KBR Kitchen and Bath

When it comes to cabinets, the build quality triumphs every other consideration quite easily.  For something which is as frequently used as a kitchen cabinet, no one can afford to make a decision merely based on the cosmetics of a product.

Before you buy one, you need to understand how different cabinets are built and what they are suitable for. Based upon construction, cabinets can be broadly divided into RTA (Ready To Assemble) and Pre-Assembled cabinets.

Although the choice between assembled and RTA cabinets appears to be straightforward, it is anything but that. There are plenty of factors you should account for before zeroing in on the type of cabinet you want to buy.

Here is a quick guide for choosing between RTA and Pre-assembled cabinets.

What Are RTA Cabinets?

Aptly named, ‘Ready To Assemble’ cabinets are ‘flat-packed’ and shipped as unassembled parts.  These parts are supposed to be assembled at the site of installation.

Speaking from an installation point of view, the complexity of the assembly depends upon the complexity of the design. Suppliers generally label all the pieces for ease of joining. In most designs, even the holes are pre-drilled — all you need to do is gather stuff from a hardware shop and get to work.

These RTA cabinets are available at all big box stores like IKEA, Lowe’s, Home Depot, Costco, etc.  But just like everything else, the wide scope of choices available online is unparalleled.

Advantages of RTA Cabinets

Disadvantages of RTA Cabinets

What are Pre-Assembled Cabinets?

The opposite of RTA, pre-assembled cabinets are delivered fully built and functional to the installation site.

Pre-Assembled cabinets need not be worked upon by the homeowner, and everything is ready to go including drawers and hardware components.

Just like RTA cabinets, pre-assembled cabinets have their own pros and cons — some of which are mentioned below.

Advantages of Pre-Assembled Cabinet

Disadvantages of Pre-Assembled Cabinets

Final Word

The choice between a pre-assembled and ready-to-assemble cabinet depends largely upon your budget and the amount of time you can dedicate during installation.

If you have to be frugal, choose an RTA cabinet. They can provide you with the same quality material at much cheaper prices compared to pre-assembled cabinets.

However, it is important to note that the trade-off would be structural integrity and build quality.  Pre-assembled cabinets are much more durable compared to RTA cabinets. They also offer more complex designs and customizable options.

Related: How to Paint Your Kitchen Cabinets