IKEA vs RTA Cabinets - experiences with one over the other?

Hey DIYers! I’d love to know your experience with different types of ready-to-assemble cabinets - Ikea, Conestoga, Cabinets.com, RTA store, etc? I’m working on a client project and they are interested in weighing their options. Specifically interested in your take on quality, customizations, lead time, and ease of installation.

We used Cabinet Joint (Conestoga) for our kitchen and were really happy with them. I like that Conestoga makes all their cabinets in the US and lets you totally customize the sizes/styles (vs Ikea I think is just standard sizes?). What we didn’t love was how complex the ordering process was (spreadsheets on spreadsheets!) and the longer lead times (12+ weeks from order date to delivery). Installation was simple enough, but definitely advanced for a novice DIYer.

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Oooh this question is coming at a good time because I am about to start a bathroom renovation and was considering DIY’ing the cabinet situation. I only have experience using Ikea cabinets with Semihandmade fronts, so I will share that.

TLDR: I really loved my experience! I wanted something fairly simple because 1) my kitchen is straightforward in design/size so I didn’t need anything too complicated (I did create custom island which I will share more on in a bit), and 2) I was renovating in the thick of the pandemic so I really wanted good customer service/decent lead times. For the island, we have to work with the existing sizes of the Ikea cabinets but because we wanted a larger island, we were able to play a bit of Legos to combine the sizes that worked for us to make one cohesive island. We went with the blue agave slab color which I love! Now you can order fronts that you paint yourself so it can get really custom. I want to say our lead time was 7 weeks back then, but it varies depending on the fronts that you order with Semihandmade. The process was really easy with them and they even made a rendering of everything for us, even though I came prepped with mine mock-ups :wink: Installation was kind of what you would expect with building from Ikea — not the worst by any means but not the best because there were a lot of pieces.

So far so good with the kitchen! It’s been almost 2 years now and I have no complaints.

Hi everyone!

I’d like to recommed the cabinetry from www.formkitchens.com for many reasons:

  1. We have a 25 year warranty in all of our products. Our core product is kitchen cabinetry but we also design closets, walk-in closets and vanities.
  2. All of our products come from Germany with the best technology behind and we deliver directly to your address in the US territory
  3. One of our biggest advantages is our competitive price since the whole process is made within our app (the process is quite intuitive and easy to use) where you can get a free-consultation call with our talented designers, after seing if we’re a good fit for you, you get a first proposal along amazing hiperealistic visuals (that’s my job :D)
  4. You also receive some samples of the finishes you like from our extensive catalogue directly to your address
  5. We have 3 amazing design centers, 1 in Manhattan, 1 in SF and 1 we’re almost finishing in Denver
  6. We have special benefits for architects and designers

If you guys want to see more references about us and what our clients think about our services you can see them in our Houzz page:


I see we have an individual from Form Kitchen Cabinets on Spoak. Can we have a Webinar on RTA cabinets? I would totaly be all in to help. I want more info from Semihandmade as well, bc I know they can do some really fun things with thier configurations, and they have thier own line of RTA now.

Love it! What kind of information would you be hoping to gain from a webinar? If you could share specific questions here, that would be helpful for me to think through all of it — and maybe @danielaulloa can help answer some in the meantime :slight_smile:

Of course I’d love to :slight_smile: I’ll on the lookout for the specific info you guys need and can prepare it briefly :smiley:

I’m going to note this, hopefully doing our kitchen soon. We were considering having a friend make them after getting a quote from Home Depot that blew our mindssss especially given that they have pretty standard sizes etc…how does From compare to the other RTA options listed?

We redid our kitchen 2 years ago. At the time, I priced out Ikea vs. RTA Conestoga (via Cabinet Joint) vs. a local custom cabinet maker. We needed 12 lower cabinets in fairly standard sizes. Ikea came in ~$7k. Cabinet Joint came in ~$12k. And the local cabinet maker was $20k+. The local cabinet maker would have also assembled (but not installed) the cabinets.

We ultimately went with RTA from Cabinet Joint / Conestoga. The higher cost vs Ikea was worth it to us for inset cabinet doors, real wood (vs particle board), and custom sizes (we opted for 30" deep counters vs the standard 24"). We went with pretty basic finish choices to keep the cost down as much as possible: painted cabinets (using one of their standard colors vs a custom one), no beaded details, no custom inserts, etc. It took us about 2 weekends all-in (4 days) to assemble all of our cabinets ourselves, well worth $10k to us vs having a local cabinet maker do them.

We then used Cabinet Joint again for our pantry. We only needed 4 cabinets, but they were all full wall height and this time we opted for more luxe finishes: stained wood, beaded detail. The cost for the pantry was $6k.

More recently, I’ve gotten quotes from the Cabinet Joint and the prices have increased pretty drastically (hence posing this Q!). My rep says its due mostly to rising freight costs. I have a few smaller projects (a mud room pantry run, some bath vanities) that I’m wondering if Home Depot/Lowes or Ikea would be better for.


Hey Kate :slight_smile:

So sorry for the late reply!

I gathered some points I think differentiate us from other companies:

  1. We have thousands of possibilities regarding the sizes and configurations of all our cabinets. See the photo attached of our catalog which is huge and can give you an idea of all the possibilities no matter the size of your room.
  2. We have more than 80 finishes available in different price ranges. All of them match any particular design style.
  3. Our made-to-order cabinetry system has thousands of storage solutions that most brands don’t offer. I’m attaching some photos showing some internal accessories that give a considerable upgrade to your kitchen.
  4. We offer easily personalized kitchens we also offer everyone free consultations to make getting started easy.
  5. Our cabinetry is personalized to every detail. Since you’re a designer you’ll have the possibility to work 1:1 with one of our talented and experienced designers, who’re located in many cities in the US.
  6. Our award-winning cabinets ship directly to you, so you don’t pay the showroom markup. And our designers help you every step of the way.

Here in this link, you can see several kitchens we have installed already, as you can see, some of them were installed in rooms with very complex architecture, which is also an advantage of working with us, our designers help you even with the most difficult layout.


It seems I can upload photos but here is the photo of our catalogue

Also, in our Instagram account you’ll be able to see some of our storage solutions and some hiperrealistic visuals (made by me and my team) we include in our projects

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Thanks, I did look at the website a while back but honestly just assumed it would be our of our budget - that Home Depot quote really threw us haha. I’ll take a deeper look!

Awesome. Keep in mind we have special discounts for design professionals. Let me know if you have any questions :slight_smile:


Developing a cheat sheet of what to look for, and how to go about designing to minimize mistakes. Cabinets combined with plumbing and electrical in spaces = mistakes that cost more. Maybe a poll of what brands our designers are currently using, and what area the projects are in (as some brands seem to be regional or more popular in some areas). I can help with plumbing questions from my background. But i need more knowledge of cabinets, for me to be more well rounded.