4 Surprising Facts About RTA Cabinets

RTA Cabinets are a popular choice in homes, but before you buy, you should check out our list of surprising facts about buying ready-to-assemble cabinets here.

You're excited about your brand-new kitchen or planned kitchen remodeling. You've heard that RTA (ready-to-assemble) kitchen cabinets are cheaper and easier to install than custom-fitted ones. And you're ready to follow the trend and become happy people in a gleaming, spacious, and color-coordinated kitchen.

You're so eager that you're either imagining ripping open the flat-pack delivery on arrival day, or dreaming of the perfect meals you'll cook with all that extra counter space. 

Hold your horses—until you've read to the end of this article. We've got some surprising things to tell you about RTA cabinets, and you should be fully informed before placing your order.

1. Not All RTA Cabinets Are Created Equal

The quality of RTA cabinets available varies greatly. There are tons of disaster stories littering the internet. They tell of disappointed customers whose dream kitchens have not lined up, so to speak, as they imagined.

Most RTA cabinet purchases that have failed, or have left people dissatisfied with the product, have had a rock-bottom price tag. The prices turned out to be too good to be true.

Quality defects include essential missing parts, sloppy grooving of interlocking joints, scuff marks, and poor finishes. Other problems only appear after assembly. The timber used to make the cabinets starts to warp or buckle.

Hinges break on cupboards and replacements are difficult to find. Drawers stick, or the front panel comes apart, or the bottom falls out.

These are a few of the quality-related problems that can occur if you do not care to ensure that what you are ordering is a quality product.

One way to avoid purchasing poor quality products is to stay clear of cheap, imported products. With local products made in the USA, you're more likely to be able to get a positive response if you have a problem for any reason with the RTA cabinets delivered. You're also more likely to be able to add to the same range you have chosen at later date, since many RTA cabinet manufacturers continue for many years to produce their most popular product lines.

Another way to avoid disappointment regarding quality is to read customer reviews before you buy anything. You can also find and read industry reviews published online from time to time.

2. Wood is Wood, Right? 

No. Not all wood is suitable for cabinetry.

You will come across the description "solid hardwood" often. It is likely true and correct. The problem is that there are different types of solid hardwood.  That particular description is merely to signal that the cabinets are not made of other viable material, such as MDF, or medium-density fiberboard.

MDF is a composite material made from recycled wood fibers and resin. MDF comes in pressed, sheet form, and is machine dried before coatings or laminate finishes are applied to it. MDF performs well in withstanding the rigors of heat and humidity fluctuations often experienced in a kitchen.

Although MDF does not have the pleasing appearance of natural wood grain, it does have a very smooth, sleek finish. It is used extensively in kitchen and bathroom cabinet making and other interior decoration applications.

As to hardwoods, Russian Birch is used in many imported cabinets. In the US, the more expensive but much more durable Maple, also a hardwood, is used. It pays to get good information, such as that found on the American Hardwood Information Center website, if you have any doubts as to the quality of the hardwood of the RTA cabinets you have your eye on.

3.  How Does It All Fit Together?

Workmanship is important. The telltale signs of hastily put-together cabinets include shortcuts, like evidence of staple guns, glue without jointing, and things like plastic instead of metal runners on drawers.

Properly executed dovetail joinery is a pleasure to behold. If the pins and tails of the joints are not angled, then what you are looking at is not a dovetail joint.

Other indications of poor construction include drawer bottoms that are too thin and will likely buckle if loaded with too many things.

Look at the quality of other fitments, such as door handles. These are often a good indication of the quality of the workmanship of the rest of the cabinet.

If an online store shows detailed drawings of the cabinet, it is most probable that you have found yourself a reputable supplier.

4. So Much Help!

The most surprising thing about acquiring RTA cabinets is the amount of free help that is on offer. Many people operate on the assumption that RTA cabinets mean you have to do everything yourself. This is far from the truth.

For example, Nuform Cabinetry offers a free 3D kitchen design and guides you through the design process. They have resources such as videos giving your tips on how to measure your kitchen. This means that you can have personalized kitchen cabinets in either assemble or unassembled (i.e. RTA) form.

You can get support through the online chat during office hours, and we even operate a price match system.

One more cool thing is that we offer order samples at very reasonable prices, so that you can see, touch, and feel a particular type of cabinet door before investing in a whole kitchen-worth of cabinets.

Get In Touch

We've been doing this for years, and we're sure we can help you get exactly what you need and want. In fact, you'll be spoilt for choice.

The biggest surprise for you will be just how pleasant an experience remodeling your kitchen with RTA cabinets can be. Contact us online or give us a call today.