Before you choose RTA kitchen cabinets, check out our list of essential things you need to know about buying ready-to-assemble cabinets.

Thinking of installing your own RTA kitchen cabinets? If you've researched the idea of a kitchen remodel, you've learned that kitchen cabinets are expensive.

As well as taking up most of your wall space, they can also take up most of your kitchen renovation budget. By saving on cabinets, you'll be able to put more money into your kitchen and other areas of your home.

Sure you can buy used kitchen cabinets, and they'll save you money. But pre-owned cabinets don't provide the most attractive option. They're usually damaged in some capacity. And the same goes for salvaged kitchen cabinets.

A good solution when you're trying to save money on kitchen cabinets is to opt for cabinets that are known as RTA cabinets.

They make a great choice for homeowners doing a DIY. And they're growing in popularity. Here's what you need to know about RTA cabinets.

1. What Are RTA Cabinets?

RTA means "ready to assemble." These kitchen cabinets are just what you'd find at a home improvement store or a cabinet supplier. The only difference is that you need to assemble them and install them yourself. But they'll save you a big chunk of change.

When they arrive, they'll be flat in pieces. The doors, locks, and bracket systems will be separated. Think of them as a piece of furniture you'd purchase from Ikea that you need to put together.

RTA companies offer to have a professional install them. However, that will drive up the price close to 25% more than if you assembled them yourself. They can ship them to you assembled, but you'd still need to install them on your walls.

The downside is that shipping costs more when they're assembled because they'll need to be shipped in bigger boxes.

2. What Styles Are Available?

When RTA kitchen cabinets first came to market, the styles and colors they came in were limited. Construction materials also lacked variety. They typically came in melamine, thermofoil, or MDF.

For the few styles that came in authentic wood, the wooden finishes and door styles were limited. But today, RTA kitchen cabinets come in a wide variety of options from wood to simple white to stylish options and even exotic hardwood styles.

Shop around for the best RTA kitchen cabinets. You want to buy the best quality.

3. Are They Difficult to Assemble?

Typically, you don't need to be a woodworking pro to install RTA kitchen cabinets. They're designed so DIY homeowners can easily assemble the cabinets.

They usually only require the normal tools—a drill, a screwdriver, and a mallet. Some of the companies provide the tools for you.

The great thing is that most don't require any stapling, gluing, cutting, or hammering. This makes the job easy for the homeowner to handle the cam-lock and bracket system.

Ask About Assembly Instructions Before You Buy

But since all manufacturers sell different systems, make sure to ask about the assembly instructions before you make your purchase, so you don't get the kind that feels like you need to build it from point A.

If you purchase this kind, you'll need more tools and supplies. These may include a hammer, saw, staple gun, bar clamps, wood glue, and bar and spring clamps. That's why it's always good to ask.

If you purchase the typical 10-foot by 10-foot kitchen, know that you won't get the job done in a day. These standard-sized kitchens contain ten cabinets, not including trim and other extras.

Give yourself some time. It's highly unlikely you'll be done in three hours. Give yourself two to three days. At least a weekend. Or take your time and take a week.

4. What Factors Determine the Cost of RTA Kitchen Cabinets?

You already know your preassembled cabinets will cost you less than a custom cabinet store that sends their technicians out for the install. The price you'll pay depends on what you buy.

This includes the number of cabinets, drawers, shelves, pull-outs, and other special additions you buy. If you want a wine rack or a lazy susan, or a rolling spice rack, you'll need to pay more.

You may be paying these extra costs. But the RTA manufacturer may offer you credits to make up a large portion of the difference. Make sure to weigh credits against costs, so you know what you're paying. 

Think About Sales Tax and Shipping Costs

You can save some money ordering your RTA by a company that doesn't charge sales tax when you buy your kitchen cabinets. Save a ton of money by selecting an RTA kitchen cabinet company that doesn't withhold sales tax.

When it comes to buying a light fixture, shipping might not break the bank. Cabinets weigh much more, so find out the shipping costs and compare it to how much money you'll save.

5. Watch Out for Restocking Fees

Before you make your purchase, ask the salesperson about their restocking fee. In the case when you need to return the product, you'll likely have to pay for it. Restocking fees can be high. But the costs differ from company to company.

Some companies can charge up to 35% and that doesn't include the price you'll pay to ship the cabinets back to the supplier.

Things You Need to Know About RTA Kitchen Cabinets Reviewed

Now you know five important facts about RTA kitchen cabinets. They can be a great way to slash your kitchen remodel budget when you shop wisely.

Looking to make your home beautiful without spending a fortune on your kitchen cabinets by investing in high-quality RTA kitchen cabinets? Order a sample today from our collection.