Kitchen Remodeling Issue: RTA Kitchen Cabinets vs. Assembled Kitchen Cabinets


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Choosing the right kitchen cabinets for your kitchen remodeling project can be a difficult task. With a wide range of beautiful choices available from Cabinets City, such as imported Fabuwood Cabinets and handcrafted Schrock Cabinets, it can be highly frustrating to make a decision without professional help.

When cost is a major issue, you will have a slightly easier time. Because you will most often look to ready-made rather than custom cabinets because they are more affordable. However, your next issue may be to choose between ready to assemble or RTA cabinets and assembled cabinets. Cabinets City has a wide array of excellent quality RTA and semi-custom cabinets from top brand such as J and K Cabinets and Wolf Classic Cabinets. Assembled cabinets are available online and big box stores. These types of cabinets are great choices in terms of quality and convenience if you get it from a reputable supplier, so you need to look a little more into the advantages and disadvantages to make a decision. Here are the things you need to know about RTA kitchen cabinets vs. assembled kitchen cabinets.

RTA kitchen cabinets

 When you order RTA cabinets from the Cabinets City showroom or catalogues, they arrive at your home in flat boxes. They come in many pieces and hardware, which have clear labels and pre-drilled holes so even an amateur can put them together quite easily by following the instructions. The next step is to attach them to the floor or wall as the case may be.


The main advantage of RTA kitchen cabinets is the relatively low cost. Because they are mass-produced, you can get the same quality of materials of custom cabinets at a much lower cost. If you have a tight budget, you can choose the less expensive species for solid wood or modern wood alternatives such as medium density fiberboard, and still get great looking, quality cabinets.
RTA cabinets come in a wide range of finishes and colors, so you can always find an RTA cabinet to match your kitchen design. Since they come in flat boxes, you can order it ahead of time and store them easily until you need them. In addition, because you get the cabinets in pieces, you can inspect the materials more closely for quality issues and defects before assembly, so there are no nasty surprises for you after you have already put them up in your kitchen.

Some people doubt if they can assemble an RTA cabinet themselves, but it really is ready to assemble and does not require any special tools. In most cases, all you need is a screwdriver to put them together. Of course, you will probably want a professional attach the cabinets to the floor and walls properly, so you can ask them to assemble them as well at virtually no additional cost.


The biggest drawback to RTA cabinets is the time needed to assemble them. If you want to save on costs and put up your own cabinets, assembling each one can take as much as 30 minutes. You are looking at a half a day easily to assemble a standard bank of wall and base cabinets without damaging it in any way, which you can save if your cabinets come assembled. You also need to figure out which cabinets go where and in what direction based on the layout, which can also add to the time used for assembling the cabinets correctly.

Assembled kitchen cabinets

You can find assembled kitchen cabinets online or big box stores, and they arrive at your home ready for installation by you or a professional contractor.


The main advantage of assembled cabinets as opposed to RTA is, well, it comes assembled. There is nothing for you or your installer to do but install it as soon as it arrives. That saves a bit of time in a kitchen remodeling project.


The downside to the convenience of assembled cabinets is the cost. When you order it online, the prices of the cabinets may be lower or the same price as an RTA cabinet. However, the supplier add on the costs of shipping to your bill, and since they occupy a much larger space than the flat boxes of RTA cabinets, assembled cabinets will cost more than shipping RTA kitchen cabinets. When you buy them from big box stores, the price will already have included the shipping costs, which is one of the reasons they cost as much as 40% more than cabinets you can get from Cabinets City. Aside from the cost, delivery of assembled cabinets ordered online or from an out-of-town supplier takes much longer than RTA cabinets. If you are doing a kitchen upgrade with deadlines to meet, delays in delivery can cost you significantly.


Assembled and RTA kitchen cabinets are typically comparable when it comes to quality and cost. However, when it comes to shipping cost and speed of delivery, RTA cabinets have the advantage. Of course, not all RTA kitchen cabinets are the same. You want to purchase them from a reliable and reputable supplier. If you are in cities such as Chicago, Schaumburg, Arlington Heights, Des Plaines, Hoffman Estate, Elk Grove Village, and surrounding areas, Cabinets City is your best choice. We carry some of the best brands in the country, from RTA to custom cabinets, and at the best prices compared to Cabinets to Go and Advance Cabinets. These include Schrock, Fabuwood, J and K, Forevermark, and Wolf Cabinets, each of which come with manufacturer warranties. We always deliver on time, so you will not have to worry about keeping your schedule to stay in budget.

We can advise you on the best cabinets for your kitchen. Give us a call for a free consultation and quote, or visit our showroom in Mt. Prospect, Illinois. We can give you what you need faster and better than big box stores.

Bayram Gulsen

Bayram Gulsen is the owner of Cabinets City. He always had this passion to redefine cabinetry to be at its best along with his dedicated team and the author of Cabinets City blog: You can find Bayram on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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