Are you gearing up for a kitchen renovation or perhaps remodeling your bathroom? If so, one of the key decisions you’ll face is choosing between ready-to-assemble (RTA) cabinets vs. assembled options. Both have pros and cons. Making the right choice can impact the outcome of your project in a big way.

RTA cabinets, as the name suggests, come ready to assemble. They arrive in flat-pack boxes, with all the necessary components and hardware included. These cabinets are designed for easy transport and assembly, making them a preferred choice for DIY enthusiasts and budget-conscious homeowners.

On the other hand, pre-assembled cabinets come fully constructed and ready to install.

Let’s delve into the differences between RTA cabinets and assembled cabinets to help you make an informed decision about your home renovation.

Advantages of RTA Cabinets

They are often more affordable than their pre-assembled counterparts. Since they require less labor and packaging, manufacturers can extend the cost savings to their clients.

Because RTA cabinets are shipped in flat-pack boxes, they take up less space and are easier to transport. This can result in lower shipping costs and faster delivery times.

They are DIY-friendly. Assembly is typically straightforward, with clear instructions provided. This makes RTA cabinets an excellent option for homeowners who enjoy tackling projects themselves or who want to save money on installation fees.

Things to Keep in Mind When Choosing RTA Cabinets

When selecting RTA cabinets for your project, there are several important factors to consider. These include the following:

Quality and Cost

Look for RTA cabinets made from durable materials like solid wood or plywood to ensure longevity. Remember that quality can vary among manufacturers, so choose a reliable supplier to ensure you’re getting cabinets that will last.

Compare prices from different suppliers to find RTA cabinets that fit within your budget without sacrificing quality.

Assembly Difficulty

While RTA cabinets are designed for easy assembly, they still require time and effort to put together. Consider your DIY skills and the difficulty of the assembly instructions provided by the manufacturer.

Depending on the size of your project and your DIY skills, assembly may take anywhere from a few hours to a couple of days.

Customization Options

Check if the manufacturer or retailer offers customization services, such as:

  • Custom sizing
  • Different finishes
  • Design modifications

This can allow you to tailor the cabinets to your specific requirements.

Shipping Time and Costs

Factor in shipping time and any associated costs to ensure timely delivery and help steer clear of unexpected expenses.

Cabinets shipped locally will generally have shorter delivery times and lower shipping costs in comparison to international shipments.

The shipping method offered can affect time and cost. Review the supplier’s shipping policies, including any extra fees or surcharges that may apply, such as:


Check if the manufacturer offers a guarantee or warranty for their RTA cabinets to protect against defects or damage.

Review what is covered under the warranty. Ensure the warranty applies to the key components of the cabinets, such as the frame, doors, hinges, and drawer slides.

Pay attention to any exclusions or limitations specified in the warranty.

Determine if there are any registration requirements to activate the warranty. Some manufacturers may need you to register your purchase within a certain timeframe to qualify for warranty coverage.

Reviews and Reputation

Scrutinize customer reviews and the reputation of the manufacturer to ensure you’re purchasing from a reliable source.

A company with a strong track record of standing behind its products is more likely to honor its warranty commitments.

Advantages of Assembled Cabinets

Since assembled cabinets arrive ready to install, they can significantly reduce the overall time and effort needed for your renovation project. This is particularly beneficial for homeowners who are short on time or who prefer to leave the construction work to the professionals.

With assembled cabinets, you can typically expect higher-quality construction and craftsmanship. Since they’re assembled in a controlled factory environment, there’s less room for error compared to DIY assembly.

With no assembly required, installation is generally more straightforward and less time-consuming. This can result in lower installation costs if you choose to hire a professional for the job.

Things to Keep in Mind When Choosing Assembled Cabinets

The convenience and quality of assembled cabinets often come with a higher price tag. If you’re working within a tight budget, this may be an important factor to consider.

Because assembled cabinets are shipped fully constructed, they may require special handling and packaging. This can result in increased shipping costs and prolonged delivery times.

Some manufacturers offer a degree of customization for assembled cabinets. However, your options may be more limited compared to RTA cabinets.

Making the Right Choice for Your Project

When it comes to choosing between RTA cabinets and assembled cabinets, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. It ultimately comes down to your budget, timeline, DIY skills, and personal preferences. Here are a few tips to help you make a decision:

Assess your budget carefully and weigh the upfront cost of your chosen cabinets against the long-term value they’ll provide.

If you enjoy hands-on projects and have the time and skills to tackle assembly, RTA cabinets may be the way to go. However, if you prefer a hassle-free installation process, assembled cabinets might be worth the investment.

Take the time to research and compare different cabinet manufacturers. This will ensure you’re getting the best quality and value for your money.

If you’re working on a tight deadline, assembled cabinets may help expedite the renovation process and get your space up and running sooner.

Wrapping Up: Ready-to-Assemble (RTA) Cabinets vs. Assembled

When it comes to ready-to-assemble (RTA) cabinets vs. assembled options, there are several factors to consider. By weighing these considerations against your budget, timeline, and personal preferences, you can make the right choice for your renovation project.

Cabinet Corner has a wide range of RTA cabinets to help you get your project started. If you are looking for products that are easy to install and maintain, browse our catalogs for inspiration or contact us to discuss your needs.