Horror stories abound everywhere. Novice DIY Homeowners trying to remodel their kitchen or bathroom who take on a project bigger than they can handle. Remodeling your own kitchen or bathroom can be a very rewarding project and you can save a ton of money, but buying the wrong cabinets can lead to disaster. Home Improvement stores and the name brand manufacturers have done a very good job of selling the accessories and styles of cabinets, while at the same time taking the focus away from what the cabinet is actually made of. Stores like Ikea offer a wide range of RTA cabinets in all of the most popular styles and do a very good job of helping you select everything you will need for your project.
What they fail to do is talk about how hard it will be to actually assemble the cabinets or what the box of the cabinet is made of. A quality cabinet, whether it is a customer cabinet or RTA cabinet, will be constructed of plywood or solid wood. Ikea cabinets and even the pre-assembled cabinets sold at Lowes and Home Depot, are traditionally made of particle board or fiberboard with a veneer or laminated cover. The problem with fiberboard and particle board is that it acts like a sponge when it comes in contact with water, which leads to bubbling or warping. While the face frame and doors of these cabinets may be solid wood, it is the cabinet box that is going to add stability to the cabinet.
The other issue with cabinets made of these materials, is that the screws, staples, or nails that are used to hold the cabinets together, have a tendency to lose their grip, since the material is not solid. The combination of all these attributes will significantly shorten the life of your cabinets. Another issue that DIY Homeowners don't realize is that not all RTA cabinets are assembled the same way. A quality RTA cabinet will come complete with all of the pieces in one box, with simple assembly instructions, and should only require a screwdriver to assemble. A neighbor of mine thought that she found the kitchen of her dreams at Ikea.
everything was great until she got the cabinets home. Literally every piece came in a separate box (hinges in one box, doors in another box, screws in another box). It literally took her 3 days to layout, and identify all of the different pieces for each cabinet. By the time she got down to the last couple of cabinets, pieces were missing, extra pieces were left.
assembling RTA cabinets doesn't have to be that difficult. I installed RTA cabinets in my kitchen that I bought on-line and it was super easy. Each cabinet showed up in it's own box, all of the pieces were included. The cabinet locked together using cam locks which only required a screw driver. In 3 hours I was able to assemble the same amount of cabinets that took my neighbor 3 days to layout. So when considering RTA cabinets for your kitchen or bathroom, don't fall into the common pitfalls that hundreds of other homeowners have faced when buying the wrong cabinets.
Do some research on the cabinets that are available, both on the internet and in the stores. Inspect the materials they are made of, how they are assembled, and finally the overall cost (make sure there are no hidden costs from having to buy extra parts). Don't get scammed by low grade RTA cabinets.
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