Who wouldn’t want more space for storage without having to build a bigger kitchen? That’s one of the advantages kitchen designers see in the Ultracraft custom cabinets line, which offers space-enhancing features of two kinds.
“It’s a European-style cabinet,” said Amanda Fisher, one of the designers at Wilmington’s Markraft Cabinets. “It gives you full access,” without lips or edges that interfere with placing shelves or placing items on those shelves.
Just as important, though, is how this North Carolina-based manufacturer offers customized sizes at no extra cost, Fisher added. Ultracraft is in the mid-range of price among the lines Markraft offers.
“For the price point, it’s easy to customize the project,” she said. “There’s a really broad range of what you can do for the price.”
For example, it’s common when fitting standardized cabinet dimensions into a kitchen not to get a perfect fit. To avoid gaps, fillers are often needed. Ultracraft makes that unnecessary, Fisher said, by offering free custom sizing.
In other words, any standard-size cabinet can be increased in width by an eighth of an inch - up to three inches larger - at no extra cost. Need it bigger than that? Just move up to the next standard size, in three-inch increments.
That applies not just to width – helpful to completely use all available wall or floor space – but also to depth, Fisher said.
“You can get your kitchen much more custom. You can get more depth to fit a big plate. You don’t need fillers for wasted space,” she said.
That means all wall cabinets could be increased from the standard 12 inches to 13 ½ inches deep to fit those larger plates and platters in a less noticeable spot.
Size and dimensions aren’t the only benefit, of course.
Part of Ultracraft’s full-access construction is what’s called a “fully captured back.” Unlike cabinets that use narrow rails for wall attachments, but otherwise have lightweight back panels,
“It’s all solid five-eighths-inch plywood. You can put a screw top, bottom, side or back,” simplifying installation and making everything more durable, Fisher said.
Another construction amenity is superior hardware from the Blum company - notably soft-close drawer glides and door hinges.
When discussing cabinet choices with clients, Fisher likes to point out Ultracraft’s wide range of finishes and economical pricing policies.
“They have a competitive price on any upgraded finish,” she noted.
For painted or similar finish treatments, Fisher said, the premium is just a minimal percentage compared with other, similar, lines, over a basic stain-and-varnish look.
And while the company makes a wide range of traditional and contemporary designs in wood, it also offers a number of sleek, high-tech alternatives, too.
For instance, a “Thermofoil” door uses a heat-and-vacuum process to mold vinyl to the surface in a range of matte or super-high-gloss textures. These can feature simulated wood grains, oriented vertically or horizontally. An option is to have contrasting finishes – other colors or even a stainless-steel look – on the door edges.
“They have a melamine option,” as well, Fisher said.
A hard, durable plastic – a familiar sight in kitchens for decades in the form of virtually unbreakable tableware – melamine is bonded to exterior panels for a permanent, easily washable finish in virtually any color.
“One thing I really like about this line is the interior finishes,” Fisher added.
That is where the melamine shows up again, in a thermally fused layer that totally seals every interior surface, making it simple to clean and impervious to moisture – no shelf paper needed.
Fisher ticked off a couple of other reasons she recommends Ultracraft: Its economy-focused “Vision” line, which gives buyers a selection of 10 door options at a moderate cost; and “probably the best cabinet warranty you’ll get from anyone.”
And, of course, there’s the in-state connection. Ultracraft is based in Liberty, North Carolina, not far from Greensboro.
“We’re supporting a local business,” Fisher said.
But for consumers, she says, the choice boils down to quality, versatility and accessibility.
Want to see more of Ultracraft’s spacious, frameless cabinets and innovative finishes? Examples of this North Carolina-made line are on display in Markraft’s Design Center. Markraft’s professional kitchen and bath designers consult by appointment, but drop-in visitors are always welcome to stop by and browse in the showroom. 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.