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How To Assemble Kitchen Cabinets From The RTA Store

“What are ready to assemble kitchen cabinets? How are they different from other kitchen cabinets? And can I put them together?” These are probably a few of the thoughts going through your mind when you hear about RTA or ready to assemble kitchen cabinets. Here we’ll clarify exactly how they are different from pre-assembled cabinetry, and how easy it is to assemble RTA cabinets.  


Aspen White Shaker - The RTA StoreWhat are RTA or Ready to Assemble Kitchen Cabinets?


RTA cabinets are a more affordable option than pre-assembled cabinets because they need to be put together by the buyer — that’s you! While this may sound tasking, it’s actually not all that difficult.


You order RTA cabinets like any other cabinets, The RTA Store will ship them to your home, and then you will assemble them before installation.


Pre-assembled cabinets do not require assembly, which is why they are priced higher and arrive in larger shipping boxes than RTA cabinets.


How Do I Assemble Them Myself?


Assembly is relatively easy, and can definitely be accomplished by one person alone — although having help never hurts! Your RTA cabinets will ship with metal clips, which can be used in the assembly process. In addition to the metal clips, you’ll also need a rubber mallet, wood glue, and a screwdriver to complete the assembly. Alternatively, cabinets can be glued and stapled, in which case the clips can be discarded. Both methods will result in stable kitchen cabinets and take approximately the same amount of time.


Before you start, empty the shipping box completely to be sure that you don’t discard any pieces. You can also flatten the empty box and use this as your workspace. Doing so will help protect the both surface you are working on and your cabinets.   


To show you step by step how simple the assembly process is we are going to guide you through the assembly of a basic base cabinet using the provided clips.


Step 1: To begin, place the drawer box front face down. Then apply a bead of wood glue into the female dovetail joints. Connect the side panel into the dovetail joints and tap in place with your rubber mallet.


Step 2: After the sides are connected, slide the bottom of the drawer into the dado.  


Step 3: Take the back piece of the drawer box and apply a bead of wood glue into the female dovetails (just as you did with the box front) and put in place. Again, you can use your rubber mallet to align and secure the piece.


Step 4: If the base cabinet has multiple drawers, you will assemble them in the same manner, following steps one through three.


Step 5: To begin construction of the cabinet, place the front frame face down (make sure the bottom of the cabinet is closest to you).


Step 6: You are now going to connect the side panels by screwing the provided clips into the designated spots on the interior of the dados. Then, apply wood glue along all three dados.


Step 7: Install the panels’ clips in the designated spots, and then connect both panels to the front frame by placing each side panel into a dado, making sure the bottoms are perfectly aligned. Once in place, attach the side panels using the clips that you installed on the face frame.


Step 8: Slide the bottom panel into the dados on the side panels.


Tribeca Shaker - The RTA StoreStep 9: Install the back panel by attaching the glide supports and placing the back panel dado side down. Once the panels are all aligned, attach them using the clips that you installed on the side panels.


Step 10: Install screws into the pilot holes found on the back panel and the stabilizing blocks on the top inside corners.


Step 11: Install the clips to the toe kick and then attach.


Step 12: Install the glides using the support and fastening to the sides.


Step 13: Attach the drawer box by extending the glides and pushing the bottom of the drawer into the pins.


Step 14: Place the doorframe face down, install the hinges, and attach the door to the face frame by extending the hinges to an open position.


Step 15: Attach bumpers to the drawer and door.


Step 16: Install the soft-close mechanism on top of the hinge.


Step 17: Install the cabinet’s shelves using the provided clips.



At The RTA Store we help make your dream kitchen a reality with RTA (Ready To Assemble) and Pre-Assembled kitchen cabinets, and accessories with the same (if not better) quality you would find at any retail store but for a fraction of the price. Stop by our website or give us a call and let us make your kitchen dreams come true with the help of our free kitchen design tool!