What’s the difference between RTA Cabinets and working with a Custom Cabinet Builder?
Simply put: With an RTA kitchen, it is more affordable but less customizable. You can’t change the materials. In addition, you may not have as much design flexibility since the configurations tend to be basic and standard or common and in a set size. An RTA kitchen will use veneers instead of solid hardwood doors for example.
The big difference is the customization process. Custom kitchen cabinet companies understand that some projects require onsite visits to measure and design; however, some RTA vendors usually send an engineer to your property to make these measurements.
Both are okay choices depending on your kitchen remodeling goals. It’s up to you and how much of your budget you want to spend on cabinets.
Installation is different too. With an RTA kitchen, you will need to hire someone to install the cabinets or do it yourself, as it isn’t DIY friendly. That is the tradeoff. With ready to assemble cabinets you can save money, but your customization options are very low, installation is generally your responsibility.
With a custom cabinet company, they typically offer installation as part of the service plan. At Brothers, we offer full installation on our custom built cabinets.
Do I need ready to assemble (RTA) cabinet kits?
Yep! As the name implies, you will need to build the cabinets yourself or hire someone to install the RTA kitchen cabinets. You will need to build the frame from components and instructions in the box.
Are RTA Cabinets good quality?
Sometimes. The quality can be good; however, the cabinets are built from low-cost materials such as laminate and not solid wood. You can find some nice products for a great price since you’re not paying for materials that are expensive or difficult to ship. Be wary of “too cheap” rta cabinets made of low-quality materials.
What kind of materials do Ready to Assemble Cabinets use?
Wood is normally used in ready to assemble cabinets. The doors are usually a hardwood material like oak or maple veneer. For the cabinet box, it will be plywood or MDF (medium-density fiberboard), which is a man-made board product made from wood pulp. In some cases particleboard may also be used.
Many Ready to Assemble Cabinets Use MDF
Medium-density fiberboard (MDF) is a manufactured sheet material consisting of fine particles of wood pressed together under heat and high pressure into sheets known as boards. Those sheets then get glued together with adhesives to make them even thicker resulting in something strong enough to use for cabinet boxes.
Pre-finished vs unfinished cabinets
An RTA kitchen will use veneers instead of solid hardwood doors for example. Some people prefer the look of a pre-finished door, but they also cost more due to labor and time spent on the finish. Unfinished cabinets are typically less costly than finished furniture grade (solid wood) cabinets and that’s why they are used to build RTA cabinets.
Do custom cabinets cost more than RTA Cabinets?
You can find some nice products for a great price since you’re not paying for materials that are expensive or difficult to ship. A custom cabinet designer will usually build your cabinets with solid wood so they are better quality and long lasting, which means the end cost might be more than RTA kitchen cabinets, but that is up to you.
Ready to Assemble Cabinets Pros:
Time or Deadlines
The kitchen is at the end of the remodel and you want it finished as soon as possible. Consider if you don’t have the time to custom build a new kitchen cabinet layout,
You don’t have the budget for custom cabinetry. Because RTA cabinets are ready to grab “off the shelf” they are more affordable BUT! they are less customized to your kitchen and often are built-in 3″ increments.
You are looking for a quick upgrade to update the look of the kitchen to “flip” it for a higher value. Popular tactics for Real Estate Flippers to remodel a kitchen
Custom Cabinetry Pros:
It’s your home and you deserve the best of the best. Custom kitchen cabinets will make your experience more enjoyable, from cooking to enjoying a meal with friends. It’s worth mentioning that our cabinet box features a 3/4″ thickness for superior support.
A True Fit
Imagine your cabinet is a dress or a fine suit. Yes, you can grab those off the shelf at any department store, but going to a tailor for a custom fit will deliver a better look, feel and experience. A kitchen remodel is no different!
Accessories and Accents
When you build your cabinets from the ground up, you can choose the door styles, colors, accessories, hardware, and style. Match your interior kitchen design perfectly with a custom cabinet design.
Hidden Hardware: doors, mounting screws and no nail holes?
One advantage with custom kitchen cabinets is that you don’t have exposed nail holes or screws since the doors attach with dowel joints, which naturally hide these features unlike in ready to assemble cabinetry where fasteners are visible.
Is there an in-between point between DIY and Full Custom Cabinetry?
Yes, some retail outlets offer semi-custom cabinets that allow you to choose some customization options. These are specific to the retailer, so we cannot speak to those wholesale retail companies’ stock cabinet options.
What’s the difference between custom cabinets and stock?
Stock cabinets are pre-made and will not be customized. Custom is fully custom built to your specifications. Stock cabinets are store-bought, ready-to-go items that cannot be customized (lengths, widths, etc.) RTA means “ready to assemble” meaning you have to build it yourself.
Custom cabinets are made specifically for your home or business, with custom sizes and specific components that cannot be changed or switched out.
Now that we have weighed in on which is best: RTA vs Custom Cabinetry, we hope you are ready to make a choice. Both RTA and Custom Cabinets are worthy considerations in a modern kitchen remodel, depending on your budget, timing, and customization needs.
At Brothers Cabinetry Company, we are proud to offer full custom cabinets, so contact us to get started if that is what you decide for your kitchen cabinet project.