Everyone knows that RTA cabinets can save you a significant amount of money on your new kitchen or bathroom, but not everyone knows the difference between the different types of RTA cabinets on the market. It seems that for every person who had good experience assembling and installing their own cabinets, there are so many people who have horror stories of dealing with the wrong vendor or buying the wrong type of RTA cabinets. In this article I’m going to cover the differences between the various ready-to-build cabinets that are on the market so you can make sure your experience is a positive one.
Materials – Whether it is custom, stock, or RTA cabinets, the materials used to build the cabinets should be the most important factor in the cabinets you are purchasing. The most common question I get from customers is “what is the door made of?” People want to make sure that the door is made of real wood, when in reality they should be more concerned with the material of the closet box. 95% of RTA cabinets on the market will have solid wood front doors and frames (if not, that should be a red flag!). Where they differ will be in what they use for the case and the back panel. There is a wide variety of materials that manufacturers use, including plywood, fiberboard, particle board, MDF, and solid wood. Plywood and solid wood will be your strongest cabinet box. There are several issues you may have to deal with if you buy cabinets that use particle board or fibreboard with a veneer cover … 1) if the material gets wet, the fibreboard and particle board tend to swell or bending 2) both materials tend to break or split, especially screws or nails are used. Screws tend to lose their grip because the material is made of shredded wood or paper vs. a plywood or solid wood material. Ironically, most of the cabinets that you have to special-order from Lowes or Home Depot are actually made from fibreboard with a siding. For a strong and durable cabinet, make sure the cabinet box is made of plywood or solid wood.
Ease of Assembly – If you’ve heard any horror stories about RTA cabinets, it most likely has to do with the complicated assembly required. If you’ve ever bought something at IKEA, then you know exactly what I’m talking about. One of my neighbors who had just remodeled her kitchen with cabinets from IKEA was telling me her story about cabinets she thought she was getting a great deal on. I was surprised to find that everything literally comes in its own box … the hinges are in one box, the screws are in another box, the cabinet faces are another box, etc, etc … she was telling me she took a couple of hours identify all the different parts. After listening to your story, I can understand why some people don’t know what to do with their headaches. I can assure you that not all RTA cabinets are that difficult to assemble. A good, high-quality cabinet will come ready to assemble in one box. Having worked with ready-to-assemble cabinets for the past 15 years, the cabinets I am used to only require a screwdriver to assemble and can be assembled in 5-10 minutes. In a high-quality cabinet, the doors will already be attached to the front frames and everything will be interlocked using cam locks. If you find yourself buying each piece in a separate box, be sure to set aside a couple of days for assembly because you will need it.
Price: Let’s face it, most people associate the price of a product with the quality of the product … this is not true. If you’ve ever searched the internet for RTA kitchen cabinets, you’ll find several dozen cabinet stores selling the exact same line of cabinets, with higher-priced websites selling the exact same cabinets (renaming a bit) for 2-3 times more. as the lowest priced cabinet store. Don’t be fooled by the price. Check the materials, assembly procedure, and shipping schedule to determine if the cabinet is right for you. Compare prices … just because a big store has the buying power doesn’t mean you will get the best deal … actually the best deals available will come from internet sites that have very little overhead and are working with higher margins. low. They can also generally offer better customer service.
So if you are at the point where you are thinking about RTA cabinets, be sure to ask the right questions to ensure you have the best possible experience. By finding cabinets made with the right materials, that are easy to assemble, and are priced right, you can ensure a beautiful kitchen or bathroom and a project that is easy to accomplish.