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The Evolution of Kitchen Cabinets

Jul 21, 2008
As new technologies are developed, the Kitchen Cabinet Industry and the cabinet manufacturers have been forced to evolve and adapt. If you look at older homes that still have the original kitchen cabinets, is that they were hand-made by cabinet manufacturer or homeowner. The cabinets would have been made of sold wood with a variety of joinery methods (depending on the quality). At the time, materials were cheaper and labor was even cheaper.

As time progressed, materials become more and more expensive, while labor was still relatively cheap. As new technologies started emerging, automation was introduced and it became possible to mass produce kitchen cabinets with perfect cuts every time. While there was still a demand for custom cabinets, and custom cabinetry was still a very good business, it was now more cost effective for homeowners to buy stock cabinets. As time went on, there were even new developments in the materials themselves. New materials such as Plywood, particleboard and OSB were being more widely used in the place of real wood.

As time continued to pass, labor became more costly and it became more effective to have kitchen cabinets sourced and produced in other countries. Even the big, name brand cabinet makers started heading to China and other Asia countries to start building their cabinets. Both materials and labor were abundant and cheap. Manufacturers continued to make the same stock cabinets as before, but they were now sourcing them overseas.

As new technologies started to arise and the home improvement craze took off, a new type of cabinet began to emerge- RTA cabinets. Ready-To-Assemble cabinets are similar to the stock cabinets that manufacturers had been offering, with the exception that you could buy them dis-assembled and assemble them yourself. Now cabinet makers were taking the biggest cost factor out of the product... the labor. With the introduction of these new cabinets, there was now a huge disparity in cost between the cabinet makers, stock cabinet manufacturers, and rta cabinet manufacturers. With the introduction of the mega home improvement stores, even the custom cabinet manufacturers were now looking for other products to offset their custom cabinetry work and compete with the big stores.

As material costs continue to rise, and labor rates go through the roof, more and more manufacturers are going to be shifting to the more economical ready-to-assemble format of construction. With improvements in design and function, RTA Kitchen Cabinets are sure to be the future of the Kitchen Cabinet Industry.
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Find out where the experts go to get all of their kitchen cabinets and accessories. Learn how to save thousand on kitchen cabinets by buying them where contractors and builders shop.
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