Kitchen Cabinets: Ready To Assemble (RTA) vs. Fully Assembled

7th Jun 2023

We have a wide selection of kitchen cabinets from which to choose, with up to 5 lines in stock in every store, but when looking to purchase new cabinets you’re faced with a choice. “Do I want Fully Assembled or Ready to Assemble ones?” 

What's the Difference Between RTA & Fully Assembled Kitchen Cabinets? 

Let’s take a look at the features of each, starting with Fully Assembled Kitchen Cabinets. To start, they are already assembled, and they are ready to be installed as soon as you get them. The work of assembling them was done back at the factory. If you’re on a tighter schedule for your kitchen remodel or if you prefer not to take on the task of the assembly process yourself, then a pre-assembled cabinet line may be the answer. One of the drawbacks to Fully Assembled Cabinets is shipping and transport. Since they are pre-assembled, they take up much more space in a truck and that extra bulk adds to the cost of the cabinets.

The pros and cons of RTA kitchen cabinets are almost completely opposite those of fully assembled ones. Since they are packaged flat they’re easier to ship. More cabinets can be fit on a truck, so they have a lower transportation cost and, as a bonus, they have a smaller carbon footprint. In most cases you could easily fit an entire kitchen’s worth of cabinets in the back of a mini-van or pick-up truck. If you don’t need to install your new kitchen cabinets right way, RTAs are easier to store until you need them, and their packaging takes up so little space they will fit in a area ¼ the size fully assembled cabinets would need. However, as the name suggests, you need to assemble these cabinets once you get them home.

If you have the time, a little patience and a screwdriver the assembly of a standard base cabinet will be roughly ½ hour. You don’t need to be an expert to assemble them yourself. If that’s not the case, we offer a kitchen cabinet assembly service in store. For a small fee, we will put together your RTA cabinets for you. Our assembly techs not only carefully follow the manufacturer’s instructions to the letter, they improve the process. Each component is locked into place with the camlock connectors and screws, but before that, a bead of wood glue is applied to all adjoining panels. The end result is a rigid cabinet that meets or exceeds the construction quality of factory-assembled cabinets.

All the RTA cabinet lines we carry are all wood box construction. This means that the Ready To Assemble lines are as durable and as strong as the Fully Assembled or custom made kitchen cabinets. In fact, since the RTA cabinets are shipped disassembled there is less chance of damage occurring in shipping. If you need help planning your kitchen we have experts who will layout your plans for free. Click here. Follow the instructions on the page and start the planning process. Depending on when you submit your info, one of our partners should be in contact within 48 hours, often within the same day. We also offer assembly services. Just contact your local store for details. Regardless of which way you decide to go on your new kitchen cabinets, Barton's Home will be there to help you realize your dream kitchen at the Guaranteed Lowest Price* from the cabinets, to the counter tops, backsplash, faucet, kitchen sink and more.