Ready-to-assemble (RTA) cabinets are one of the latest trends in home remodeling. One of the reasons for this is the price. For less than the cost of prefabricated units commonly found in the big-box home stores, a homeowner can quickly transform their kitchen, bathroom or pantry with RTA cabinets. Another reason for their increasing popularity is the higher quality materials used in their construction. However, not all RTA cabinets are made equally. Depending on the manufacturer, the quality of the materials used and hardware offered in the package, pricing and quality can and will differ.
In general, ready-to-assemble cabinets are built with real wood as opposed to MDF or particle board. The doors and visible frames are made from hardwoods, while the boxes are constructed from plywood with veneers laid over the top. Pre-fab varieties are all too often made with cheaper composite materials. Also, since they are already assembled, and the consumer must pay the cost of assembly, pre-fabs often cost more than RTA cabinets even though the materials are of inferior quality. By assembling the components yourself, the cost is considerably less – offering as much as a 50% savings in some cases.Kitchen Flooring.
DIY kitchen cabinets are delivered right to a homeowner’s doorstep in flat boxes, often within days of placing your order. Each of the components along with all of the necessary hardware is included and clearly labeled. Step-by-step assembly instructions mean that anyone can put the cabinets together providing they have some basic tools. For those with little woodworking and assembly experience, the first cabinet will take the longest, but each subsequent unit gets a little easier.
While cost is important, you will want your cabinets to last for years, so quality of materials, particularly hardware, should also be researched well before purchase. Look for designs that offer all or mostly metal hardware. If some of the hardware components are plastic, be sure this will not affect the life span of the units. A few parts that you should insist are metal include the hinges, and drawer glides. Drawer glides come in several styles with differing types of roller mechanisms. Most people prefer a metal ball-bearing roller mechanism because it is smoother than nylon rollers and can bear more weight. Soft-closing, undermount glides are standard with some packages, while others feature side-mounted glides. Progressive or telescoping glides are the smoothest, as all parts move at once. If there is a choice, opt for metal, side-mounted ball-bearing drawer glides with progressive movement, as they offer the highest load rating and the smoothest action. With hinges, almost everyone prefers the European concealed cabinet hinges, and of course these should be metal. A lot of low cost ready to assemble furniture is put together with plastic screws, but because of the amount of use and wear that kitchen cabinets get, metal screws should be included, rather than plastic, which can break much more easily.Composite Decking Prices.
RTA cabinet parts are pre-drilled for convenience and quicker assembly. The hardware needed to put the boxes together including support brackets, assembly screws, drawer glide components and stops should be included in the pricing. Optional accessories such as organizers, roll-out shelves, storage baskets, towel racks, sink trays, decorative moldings and finishing touches, and more usually must be purchased separately. However, if any of these extras are important to you, be sure that they are available at the time of purchase. While you may not choose to purchase them immediately, it is good to know that you have a ready source that will fit your RTA units when you’re ready to upgrade.
As with any DIY project, the right tools for the job are needed. Some ready-to-assemble cabinets require nothing more than a screwdriver. However, most sets require that plus a hammer, wood glue, bar-type clamps, a utility knife and pneumatic, air compressor-powered staple gun. A power screw driver would be handy as well.
DIY Wood Plastic cabinets are great for the kitchen, bathroom or even as freestanding furniture pieces. There will be a learning curve, but if the directions are followed, anyone can assemble them. Before settling on a particular manufacturer, be sure to ask about warranties and the return policy in case anything is damaged upon delivery. Keep in mind, though, that warranties won’t cover damage you might cause during assembly, so proceed slowly and carefully as you begin your kitchen or bath transformation. Once completed, sit back and enjoy the beautiful new look that you have created.