Ready-to-Assemble Kitchen Cabinets: What You Should Know

Ready-to-assemble kitchen cabinets (RTA) can help make your kitchen look more appealing while saving you money on kitchen remodeling. The kitchen closets are often delivered in parts along with all the hardware you need to assemble them. That’s right; you’ll have to DIY the assembly process.

Because you will be assembling the closet yourself, you also won’t need to hire a professional for the job. Thus, cutting back on even more costs.

However, before you start shopping around for a new kitchen closet, it pays to invest some time learning more about this new furniture.


What are Ready-To-Assemble Kitchen Cabinets?

The ready-to-assemble name of these kitchen closets pretty much explains everything you need to know about them. When you order this closet, it will be delivered to you with all the parts cut to size and holes drilled where needed. The manufacturer will even do any finishes you may need on the closet before stacking and wrapping up all the parts.

Once it is delivered to your home, you will face the job of assembling it and installing it to form your kitchen cabinet. The kitchen closets come with detailed manuals that are simple and easy to understand. However, most ready-to-assemble kitchen cabinets always come in the form of drawings with minimal to no written guidance. Some manufacturers will even include links to online videos that guide you on how to assemble the closets.

Where to Buy RTA Kitchen Cabinets

Many big-box retailers already manufacture kitchen closets. However, you will find a much broader and more diverse selection from online retailers. Purchasing your closet from a store allows you to interact with the salespeople who can explain to you how to assemble and install them.

Buying from online stores provides you with more choices and a much broader selection and retailers to consider. You can compare prices and services online and decide on the best kitchen closet for your kitchen based on your kitchen’s size and the cabinet’s design. You can even order custom finishes and designs on your closet before it is shipped to you.

Getting Good-Quality Cabinets

Ready-to-assemble kitchen cabinets also cover the full spectrum of quality like you would expect from pre-assembled cabinets. They come in a wide range of qualities, from very poor to very good.

You can get kitchen closets that are as strong and attractive as any pre-installed closet in a kitchen showroom. However, it is still important to be able to recognize inferior quality closets. As such, you want to avoid kitchen cabinets with integrated rail drawer guides and stapled particleboard drawers.

Some of the features of a good-quality kitchen cabinet include:

  • Full-extension drawer guides
  • Solid wood drawers that have dovetail joinery
  • Coating and finishes that are applied by a brush
  • Doors with a solid wood frame with panels made of solid wood or plywood

These are just some of the main features you want to check before making your purchase at the store.

Cost Factors

As mentioned above, you can save a substantial amount by investing in ready-to-assemble kitchen closets instead of custom pre-assembled cabinets.

Your savings for using RTA Cabinets come in two ways. Because they come disassembled, the shipping costs of the kitchen closets are often less than those of fully assembled cabinets. This is because the kitchen closets take up less room during shipment.

You will also save a significant amount on labor costs because you will be the one taking care of the assembly and installation processes.

The purchasing and shipping costs can also vary significantly, depending on other factors like the materials used, finishing, complexity of the cabinet, and the degree of completion.

Often, you will find that closets with white or melamine-coated particleboard drawers fall at the lower end of the cost spectrum. These ready-to-assemble kitchen cabinets sometimes have unfinished elements that may require attending to before assembling and installing.

On the other hand, the more expensive options may include veneered plywood cabinet boxes, solid wood doors, hardwood face frames, and dovetailed joints. Kitchen closets in odd sizes and angles can also cost more.

All in all, it is important to get the price quote of the closet you want to buy and compare it with other similar options on the market. In most instances, you may need to price out different suppliers for cabinet doors, boxes, and hardware. Fortunately, you can do all this work online without much trouble.


Now that you have your kitchen cabinet, it’s time to start assembling it. One of the main reasons people love kitchen closets is because they’re so easy to put together. You don’t need to have any technical expertise or hidden skills to assemble your kitchen closet successfully.

Most parts of the closets need nothing more than glue, screws, and wood dowels, all of which usually come with the closet. You will also find very clear instructions in the packaging. However, it’s always better to refer to online videos and guides if you’re unsure about the assembly and installation process.

Reviewing demonstration videos and drawings can prevent you from making some costly assembly mistakes.

Drawers and doors are pre-drilled by the manufacturer for attaching hinges and other hardware. Often the only tool you’ll need when assembling the closet is a screwdriver.

NOTE: you always want to check the availability of all the parts of your kitchen closet before you start assembling it. Also, check the availability of replacement parts in case some parts of your cabinet break or get damaged. You don’t want to end up with a broken closet because a part got damaged a few years down the road, but you can’t find the part.

 RTA kitchen cabinets are growing more popular every day as more homeowners prefer these simple and cost-friendly cabinet options to their pre-installed alternatives. There are many benefits to assembling and installing these cabinets in your kitchen.


Ready-to-assemble kitchen cabinets are growing more popular every day as more homeowners prefer these simple and cost-friendly cabinet options to their pre-installed alternatives. There are many benefits to assembling and installing these cabinets in your kitchen. Try them out. What have you got to lose?

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