As the years go by, the Kitchen Cabinet industry has continued to evolve and has forced cabinet manufacturers to change as well. If you look at older homes that still have the original kitchen cabinets, is that they were hand-made by cabinet manufacturer or homeowner. The cabinets would have been made of sold wood with a variety of joinery methods (depending on the quality). Labor was cheap, there was more skilled labor, and materials were abundant.
Over the years, skilled labor started to disappear and materials became more expensive. As new technologies started emerging, automation was introduced and it became possible to mass produce kitchen cabinets with perfect cuts every time. While there was still a demand for custom cabinets, and custom cabinetry was still a very good business, it was now more cost effective for homeowners to buy stock cabinets. As time went on, there were even new developments in the materials themselves. New materials such as OSB, Particle Board, Flake Board, and finally Plywood were being more widely used in the place of real wood.
As time continued to pass, labor became more costly and it became more effective to have kitchen cabinets sourced and produced in other countries. Even the big, name brand cabinet makers started heading to China and other Asia countries to start building their cabinets. Both materials and labor were abundant and cheap. Manufacturers continued to make the same stock cabinets as before, but they were now sourcing them overseas.
As new technologies started to arise and the home improvement craze took off, a new type of cabinet began to emerge- RTA cabinets. Ready-To-Assemble cabinets offer the same features and materials that stock cabinets offer, with the exception that you could buy them dis-assembled and assemble them yourself. Now cabinet makers were taking the biggest cost factor out of the kitchen cabinets.
the labor. With the introduction of these new cabinets, there was now a huge disparity in cost between the cabinet makers, stock cabinet manufacturers, and rta cabinet manufacturers. With the introduction of the mega home improvement stores, even the custom cabinet manufacturers were now looking for other products to offset their custom cabinetry work and compete with the big stores.
As material costs continue to rise, and labor rates go through the roof, more and more manufacturers are going to be shifting to the more economical ready-to-assemble format of construction. With improvements in design and function, RTA Kitchen Cabinets are sure to be the future of the Kitchen Cabinet Industry.
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