Horror stories abound everywhere. Novice DIY Homeowners trying to remodel their kitchen or bathroom who take on a project bigger than they can handle. Remodeling your own kitchen or bathroom can be a very rewarding project and you can save a ton of money, but buying the wrong cabinets can lead to disaster. Home Improvement stores and the name brand manufacturers have done a very good job of selling the accessories and styles of cabinets, while at the same time taking the focus away from what the cabinet is actually made of. Stores like Ikea offer a wide range of RTA cabinets in all of the most popular styles and do a very good job of helping you select everything you will need for your project. What they fail to do is talk about how hard it will be to actually assemble the cabinets or what the box of the cabinet is made of.
A quality cabinet, whether it is a customer cabinet or RTA cabinet, will be constructed of plywood or solid wood. Ikea cabinets and even the pre-assembled cabinets sold at Lowes and Home Depot, are traditionally made of particle board or fiberboard with a veneer or laminated cover. The problem with fiberboard and particle board is that it acts like a sponge when it comes in contact with water, which leads to bubbling or warping. While the face frame and doors of these cabinets may be solid wood, it is the cabinet box that is going to add stability to the cabinet. The other issue with cabinets made of these materials, is that the screws, staples, or nails that are used to hold the cabinets together, have a tendency to lose their grip, since the material is not solid. The combination of all these attributes will significantly shorten the life of your cabinets.