Sometimes even the best manufactured product isn’t the perfect fit for a homeowner’s tastes and lifestyle.
When that happens, it’s time to think about something more tailor-made.
That’s why Markraft Cabinets has added Rutt Handcrafted Cabinetry line to its offerings.
Rutt, a small company rooted in Pennsylvania’s Amish and Mennonite woodworking tradition, was founded in 1951 by Phares Rutt, an innovative craftsman who carved out a position as a leading manufacturer of luxury cabinetry.
Markraft President Cee Edwards believes Rutt’s appeal comes from its reputation for quality - and the fact that everything is designed and assembled only after an order is placed, making each cabinet completely original.
Markraft offers other high-end lines that allow for customization but they always start with standard products and dimensions.
“Certain customers like the word ‘custom,’” Edwards said, adding that those customers know about Rutt’s craftsmanship.
That craftsmanship comes from quality materials, distinct designs, signature finishes and a multi-generational tradition of workmanship.
Picking the finest hardwood lumber is just the beginning for Rutt’s craftsmen, who then hand-match the grain. That attention to detail isn’t just for the most visible features, either, with drawers and interior components also crafted from cherry, mahogany, poplar or walnut.
Subtle but important refinements ensure doors and drawers are precisely inset. Almost invisible bevel angles on doors and drawers guard against sticking. Inset hinges are fully mortised into the cabinet’s frame. Drawers are hand-fitted and exactly square. Corners are built with traditional doweled joinery or an innovative dovetail technique for which Rutt holds a U.S. design patent.
Finishes are special, too. Rutt uses a multi-step technique, followed by a clear conversion varnish to protect against stains and scratches.
“It’s that Pennsylvania craftsmanship you notice whenever you open up the drawers,” Edwards said, a quality and style he hopes will appeal to those viewing the Rutt displays in Markraft’s showrooms.
A manufactured cabinet isn’t going to have painted mahogany wood, for instance, Edwards noted. Many lines only offer painted maple or oak, he said, “and those offer different textures that look and feel a lot different from other types of wood.”
Of course, all this excellence isn’t for everyone. Edwards estimated that only two percent of homeowners would seek out Rutt, in part because the finest materials and workmanship come at a price.
For those who admire Rutt’s work but are on a tighter budget, Markraft has other excellent products that may be more affordable.
Edwards likened it to a car buyer who comes in to check out the Maserati but discovers the nearby Cadillac is actually better suited to his needs and wallet.
But for those who know precisely what they want – something entirely original - the full-custom option is the way to go.
In addition to Rutt’s quality, Edwards points to its reputation for excellent customer support. Considering the customer’s vision must be carried out precisely in the workshop, communication and follow-through is indispensable.
Often those customer- and designer-driven ideas become part of Rutt’s product line. While the company already offers vast styles - from richly traditional to sleek and modernistic - it regularly adds designs originally made for specific clients.
Often, Rutt will add a customer-requested color the company thinks has broader potential, so, Edwards said, Markraft’s customers will now be able to benefit from those collaborations.
Markraft is the only company representing Rutt cabinets in the Wilmington area, or in its other main market, Nashville, Tennessee.
As a small firm disinterested in growing to mass-production levels, Rutt extends its customer service to dealers, too. That means exclusive relationships with a handful of local firms — just five in the Carolinas.
During its 65 years in business, Rutt has crafted thousands of unique kitchens, many of them still used by their original owners. Even as flooring, appliances and sinks get replaced, the cabinetry remains beautiful, functional and timeless.
See what sets Rutt Handcrafted Cabinetry apart in Markraft’s new Design Center display. Markraft’s professional kitchen and bath designers are available by appointment, but visitors can browse the showroom anytime. The Design Center is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, at 2705 Castle Creek Lane, just off Castle Hayne Road.
Since 1985, Markraft has specialized in cabinet and countertop design and installation in residential and commercial construction and custom remodeling. To learn more about Markraft, go to www.markraft.com. Contact Markraft at 910.762.1986 and like Markraft on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/MarkraftCabinets.