The days when kitchen cabinets had to be made by hand or purchased in bulk and put together by a cabinet professional are long past. RTA (ready-to-assemble) kitchen cabinets have made great strides and are now the most popular product for kitchen cabinets, whether you install them yourself or have someone do it for you. There are pitfalls, though, so take the time to check these five bits of information that we here at RTA Cabinet Store think you should know before you buy!
While this may seem like the last thing you should check, it actually should be the first. Shipping cabinets is a heavy endeavor and, depending on the size of your kitchen, you may be in for a big—and not so nice—surprise when you go to check out. Knowing the shipping policy at the beginning is a great way to save yourself the headache of huge shipping costs or having to start over at a different store because the shipping costs are too high on your original site.
This should be the second thing you check. Sometimes things simply go wrong. You may have measured wrong, or one cabinet doesn’t fit quite like you expected, and you may need to make an exchange or return something. Are there restocking fees? Return shipping costs? What about open package policy? All of these questions should be answered in the restocking or returns section of the website you are ordering from.
What Is the Material and Thickness of the Cabinet?
Take a good look at the materials that make up the RTA kitchen cabinets themselves. Particle board is generally not a good substance for cabinets, even when it is thick. Look for plywood, ¾ inch is the best, avoid ½ inch if you can. Try to get either hand-brushed wood finish (the best) or good veneers. Solid wood, while more expensive, is always the best choice for your cabinets. A good compromise for price and quality is plywood cabinets with real wood faces, drawer faces, and doors.
How Is the Hardware?
This is extremely important as the cabinets are meant to be opened and closed over and over for many years. If an RTA kitchen cabinet comes with cam locks and an assembly that can separate as the wood expands and contracts over time, it’s probably not the best choice. Most good quality cabinets come with higher quality and stress-tested locking hardware. Also, any RTA cabinet store worth their salt should carry high quality locking hardware as an accessory. It costs a bit more, but trust us, it’s worth it.
Get the general feel of the seller. Check out their BBB rating and what is said about them on the web. If there is a general feel of goodwill towards the seller, then they are most likely a safe bet.