Cabinets hold their place inside the home as the go-to place for storage. But they also play a role in bringing a space to life. Whether it’s the bathroom, the living room, or the kitchen, cabinets loom large and selecting them takes foresight and savvy. One of the biggest questions that have to be decided in today’s world of cabinets is whether they should be ready-to-assemble (RTA) or assembled. The decision that is taken can have a profound impact on the space itself, your time as well as your bank account. Here then is a quick breakdown of the advantages and disadvantages of selecting each type.
RTA Cabinets: Advantages
One of the leading advantages of buying and using RTA cabinets is that they can be ordered and delivered to your home very quickly. Most local retailers will stock them so if you are looking to get something in place quickly, RTAs serve this purpose very well. Another leading advantage is the cost-savings attached to RTA cabinets. Where you’d spend anywhere from $40 – $800 per linear foot for an assembled cabinet, RTAs will typically cost you no more than $5,000 at the top end. On the cost side there is a further advantage in the form of assembly. Typical RTA cabinets are delivered broken down with the aim that it will be assembled by the buyer. Where labour cost-savings are a consideration, you can apply your DIY skills to the task.
RTA Cabinets Disadvantages
What makes RTA cabinets worth having, also offers a few negatives on the flipside. The cheaper price for a fully unit also presents the problem of shortcuts by manufactures. Typically this takes the form of a limited number of materials. The number of colors and styles that you have to choose from will also suffer because of this cheaper price point. You’ll also have to cope with the complexity that can come with assembling something as bulky and complex as a cabinet. This is especially true of cabinets that are headed straight for the kitchen. These have to be positioned properly and fitted so getting your measurements wrong can be costly to fix. But let’s say you don’t have the DIY skills but still want to order some RTA cabinets. Assembly will then have to be undertaken perhaps by an expert and this will cost money – another layer of cost that has to be considered when going the RTA route.
Assembled Cabinets: Advantages
The biggest advantage with assembled cabinets is the wide selection of choices available to you. Unlike RTA cabinets, assembled cabinets come in a board range of styles, materials and colors. This gives you the flexibility to match your cabinets well with the space they’ll eventually be fitted. Accessories are also more liberally added to assembled cabinets. These can include options such as trash pull-outs and Lazy Susans for added ease and convenience. Assembled cabinets arrive at your door fully formed, so to speak. All the work needed to size, position and assemble the cabinet is carried out at the factor, freeing up the time you’d otherwise spend fitting the pieces together yourself.
Assembled Cabinets: Disadvantages
Like RTA cabinets, assembled cabinets also come with their downsides. One of those downsides is the cost issue mentioned previously. The extra work that goes into making and assembling these types of cabinets can often place a premium on prices. For the really trendy and in-demand styles and materials, that premium can be considerable. You’ll also have to wait significantly longer for the delivery of your assembled cabinets. This extended lead-time between order and delivery can have negative knock-on effects where delivery has to be coordinated with a home remodel. And although assembled cabinets come to your door put together, installation is still a consideration especially when they are destined for the kitchen or bathroom. Here the problem of DIY skills or an outside hire become the issue. Naturally the DIY skills needed in the case of assembled cabinets are not as intensive; but an extensive kitchen install of cabinets of any type is bound to presents its own challenges.
Ultimately your goals will be the deciding factor in what type of cabinets you select for your project. Where costs are not a major consideration and speed is the ultimate goal, assembled cabinets are your best bet. If you are on a budget and can afford to spend a little extra on potentially hiring an expert to fit the whole thing up, then ordering RTA cabinets may very well serve you better. Of course it helps to have a friend in the matter and this is where we can help. By taking a good luck at your needs, spacing and layout requirements, we can help guide you along the path in selecting the right cabinets.