Several years ago, during the fast moving housing demand and need for cutting costs on building materials, many US companies began to look overseas for meeting these budget cuts in building kitchen cabinetry. The KCMA (Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association), laid out standards that required the overseas companies to use quality materials and increased building techniques to provide a more durable product.
These cost effective cabinets or RTA (ready to assemble) cabinets were previously made with fiberboard or particleboard held together with staples or dowels. Also these cheapest kitchen cabinets were surfaced with a veneer that would separate from its base and the result would be developing bubbles, warping or chipping due to the exposure of moisture or water, inherent to typical daily use in kitchens. These substandard building practices left the less expensive or “cheapest kitchen cabinets” incomparable to the cabinetry manufactured in the U.S.
Today, meeting the KCMA guidelines, discount cabinets are constructed with solid plywood sides, frames and doors, as well as cam locks to insure the integrity of the cabinet. Cheap is no longer the proper term for these RTA cabinets. Discount cabinets with the new standards of design and function are being imported more and more by US companies to afford the shoestring budget builders and do-it-yourself re-modelers an alternative to major brands that are being built in the US, which is some cases can be double or triple the cost of these imported cabinets. Many of the large warehouse type retailers have also begun to offer their own lines of RTA or discount cabinets. These retailers offer pre-assembled as well as do-it-yourself assembly.
The downside to these discount cabinets are the limited choices in finish and style. In addition, time and labor are a factor in purchasing these RTA or discount cabinets. The upside is that the cam lock assembly requires only a screwdriver to complete the project at hand.
So before you make what could be an expensive choice and purchase of cabinetry for your home, explore the RTA or discount cabinets. Thankfully, the new guidelines and improvements are affording inexpensive cabinetry consumers a quality product at a discount price.
If you have recently priced kitchen cabinetry, there may have been quite a bit of surprise at the cost. Now, Cheapest kitchen cabinets do not have to mean poor quality and is not consistent with discount or RTA cabinetry.