Do you know the details of the ready-to-assemble cabinet?

Available in above and below counter versions, RTA cabinets help save money. You can spend double the amount on custom cabinets. Know the brands, how they are built, the quality of the wood and the finish, before buying imported things.

Beware of these factors on imported RTA cabinets.

• Look for nice colors and finishes.

• Hand finish lasts longer than spray.

• It is best to avoid cam locks and socket assembly.

• Component replacement easily done by local manufacturers.

• Determine quality and ask questions about breakage.

Some shopping tips

As for the hardware, make sure the sliders are of good quality and close smoothly. Does it have self closing hinges? Find out about replacements and damage and how long it would take to receive new parts. American made cabinets would be better and more convenient. If it’s a shelf, you don’t need to replace the entire cabinet. American made finishing material would be better because imported ones have a bad coating. Hand-cleaned siding is better deeper and more expensive due to labor and materials.

Some imported RTAs offer authentic dice assembly with fasteners and glues that can be screwed or nailed. What happens over time is the wood expands and contracts and it starts shifting and peeling as well. An American manufacturer offers dovetail technology, which means that crumbling cannot occur after assembly.

Examine the drawers and doors. Consider your preferences like a full overlay or pocket door. Do you have a particular color in mind? Maybe you can buy an unfinished piece if you want to apply the finish? Chinese imports don’t allow all that flexibility and domestic products may be better.

Would you buy Chinese RTAs?

Why not go to China with affordable prices and good standards? Buying domestic frees you from some worries, such as obtaining replacement parts. However, many manufacturers in China are doing quite well and their products are definitely worth buying. If you’re a smart shopper, you know the pros and cons of imported RTAs. Please purchase accordingly with understanding. Be prepared for amazingly low prices, coming directly from the factory.


Chinese cabinets are made of plywood and that’s cheap. The design is easy to assemble. Avoid relying on cam locks alone and use glue for added strength. The 6 to 8 door styling and various commonly available finishes are economical. Mix and match will not be possible. There are limited options available regarding door styles in terms of colors and glass doors are not to be found. The common wood is Russian birch. Buy with confidence.

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