Five Questions to Ask About RTA Cabinets


If you’re on the market for new kitchen cabinets, then you’ve probably already  seen what’s on offer. But just browsing the various types of cabinetry available does not make you an expert. You have come across ready-to-assemble (RTA) cabinets during your search and think that they’re a good option – but how much do you really know about them? Before you seal the deal on your new RTA cabinets, these are the five questions that you must ask your supplier, to make sure that you’re getting the best of the bunch.  



  1. What materials are they made of? 

RTA cabinets can either be cheaply made or constructed from high-quality materials. Lower end materials are considered to be of the medium-density  fibreboard (MDF) and particle board variety; which lack the durability and strength of higher quality materials such as plywood and hardwood. A cabinet box constructed from plywood with solid wood doors and drawers, for example, is considered to be a first-rate cabinet.  



  1. What construction techniques are used? 

At first glance, your RTA cabinets may appear to be constructed using premier techniques but closer inspection can reveal otherwise. The type of construction techniques used to manufacture your cabinets affects their longevity. For example, a cabinet drawer constructed using the dovetail method is more likely to withstand the wear and tear from constant use than a rabbet or dado joint. Similarly, soft-close cabinet drawers are more robust and hardwearing than self close drawers.  



  1. How difficult is it to assemble them? 

RTA cabinets are not designed to be assembled by homeowners with their masters in woodwork. They’re built for the everyday DIYer who would like to save some money by taking the initiative to install their cabinetry themselves. It is important to enquire about the type of assembly method used to construct the RTA cabinets as they possess differential levels of difficulty. The most common RTA cabinet assembly methods include the plastic “L”  bracket, cam-lock, and clip-lock systems. These techniques require the use of minimal tools, such as screwdrivers, a hammer, and a tape measure. 




  1. What are the delivery costs?  

Kitchen cabinets are heavy items with large dimensions, which makes shipping them a difficult undertaking. Pre-Assembled cabinets are shipped in boxes, while RTA cabinets are delivered in a large volume of flat packs. The costs of shipping differ according to the manufacturer that you source your cabinets from. Some cabinetry retailers offer free shipping, while others will ship your cabinets for you at a flat rate. Oftentimes the cost of shipping can exceed the price of the cabinets, so it is important to door your research to ensure that that  you don’t break the bank paying for delivery expenses.




  1. What are the designs on offer? 

In the not-so-distant past, there were only a handful of RTA cabinetry designs available for purchase and they were generally constructed using medium density fibreboard. The small amount of RTA cabinet doors and drawer fronts that were manufactured using hardwood similarly only possessed limited finishes. Currently, there are a wide variety of RTA cabinetry designs on the market in terms of color, finish, and style – homeowners can source anything from pink MDF cabinets with a laminate finish to timeless white shaker style cabinets.  


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Classically designed cabinetry never goes out of fashion, so that’s something to always keep in mind when sourcing RTA cabinets for your kitchen remodel. If  there’s anything more that you need to know about RTA cabinets; the experts at Nelson Cabinetry are at your service. Give us a call at 832-998-6598; we’d love  to chat more about our favorite topic – RTA cabinets!