Unassembled Cabinets: The Perfect Solution for Your Kitchen Upgrade

A modern kitchen upgrade with brown and white cabinets.

Unassembled cabinets have an air of mystery about them. They’re not pre-made out of the retail store, and they’re not custom units ready to install: to some, they sound like only an expert woodworker can put them together. Many remodelers skip over them as a viable option for their projects because they assume that they’re cheaper versions of the good models, not fit for their kitchen. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

One of the most common renovations in the home is the kitchen update. We frequently congregate in our kitchens, so, naturally, we would like it to flow well and look appealing. A significant obstacle for many homeowners is that kitchen remodels and updates can be prohibitively expensive.

Fortunately, there are various paths you can take to cut costs on these kitchen makeovers. If you are flexible and open to a road less taken, one of the easiest ways to save money is to buy unassembled cabinets, also known as ready-to-assemble (or RTA) kitchen cabinets. They are packed flat for shipping, arriving to you in separate pieces, and then you put them together and install them in your kitchen.

Within the last 15 years, the quality of ready to assemble cabinetry has done a 180º turn. Before, unassembled cabinets were flimsy, poorly constructed, awkwardly assembled, and sadly finished. The result was an unimpressive cabinet unfit for most kitchens. Today, though, things have changed. As their popularity continues to increase, manufacturers have perfected the RTA cabinet, allowing it to compete with many others on the market in terms of quality and durability. 

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While unassembled cabinets are trustworthy and can save you tons of money, there are also some potential negatives to choosing these cabinets. As with any substantial purchase, it is always a smart move to list the benefits and drawbacks of products before buying them. Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of unassembled kitchen cabinets, and see why they can be the choice for your kitchen update.

A Kitchen Upgrade with grey cabinets and wooden floors.

The Benefits of Unassembled Kitchen Cabinets

The most glowing benefit of unassembled cabinetry is its value. Because it comes to you in separate pieces, it is often sold for much lower prices than other kitchen cabinets, particularly custom cabinetry. You’ll need to cut, measure, and assemble the cabinetry all alone or with a friend.

By doing all of the physical work of building, you cut out the added cost of labor that is often priced into cabinet price tags. With other cabinet types, professional cabinet makers assemble them for you, which definitely saves you time and energy on your project. Yet, the money you can save by choosing unassembled kitchen cabinets is significant and well worth the labor investment that you take on to put them together.

Another benefit of ready-to-assemble kitchen cabinets is their simple installation. Many homeowners fear that these are a significant challenge to assemble, but as technology improves, they are simpler than ever to put together, even for those that don’t consider themselves handy. With precise instructions and clear steps, you can assemble these products very quickly.

Compared to custom cabinets, you can save a ton of time. Ordering custom cabinets can hold off your remodeling goals by months if you have to wait for shipping and installation. RTA cabinets are delivered to your doorstep much more quickly, as the shipping process is more efficient.

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A modern kitchen with upgraded wooden cabinets.

The Disadvantages of Unassembled Cabinets

While there are many advantages, there are a few considerations to think about with RTA cabinets. While instructions are straightforward, it requires a good amount of physical labor and effort to assemble the cabinets correctly. If mistakes are made, they can be expensive to fix, so be careful in your measurements and cuts. As a result, many remodelers choose to turn to professionals for this reason and hire an installation expert.

Another drawback of RTA kitchen cabinets is selection, but this also depends on the seller you choose. There may be a limit on sizes, colors, and design choices for RTA cabinetry on certain sites. It may be tough to find the ideal cabinets if you’re going for a unique or non-standard kitchen design or color scheme.

Is Unassembled Cabinetry the Solution for Me?

Unassembled cabinets can be an outstanding solution, particularly for the value-conscious renovator. While there are a few disadvantages, the many benefits of RTA cabinets surely offset them. The secret is only to purchase ready to assemble cabinets from online sellers you trust, such as Walcraft Cabinetry and other highly-respected companies.  

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