The Pro’s and Con’s of RTA Cabinets

Home Builder with Walsh Built Homes / Walcraft Cabinetry B - 1011954

As we all know, kitchens sell. Would it be fair to say, the kitchen is one of the top three features that turns a warm buyer, into a hot buyer? I think so. To make a beautiful kitchen happen, it needs the right cabinets for the job.


In this article, I want to share a bit about RTA cabinets (ready to assemble) as I believe they need to be on your radar if you are working in and around real estate. After all, many are not familiar with the benefits they can provide! 


According to the Houzz kitchen trends study around 11% of people who purchase cabinets purchase RTA cabinets. Although that is a small amount, it is ever-growing!


And here is why. Although many people are not familiar with RTA cabinets, their benefits are amazing. RTA cabinets are simply unassembled kitchen cabinets that come flat-packed and ready to assemble.


So, what are the pros and cons of using RTA cabinets?




1. RTA cabinets come from the manufacturer flat-packed and ready to ship. Because these cabinets come unassembled, there is no waiting for them to be assembled and then shipped, they are simply pulled off pallet racking, loaded onto pallets, loaded into a truck, and sent directly to dealers and homeowners around the United States.


Typically, RTA cabinets are available within 2 to 4 weeks after ordering. During a major time crunch, this is the absolute fastest you can get cabinets.


2. Often RTA cabinets cost about 50% less than comparable quality pre-built cabinets. This is a huge savings! After all, cabinetry is typically the most expensive part of a kitchen remodel. Therefore, saving up to 50% is huge! Savings like that can free up money to get the dreamy quartz countertops you've always wanted, and that stunning handmade backsplash tile.


3. So they must be junk, right? Not necessarily. Although RTA cabinets do come in various quality levels, they typically have the same quality features: plywood construction, hardwood doors and drawer fronts, hardwood face frames, soft-close door and drawer slides, and decent finishes. There are numerous manufacturers of RTA cabinets, so quality of those features can vary greatly. Some manufacturers use lacquer, an inferior finish, instead of conversion varnish. Conversion varnish has a chemical hardening process that makes it much more durable and resistant to moisture.


The assembly process manufacturers use can also vary. Some use cheaper quality cam locks and metal clips to assemble the cabinets, while others use glue and traditional wood joinery for all of the cabinetry connections.


Cheaper RTA manufacturers are also going to be more prone to using cheaper plywood, softer hardwoods, and inferior dovetail drawer construction. Some dovetail drawers are made with a bunch of pieces of wood glued together while others are made from clear straight-grain solid wood. Both manufacturers would say they are solid wood; however, one of them will look the part much more than the other.


4. Some RTA manufacturers are seeking to provide cabinetry that is keeping up with modern trends. This means there are great options available that can make your new kitchen sparkle! However, there are also a lot of RTA cabinetry manufacturers who sell a lot of outdated styles.




  1. RTA cabinets are limited in options and sizing. They are standard sized in varying widths of 3 inches, so at times extra fillers are needed to make your kitchen layout work. Some manufacturers offer more options than others, but you often can't get exactly what you want.

  2. RTA cabinets need to be assembled. This means that only people with significant and handyman abilities should apply for this task. For those who are not very handy, RTA cabinets may be a bad choice.

It is without a doubt, that the benefits of RTA cabinets far outweigh the cons. If you're looking for an affordable way to remodel your kitchen, take a good look at RTA cabinets!



Comments (7)

John Pusa
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Crest - Glendale, CA
Your All Time Realtor With Exceptional Service

Welcome to the ActiveRain community. Congratulations on your first post.

Jan 26, 2020 09:41 AM
John Pusa
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Crest - Glendale, CA
Your All Time Realtor With Exceptional Service

Sean Walsh very good helpful report about the pro's and con's of RTA cabinet.

Jan 26, 2020 09:43 AM
Sean Walsh
Walsh Built Homes / Walcraft Cabinetry - Grass Valley, CA
Home Builder / Online Cabinetry Retailer

Thanks John! I appreciate the warm welcome and glad I was able to hopefully provide a little bit of helpful info ;o)...


Jan 26, 2020 01:10 PM
MichelleCherie Carr Crowe Just Call...408-252-8900
Get Results Team...Just Call (408) 252-8900! . DRE #00901962 . Licensed to Sell since 1985 . Altas Realty - San Jose, CA
Family Helping Families Buy & Sell Homes 40+ Years

Hi there,

Welcome to ActiveRain and a big "Congratulations" on your first blog post.

Jan 26, 2020 02:50 PM
Sean Walsh
Walsh Built Homes / Walcraft Cabinetry - Grass Valley, CA
Home Builder / Online Cabinetry Retailer

Thanks as well Michelle for the warm welcome!

Jan 26, 2020 03:32 PM
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Sean Walsh welcome to ActiveRain, and congratulations on successfully posting your first blog.

Jan 29, 2020 01:13 PM
Sean Walsh

Thanks George! I appreciate the warm welcome. Since you look like a Rain pro. How do you tag someones name like you did? Newbie question... ;o)


Jan 29, 2020 01:34 PM
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, EXP - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Welcome to Active Rain, looking forward to reading many more of your posts, let me know if there is anything that I can do to help as you get started here.
All the best of success to you.

Feb 28, 2020 08:46 AM