What does RTA cabinets mean?

by | on Nov 20, 2023

What does RTA cabinets mean?

Ready to Assemble. RTA kitchen cabinets are delivered flat packed or unassembled. RTA is different from KD (knock-down).

What is the main difference between RTA and KD?

Overall, the main difference between RTA and KD cabinets is the level of assembly required and the amount of work involved in putting them together. RTA cabinets are typically easier to assemble and less expensive, while KD cabinets may require more skill and effort.

  1. RTA cabinets are shipped to the customer in a flat-pack box with all the necessary parts and hardware included for easy assembly. KD cabinets are also shipped in a flat-pack box, but they may not include all the necessary parts or hardware, and some parts may require additional cutting or drilling.

  2. RTA cabinets are designed to be assembled quickly and easily, without the need for specialized tools or expertise. KD cabinets may require more time and skill to assemble, and may require the use of specialized tools or equipment.

  3. RTA cabinets are generally less expensive than pre-assembled cabinets, while KD cabinets are often more expensive than RTA cabinets due to the additional labor and skill required to assemble them.

What are the cost savings of choosing RTA vs. Assembled?

The cost savings of choosing RTA (Ready-to-Assemble) cabinets over assembled cabinets can vary depending on the manufacturer, style, and quality of the cabinets. RTA cabinets are typically less expensive than pre-assembled cabinets due to the reduced labor and shipping costs associated with flat-pack shipping and assembly.

According to industry estimates, choosing RTA cabinets over assembled cabinets can save homeowners anywhere from 10 to 40 percent of the total cost of the project. For example, a basic 10x10 kitchen with pre-assembled cabinets might cost $6,000 to $8,000, while the same kitchen with RTA cabinets might cost $3,500 to $4,500.

Are RTA cabinets worst in quality over assembled cabinets?

Ultimately, the quality of RTA cabinets compared to assembled cabinets depends on the specific manufacturer and product line, so it's important to do your research and compare different variables like: 

  1. What are the boxes of the cabinets made of? Plywood, Rubberwood, or Particle Board?
  2. Are cabinetry door and drawer fronts solid wood or MDF? 
  3. Do drawer glides offer soft close options? 
  4. What type of constructions are the cabinets? Dovetailed?
  5. Do cabinets require any special tools to assemble? 
  6. How well are the cabinets packaged? 
  7. What is the warranty on the cabinets and doors? 

The quality of RTA cabinets has improved over the years as manufacturers have developed better assembly methods, improved materials, and invested in more sophisticated machinery. Many RTA cabinets today use high-quality materials like solid wood or plywood, and advanced construction methods like dovetail joints and soft-close hinges.

It's important to note that while RTA cabinets are less expensive upfront, they may require additional time and effort for assembly. Consider the cost of any tools or equipment needed for assembly, as well as the potential for mistakes or errors during assembly that may require additional time or expense to correct.