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Table of Contents
- About RTA Cabinet Supply (RTACabinetSupply.com)
- RTA Cabinet Supply review: selection, variety, and pricing
How difficult is it to assemble RTA Cabinet Supply cabinets?
- Do you need any special experience or expertise to assemble RTA Cabinet Supply cabinets?
- What tools do you need to assemble RTA Cabinet Supply cabinets?
- How much time does it take to assemble RTA Cabinet Supply cabinets?
- RTA Cabinet Supply assembly tips and tricks
- RTA Cabinet Supply review: cabinet quality
- RTA Cabinet Supply customer service
- Comparing RTA Cabinet Supply to other RTA cabinets
- The verdict: should you buy RTA Cabinet Supply cabinets?
About RTA Cabinet Supply (RTACabinetSupply.com)
RTA Cabinet Supply has been in business for over 14 years and is located in Pennsylvania. The company sells ready-to-assemble cabinets that arrive flat-packed in a box. The cabinets come with all of the assembly hardware and wooden parts pre-finished, but you are expected to have certain tools, and a bit of experience assembling flat-packed items.
We found that RTA Cabinet Supply is generally very well reviewed, and the company has an A+ from the Better Business Bureau.
RTA Cabinet Supply review: selection, variety, and pricing
At over 40 cabinet options, RTA Cabinet Supply has one of the larger selections of cabinets in the RTA industry. This is significantly more than Lily Ann Cabinets, but about the same number as TheRTAStore.
I really liked the quality of the selection, since it is large and varied. In fact, RTA Cabinet Supply has many different accessory options that don’t seem to be available anywhere else.
The only thing that I didn’t like was that RTA Cabinet Supply has some complicated options for glass. Certain cabinets only offer textured glass, while others require you to buy the glass separately, and some doors come separate from cabinets, while others are included.
How difficult is it to assemble RTA Cabinet Supply cabinets?
Do you need any special experience or expertise to assemble RTA Cabinet Supply cabinets?
If you have put together flat packed furniture before, you should have no problems putting together RTA Cabinet Supply cabinets. You don’t any special experience or expertise — and you certainly don’t need any carpentry skill.
What tools do you need to assemble RTA Cabinet Supply cabinets?
To build these cabinets, you only need a few tools:
A cordless screwdriver with multiple sized flat and Phillips bits
You should use a cordless screwdriver with several different sizes of bits for building RTA Cabinet Supply cabinets. There are several different head sizes in use, so using a single size bit will quickly strip the screws. I have found that this Black and Decker set is optimal for this.
If you enjoy doing things yourself, you probably have a lot of different drivers and drills. Just be careful which ones you use on cabinets, because I’ve cracked them before by using a heavy duty impact driver. It’s better to use a drill/driver, but make sure it’s not set to go too fast. I’ve found that the Black and Decker option is perfect for this work because it has the right amount of power and speed.
When you’re putting together RTA cabinets, it’s important to glue each joint. This will help keep the cabinets sturdy and prevent them from coming apart due to vibrations or normal wear and tear. I really like Gorilla Wood Glue because it comes in a large tube and has a tip that can be cut to a fine point. That way, you don’t end up with a gluey mess on your new cabinets.
Generally, the joints on RTA Cabinet Supply cabinets are dadoed but not dovetailed, so this is especially critical.
A rubber mallet is useful for tapping parts into place when assembling RTA cabinets, especially the drawers. The rubber material prevents damage to the parts, as opposed to using a regular hammer. It is also helpful to have some scrap wood around as an additional measure of protection between the rubber mallet and the cabinet parts.
How much time does it take to assemble RTA Cabinet Supply cabinets?
|Standard (upper) wall cabinet||30 to 45 minutes|
|Standard base cabinet without drawers||45 minutes to 1 hour|
|Base cabinet with drawers||1 to 1.5 hours|
|Full height utility cabinet||1 to 1.5 hours|
|Individual drawer assembly||20 minutes each|
|Small upper cabinets||30 minutes|
RTA Cabinet Supply assembly tips and tricks
Here are some tips that I have found to be useful when assembling RTA cabinets. There is more information here.
- To avoid a sticky mess, use wood glue sparingly on joints–just enough to hold the pieces together.
- Check all parts of the cabinets for damage as soon as you receive them. Although damage is rare, you don’t want to have to wait for parts during assembly.
- I suggest putting together the full height cabinets with a helper. You need plenty of space to slide the parts if you assemble them right-side-up; you will also need a high ceiling. If you assemble them horizontally, however, you will only need a large open area.
RTA Cabinet Supply review: cabinet quality
In this section, I will expand on the quality in-depth: materials, craftsmanship, durability, and feel.
RTA Cabinet Supply quality: materials
I have found that RTA Cabinet Supply uses top-quality materials in their products. Cabinet boxes and frames are made from furniture grade plywood with a wood veneer. This is the same as other RTA cabinet suppliers. You can see pictures of this type of plywood here.
RTA Cabinet Supply’s cabinet faces are either constructed of solid wood or engineered high-density fiberboard (HDF). Engineered high-density fiberboard is a type of wood product made from wood fibers that is much denser than MDF (which you would find in IKEA products).
HDF is a type of engineered wood that consists of compressed wood fibers. It is denser than particle board and has a smoother surface, making it ideal for cabinetry, flooring, and furniture. HDF is also more resistant to moisture and extreme temperatures than solid wood, making it a good choice for high-quality furniture.
In the following picture, I have used a miter saw to cut a cross section of RTA Cabinet Supply’s Charleston Cream cabinet door made from HDF:
Here is a cross section of a RTA Cabinet Supply’s Charleston Cappucino door, which is made of solid birch:
Note that these are the exact same doors used sold by Lily Ann Cabinets, though some of their other products differ.
RTA Cabinet Supply quality: millwork
The millwork quality for RTA Cabinet Supply is very good, and I didn’t have any issues with it.
RTA Cabinet Supply uses dadoed joints on cabinet frames, which are generally not dovetailed. This means that the parts slide together easily and are held together using provided L-brackets.
You can see TheRTAStore’s joints in this picture:
For comparison, here is a Lily Ann Cabinets front face. You can see the dovetails in the picture:
Technically — if everything else was ideal — the dovetail here would be preferable. However, sometimes the parts are milled imperfectly or due to temperature or humidity, the tongue piece swells, making it impossible to fit. If you try to force fit the pieces together, it generally results in a cracked cabinet.
In practice, I greatly preferred the dadoed joint with brackets design used by RTA Cabinet Supply.
RTA Cabinet Supply quality: hardware
RTA cabinets do not come with a lot of hardware. You will usually just get the hinges, frame support pieces, and screws. Drawers will also come with drawer glides.
I found the hardware for RTA Cabinet Supply’s cabinets to be excellent. This includes the hinges and drawer glides, which both have a soft close feature (although this is something that is generally expected in today’s market). The soft close mechanism on the drawer glides is very reliable and solid. I didn’t have to make any adjustments to most of the drawer glides that I assembled.
I was impressed with the metal brackets and shelf pegs RTA Cabinet Supply provided for assembly. Other RTA cabinet sellers use plastic parts, which I didn’t like as much.
You will find that online RTA cabinet sellers tend to have very similar (if not the same) parts. For instance, here is a cabinet hinge comparison.
RTA Cabinet Supply customer service
I had very little interaction with RTA Cabinet Supply customer service. I didn’t do a huge order from them (as I did from other companies), and the small number items they sent came without damage.
They do tend to have high reviews from customers, however.
Comparing RTA Cabinet Supply to other RTA cabinets
However, there are some differences:
- RTA Cabinet Supply cabinets tend to have all metal hardware, dadoed (but not dovetailed) joints, and wooden supports, while Lily Ann Cabinets doesn’t
- RTA Cabinet Supply glazes some of their cabinets; Lily Ann has stopped doing that
RTA Cabinet Supply Pros
- Good quality
- Quick order fulfillment
- Great selection
- Price matching
RTA Cabinet Supply Cons
- Some parts and accessories are absurdly expensive (for instance, $83 for a spray can of touch up paint)
- For glass door cabinets, you sometimes have to get the glass separately
- Cabinet faces are drilled only on the right, so if you need to reverse the door you need to measure and drill yourself
In all, I definitely think RTA Cabinet Supply is a good place to buy RTA cabinets. Do you have experience with them? Post in the comments below.
The verdict: should you buy RTA Cabinet Supply cabinets?
I liked RTA Cabinet Supply and their selection very much. Their shipping was also quick and hassle-free. However, I didn’t have enough experience with their customer service to get a good judgement of that aspect.
I was also disappointed that some important parts/accessories were absurdly priced, such as $83 for a small spray can of touch up paint.
In general, it seems RTA Cabinet Supply is a great place to buy cabinets. Nevertheless, my favorite RTA cabinet seller is still TheRTAStore.