Wholesale Cabinets Vs. Big Box Store

wholesale cabinets vs big box store guide

When shopping for cabinets online, it can be confusing sorting through all of the different options available. Big box stores, with their hundreds of retail locations, often gain business from consumers and contractors who lured into discussions with "design experts" and purchase based on impulse. Avoid making an impulse purchase on kitchen cabinets by reading this guide comparing wholesale RTA cabinets vs. big box store cabinets!



When it comes to price, there is a clear winner. Big box stores simply cannot offer the prices that a wholesale cabinet dealer can. With LilyAnn Cabinets, you can order 10-foot runs of RTA kitchen cabinets starting at just under $1,000 and full 10' x 10' kitchens for under $2,000. This cost savings can mean a significant amount of free cash that you would have otherwise spent on additional updates to your home like flooring, backsplashes, and other improvements.



Quality of cabinets is another important factor for many homeowners and contractors alike. When considering your options, consider the two following factors that separate Lily Ann's wholesale cabinets from big box competitors:

  • Cabinet drawers made by Lily Ann feature mortise-and-tenon joinery (dovetails) which aid in keeping your drawers durable. Finding what type of joinery the drawers from big box stores have is very difficult, if not impossible.
  • Our 12 step finishing process ensures that you receive cabinets and cabinet doors free from imperfections. Big box stores can't match this attention for detail.
  • The thickness and dimensions of the materials Lily Ann's RTA cabinets are easily accessible. However, when you shop on a big box store site, you won't find that information. If you go in person, you'll have to supply your own tape measure to find out.



A major consideration regarding quality is the materials that go into the manufacturing of your cabinets. As big box stores have moved to cut costs, one of the major ways they do it is by using cheaper materials. Cabinets from Lily Ann use only birch or maple plywood to assemble the boxes and solid wood doors. Our price advantage, combined with our refusal to compromise on the quality material we use is a benefit to you, our loyal customers.


What is Furniture Board?

One of the sneaky sales tactics that we've seen more big box stores engage in is labeling cabinets that are particle board or MDF (medium density fiberboard) as "furniture board." Instead of saying what their cabinets are made of, because consumers are familiar with particle board and MDF, they've created a slick marketing term not to raise red flags.

Most homeowners and contractors associate MDF or particle board construction with low-quality furniture that you might find in a college dorm room, they wisely steer away from these options. But when marketing gimmicks are used to obfuscate what the materials are, it's much easier for consumers to fall victim to cheaper materials.

While some people may argue against our stance on particle board due to how inexpensive it is, it's difficult to justify buying cabinets constructed from inferior materials at a higher price.



Whether you will be assembling your cabinets or not, retail cabinets have a variety of different assembly methods. Be sure to choose an assembly type that aligns with your budget, taste, and expectations. If unsightly assembly hardware is something you want to avoid, look for cabinets with dovetail construction. Lily Ann RTA cabinets are offered in one of two assembly methods:

  • Dovetail Assembly: The cabinets will assemble using a popular woodworking joint known as the dovetail. Minimal tools are required and assembly is straightforward. Our dovetail assembly results in a much more durable product, while simultaneously ridding the cabinet of unsightly metal hardware.
  • Metal Clip Assembly: Instead of dovetail, these cabinets are assembled using a metal clip assembly. These cabinets may not be as durable as our dovetail assembled cabinets, and some of the metal clip assembly will be visible when using the cabinets.


Another major consideration is the experience of the designer that is planning your kitchen. If you have an experienced designer in mind who does not work with a big box store, typically this is not a problem. However, there is an overwhelming number of horror stories regarding ill-experienced big box store kitchen designers that make errors that are common for new designers to make. With our kitchen design tool, you can input the exact measurements of your room and have our team of expert designers (who have designed hundreds and thousands of kitchens across the United States) create a layout that you're sure to love. Just like the big box stores, our designers don't cost you anything upfront to use. But unlike the big box stores, our designers don't make expensive errors that can cause the loss of hundreds of dollars or weeks of your time.



Superior materials and price advantage are two of the main reasons that people turn to wholesale cabinetry as the best option for their kitchens and bathrooms. But our experience in designing kitchens allows us to avoid the pitfalls that newer, less experienced designers can fall victim. Ultimately, educating yourself by reading reviews and comparison shopping can guide you to making the correct choice when buying new cabinets. As with all things in the kitchen and bath remodeling industry, it's best to follow the wisdom of the Latin phrase "caveat emptor."