One of the key aspects of a major kitchen remodel is the kitchen cabinets. You may want to reface, repaint, or replace them, depending on your circumstances. If you are planning to get new ones, you might find the wealth of options a bit overwhelming. Kitchen cabinets come in a wide array of materials, colors, styles, construction, and finishes.

You can narrow it down a bit if you take one of these classifications and choose one. When it comes to method of construction, you have three types: custom, semi-custom, and RTA or ready to assemble.

Three types of kitchen cabinets


As you can probably imagine, custom kitchen cabinets are made-to-order. You can specify anything you want when you order them from your cabinet suppliers, from materials to dimensions. This is a great option if you have special requirements for your kitchen, such as awkward spaces. The quality or durability is not assured, however, as you might choose poor-quality materials, or your cabinetmaker is not good. Even then, custom cabinets tend to be the most expensive in this classification because of the labor involved in customization.


This type of kitchen cabinet is pre-built like RTA cabinets, but you have some flexibility when it comes to the style, configuration, size, and finish. It is a great compromise between custom and RTA cabinets because they are not as expensive as custom cabinets but have some level of customization. However, not all cabinetmakers offer this as an option, as more factors go into the design of the cabinets than straight-off RTA or stock cabinets.

RTA or stock cabinets

These are ready-made cabinets, and the only difference is stock cabinets are pre-assembled and available in limited varieties. The name suggests, RTA cabinets require some assembly. You can get both stock and RTA cabinets in standard sizes from some big box stores and remodeling companies. They are the most affordable type of kitchen cabinets, and a great option for most kitchens for many reasons.

Advantages of RTA cabinets


RTA cabinets

RTA cabinets require some assembly, but they usually come with predrilled holes, all the hardware you need, and clear instructions. You can probably put the cabinets together yourself even if you have no construction or DIY experience. You will not need any special tools to do it, either. A screwdriver and hammer are probably all you need. However, you may need some professional help to install them properly on the walls and the floor unless you feel comfortable about doing that yourself as well.


installing kitchen cabinet

Cost is always going to be a consideration when choosing kitchen cabinets, but this is especially true if it is one part of a major kitchen remodel. New kitchen cabinets play a significant part in a remodeling budget, so it is natural to want to make the most of the investment. RTA cabinets are particularly a good choice when you have a limited remodeling budget as it is typically the most affordable.

The lower cost does not translate to lower quality, however. RTA cabinets tend to be just as good as or even better than custom cabinets provided you get a top brand one from a reliable remodeling company or cabinet supplier.

The reason RTA cabinets are so affordable is because of two things: mass production and shipping. Cabinetmakers produce RTA cabinets in huge volumes, which is not possible with custom cabinets. This means significant savings in labor costs as well as higher turnover, so manufacturers can afford to sell them at lower prices and still make a comfortable profit.

Another factor affecting cost is shipping. Unlike stock cabinets, RTA cabinets ship in flat boxes. This makes it cheaper to ship it anywhere because they can stack more sets in a smaller area. It also makes it easier for suppliers to store them in warehouses, so they can quickly deliver it to customers. This all affects the overall cost of RTA cabinets.


Kitchen cabinet design

Many top-brand cabinetmakers sell a wide variety of RTA cabinets through authorized resellers and remodeling companies. You can order them online with complete confidence about the quality of the cabinets if you do so from a reputable company. You can also go to a showroom and choose any model you want and have them delivered to your home quite quickly.

RTA cabinets are also available to suit any type of budget. You can find anything from solid wood in different wood species to engineered wood materials that are typically just as durable. If you have a small budget, you can choose MDF or plywood kitchen cabinets that are less expensive than solid wood, and still get the high quality you want for your kitchen. They are also available in any style, color and finish to match your kitchen design for the asking.

Additionally, you can order your RTA cabinets ahead of time so that it will be available when your remodeler is ready to install them. Since they come in flat boxes, you can easily store them in your garage or any odd space as they take very little space.

Some notes

It is important that you inspect your RTA cabinets before you sign off on them. This is to ensure that all parts you need are there, and undamaged. Most will include a checklist of all the parts, including the hardware. If anything is missing or show signs of damage, you can send them back immediately.

Inspecting RTA cabinets is easy to do, as they are still in pieces. You can visually inspect the quality of the material and construction of each piece.


RTA cabinets are a great option for any type of kitchen, and the quality of the product from top cabinet brands is such that they are indistinguishable from high-end custom cabinets. However, it is important that you source your RTA cabinets from a reputable company. Mimosa Kitchen and Bath knows all about kitchen cabinets and remodeling in the DC metro area, Columbia, Rockville, Bethesda, Jessup, Chevy Chase and surrounding areas. You can visit our showroom in Ellicott City, Maryland to see the many kitchen cabinets and other products we have available. This includes marble, granite and engineered quartz for your vanity tops.

We pride ourselves in our remodeling expertise, so we sell only high-quality products manufactured by leading brands in the industry, from bathroom and kitchen cabinets, flooring, faucets and sinks, to vanities. Some of the brands we carry include Zodiaq, Fabuwood, Forevermark Cabinetry, Caesarstone, MSI, Kitchenmaid, Wolf Cabinets, Cambria and Hardware Resources. All our products come backed with brand warranties.

When you purchase your products from us, we guarantee speedy delivery compared to ordering from big box stores. Our contractors will assemble or fabricate the product, if necessary, and install it into your kitchen or bathroom quickly and with excellent artisanship.

Contact us today to get a free quote and design consultation for your kitchen remodeling project!