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What are ready-to-assemble (RTA) kitchen cabinets?

If you are in the market for new kitchen cabinets, you’ve probably heard the term “ready-to-assemble” or RTA cabinets.  While the thought of “ready-to-assemble” might seem unusual or a little scary when it comes to large items like cabinets, the option is very common when it comes to kitchen design.

RTA kitchen cabinets are a cost-effective alternative to custom cabinets and come in many styles and colors. Just because they come unassembled doesn’t mean they compromise quality, on the contrary, RTA cabinets come with everything you need for assembly and include features found in more expensive cabinets.

Since a lot of people have asked us what are RTA kitchen cabinets, we put together this Q&A so you understand why using them is an easy and economical option.

What are ready-to-assemble (RTA) kitchen cabinets?

RTA cabinets are kitchen, bath or laundry room units that are shipped to you, unassembled, in large flat boxes.  The pieces and parts of the basic unit are included in the kit, you get all the screws, fasteners, hinges and the cabinet panels you need to put the cabinet together.   Each kit comes with easy-to-read instructions and saves you a lot of money in your design process.

How do I save money using RTA cabinets?

Since RTA cabinets are precut and unassembled, you save money putting them together yourself.  Assembly is intuitive, the panels are pre-drilled and marked for easy assembly. There is no need to go through a middleman or pay a big box store, RTA is a very economical way to customize a kitchen.

Pricing for RTA cabinets varies and depend on the material and wood used. You can add molding and accent pieces to customize your look.

What tools will I need to assemble my RTA cabinets?

It’s always a good idea to have the right tools on hand before starting any building process!  Most of the tools you’ll need you probably already own, but take a look at our suggestions to see if you’ll need anything else:

  • Hammer or nail gun.
  • Screwdriver
  • Wood glue
  • Level
  • Drills

Are there a lot of RTA style and color choices?

Yes! RTA cabinets come in a large variety of colors, designs and sizes; you can pick any combination of cabinets that fit the measurements of your install area. 

Don’t forget the accessories for your RTA cabinets such as drawer boxes, interior storage items, moldings and carvings.  They all come in a variety of finishes to match your new cabinets.

RTA kitchen cabinet brochure |

Can I get help measuring my cabinets?

Absolutely! The best kitchen design projects start with accurate measurements and our handy Kitchen and Bath Design Planner.

You’ll need a tape measure, pencil, and a copy of our grid page.  Carefully measure the dimensions of your kitchen and sketch your layout on the grid paper.  Take care to mark windows, appliances, electrical outlets and air vents.  Follow our design planner and return it to us for a suggested design and pricing.

Once you have accurate measurements and a design plan you love, you can start picking out your RTA cabinets style and color and be well on your way to a dream kitchen.


Chris Alexakis

Chris is Director of Product & Design here at He's certified as a Florida State Building Contractor (CBC1256670) with many years of construction experience. Most important, Chris is passionate about kitchen design – Whether you're building a new home or remodeling an old one, he has plenty of experience and the right tools, ideas and solutions to help create a beautiful kitchen in any space, large or small.

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