Available as both above and below the counter versions, RTA cabinets help save money. You might spend double the amount in made to order cabinets. Understand the brands, how constructed, wood quality and finishing, before buying imported stuff.
Watch out for these factors in imported RTA cabinets.
• Aim for pleasing colors and finishes.
• Hand finishing lasts longer than spray on.
• Cam locks and dado assembly are best avoided.
• Replacing components easily done by local manufacturers.
• Ascertain quality and ask questions about breakage.
Some shopping tips
Regarding hardware, ensure that the glides are of good quality and close gently. Does it have self closing hinges? Inquire about replacements and damages and how long it would take to receive new parts. American manufactured cabinets would be better and more convenient. If it is a shelf, you don’t need to replace the entire cabinet. Finishing material made in America would be best because imported ones have bad coating. Hand wiped coating is better with richer depth and costlier due to labor and materials.
Some imported RTAs do offer authentic dado assembly with fasteners and glues that may be screwed or nailed. What happens in time is that wood expansion and contraction take place and shifting commences and peeling too. An American manufacturer offers the dovetail technology, which means that the falling apart cannot take place after assembly.
Examine the drawers and doors. Consider your preferences like a full overlay or inset door. Do you have a particular color in mind? Maybe you can buy an unfinished piece if you wish to apply the finishing? Chinese imports do not allow all that flexibility and domestic products may be better.
Would you buy Chinese RTAs?
Why not go Chinese with affordable prices and rather good standards? Buying domestic does rid you of some worries like obtaining replacement parts. Yet, many manufacturers in China are doing rather well and their products are definitely worth buying. If you are a smart buyer, you know the advantages and the problems with imported RTAs. Buy accordingly with understanding. Be prepared for astonishingly low prices, coming direct from the factory.
Chinese cabinets are made of all plywood and that is cheap. The design is easy to assemble. Avoid depending upon the cam locks alone and use glue for added strength. The style of 6 to 8 doors and the several finishes commonly available are inexpensive. Mix and match will not be possible. Limited choices are available regarding door styles in terms of colors and no glass doors are found. The common wood is Russian Birch. Shop confidently.