Benefits of Using RTA Kitchen Cabinets

Updated: Oct. 14, 2023

Trying to decide what kind of cabinets you should hang in your home? Here's a look at what makes ready-to-assemble cabinets a great choice for DIYers.

Whether you’re tackling a kitchen remodel or building an entire home from the ground up, you need to decide what kind of cabinets you’ll install.

The most straightforward but expensive route is to hire a carpenter or cabinet maker to craft custom-made cabinets. Custom cabinets will look great in your kitchen — and eat a large chunk of your budget. Another option is to buy pre-built cabinets from your local home improvement center. You’ll spend less than custom-made, but you lose design flexibility because you’re forced to choose from what’s in stock at that store.

Ready-to-assemble (RTA) cabinets are your middle ground between those two choices, affordable and customizable. As the name implies, RTA cabinets come unassembled with all of the parts and pieces you need to put them together. Installing an entire kitchen of cabinets requires just the basics of construction experience and tools. Almost any DIYer can tackle an RTA cabinet installation project.

Here’s a further look at some of the key benefits of using RTA kitchen cabinets in your home.


According to HomeAdvisor, the average cost of installing custom cabinets is $5,330, or $500 to $1,200 per linear board foot. RTA cabinets are much more affordable, typically costing around $80 to $143 per linear board feet.

There are two main reasons for this price difference. First, RTA cabinets are mass-produced as opposed to custom milled, cutting labor and production costs. Second, because RTA cabinets are delivered to your door unassembled, shipping them is much less complicated and, consequently, a lot cheaper.

Design Flexibility

Just because they’re mass-produced doesn’t mean RTA cabinets all look exactly the same. Homeowners have so many RTA cabinets options from that cabinet design is a big part of the decision making. Mixing and matching from different cabinet styles allows you to create a set of cabinets to fit your living space, your style and your budget.

Quick Turnaround Time

Mass production of RTA cabinets also means many options are readily available. Depending on a carpenter’s backlog, custom cabinets can sometimes take months to build. But RTA cabinets are typically in stock and ready to ship as soon as you order. If you’re trying to avoid headaches and stay on schedule with a project, it’s a good idea to go with cabinets you know you can get when you need them.

Easy Assembly

The whole concept of RTA cabinets depends on assembling them once they arrive at your door, so designers try to make them doable for people with limited building skills and everyday tools. Of course, you can hire a contractor to install your RTA cabinets for you. But if you’re looking to save money and you’re an intermediate DIYer, go for it.