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RTA Assembly

RTA Is Not for Everyone but Is a Great Way to Save Money!!!

We offer to contractors and homeowners a choice between fully assembled by factory craftsmen (ready-to-install) cabinetry and ready-to-assemble cabinetry, in case you choose to do the final assembly on your own (or in conjunction with a local professional) to facilitate even greater savings. When you order your cabinets as ready-to-assemble (RTA), you will receive them "flat packed" in a carton box, much smaller than if the cabinets were delivered being fully assembled.

What is in the package?

The contents of the package can vary slightly; however, you can always expect to find the cabinet face frame with doors and hinges already attached and grooves to receive pre-cut and pre-finished sides of the cabinet. The pre-cut and pre-finished tops, bottoms and backs should be attached to complete a typical wall cabinet. Then, the adjustable shelves should be mounted using the clips shipped in the same package.

There is a little more work to do with the base (bottom) cabinets. The drawer box typically includes five pieces, all already pre-cut, pre-finished and complete with joinery (grooves and dovetail), that should be assembled. Next, the gliding slides should be attached to the drawer and the cabinet box. Finally, the drawer head should be affixed to the completed drawer box.

What skills are needed?

First of all, you should have complete confidence in your ability to get this job accomplished. We would recommend that somebody, who has experience with hand tools or has general handyman abilities, would help you. Time and patience will be needed in order to complete the project. Otherwise, you always can hire a handyman or a contractor to finish the job. Assembly of our cabinets is a very crucial part of how your kitchen cabinets will appear, function and hold up during many years. Please note that we do not use or recommend any use of cams or plastic fasteners that may loosen up over time. Instead, we only rely on gluing, clamping, and pinning for a more integrated and time-stable assembly. This being said, many people with some skills and a few hand tools have been very successful in completing their RTA kitchen project and can stand back and look at it with a feeling of pride and satisfaction.

What tools and supplies are necessary to assemble our RTA cabinets?

The first thing to consider would be the location where the assembly will take place. We would recommend an area with a table-type work bench large enough to accommodate your largest cabinet and a room spacious enough to unpack one carton at a time and to separate the parts. An old but clean blanket will be needed to cover the top of the bench in order to prevent from scratching while sliding any parts around. Since all components are pre-cut and pre-finished, a minimal amount of tools will be required. We would recommend the following:

  1. Good quality water-proof wood glue.
  2. At least four (4) bar clamps that open up to 30 inches to keep the components held together while the glue dries. More clamps would be necessary, if more than one cabinet will be drying at a time. Some 18-inch bar clamps would also be helpful for gluing wall cabinets and drawer boxes.
  3. In most situations, instead of clamping, an 18-gauge Brad Nailer and a small compressor can be used to pin the parts together while the glue dries.
  4. The other tools, that could be helpful, are a rubber mallet, a screw gun or screwdriver, and a drill.

Note: A small compressor and nail gun are available for about $120 at the tool supply stores or home centers. This would be a wise investment, because the tools could become very handy later, during the installation of the cabinets and trim work.

After assembling one or two cabinets, things should go a little faster, and with a little patience and time you could be working like a pro. That is, if you're not already a pro!