Sources for RTA Kitchen Cabinets

Where to find ready-to-assemble cabinets for the do-it-yourselfer

A shopper seeks assistance from IKEA employees in the pick -up area at a Ikea store January 27, 2005 in Paramus, New Jersey.
Stephen Chernin/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Suppliers of ready-to-assemble (RTA) kitchen cabinets tend to cater either do-it-yourselfers (DIYers) or professionals. The former can be the easiest to find, but the latter often offers better selection and higher quality.

I have known DIYers who were able to order from "professional only" suppliers simply by giving themselves a business name. My suspicion is that these companies aren't so much worried about doing business with DIYers as they are about having to deal with lots of questions and customer service calls.

Study their catalogs and assembly instructions carefully and deal with them in a professional manner, and you should be able to do business with them.

If that approach doesn't work, though, try to find a cabinetmaker or remodeler who is willing to order cabinets for you. A friend or relative may be happy to oblige for free.

Ikea

Ikea makes some very attractive kitchen cabinets if you favor their contemporary styling. Ikea cabinets also tend to be low priced. These aren't the best-quality cabinets around, but I think you would be hard-pressed to find a better cabinet for the money.

What most bothers me about Ikea cabinets I've seen is the hardware. It's just not very good. I've seen wall cabinets with lift (awning style) doors that won't stay open by themselves, which is more than irritating.

I've also heard from people who found the holes drilled in Ikea cabinets to be misaligned just enough to affect door and drawer operation.

Others have complained about drawer slides that broke apart.

On the other hand, I also know many people who have been happy with their Ikea cabinets after several years of use. And, despite the low price, I occasionally see a real estate listing that mentions Ikea kitchen cabinets alongside granite countertops as major selling points, suggesting that in some minds, at least, the Ikea name carries some prestige.

Mill's Pride

Mill's Pride is another RTA cabinet line that is aimed largely at DIYers. These cabinets are currently available exclusively through Home Depot. Mill's Pride also sells pre-assembled cabinets.

Consumer Reports decided to include some RTA units in their latest round of kitchen cabinet tests. Their conclusion? "You'd think that ready-to-assemble basic cabinets would be less durable than pricier units. But two we tested from Mill's Pride and Ikea withstood our wear tests better than some more expensive brands."

Scherr's Cabinet and Doors

Scherr's Cabinet and Doors has been supplying good quality RTA cabinets for a long time. They are a good choice for "one-stop shopping," as they make cabinet boxes, drawers and doors in a wide variety of styles and materials. Scherr's is happy to take orders from do-it-yourselfers.

CabParts

ComponentPlus

CabParts and ComponentsPlus are sources of frameless cabinet boxes that are quite popular with builders and remodelers. They also offer basic flat-panel doors, but many professionals buy their boxes here and their doors from other suppliers offering a wider selection. Both companies claim only to sell to "industry professionals."

Walzcraft

Keystone Wood Specialties

Decore-ative Specialties

WalzCraft, Keystone Wood Specialties and Decore-ative Specialties make good quality doors, drawers, drawer fronts, face frames and moldings.

They also claim only to sell to professionals, but if you can place an order for cabinet boxes with CabParts or ComponentsPlus, you should be able to order the rest of your cabinet parts with one of these companies.

Drawer Box Specialties

Drawer Box Specialties (DBS) specializes in drawers, which they build in more styles and materials than you can imagine. They also offer drawers joined with dovetails, dowels, finger joints and nails, which should help address just about any budget.