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RTA vs. Assembled Kitchen Cabinets: Making the Right Choice [2023]

RTA vs. Assembled Kitchen Cabinets featured image

It’s an important decision whether to opt for ready-to-assemble (RTA) cabinets or pre-assembled cabinets. When deciding between them, weighing the pros and cons based on your specific needs is essential. Understanding the differences between these two options will help you make an informed choice. In this blog post, we’ll discuss RTA vs. assembled kitchen cabinets, exploring their pros, cons, and the factors to consider when deciding which suits your needs. Whether you’re looking for affordability and customization or convenience and quick installation, please keep reading to discover the best cabinet solution for your kitchen renovation project.

What are The Advantages of RTA Cabinets?

The 5 advantages of RTA cabinets are quality, affordability, customization, storage efficiency, and time-saving. RTA cabinets, also known as flat-pack cabinets, are delivered to your doorstep in flat boxes, requiring assembly before installation. While this may seem an additional step, RTA cabinets offer 3 advantages. First, they provide excellent quality comparable to custom cabinets, as recognized brands often use the same materials. Additionally, RTA cabinets are more affordable due to mass production and reduced labor costs. The packaging and shipping savings of flat boxes also contribute to their cost-effectiveness. These cabinets come in various wood species, colors, finishes, and styles, ensuring you can find the perfect match for your design preferences.

One of the other major benefits of RTA cabinets is their storage efficiency. Since they are delivered in flat boxes, they take up minimal space, allowing you to store a large number of cabinets in a small area. This reduces shipping and freight costs and simplifies storage until you’re ready to assemble and install them. Assembling RTA cabinets is relatively straightforward, even for those without construction experience, and the process becomes quicker as you gain familiarity. However, you can hire an expert to install wall cabinets if you prefer professional assistance.

Man installing a RTA kitchen cabinet

What are The Features of Assembled Cabinets?

The main characteristic of assembled cabinets is convenience at a higher cost. Assembled cabinets, also known as stock cabinets, arrive ready for installation, eliminating the need for assembly. This convenience factor is their primary advantage. With assembled cabinets, you or a professional can immediately install them on the walls and floor, saving time and effort. They are mass-produced like RTA cabinets, making them more affordable than custom cabinets. Assembled cabinets are available for purchase in big box stores or online, providing convenience and accessibility.

However, the convenience of assembled cabinets comes with a higher price tag. Due to the pre-assembly process, labor costs during production increase, resulting in a more expensive product. While you may find some assembled cabinets priced similarly to RTA cabinets of the same type, the additional packaging and shipping costs for bulkier assembled cabinets can still impact the overall expenses.

Moreover, big box stores often incorporate these added costs into their retail prices, making them less competitive compared to specialized suppliers like Cabinet Land. Another consideration is storage. Assembled cabinets are bulkier, which limits the number of models big box stores can keep in stock. Consequently, due to space constraints, buyers often delay purchasing assembled cabinets until the last minute. Additionally, shipping assembled cabinets typically take longer, which can be problematic if you have tight project deadlines.

dark assembled kitchen cabinets

How to Make the Right Choice for Your Kitchen Remodel

Choosing between RTA and assembled cabinets ultimately depends on your priorities and kitchen remodeling project requirements. Both RTA and assembled kitchen cabinets are good choices for a budget kitchen remodel in terms of quality and design. If budget-friendliness, customization options, and efficient storage are essential to you, RTA cabinets are an excellent choice. Their affordability, quality, and straightforward assembly process make them a popular option for homeowners. On the other hand, if convenience and immediate installation are your primary concerns, assembled cabinets provide a time-saving solution, albeit at a higher cost.