Everybody knows that RTA Cabinets can save you a significant amount of money on your new kitchen or bathroom, but not everybody knows the difference between the various types of RTA Cabinets that are on the market. It seems like for every person who had a good experience with assembling and installing their own cabinets, there are just as many people who have horror stories from dealing with the wrong supplier or buying the wrong type of RTA Cabinets. In this article I am going to cover the differences between the various ready-to-assemble cabinets that are on the market so that you can ensure your experience is a positive one.
Materials- whether you are talking about custom, stock, or RTA cabinets, the materials used for the construction of the cabinets should be the biggest factor in what cabinets you are buying. The most common question that I get from customers is “what is the door made of?”. People want to make sure that the door is made of real wood, when in reality they should be more concerned with what the cabinet box is made of. 95% of the RTA Cabinets that are the market are going to have solid wood doors and face frames (if not, that should be a red flag!!). Where they differ will be what they use for the box and the back panel. There are a wide variety of materials that are used by manufacturers, including- plywood, fiberboard, particle board, MDF, and solid wood. Plywood and Solid wood are going to be your strongest cabinet box. There are several issues that you might have to deal with if you buy cabinets that use particle board or fiberboard with a veneer cover….. 1) if the material gets wet, fiberboard and particle board tend to swell or buckle 2) both materials tend break or split, especially screws or nails are used. Screws will have a tendency to lose their grip because the material is made of shredded wood or paper vs. a plywood or solid wood material. Ironically, most of the cabinets that you have to special order from Lowes or Home Depot are actually made of fiberboard with a veneer. For a strong, long lasting cabinet, make sure that the cabinet box is made of plywood or solid wood.