Affordable Secrets to Make Your Kitchen Look Fabulous

IMG_1824 resizeThere are so many ways to remodel your kitchen on a shoestring budget. You just need to be in on the secrets to make it happen. From laminate mock stone to RTA cheap cabinets, if you’re tired of a drab, boring kitchen, here are some ways to make the change.

Small Lighting

You don’t need a giant chandelier to have a gorgeous kitchen. Pendant lighting is a big thing right now, especially in apartments. A current trend is to use rustic, industrial decor. Imagine hanging light bulbs and caged metal shades. These styles are great because many of them are cheap as well. Get the kinds that are smaller, like the hanging bulbs or paper star lanterns. They can be as low as $15 apiece.

DIY Backsplash

Larger tiles are easier to work with. You simply sand down the wall above your countertop, mark where the center is, add adhesive with a notched trowel, and place the tiles from the middle outward. Cut the edge tiles if you need to. After it dries, spread the grout over and wipe off the residual with a wet sponge. Allow it to dry for a few days more before adding a sealant. All of this can be done in a weekend!


Laminate is a cheap solution for both floors and countertops. You can mimic stone like uba tuba granite and no one will know the difference. Along with uba tuba granite, there are quartz, marble, and soapstone mock laminates. It’s better to get a professional to apply it, but you can apply it yourself as well. Floor laminate can look like wood, and is actually easier to keep clean with regular multipurpose cleaner. Real wood requires special cleaner that won’t damage it.

RTA Cabinets

Ready to assemble cabinets are cheap cabinets that are assembled and installed by the consumer rather than the factory. The savings are passed on to you, and you can use those savings to buy better quality wood than you could afford with fully assembled cabinets. You can have a professional install them, or you can do it yourself with some assistance.


Painting cabinets, walls, and even appliances is super-affordable, and the difference is stunning. You can paint old, dated oak kitchen cabinets into white kitchen cabinets to complement stylish white kitchen decor.

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When to Splurge in the Kitchen

budgetYou’re ready to remodel your kitchen, but you realize that there is so much more that you want to do than your budget will allow. There are many ways you can save money on your kitchen remodel so you can spend more money where you want to.

Save Money on the Cabinets

Let’s say you are just dying to have this chic, modern stove, but you can’t afford it because you need to replace your cabinets also. The secret is that you probably can afford to buy the stove. Why? Because the most costly part of a kitchen remodel is replacing your cabinets. You can cut the costs of replacing your cabinets in half by simply buying them in a ready-to-assemble (RTA) format. Most people can save up to a few hundred, or even a thousand dollars. RTA cabinets are cheap cabinets that come shipped flat in a box.

The reason why they are so cheap is because you do the assembly and installation yourself. It’s very easy and it does not require a professional to do. By saving money this way, you can buy that new stove, or you can get high quality wood that would normally cost far more. This is a great way to get cheap cabinets and free up more money to do other things. In addition to buying RTA cabinets, you can also buy unfinished cabinets and finish them yourself.

Where to Spend the Rest of the Money

Many renovation specialists consider the countertops to be a place to spend more money. For example, uba tuba granite is a tough, but beautiful, choice that will last as long as you own your home. However, if you want to save money on your countertop, there are laminates that mimic stone like uba tuba granite. You can also save money by using stone as a statement piece on your kitchen island with seating, but not all the counters.

Another place to spend money is on a quality stone floor. It’s very chic and it will last a long time. To save money, you can choose a porcelain tile that mimics stone. Deco pieces like glass tile backsplashes are another place to spend your money that will make your kitchen look beautiful.

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Dos and Don’ts of Buying Kitchen Cabinets Online

Dos Donts Blue Grey Button StyleBuying kitchen cabinets online can be a daunting prospect.  When purchasing anything online, there is always the fear that what you purchase may not be the quality that is advertised in the pictures you see, as you cannot experience the product you are looking for in person.  The converse of that is the lowered costs, which are passed on to the consumer by cutting out the many layers and costs that come from keeping a physical marketplace.  Read on to find out a few tips to help you find a quality retailer and get the quality you should have at the cheapest price possible.


There are many things on this list, but a few stand out as very important.  First, do not go for the first ad you see when using a search engine.  This does not mean the first result, but rather the ads that pop up at the beginning of your results.  Taking out an ad online is not necessarily an indicator of quality and, unless the retailer is either very large or brand new, can mean that the retailer is not doing so well and feels the need to advertise more to boost sales.

Don’t be fooled by the looks of cabinets in pictures.  Yes, they will look like that when you get them, but more research needs to be done to make sure that the cabinets are of quality, rather than just good looking.  Don’t forget to always check out a retailer on opinion forums and business rating sites.  These will be a huge indicator of quality.  Don’t go to sites that you can’t find much opinion of.  If you can’t find anything about them, they may be a rebranded site that is just one step up from a scam.


Do check out every piece of information you can about the retailer.  Remember that every retailer will have both good and bad reviews, but if the majority are very good, then they are most likely a safe bet.  Do educate yourself about what makes a quality cabinet, such as substrate material and cabinet wall thickness.

Talk to a website’s help person about designing your kitchen and ask them questions about quality.  Do take the time to read the shipping and restocking policies of a website before diving into looking at the cabinets.  A great restocking policy and low shipping rates are indicators that they are a quality retailer with high product turnover, and are willing to work with their customers to keep costs down.

Take Some Advice

Read some forums, talk to friends, and look for advice.  Here at RTA Cabinet Store, we built our business around the idea of quality at a reasonable price, and many of our initial and current customers have come to us through word of mouth.  Speaking of RTA cabinets, when purchased from a reputable retailer, they are usually of great quality at a low cost.  We have built our business around them, we like them so much.  Find someone you know who has purchased RTA cabinets recently, and see how they feel about them.  We expect that if they used a quality retailer, they will be very pleased with their results.

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How to Get Cheap Kitchen Cabinets that Look Expensive

Peele-Kitchen BeforeLet’s face it.  Remodeling your kitchen is never going to be free, but you can find ways to reduce your costs.  One thing you do not want to do, though, is to skimp on quality or the look of the kitchen cabinets.  Kitchen cabinets come in many different forms and quality levels, but making sure you have that expensive look can be easier than you think.

The Past

Up until recently, there were not many options when choosing your kitchen.  Of course, there were countless styles, but by and large, unless you caught a huge deal or sale, there was a definite and linear correlation between price and quality/look.  The more you spent, the more expensive looking kitchen and quality cabinets you got.  You had a choice of either big-box stores or custom construction.  The first ready to assemble (RTA) cabinets began to be available, but they had not entered the market in force.  If you wanted that expensive look, you had to be prepared to pay a lot for it.

The Present

The old rules do not apply anymore.  The biggest point in consumers’ favor is that RTA cabinets have come into their own, and in force.  With a more global economy and the advent of new technologies to keep production costs down, RTA cabinets are being produced that can meet or even exceed the quality and look of custom.  The internet makes for a great retail storefront, cutting out many costs, and the savings can be passed directly on to the consumer.  These are the reasons why we decided to start RTA Cabinet Store.

Now, when selecting your cabinets, you can look at high quality pictures of many different styles.  You have complete visual knowledge of what your cabinets will look like, something you do not even get with expensive custom cabinets.  RTA cabinets come in different quality levels, of course, but pretty much the only thing you need to do is find a reputable dealer with a reputation for quality.  The price will naturally be much lower than the big box stores, and your kitchen will have that expensive-looking style you desire, guaranteed.

The Process

After you have checked online for a top-level RTA cabinet dealer, you can then discuss with one of their experts (all of the best ones have a number of very knowledgeable people available to assist you) the particular style you like.  They are trained in helping match the right kitchen cabinets and accessories together, including things such as countertops, door hardware, etc., to get the perfect mix to give your kitchen the best look possible.  They will be your best resource in saving money while getting the best kitchen possible.

Looking Forward

If you are planning to remodel your kitchen, you should really look no further than RTA cabinets, especially if budget is a consideration.  Use the help staff; their whole purpose is to help you get what you want within your budget range.  You can also save loads of money by removing the old cabinets and installing the new ones yourself, further increasing the amount you can spend on your cabinets.


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3 Tips to Buying Unfinished Cabinets Online

Smiling handsome man carrying packages during moving houseBuying kitchen cabinets online can save you a lot of money, and buying unfinished kitchen cabinets can also save you big-time, so it goes without saying that buying unfinished kitchen cabinets online … well, you get the idea.

Here are some tips to help you figure out what kind of unfinished cabinets to buy, and possibly to put your mind at ease about the idea.

Plan Your Kitchen Just the Same

Just because you’re going to do the final stages of making your cabinets yourself—painting or staining, assembly, and installation—doesn’t mean you can just wing it in terms of the design. You still need to design your kitchen remodel from the ground up, just as you would if you were using finished cabinets. This includes the design of the cabinets, the types of hardware and accessories used, and the color you want them to wind up with. As always, our design experts are available to help you achieve a design you’ll be happy with for years to come.

Don’t Look for the Most Expensive Wood

First off, don’t look for solid wood for the non-visible portions of the cabinet frames. As we discuss elsewhere on the site, plywood actually has a lot of advantages in terms of durability and cost. You only need solid wood for doors, drawers, and the visible elements of the frame.

Even then, with modern stains you can easily make a cheaper wood like oak or pine look like something expensive and luxurious like cherry or mahogany. This means you don’t necessarily have to shell out big bucks for expensive hardwoods. If you’re going to paint the cabinets this is doubly true, and there’s no sense in using anything expensive just to cover it up with paint.

When in Doubt, Start Light

When you’re staining your cabinets, unless you’re absolutely, 100% certain what look you want in the end, or if you have one or two options you’re having trouble deciding between, start with the lighter stain. It’s very easy to add more applications of stain, or to add a darker stain to darken the wood. On the other hand, it’s almost impossible to undo a dark stain to get a lighter finish, once it’s done.

Also, don’t forget to stain or paint surfaces that aren’t always unseen, such as the insides and edges of doors and drawer fronts. While there are some surfaces you don’t need to finish (or even don’t want to, such as mounting surfaces for counters), for a professional look, you should finish every surface that could conceivably be seen. If you want a lighter, more natural wood tone for the shelves and other interior surfaces, it’s a good idea to still finish them, just with a lighter stain.

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Easy-to-Avoid Mistakes in Kitchen Remodeling

Kitchen remodeling is a major endeavor. It’s a complicated project with a lot of options and steps to take into consideration. With all that complexity, it’s easy to make mistakes. Mistakes lead to regrets down the road, so in hopes of helping you avoid some of the most common mistakes in kitchen remodeling, here’s a list of a few to keep in mind and avoid.

Failure to Budget

Putting together your budget for your kitchen makeover is the most boring part, we know. No matter how tempting it is to jump online and start dreaming of all the fantastic options that are out there, we recommend your first step always be to set up a budget. This will help you dismiss options you just can’t afford, and keep you from being disappointed later on when you have to scale back from the dream remodel you’d been imagining all along.

Failure to Choose Appliances First

If you’re not replacing appliances and gadgets, then this is a non-issue, but if you are, you should pick out your major appliances such as fridge, cook-top, ovens, and dishwasher first, not last. It’s much easier to design and build kitchen cabinets to fit your chosen appliances than the other way around!

Going It Alone

If you’re going to hire a contractor to build your dream kitchen, then this is also a non-issue. However, many people want to remodel their kitchens themselves. Even if you’re a DIY remodeler, it’s important to get input and help in the design of your new kitchen. Our design experts are on hand to help you figure out what’s really important, including determining which lines of kitchen cabinets truly fit your budget, and your kitchen.

Skimping on the Extras

It’s tempting to just think of the look of your new kitchen when you’re designing a remodel. To be sure, cabinets go a long way toward creating a new look and visual style. But what about how it feels to actually use the kitchen?

Extras like soft-close door and drawer stops can add a feel of luxurious quality that no fancy woodwork ever can. Storage options like drawer dividers, roll out trays, spice racks, and under-counter storage for pots and pans are another area people skimp on. Yet it’s these finishing touches that make a kitchen not just beautiful, but a joy to work in, efficiently and effectively for years to come.

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