA cabinets, the shipping costs can be exorbitant.

Getting pre-assembled cabinets delivered can take up to three months, simply because of the extra time that has to be spent making the cabinets and finding a shipping company that can handle the delivery. For buyers that are in a time crunch, time spent assembling the cabinets is usually a good tradeoff for time spent just waiting for pre-assembled cabinets to arrive.

RTA cabinets and pre-assembled cabinets both have their advantages and drawbacks. When choosing which kind of cabinet you want to buy, consider the cost of the cabinets themselves, the amount of labor that will be involved in preparing and installing those cabinets, and how quickly you want those cabinets to be installed.

 

Considering the Cost

The real difference between RTA cabinets and pre-assembled cabinets is the cost. Take, for example, a 10x10 kitchen. For a full set of RTA cabinets in the Cinnamon Shaker style, you would pay $1,399 to buy from Best Online Cabinets. That same set of cabinets that have already been assembled would cost you $1,818. For White Shake cabinets, the RTA set will be about $1,907, while the pre-assembled cabinets in the same style would cost you $2,479.

A kitchen renovation can add to the value of your home immensely. If you want to undertake a kitchen renovation, don’t want to compromise on style, but still want to save money, there are options that will allow you to achieve the look you want, without breaking the bank.