A Comparison of RTA and Assembled Kitchen Cabinets

kitchen with RTA cabinets

Finding the perfect kitchen cabinets is hard. There are so many choices available from top cabinet brands carried by Cabinet Land such as Forevermark and Schrock cabinets. It is almost impossible to make the right choice without consulting an experienced cabinet supplier.
Of course, one way to narrow down your choices is to consult your budget. Some cabinets are more expensive than others are, so that thins out the field a bit. In most cases, you will probably want to look through ready-made cabinets, rather than custom ones, because they are much more affordable. Even then, you still have quite a lot of ground to cover because you still have many options if you choose either ready-to-assemble (RTA) or assembled cabinets.

Cabinet Land offers many choices of semi-custom and RTA cabinets from recognized industry leaders Wolf Classic and J&K Cabinets. On the other hand, you can also find assembled or stock cabinets from big box stores and online sites. All of these cabinet types are good options to consider if you get it from a reputable supplier. They are also a convenient choice as they are readily available on demand. To help you decide, here is a solid comparison of RTA and assembled kitchen cabinets.


RTA cabinets
RTA cabinets are available for viewing from the Cabinet Land catalogues or showroom, but we will deliver them to your home in flat boxes once you have ordered them. It is rather like a kit for cabinets, as the box contains everything you will need to build the cabinet you chose.
All the parts, including pre-drilled panels and hardware, have clear labels, and it comes with instructions for assembling it yourself. It is so easy that even someone with no experience with construction can do the job. Once assembled, all you need to do is to install them. If you are not confident about this part, you can hire a professional to do it for you, especially the wall cabinets.


Two great things about RTA kitchen cabinets are quality and low cost. RTA cabinets from recognized brands typically use the same materials for custom cabinets, so you can be sure you are getting good quality products.
The reason they are so affordable is two-pronged: mass production and shipping. Cabinetmakers produce RTA cabinets in large quantities using machines, so this is a huge savings in time and labor costs.

In addition, because they are in pieces packed in stackable, flat boxes, you can store a great many more RTA cabinets in a small space than you would be able to with assembled cabinets. This means additional savings in shipping and freight costs, and perhaps in packaging as well.
If you choose RTA cabinets made from more affordable materials, you can save even more and still get stylish cabinets. RTA cabinets are very popular, so they are available in most wood species in a great many colors, finishes, and styles. There is always going to be an RTA cabinet to meet your design needs.

Aside from money, you can save time with RTA cabinets by ordering them ahead of time, especially if you have tight deadlines with a kitchen remodel. Storage is not an issue, as you can keep them in their boxes until you are ready for them.
It is also much easier to do an inspection of the quality of the material, craftsmanship, and defects before assembly and installation because they are still in pieces. You can avoid unexpected issues when it is time to assemble and install them.


The great issue with RTA kitchen cabinets is the fact that assembly is required. Some people feel it is a waste of time and money to hire someone to put it together. If your time is valuable, you may not have a problem with paying extra for assembled or even custom cabinets.
However, it is not necessary to hire a pro to assemble the cabinets if you are on a budget. You just have to set aside some time to do it at the appropriate moment. Assembling the first cabinet takes only about half an hour at most, and you will go faster as you get the hang of it. You can actually assemble a whole kitchen full of cabinets in about half a day.

Assembled kitchen cabinets

assembled kitchen cabinets in show room
Assembled or stock cabinets are just the opposite of RTA cabinets. They arrive at your home ready for you or a professional to install on the walls and floor. Like RTA cabinets, assembled cabinets are mass-produced, so they are more affordable than custom cabinets. You can typically find assembled cabinets in online or big box stores.


The best thing about assembled cabinets compared to RTA cabinets is convenience. They are ready to install, so the customer does not have to waste any time putting it together. This can be a big thing if you are putting them in at the last minute for a kitchen remodel.


The problem is assembled cabinets are more expensive than RTA kitchen cabinets. Because they are pre-assembled, it adds to the labor cost during production. In some cases, you may still pay the same price as for an RTA cabinet of the same type, but this does is just for the cost of the cabinets. You still have to pay for the extra packaging and shipping costs for much bulkier assembled cabinets.
With big box stores, they integrate all these added costs into the retail price of the cabinets they sell. This is why Cabinet Land can usually offer lower prices than big box stores.

Storage is also a problem, for both sellers and buyers. Because assembled cabinets are so bulky, big box stores can only keep a few models in stock. Buyers avoid buying the cabinets ahead of time because there is nowhere to put them. Finally, it takes more time to ship assembled cabinets than RTA cabinets, which can be a problem if you have a tight schedule.


Both RTA and assembled kitchen cabinets are good choices for a budget kitchen remodel in terms of quality and design. However, RTA cabinets are much more affordable owing to savings in packaging and shipping, and with a quicker turnaround.

All these things are true if you source your kitchen cabinets from a reliable supplier. For all types of RTA, semi-custom, and custom cabinets, Cabinet Land Kitchen and Beyond is your best bet in Illinois cities such as Chicago, Schaumburg, Arlington Height, Des Plaines, Hoffman Estate, and Elk Grove Village.

We work only with the best cabinet brands at the best prices compared to our competitors such as Advance Cabinets and Handsome Cabinets. Also we offer better free consultation services and quotes, so you know exactly what to expect from your purchase.
We are a local remodeling company with a showroom located in Schaumburg, Illinois. Visit us today to see what we have to offer. We service Chicago land and have the expertise and resources to complete virtually any type of kitchen cabinets – ON TIME and ON BUDGET with top quality craftsmanship that will exceed your expectations.