RTA (ready to assemble) kitchen cabinets in white

RTA Furniture

Originally contributed by Jeff Butler • last updated 1/21/2021

Whether you’re installing new kitchen cabinets or picking out new home office furniture, you may have come across the term ready to assemble (aka. RTA). That’s because ready to assemble kitchen cabinets and RTA furniture are very popular at the moment, with their lower price tags, ease of transportation, and quality appearance.


RTA furniture (aka. ready to assemble furniture) is a term that applies fairly specifically to kitchen cabinets and other home and office furnishings that need to be put together by the customer before they can be used. All of the separate pieces come pre-cut and finished. They are packaged together, typically with instructions and hardware, and require the customer to use basic tools, adhesives, and/or other materials to finish the assembly process. RTA furniture is designed to be less expensive for manufacturers and retailers to produce, store, and ship, which is supposed to help reduce the sale price for the customer.

How Difficult Is It To Assemble RTA Furniture?

Ready-to-assemble (RTA) kitchen cabinets and home furnishings have many advantages and disadvantages. Here are a couple of things to consider before you purchase an RTA product:

  • Although RTA products may seem like an easy and cost-effective solution at first, some of them come with difficult instructions and/or may require numerous supporting materials and tools to complete the assembly properly. Mistakes during assembly can often be costly and difficult to fix.
  • The quality of RTA products can range from low to high. It’s important to do your research and find what works for your budget and taste.