Assembled Cabinets vs. RTA Cabinets

Kitchen cabinets are usually purchased and delivered in one of two ways: Assembled or Ready to Assemble (RTA).

Assembled kitchen cabinets are delivered already assembled, built from the manufacturer, and ready to be installed in the home. Assembled cabinets do not require the homeowner to build the cabinets; everything is complete, including all the drawers and hardware components. RTA kitchen cabinets are delivered in a form that is commonly referred to as “flat packed” or unassembled.

RTA cabinets require the consumer to put together and build the cabinets at the location that they are being installed. The cabinet is in a broken-down form and will require a little extra work from the installer, however, are generally offered at a lower price. offers both types of cabinets to appeal to different types of buyers. We have listed the pros and cons of both types so you can decide which type will best suit your style and budget.


Assembled Kitchen Cabinets (Deerfield® Construction; Cordova Construction)

packaging of assembled cabinets

*Assembled cabinets packaging shown above is from Deerfield Assembled Cabinets. Packaging and containers may vary.

Pros of Assembled Cabinets

1. Completely ASSEMBLED and made with top quality US craftsmanship. No assembly required by the homeowner, ready to be installed

2. Generally offer a better finished product due to the fact that they are assembled at the manufacturer with the right tools and machines

3. Allow for more internal cabinet accessories like Trash Pull Outs, Lazy Susans, etc.

4. Cabinet boxes have all wood construction, consisting of top grade wood and premium plywood (no particleboard)

5. Assembled cabinets from come with a Limited Lifetime Warranty and are KCMA Certified

6. Include dovetail drawers; sanded and polished at the factory for perfection

7. Come with six-way adjustable, soft close Blum™ hinges

8. Wall cabinets have full depth shelves and base cabinets have half depth shelves

Cons of Assembled Cabinets

1. Longer shipping lead times due to the fact that the cabinets are built after the order has been placed

2. Slightly more expensive due to the extra labor and manufacturing cost


RTA Kitchen Cabinets (Palmdale Construction)

packaging of RTA cabinets

Pros of RTA Cabinets

1. Shorter shipping lead times since the cabinets are in stock and ready to be shipped out as soon as the order is placed

2. Less expensive than assembled cabinets because the labor of putting the pieces together has not been done

3. All-wood constructed cabinets with plywood boxes

5. RTA cabinets from come with a Limited Lifetime Warranty

6. Include dovetail drawers

7. Come with six-way adjustable hinges

8. Wall cabinets have full depth shelves and base cabinets have 3/4 depth shelves

Cons of RTA Cabinets

1. Cabinets require the buyer to assemble them at the job site, creating extra work and an investment of time and energy

2. Harder to guarantee the quality of the finished product since the cabinet is not being assembled at the manufacturer