Tips For Shopping For Ready to Assemble (RTA) Furniture

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ready to assemble furniture

Ready to assemble furniture, or RTA, is growing in popularity. Even if you do not live near a store that specializes in it, like Ikea, you likely live close to a store that does offer it. Big box stores often have entire sections of RTA furniture and nearly every furniture store now does a sizable business in this self-service home furnishing.

Why RTA is So Popular

There are a couple of reasons that RTA is increasing in popularity. Together, they have combine to create one of the discount furniture markets’ hottest sections.

For one, people are continually looking for value when they make furniture purchases. While the cheapest is not always the draw for today’s sophisticated, bang for the buck often is. RTA offers value for many in that you can end up with a nice looking piece of furniture for a lot less money than you might spend on an equivalent piece of traditional warehouse furniture.

A second factor that has given RTA its new popularity is the role it plays on a furniture room show-floor. At most stores, RTA is “self-serve.” That means no salespeople, no sales orders, and no hassle. Being able to buy furniture the way you might normally buy groceries or a new screwdriver is appealing to many of today’s discount furniture customers.

What to Buy

When it comes to RTA, there is a wide range in terms of quality. If you are looking for the best, though, there are a pair of manufacturers that have proven themselves over time: Sauder and Bush. Each of these RTA companies offers high quality discount furniture you can assemble yourself as well as solid customer service.

Sauder: Sauder is the mother of all RTA companies. They have been in the furniture business for 70 years and continue to lead the market in sales. If a long track record of 7 decades is not enough, their customer service record is great. When it comes to ready to assemble products, it is inevitable that pieces will be missing from a kit from time to time. In such a situation with Sauder, you can call their toll free customer service line at 1-800-523-3987 and receive your part or parts overnight in most cases. You can also resolve customer service issues through their website at

Bush: Having been in the furniture business for nearly 50 years, Bush offers the experience that is necessary to produce high quality RTA furniture. Additionally, like Sauder, Bush offers great customer service for those who have a problem getting their piece put together or who are missing a piece from their kit. This can be done via phone or through their website,

There are certainly a number of other companies out there from whom you can get your RTA furniture. The problem is that they range in quality a great deal and few if any have been in business as long as Sauder and Bush. That means there is more risk there. On the other hand, if you go with the big boys, you know what you are getting and know that you will be taken care of even after your furniture is home.


A big question to most furniture stores is: how do you make RTA furniture last? There are a couple of things you can do to make it last as much as possible.

Going in, you should understand that while good RTA is solid, it also has its limitations. in most cases, it will last until you move it. Because of the way it is put together, RTA furniture does not always move that well. Knowing what to expect from the start will help you to plan for your RTA ownership.

First of all, keep your RTA furniture clean. As with most any furniture, dust and dirt are the enemy of longevity. Since most RTA is made from Medium-density fibreboard (MDF), this is especially true.

Secondly, consider where you live. If you live in a dry climate, like in the western US or any desert region, then you will need to oil the wood frequently. Even MDF will have a tendency to crack if it gets too dry. If you live in a more humid climate, then you may still need to oil the wood, but not as frequently.

Finally, leave your RTA piece where it is once you assemble it. With each move, RTA tends to get more weak. Weak furniture will not last as long, so it is in your best interest to assemble and leave your piece in the place you intend to have it for a while.

RTA furniture, especially from Sauder and Bush, is becoming more and more popular. By having more information about how to shop for RTA and how to care for it, you are better prepared to enter the market as a smart consumer.

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