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Common Myths about RTA Cabinets

Mar 27, 2008
There are a lot of misconceptions about Ready-To-Assemble, or RTA cabinets that may have been true when they first hit the market, but no longer hold true. With improvements in the manufacturing process, some (not all) of these cabinets now conform to the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturing Association standard and can be more durable than the big name brands. Here are some of the common myths about RTA Cabinets.

1) They use lower quality materials in their construction- If you think that all RTA cabinets are made of particleboard or fiberboard, then you haven't seen the newer version of cabinets. With some exceptions, the higher quality ready-to-assemble cabinets that are on the market today feature solid wood face frames and doors, with a solid plywood cabinet box. The plywood box creates a more durable cabinet than particleboard, and is actually stronger than most name brands cabinets, since they use fiberboard, which is basically a dense cardboard.

2) They are not as strong- As I mentioned above, a higher quality RTA cabinet will feature a plywood cabinet box rather than fiberboard or particleboard, but will the cabinets hold together? Most cabinets will feature a cam lock assembly, which only requires a screwdriver to assemble them. While that may not sound like it would create a strong bond, it is actually stronger than what is used by most conventional manufacturers including- wooden dowels, staples, screws. The interlocking cam locks ensure that the cabinet will hold up to everyday use

3) The cabinets are hard to put together- This is one of the biggest misconceptions about RTA Cabinets. Most people think about Ikea cabinets when they think of the term ready-to-assemble, but this is the old method of assembly (a lot of little parts with complicated instructions). Most higher quality RTA cabinets will only have a handful of parts and they all come self-contained in one box, so you don't have to worry about searching for pieces in 20-30 different boxes.

4) You can't customize a kitchen with stock Cabinets- When RTA kitchen cabinets first came on the market, they had very few accessories that could be used to create that customized look for your kitchen or bathroom. Manufacturers listened to customer feedback and now have created matching accessories so that each kitchen or bathroom can customized to the homeowners individual tastes.

5) They are only available in 3 or 4 styles- When RTA manufacturers were using particleboard, it was hard to offer a wide variety of styles without the finish looking fake- it was either white or oak. With most ready-to-assemble kitchen cabinets now featuring solid wood face frames and doors in a wide range of woods, the selection of finishes and door designs is endless.

Now that we dispelled the most common myths about RTA cabinets, you are going to want to know where you can find them. Most of the big supply stores now carry their own RTA lines, with some of them even coming pre-assembled and ready to install. There is still a wide range in the quality of the cabinets, so make sure you are comparing apples to apples- solid wood face frames and doors, solid plywood cabinet box, and easy cam lock assembly.

The best deals that I have found are on the internet. By finding the manufacturer/direct importer, you can cut out the high mark-up that is associated with the overhead of retail. So before buying your kitchen cabinets or bathroom vanities, don't forget to check out RTA Cabinets.
About the Author
I have been remodeling houses for years and have found a way to save thousands on RTA Kitchen Cabinets. Find out my secret to buying RTA Cabinets at 30-40% below retail.
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