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Why Choose RTA Cabinets?

Ready-to-Assemble (RTA) kitchen cabinets and RTA vanities emerged onto the U.S. market more than a decade ago.  Although some do-it-yourselfers, builders, and contractors initially dabbled in the RTA market, the average American homeowner, inexperienced in carpentry, shied away.  Not anymore. 

Increasing numbers of Americans who never even assembled a shoeshine box in a junior high shop class are buying RTA cabinets and singing their praises.  Why the dramatic turnaround? 

RTA CABINETS COST LESS:  Shoppers feeling the pinch from changes in the economy are becoming increasing savvy before parting with their dollars, especially when it comes to big ticket items such as kitchens and bathrooms. Thanks to home improvement cable shows that introduce them to design options, and the Internet, which brings product choices directly into their homes, they can maximize their dollars without sacrificing features.  RTA cabinets, especially those sold by companies without expensive showrooms, are generally 30 – 60 percent cheaper than cabinets sold by local kitchen design shops and home supply stores.

RTA CONSRUCTION HAS IMPROVED: Ten years ago, RTA cabinet quality tended to be low-end. Today, the quality of some RTA cabinets has improved so dramatically, their standard features exceed those of most U.S. cabinet manufacturers.  Some RTA cabinets feature ¾” solid wood doors and frames, two-tone glazes, solid plywood box sides and backs instead of flimsy particleboard, dovetail drawers, and under-mount full extension soft close drawers that don’t bang shut – features that are all big ticket add-ons with most dealers.   

RTA CABINET ASSEMBLY HAS CHANGED:  Although many RTA cabinets still require hot glue guns, nails, and clamps, others use a simplified assembly system that requires little more than a screwdriver to turn screws on a camlock or a locking plate and L-bracket system. Buyers need to beware though, to make sure they don’t encounter unexpected surprises.  Some RTA cabinets have sturdy metal camlocks, while others are just plastic.  And when it comes to locking plate systems, some RTA cabinets have the brackets and plates PRE-mounted to the cabinet sides with factory pre-drilled holes, requiring the buyer to add a single screw to the pre-drilled hole between two screws already attached to each bracket, and tighten it.  Other RTA cabinet dealers provide the L-brackets and locking plates, but they are NOT pre-drilled or mounted to the wood. This can require careful measuring and drilling, and tacks on substantial time for assembly.

RTA OFFERS DO-IT-YOURSELF PROJECT OWNERSHIP: Especially with pre-mounted L-bracket and locking plate systems or pre-mounted camlock systems, many homeowners find the new ease in cabinet assembly doable, and a phenomenal bargain, given their substantial cost savings.  They also take pleasure in project ownership, knowing they assembled their cabinets themselves.  Even if they hire someone else to install their cabinets, the RTA purchase and assembly can save them thousands of dollars.

RTA CABINET CHOICE HAS IMPROVED:  While it is true that RTA cabinet sellers do not offer a limitless choice in colors or offer custom sizes such as a 13.75” wide cabinets, buyers can now select from a variety of woods including birch, oak, alder, and the often more prized maple or bamboo. Cabinet sizes and types of cabinets available have also increased over the years.  RTA cabinets are generally available in 3” increments, starting with 9” wide cabinets, and going up to 36” or more.  Special feature cabinets such as lazy susans, corner cabinets, and rollout pantries, as well as accessories such as end shelves, wine racks, plate racks, glass mullion doors, corbels, and crown molding are now more readily available.

MOST RTA CABINETS ARE IN-STOCK: A final advantage of RTA cabinets is that they are generally in-stock, so it is no longer necessary to order cabinets six weeks in advance.  Although some companies only deliver RTA cabinets locally, others ship them nationwide within a week or two of purchase.

To see RTA cabinets and vanities featuring PRE-MOUNTED L-brackets or metal camlocks, visit

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© Copyright 2008 - Alexandra K. Nolan, APR - Public Relations Consulting & Freelance Writing -  PITTSBURGH, PA